Toothpaste alone does not prevent dental erosion, hypersensitivity
*Kissing babies on lips could cause cavities
An analysis of nine toothpastes found that none of them protects enamel or prevents erosive wear. Specialists stress that diet and treatment by a dentist are key to avoid the problems originated by dentin exposure.
The rising prevalence of dental erosion and dentin hypersensitivity has led to the emergence of more and more toothpastes on the market that claim to treat these problems. While no such toothpaste existed 20 years ago, today, many brands with different attributes are being offered.
However, a study conducted at the University of Bern in Switzerland with the participation of a researcher supported by a scholarship from the São Paulo Research Foundation — FAPESP showed that none of the nine analyzed toothpastes was capable of mitigating enamel surface loss, a key factor in tooth erosion and dentin hypersensitivity.
“Research has shown that dentin must be exposed with open tubules in order for there to be hypersensitivity, and erosion is one of the causes of dentin exposure. This is why, in our study, we analyzed toothpastes that claim to be anti-erosive and/or desensitizing,” said Samira Helena João-Souza, a PhD scholar at the University of São Paulo’s School of Dentistry (FO-USP) in Brazil and first author of the article.
According to an article published in Scientific Reports, all of the tested toothpastes caused different amounts of enamel surface loss, and none of the toothpastes afforded protection against enamel erosion and abrasion.
The authors of the study stressed that these toothpastes perform a function but that they should be used as a complement, not as a treatment, strictly speaking. According to João-Souza, at least three factors are required: treatment prescribed by a dentist, use of an appropriate toothpaste, and a change in lifestyle, especially diet.
“Dental erosion is multifactorial. It has to do with brushing, and above all, with diet. Food and drink are increasingly acidic as a result of industrial processing,” she said.
The researcher highlights that dental erosion is a chronic loss of dental hard tissue caused by acid without bacterial involvement — unlike caries, which is bacteria-related. When it is associated with mechanical action, such as brushing, it results in erosive wear. In these situations, patients typically experience discomfort when they drink or eat something cold, hot or sweet.
The scientists tested eight anti-erosive and/or desensitizing toothpastes and one control toothpaste, all of which are available from pharmacies and drugstores in Brazil or Europe. The research simulated the effect of brushing once a day with exposure to an acid solution for five consecutive days on tooth enamel. The study used human premolars donated for scientific research purposes, artificial saliva, and an automatic brushing machine.
All of the analyzed toothpastes caused progressive tooth surface loss in the five-day period.
Meanwhile, a new research suggests kissing your baby on the lips can actually give them cavities.
Finnish scientists warned just a peck, or a smooch, can spread harmful bacteria from parent to baby.
Even sharing spoons can raise the risk of dental problems, as bacteria that causes cavities can be passed on in saliva.
The latest study confirms mounting evidence that stretches back decades to show that kissing babies can damage their teeth.
Researchers at the University of Oulo, led by Jorma Virtanen, published their findings in the journal BioMed Central Oral Health.
They quizzed 313 mothers about their thoughts on their health knowledge and their behaviours, such as sharing a spoon with their child.
They were also asked about how often they brush their teeth, smoking habits, age and level of education. These can alter someone’s risk of cavities.
The scientists were concerned as the results showed 38 per cent of mothers kissed their child on the lips and 14 per cent shared a spoon with their child.
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