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Can Xylitol Chewing Gum Protect Your Teeth?

image via: Vitalsurge.com
You have always heard that eating sugar candy is bad for your teeth. but what if i say "chew some gum and protect your teeth"

Yes you are hearing right, i am suggesting you chewing gum ..but how does it help protect your teeth?..

I am suggesting you to have SUGAR FREE Xylitol containing chewing gums present in the market in various brands.

How does it help.?
As I have discussed earlier about the process of Caries/Decay, the organism responsible for decay of the tooth is S mutans.It promotes an acidic environment in our mouths which leaves enamel susceptible to damage, erosion and eventually cavities.

Luckily, nature has provided a cheap, natural and safe remedy for this problem: xylitol. xylitol is a sweet substance commonly found in birch trees and in the fibrous portions of many fruits and vegetables.I want to discuss its application as a cavity fighting agent.

A recent study out of Korea examined the effect on cavities caused by the regular chewing of xylitol sweetened gum.

Two groups of women were assigned to chew either regular or xylitol gum for a period of one year. At ten points during that year, saliva samples were taken from these women and analyzed to determine the amounts of S. mutans.

In the xylitol gum group, the levels of S. mutans decreased consistently as the study progressed.  The researchers also found that the S. mutans produced a lower amount of sticky substances in the xylitol chewers. This is relevant because the stickiness allows for acids to cause more damage to our teeth. The combined effects of  chewing the xylitol gum led to an oral environment that was less prone to cavity formation.

The results of this first study were encouraging. But I wanted to see if this might be a fluke. It seems that it is no

Facts & Figures-
In December of 2008, a review appeared in the Journal of the American Dental Association. In it, the researchers examined the findings of 19 studies relating to the use of xylitol and sorbitol gums in the prevention of tooth decay. Their analysis found that the xylitol gum studies showed the greatest cavity prevention.

Here’s a breakdown of a few different sugar alcohols and their overall preventive effect:
Xylitol Gum – 58.66%
Xylitol & Sorbitol Combination Gum – 52.82%
Sorbitol Gum– 20.01%
Sorbitol & Mannitol Combination Gum – 10.71%

As you can see, the xylitol component appears to be the most important factor in the promotion of oral health.

So how exactly does xylitol help protect teeth? It is believed that it works to starve harmful bacteria, like S. mutans. This leads to a less acidic environment that is less prone to decay and plaque formation.

Calcium added Xylitol gums-
Preventing cavities is a very positive thing. But is there a way to strengthen enamel, if it’s weak to begin with? Maybe so.
A few years ago, scientists in Japan published a study that tested a combination gum that included calcium lactate and xylitol. Their aim was to see if such a gum could actually make tooth enamel stronger.

Volunteers were asked to either a) chew no gum, b) chew xylitol gum or c) chew gum with xylitol and calcium lactate. The voluteers chewed 4 pieces of each gum for 2 weeks. After which, their enamel was measured using an X-ray.

The results showed that the xylitol-calcium gum was about 50% more effective in promoting remineralization than the xylitol-only gum. The authors concluded that, “chewing gum containing xylitol + calcium lactate could enhance remineralization of enamel surface”.
So i suggest having these xylitol chewing gums instead of sugar candies. Care for your teeth they are precious.

What is Sialolithiasis –Definition, Pathogenesis, Clinical features, Treatment, Histopathology, Sialography.


Definition- sialolithiasis is a pathological condition, characterized by the presence of one or more calcified stones (sialliths) within the salivary gland itself or within its duct.


The exact mechanism of formation of sialolith is not known. It is generally believed that initially a small and soft nidus forms within the salivary glands or its ducts due to some known reasons.

The nidus is made up of mucin, protiene acteria and desquamated epithelial cells.

Once a small nidus frms, it allows concentric lamellar crystallizations to occur due to the precipitation of calcium salts.

The sialolith increases in size with time as layer after layer o salts become deposited , just like growth rings in a tree.

Small sialoliths can be expelled in the mouth with the salivary secretions but bigger sialoliths continue to expand until a duct is completely closed.

It is important to note that the formation of sialolith is more common in relation to the submandibular gland and it’s duct.


Clinical features

Age- Sialolithiasis usually occurs among the middle aged adults, however, some cases are reported in children.
Sex- There is slight male predominance.
Sites- 70% in submandibular salivary gland and its ducts. Parotid gland is next

Clinical Presentation-

  • In many cases sialoliths do not produce any symptoms and are detected only on routine radiographic examination.
  • Chief complain ; intermittent pain, recurrent sumbandibular swelling, discomfort during meals.
  • Pain is drawing or stinging in mild cases but stabing and sharp in severe cases.
  • Stone in the duct can be palpated by bimanual palpation with both the fingers.
  • During examination the flow and clearness of the saliva should be checked.
  • Persistent swelling of the duct due to chronic obstruction by the sialolith eventually leads to chronic sclerosing sialadenitis.
  • Multiple stone or bilateral cases of sialolithiasis can also be seen.
  • Formation of fistulas, sinus tract, ulcerations in the area may develop in chronic cases.
  • Necrosis of gland acini and lobular fibrosis may occur which results in complete loss of secretion from the gland.
  • Parotid stones often cause firm swelling over the ramus of the mandible, the swelling over the ramus of the mandible, the swelling also increases during meals.

