A Bad Bite Is Associated With Worse Postural Balance Control

A Bad Bite Is Associated With Worse Postural Balance Control

In recent years there has been increasing medical interest in correcting teeth that do not touch perfectly in order to prevent problems such as jaw pain, gaps between teeth and crowding. Now, a new study carried out by Spanish researchers has concluded that dental occlusion is also related to the control of posture and balance.

Misaligned Bite Silver Spring & Baltimore MD | Dr. Sammy NoumbissiAlthough it is a technical term, ‘dental occlusion’ is increasingly on the minds of many patients following a routine visit to the dentist. Doctor’s offices diagnose problems related to a bad bite such as a shifted midline, gaps between teeth, crowding, crossbites and missing teeth. Dental occlusion is simply the contact made between the top and bottom teeth when closing the mouth. Teeth may be perfectly aligned or they may present alterations with varying levels of severity. Two new studies, carried out in collaboration between the Department of Physiology at the University of Barcelona (Spain) and the University of Innsbruck (Austria), have confirmed a less obvious relationship between an imperfect bite and postural control. Another aspect to be highlighted is that although this relationship may seem statistically weak, it grows stronger when a person experiences fatigue or when instability is a factor. “When there is a malocclusion, it is classified according to scientifically established criteria. What is relevant in the study is that malocclusions have also been associated with different motor and physiological alterations,” explains Sonia Julià-Sánchez to Sinc, the main author of the studies and a researcher at the Catalan university. Both studies, whose results have been published in Motor Control and Neuroscience Letters, provide conclusive data which show that postural control is improved -both in static and dynamic equilibrium- when different malocclusions are corrected by positioning the jaw in a neutral position. This relationship is not as obvious in everyday static conditions, although there may be conditions associated with pathologies, such as obesity, that worsen the body’s instability, thus decreasing postural control and increasing the risk of falls. This relationship in athletes can play a crucial role in how well they ultimately perform as well as in the prevention of injuries such as sprains, strains and fractures caused by unexpected instability as fatigue increases and motor control capacity decreases. “Therefore, it would be helpful for both the general population and athletes to consider correcting dental occlusions to improve postural control and thus prevent possible falls and instability due to a lack of motor system response,” adds Julià-Sánchez. A reciprocal influence “Postural control is the result of a complex system that includes different sensory and motor elements arising from visual, somatosensory and vestibular information,” explains the expert. In recent years there has been increasing scientific interest in the relationship between the stomatognathic system (the set of organs and tissues that allow us to eat, talk, chew, swallow and smile) and postural control. The link may have a neurophysiological explanation. There is a reciprocal influence between the trigeminal nerve and the vestibular nucleus ‑which are responsible for the masticatory function and balance control, respectively‑ as well as between the muscles of mastication and of the neck. This influence would explain why dental malocclusions negatively affect postural control. Up until now, however, there was no conclusive research. “The main problem stems from the fact that the majority of these studies had statically assessed balance under conditions of total stability, which in practice has little actual application in the control of posture while in action,” points out Julià-Sánchez. The first study took into account the type of dental occlusion as well as whether there had been previous orthodontic treatment. The results showed that alterations in alignment of the teeth were related to poorer control of static balance. The second study assessed the type of dental occlusion, control of posture and physical fatigue in order to analyze a possible relationship among these factors. The analysis demonstrated that balance improved when malocclusions were corrected, and that the latter had a greater impact on postural control when subjects were fatigued than when they were rested. “When the subjects were tired their balance was worse under both stable and unstable conditions. Under static conditions, the factor that had the greatest impact on imbalance was fatigue. In contrast, a significant relationship between exhaustion and dental occlusion was observed under conditions of maximum instability,” concluded Julià-Sánchez.
Have More Than Eight Dental Fillings?

Have More Than Eight Dental Fillings?

It could increase the mercury levels in your blood

Dental Fillings Silver Spring & Baltimore Maryland | Dr. Sammy NoumbissiDental surface restorations composed of dental amalgam, a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and other metals, significantly contribute to prolonged mercury levels in the body, according to new research from the University of Georgia’s department of environmental health science in the College of Public Health.

