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TECH TALK with Dr. Cranska

November 21, 2015 Andrew 0 Comments

Brushing Teeth Since 1940s?

Dentistry and modern science has not been able to find a cure for the occurrence of gum disease or tooth decay. Tooth decay is the most common disease facing mankind and at least 30% of Americans have advanced gum disease.

Today’s dental mission statement should not be just reacting to problems; instead the effort should be in prevention of disease.


Q: What can I do to prevent tooth and gum disease?

A: Everyone has bacteria in their mouth; these bacteria form a plaque on teeth (sticky bacterial deposits). To prevent tooth and gum destruction you must remove this acidic bacterial biofilm.

This is done by daily brushing and flossing. Brush at least twice a day. Floss once a day. The use of Anti-cavity Fluoride toothpaste and treatment gels aid in limiting the acid effect on tooth enamel.

Regular dental examinations and professional cleanings remove plaque and calculus (mineralized plaque), administer Fluoride varnish treatments and allow for caries to be treated early with fillings and treat early gum disease.


Q: What is the history of the tooth brush?

A: Boar bristle brushes used to clean teeth go back to Ancient China. French dentists in the 17th Century brought the idea to Europe. William Addis developed a bone and pig bristle brush in 1780 England, which led to mass produced tooth brushes. DuPont developed nylon bristles in 1938 and soon there was Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush in the U.S.

The practice of daily brushing your teeth came to America after World War II when soldiers returned from the Army where they were ordered to brush their teeth daily. The first electric brush in the U.S. was the Broxodent in 1960. The first rotary brush, the Interplak was introduced in 1987.


Q: What kind of toothbrush should I use?

A:  The important considerations are a brush that fits the size and shape of your mouth, that is durable and has soft bristles.


Q: What is periodontal disease?

A:  Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that surround teeth. It is caused by the accumulation of bacteria (long term plaque). It’s progressive, causing the structures that support teeth to break down (gums, jaw bone and attachment to the roots). As gums are damaged, pockets develop around the teeth. Untreated, more gum is destroyed and infection spreads down the roots to infect bone. Even healthy teeth become loose, fall out or need to be extracted. Periodontitis is the primary cause of adults losing their teeth.

Gingivitis is the milder and reversible form of periodontal disease. No bone loss, yet.

Treatment is aimed to kill bacteria, reduce pockets, and repair the damage and regenerate bone and attachment tissues.

Dental diseases are not completely preventable. No vaccine is available to prevent these common diseases. Without a cure, utilize the modern dental technologies for maximum prevention and limit destruction with early treatment.

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