How Sialolithiasis is diagnosed
  • Radilography of sialolithiasis
  • Submandibular sialolithiasis are easily detected by mandibular standard occlusal radiograohs which typically disclose the presence of calcification in the floor of the mouth.
  • Whn a sialolith is located in submandibular gland area then a lateral jaw radiograph will be helpful in location the exact position of the stone.
  • Panaromic radiographs usually detect the parotid gland stones.
  • If only branches of the submandibular gland duct are affected a posterior occlusal film submento vertex and some time a lateral jaw film may be required.

 Sialography of sialolithiasis
  • Sialogrohy refers to the method by which detection of salivary stones within the glad or its duct is done by giving a retrograde injection of a radiopaque dye within the  duct system and obtaining a radiograph thereafter in order to see the size and distribution of the sialolith.
  • Ultrasonograhy and CTscan
  • These are also excellent non invasive technique useful in detecting the sialoliths

Macroscopic appearance
  • On gross examination, sialoliths appear as round or oval rough or smooth solid masses, which vary considerably in their size.
  • These stones are heavily calcified and are often multi nodular although some stones are found in small aggregates.
  • The color of the stone is usually yellowish or yellowish white.

Why Are My Teeth Getting Stained ?

Question- I go to my dentist regularly and get my oral prophylaxis & cleaning done in every 6 months, My teeth become pearly white after cleaning and their are no stains but they start getting stained in no time ! I can see visible stains after 3 weeks.Why are my teeth getting stained even when I brush properly.

Although teeth staining have multiple causes but the above case is a simple case of poor oral hygiene practice. I'm not saying that the person is not will to keep his teeth clean but he is actually practicing wrong oral hygiene techniques like not knowing proper brushing technique, not flossing and brushing only once in the morning.

Cause of teeth getting stained after scaling and cleaning:
teeth getting stained
Stained between teeth Img: www.smileartistry.com.au

After professional cleaning surface of your teeth become absolutely clean but as you start eating a soft Dental pellicle start to form on your teeth.It is a protein film that forms on the surface enamel by selective binding of glycoproteins from saliva.

When not cleaned and flossed properly oral bacteria start to make colonies on this pellicle layer and hence they for a layer called as Plaque. This plaque can take the colors of foods and beverages your consume and it looks like a staining on your tooth.when you get your teeth scaled and cleaned at the dentist he removes this plaque. When people does not get this Plaque cleaned and it keep on accumulating it becomes Calculus which is a calcified structure.

Foods & Habits That Cause Your Teeth to Get Stain

Tea Or Coffee:
Tea Or coffee contains such kind of plant extracts that have very high tendency of sticking as stains on your teeth. No matter what type pf tooth paste you use, no matter what type of brushing you do, if you are consuming tea or coffee more then once a day every day in a year then your teeth will catch stain.Either get a professional cleaning or change your habit.

Smoking: Tobacco smoke contains nicotine and tar these two ingredients are the main culprit for the smoking stains. tar has a black staining and nicotine has a yellowish staining property. So a smoker will have a blackish and line at the junction of the gums and tooth and yellowish hue on the teeth. Leave the habit, Get your teeth cleaned.

Red Wine- Red wine is made up of grapes which have natural colors these natural colors will bind with the tooth surface and result in teeth staining, but this process is low and mild and occurs to them who consume red wine regularly.

Some Cold drinks and Energy drinks: Cold drinks and energy drinks have coloring agents in them. These agents can deposit on the plaque of the tooth and then get solidify.

Some berries and veggies: I really don't think that veggies should be blamed for the staining of teeth but clinically it have been seen that there are some berries and veggies which have colored juices in them which can stick to the plaque and impart

Solution to Get Rid of Repeated Teeth Staining

Avoid stain producing habits and food.
Brush twice a day with correct brushing technique.
Use floss once a day.
Use inter dental brush to clean gaps between teeth.
Get oral prophylaxis done every 6 months.
Keep oral hygiene good.

What is The Blue Light Dentist Use : Is It Harmful ?

So you have been to the dentist and you saw a wand like thing in dentists hand which he puts in patients mouth then it emits bright blue light with sound of beep !

No need to wonder what is that blue light emitting thing in dentists office.

 I'll Explain what is it, how it works and is there any chance of harm from it.

Blue light that dentists use is called as curing light.

How does blue curing light works ?

Blue dental light
Image Via : Wikimedia.org
It is a gun like machine which have electronic parts inside it. The source of current is the regular 220 volt AC current but a chip inside the machine converts it into much lower DC current and then it supplies it to the light emitting source.( Some guns are battery operated)

The light emitting source is a Quartz Halogen Or LED ( Light emitting diode) attached to the head of the gun. LED bulb have the capacity to produce high intensity of light with very effective use of electricity with least heat production as compared to other bulbs. hence a LED is used. (Don't miss judge it with lasers or any other thing) .

To make an angulated head a fiber optic cable is fitted at the head ahead of the LED bulb, this fiber optic cable can carry light to the head even when angulated at various angles.