This research, which analyzed data from nearly 15,000 individuals, is the first to demonstrate a relationship between dental fillings and mercury exposure in a nationally representative population. The results were published online last week and will be available in the print edition of the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety in December.

“Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases,” said Lei Yin, a scientist in the department of environmental health science and the study’s lead author. “I think a majority of people have experienced dental fillings, but the kind of materials the dentist uses isn’t something that’s really discussed.”

Mercury exposure from dental fillings is not a new concern, but previous studies were inconsistent and limited, according to Xiaozhong “John” Yu, assistant professor of environmental health science and co-author of the study.

“This study is trying to provide the most accurate levels of exposure, which will form the scientific basis to make future risk assessment,” Yu said, adding that the study was the first to also control for age, education, ethnicity, race, gender, smoking and seafood consumption, which is a known contributor to mercury levels in the body.

The researchers further analyzed exposure by specific types of mercury and found a significant increase in methyl mercury, the most toxic form of mercury, related to dental fillings. Yu said this result suggests the human gut microbiota, a collection of microorganisms living in the intestines, may transform different types of mercury.

Dental amalgam has been the go-to dental filling material for more than 150 years, because it’s affordable and durable. However, about half of the compound contains mercury, a heavy metal known to be toxic at high levels, causing brain, heart, kidney, lung and immune system damage. New research suggests that methyl mercury may cause damage even at low levels.

“As toxicologists, we know that mercury is poison, but it all depends on the dose. So, if you have one dental filling, maybe it’s OK. But if you have more than eight dental filings, the potential risk for adverse effect is higher,” Yu said. People with numerous dental fillings who are also exposed to mercury from other sources, such as seafood or work environments, are most at risk.

The results show that individuals with more than eight fillings had about 150 percent more mercury in their blood than those with none. The average American has three dental fillings, while 25 percent of the population has 11 or more fillings.

According to its website, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers dental amalgam fillings safe for adults, but says, “pregnant women and parents with children under six who are concerned about the absence of clinical data as to long-term health outcomes should talk to their dentist.”

The study also looked at dental composite resins, a mercury-free alternative for dental fillings that can release small amounts of bisphenol A, or BPA, which may cause developmental or reproductive damage. The results found no association between dental fillings and urinary BPA, but further research is needed to understand BPA exposure from resin-based materials.

“It’s important for doctors and patients to be informed in their selections,” Yin said. “We now have an excellent starting point to evaluate the potential risk of dental material on human health.”

Beyond Tooth Decay

Beyond Tooth Decay

Why Good Dental Hygiene Is Important

Dental Hygiene - Tooth Decay Silver Spring & Baltimore MD | Sammy Noumbissi, DDSWith one in two Australian children reported to have tooth decay in their permanent teeth by age 12, researchers from the University of Sydney believe they have identified some nanoscale elements that govern the behavior of our teeth.

Material and structures engineers worked with dentists and bioengineers to map the exact composition and structure of tooth enamel at the atomic scale. Using a relatively new microscopy technique called atom probe tomography, their work produced the first-ever three-dimensional maps showing the positions of atoms critical in the decay process. The new knowledge on atom composition at the nano level has the potential to aid oral health hygiene and caries prevention, and has been published in the journal Science Advances. Professor Julie Cairney, Material and Structures Engineer in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, said: “The dental professionals have known that certain trace ions are important in the tough structure of tooth enamel but until now it had been impossible to map the ions in detail. “The structure of human tooth enamel is extremely intricate and while we have known that magnesium, carbonate and fluoride ions influence enamel properties scientists have never been able to capture its structure at a high enough resolution or definition.” “What we have found are the magnesium-rich regions between the hydroxyapatite nanorods that make up the enamel. “This means we have the first direct evidence of the existence of a proposed amorphous magnesium-rich calcium phosphate phase that plays an essential role in governing the behavior of teeth. ” Co-lead researcher on the study, Dr Alexandre La Fontaine from the University’s Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, said: We were also able to see nanoscale ‘clumps’ of organic material, which indicates that proteins and peptides are heterogeneously distributed within the enamel rather than present along all the nanorod interfaces, which was what was previously suggested. The mapping has the potential for new treatments designed around protecting against the dissolution of this specific amorphous phase. The new understanding of how enamel forms will also help in tooth remineralisation research.”
Avoid A Bad Dental Implant Decision Based On Outdated Word Of Mouth

Avoid A Bad Dental Implant Decision Based On Outdated Word Of Mouth

Avoid A Bad Dental Implant Decision | Sammy Noumbissi DDSDecisions regarding to restorative and cosmetic dental procedures are not to be taken lightly.  There are long term implications with regard to health, functionality, finance and aesthetic.  This is probably most true when the choices relate to dental implants.  It’s imperative to get as much up to date information as possible when considering your implant options.

