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Tooth Decay May Prohibit Growth in Children

Tooth decay may be even worse than originally thought.

A new study suggests that tooth decay may push back growth in children. The study appeared in the online version of Pediatrics journal and was conducted at University College London and King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital in Saudi Arabia.

The research team wanted to explore the relationship between oral health and growth after previous studies failed to show definitive evidence one way or the other. In this study, the researchers looked at the dental decay and the correlation between height and weight in Saudi Arabian children ages 6 through 8.

The oral health of the children was graded on the DMFT scale, which is a scale that determines the seriousness of decayed, missing and filled teeth.

The research team later analyzed the statistics and concluded that there was, in fact, a relationship between low height/weight and a greater number of cavities. Children with severe decay had a higher chance of being underweight and shorter when compared to their peers.

Even when some secondary factors, like demographics and social values, were factored in, the correlation between decay and stunted growth still existed. Based on this study, it’s fair to say there is an inverse relationship between growth and tooth decay in children. More research is necessary to confirm this study’s findings

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Link May Exist Between Oral Health and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Poor oral health may cause rheumatoid arthritis, based on a new study.

Researchers from the University of Louisville determined that poor oral health can raise the risk of rheumatoid arthritis based on the presence of an enzyme that is around when a person has gum disease. This enzyme, called peptidylarginine deiminanse, has also been associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which one’s joints become swollen and painful.

The problem with this enzyme is that it results in the body transforming some proteins into a form of protein called citrulline. The body often confuses citrulline and thinks it will cause problems and attacks it as a result. This produces inflammation in people who deal with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Previous studies have pointed to links between oral health and rheumatoid arthritis, with many determining that the problem is more widespread among people with gum disease.

The researchers analyzed other forms of oral bacteria and concluded that none had any impact on rheumatoid arthritis.

More research on the relationship between oral health and rheumatoid arthritis could prove to be valuable. There is also a large amount of evidence that connects oral health and systemic problems. Many studies have shown the correlation between gum disease and a higher risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease and numerous other health problems.

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Bacteria-Causing Gum Disease May Lead to Oral Cancer Growth

Fatty acids from bacteria present in gum disease may cause Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS)-related lesions and tumors in the mouth.

The information comes from a study by Case Western Reserve University. The researchers analyzed how byproducts in the form of fatty acids cause the growth of the lesions.

This finding could result in early saliva testing for bacteria. The person could then possibly be treated for signs of cancer or cancer before it would become malignant.

The information appears in the Journal of Virology.

The study primarily looks at the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, both of which are connected to gum disease. People with periodontal disease show high levels of these bacteria in their saliva.

KS affects many people with HIV because their immune systems can’t battle many infections. KS initially appears as lesions on the mouth that could turn into malignant tumors. Early detection is a key to surviving the disease.

The goal of this study was to pinpoint why most people don’t develop this type of cancer and what it is that spares them from it.

To compile the data 21 patients were studied. The first 11 had an average age of 50 and dealt with severe chronic gum disease. The other group of 10 maintained good oral health and had an average age of 26.

Numerous aspects of the saliva of each participant were studied. The research team was interested in the two bacteria, specifically, in addition to five short-chain fatty acids.

After first testing the byproducts, researchers concluded the fatty acids impacted the replication KS. They then introduced clean versions of the fatty acids into cells with the KS virus to see what the reaction was. Essentially, the body was prevented from trying to stop the growth of KS.
The study magnifies the importance of oral health for people with HIV.

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