Iodine Mouthwash Could Lower Bad Cholesterol?

iClean mouthwash

Image courtesy of the BDC

Could lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL count) be as simple as rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash? According to the Biomedical Development Corporation (BDC), a clinical trial of their new iodine mouthwash lowered LDL cholesterol levels of users compared to the placebo group.

“We didn’t expect to see any difference in LDL cholesterol,” said Dr. Charles Gauntt, the study’s principal researcher. “We expected to see improvements in oral health, and we did. But we also monitored a number of biological markers for inflammation. The results showed the oral rinse had no adverse effects and users exhibited lower levels of LDL, or what many people know as bad cholesterol. This definitely merits further study.”

Currently, a longer clinical trial is underway to see how the mouthwash affects patients diagnosed with gingivitis over a six-month time period. This trial will also continue to track LDL levels as part of an additional study for these unexpected effects.

BDC’s mouthwash is to be used once a day for 30 seconds. The active ingredient of the formula is based on iodine. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements has found iodine to have a number of significant roles in the human body, from boosting the immune system to improving thyroid function. It is currently believed that roughly 40% of the world is at risk for iodine deficiency. Iodine also plays a key role in inactivating viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Since people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease, Dr. Gauntt wanted to help develop an oral product that could effectively fight the battle on both fronts. He believes that additional research could provide more evidence that a healthy mouth, free of gum disease, is crucial for a healthy cardiovascular system. Even though his current product needs further study, he believes that this new mouthwash could play an important role in fighting both oral and cardiovascular disease simultaneously.

The BDC hopes that this new mouthwash will be available soon. You can find more information about it on the iClean website.

Adding Calcium to Whitening Gels May Lower Sensitivity

Teeth WhiteningWe’ve discussed here a bit how using whitening toothpastes can cause or worsen tooth sensitivity. To sum up, whitening toothpastes, by their nature, are abrasive to your teeth enamel, which can make your teeth more porous, thereby increasing the risk for nerve exposure. Increased nerve exposure causes painful tooth sensitivity.

A new study has found that whitening gels that contain calcium could reduce the risk the sensitivity significantly. In fact, half of the research participants treated with calcium-fortified whitening gel reported tooth sensitivity.

The study took 40 patients aged 18 and older and treated them in a dental office with teeth whitening gel, some containing calcium and some calcium-free. Both groups exhibited significant and equal tooth color enhancement after the procedures. However, 80 percent of those who had the calcium-free gel claimed to experience tooth sensitivity, while only 40 percent of those who had the calciumified gel reported sensitivity.

This study was limited to in-office whitening, obviously, but the implications are incredible. Since adding calcium to the gel did not affect the whitening effects, it’s possible that calcium could similarly be added to whitening toothpastes to minimize the abrasive effects. It would be great news for both dentists and patients if dentists could recommend teeth whitening toothpastes to their patients without worrying about potential sensitivity problems.

Acupuncture Found to Relieve Dry Mouth

AcupunctureHead and neck cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy often develop chronic xerostomia (dry mouth) as an unfortunate side effect from the treatment. Most dry mouth sufferers increase their dental visits and purchase numerous oral care products in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms, but a new study in the United Kingdom has found that acupuncture can significantly reduce the symptoms of dry mouth after only eight weeks, and the treatment provided a greater benefit than oral care alone.

A team of researchers from the University of Sussex surveyed 109 male and 35 female cancer patients from seven different cancer centers across the UK who received radiation therapy and developed dry mouth within 18 months after treatment. One group of the participants received acupuncture treatments for 20 minutes a session, once a week for eight weeks, and the second group participated in two oral care educational sessions for one hour. After eight weeks, the groups switched treatment for another eight weeks.

After the first eight weeks, the 26 percent of the first acupuncture reported improvement compared to 14 percent reporting improvement from the educational session group. When the groups switched, 24 percent of the acupuncture participants reported improvement, whereas 19 percent reported improvement after the oral care sessions.[..Read More]

New Flavored Toothpaste Could Curb Your Sweet Tooth

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

It’s no secret that sugar, especially in large quantities, is harmful for your teeth. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s really hard to not give in to your cravings for sugary foods. A German manufacturer of dental care products may have found a way to help people suppress their desires for sweets simply by brushing their teeth with their flavored toothpaste. Users only need to brush three times a day for at least three minutes with the toothpaste. Some people who have already benefited from the toothpaste have reported success and weight loss of nearly 7 kg (15.4 lb)!

During the company’s study of the product, which included a blind study with 48 participants with a randomized placebo for three months, they found that 90 percent of the participants who were given the flavored toothpaste reported a greatly reduced desire for sweets. A few lost  up to 6.8 kg (nearly 15 lb) during this short time. Many reported that giving up sugar entirely became easier when they used the toothpaste regularly.

Best results were obtained when users brushed their teeth three times a day, after each meal. The company even says that users can brush when they feel a craving for sweets coming on.

The toothpaste is currently being distributed only in Germany through dental practices and pharmacies. All of Europe, however, will have access to purchasing it online. Right now the only flavor available is apple-vanilla, but the company–Dr. Weiler (named for the founding practicing dentist)–more flavors are being planned.

“The advantage of our product is that it fills a niche. We are not presenting the hundredth toothpaste but a totally new product that offers unprecedented added benefits to the customer,” said Dr. Matthias Weiler, CEO and namesake of Dr. Weiler.

“In the last 50 years, the worldwide consumption of sugar has tripled. For many people, this is the reason for dental as well as metabolic diseases such as obesity, adiposity and diabetes,” Weiler continued.

Dr. Weiler developed the toothpaste in collaboration with his wife, who worked in the perfume and cosmetics industry for many years.

No word as of yet that the toothpaste will travel to the US, but we hope that it will eventually. How great would it be to hand out a toothpaste that will both clean your teeth and help curb a patient’s sweet tooth?

New Cavity Fighter is…Coconut Oil?

Coconut OilWe’ve had numerous posts that have been full of warnings and possible scare tactics to convince everyone to do the things every dentist and dental hygienist will urge you to do: brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and get your teeth cleaned twice a year. Let’s turn to something a bit more uplifting, such as a new discovery in a common item that could help prevent cavities. A research team in Ireland has found that the natural antibiotic properties of coconut oil can significantly prevent the growth of bacteria known to cause oral infections. As a result, the researchers believe that integrating coconut oil into dental products, such as toothpaste, mouthwash, etc., could fight against tooth decay and prevent cavities.

More specifically in their research, the team discovered that coconut oil itself is treated with enzymes similar to enzymes found in the digestive tract that prevent most strains ofStreptococcus bacteria from growing.Streptococcus bacteria, especially theStreptococcus mutans strain, are infamous for causing tooth decay and cavities. In addition, the study found that enzyme-treated coconut oil also combatsCandida albicans, the yeast that causes oral thrush and other oral infections.

“Dental caries are a commonly overlooked health problem affecting 60 to 90 percent of children and the majority of adults in industrialized countries,” said Dr Damien Brady, one of the researchers who lectures in Microbiology, Environmental Science and Veterinary Medicine. “Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations,” he added.

Something as natural and as non-harmful as coconut oil would most definitely be an “attractive alternative” to chemicals that can be harsh and present unwanted side effects. Not to mention, it wouldn’t be very expensive to add coconut oil to any commercial products, for consumer use or for dentists.