Patients coming in for implant consultations have been known to raise concerns about having heard that ceramic dental implants are more susceptible to fracture.  While this concern is essentially unfounded today, it does have some basis in fact.

Much of the data and research for ceramic dental implants has come out of Europe, where use of zirconia dental implants has a far more extensive and varied history.  Commercial use of zirconia implant materials in Europe began in 1987.  While zirconia immediately proved its worth as an implant material from the perspectives of osseointegration with the jaw bone and biocompatibility with gum tissue, it did in fact experience much higher rates of failure due to fracture.

Adjustments were made to the molecular composition of the ceramic.  The potential strength of a zirconium based ceramic was never in doubt.  The material is employed in the construction of spacecraft and nuclear reactors due to its exceptional fracture resistance.  The latest studies show that the strength of zirconia implants equals or exceeds that of titanium implants in virtually all applications,  and success rates in the latest generation of ceramic implants have been as high as 98%.

The newer, stronger generation of zirconia dental implants have now been in use across Europe for nearly 20 years, and almost 10 years in the U.S.  Patient enthusiasm along with endorsement from renowned experts such as Dr. Noumbissi have led to a continuous increase in zirconia use as a dental implant material, and this trend seems sure to continue into the foreseeable future.

Zirconia Use In Modern Products And Technology

Zirconia Use In Modern Products And Technology

Zirconia Use In Modern Products And Technology Silver Spring, MOZircomium is an element that can be found all around us.  In fact, it is the nineteenth most commonly found periodic element in the Earth’s crust.  While people have been aware of and handling zirconium for hundreds of years, it wasn’t until 1925 that large enough quantities could be extracted in pure enough form for practical use.

It is typically found in rock and sand deposits, from which it is mined and refined.  The few byproducts and waste materials that are produced during the refining process are naturally common in typical beach sand.  As such, disposal is generally cheap and easy with virtually no environmental impact.

Although zirconium is not as prevalent in mainstream vernacular as its cousin, titanium, its many virtues as a manufacturing material has caused its use to become rather widespread over the last 90 years.

In most cases Zirconium is converted to Zirconium dioxide which is also called zirconia. Because of zirconia’s chemical inertness and resistance to essentially all forms of corrosion, it is most commonly used as a protective element in nuclear reactors.  Along with the fact that zirconium dioxide remains stable at extremely high temperatures, these properties have increasingly lead to its use in heat exchangers and piping systems.  This trend is expected to continue, as components made with zirconia tend to increase energy efficiency while decreasing the need for costly building maintenance.

The applications don’t stop there.  Zirconium derived materials are used in a variety of spacecraft.  The stable electron configuration is yet another reason widely used as a refractory for purposes of metallurgy.

Zirconium is also used in the positron emission tomography imaging process.  Commonly known as PET scanning, this technology is at the cutting edge of cancer diagnosis and treatment today.  This is not zirconium dioxide’s first application in the medical field, however.

As mentioned, zirconium is exceptionally inert to both organic and inorganic compounds.  This makes it an especially biocompatible element. In fact, trace amounts or zirconium can be found in all biological systems.  For decades now, zirconia ceramics have been used as surgical prosthetics.  This is especially true in the field of dental implants, where ceramic zirconia tooth implants are now widely regarded as the highest available standard of care.

The abundant availability of zirconium, along with its environmental and biological inertness, indicate that its use in modern products and technology is not likely to wane anytime in the foreseeable future.  In fact, the unique physical and chemical properties of zirconia combine with mechanical durability to suggest that we have only begun to scratch the surface of technological applications for this benevolent element.