Why is the dental curing light blue in color ?

It is mostly blue in color because the light is of longer wavelength which helps in deeper penetration of the light for better curing of the material. The wave length of the light may range from 370 to 510 nm. This light falls in blue spectrum of the VIBGYOR.

What is the blue curing light used for ?

This light is used for setting light activated filling materials.
In Technical Terms- There are dental restorative materials which come in semi solid or powder liquid form when mixed and packed into the cavity they get activated and start setting. Some material are photosensitive- That means setting reaction is initiated after light exposure. Blue curing light is used to cure this kind of dental materials.

Is the blue light harmful ?

No it's not harmful for the tissues inside your mouth or other skin or mucosal tissue, BUT it should never be directed to the eye or in other words you should not look directly into the light, because it have so much of intensity that it may harm retina of eye.

What is a orange colored shield ?

Due to the above cause there is a light barrier or orange color which dampens the light intensity if the operator is working and want to see the field of work.  For patients a orange colored glass will be given, if not given you should better keep your eyes closed.

Why Are My Teeth Getting Sensitive

Teeth getting sensitive means you are feeling sharp electric like pain on taking cold, sweet or sour food, this kind of pain is short in duration and it subside immediately after removal of stimuli.

If that is what you are experiencing then you are suffering from a clinical condition called as Dentin Hypersensitivity Or Sensitive Dentin.

Teeth crown is made up of outer Enamel layer (Don't have nerves), Dentin layer (have nerve ending in it) & Core of Pulp (nerves and blood vessels). Teeth root is made up of outer Cementum and then Dentin layer.

These enamel and cementum works as insulation to underling dentin from temperature and osmotic stimuli. So now you can figure it out that when ever enamel or cementum is damaged and dentin is expose people start to feel sensitivity while eating cold or sweet food.

Causes of Teeth getting sensitive:
Teeth Getting Sensitive
Picture showing Causes of Sensitive Teeth 

Gingival recession or receding gums: This is most common cause of teeth sensitivity gums cover the root which intern is covered by the cementum. when gums recession occurs then root get exposed and by the time when cementum is removed from brushing then tooth become sensitive. Heavy brushing and periodontal disease are two causes or gum recession.

Tooth wear: This is second most common cause: As you know that wear and tear is a natural process but when this process occurs at high speed and your enamel is lost at fast speed then your teeth does not get time to perform any kind of protective mechanisms. Hence tooth become bad before time and you can experience tooth sensitivity. Example of tooth wear- Attrition from teeth to teeth contact ( physiologic), Abrasion ( tooth brush trauma- Pathologic), Abfraction ( combination of both), Erosion ( chemical damage from the acid erosion of the enamel from consuming excessive cold drinks, Gastro esophagial reflux and many more)

Dental decay: Yes decay can also cause teeth sensitivity as decay causes destruction of enamel it exposes the dentin and when ever cold or sweet food comes in contact with that decayed tooth patient may feel sharp pain. which subsides on removal of the stimuli.

Treatments: Depend upon the grade and cause of sensitivity.

Removal of cause and treatment of underlying pathology followed by Desensitizing toothpaste, Desensitizing gel & Professional Dental treatment will completely cure your sensitive Teeth.

You can Check These Desensitizing Tooth Pastes If you want one.

Cauliflower Like Growth in Mouth !

Papilloma definition-  Papilloma is a common benign neoplasm arising from epithelial tissue of oral cavity and is characterized by an exophytic growth of the stratified squamous epithelium.

These lesions  constitute about 2 % of all oral neoplasms and it is belived by any investigators that they are cused by the human papilloma virus.

Clinical features

Age: mostly third, foruth and fifth decade of life
Sex: Both sexes are equally affected.
Site: Tongue lips, buccal mucos, gingiva, hard and soft palate.

Signs and symptoms: Clinical presentation

  • ‘Cauliflower like’ growth which is slow growing exophytic an small, it is usually painless unless traumatized. It have several small finger like projections on the surface. ( Images are graphic that is why we have not given it here check it at google images of papilloma)
  • Size is from millimeter to few centimeter in diameter.
  • Base is either pedunculated or brad based (sessile) but always well circumscribed lesion.
  • Some time it may appear as ovoid swelling with corrugated surface.
  • The surface of the papilloma is white because of highly keratinized epithelium.
  • A non keratinized lesion appears pinkinsh or grayish in color and it is softer in consistency.
  • Rarely an endophytic papilloma can be seen which grows inwardly.
  • Papillomatosis is a condition in which multiple papillomas are developed inside mouth.

Histological feature
Histological slide of papilloma

Proliferating stratified squamous epithelium in the form os multiple fingers like projections

Every single finger like process has a vascular connective tissue core in cener which conatins few inflammatory cells.

Covered with squamous epithelium which shows hyperkeratosis. and acanthosis.

Although most of the papillary projections are long and finger like there can be small round and blunt projections.

Sometimes there may be development of superficial ulcerations and secondry infection because in the oral cavity these lesions are often subjected to trauma.

Differential diagnosis

  • Verruca vulgaris
  • Focal dermal hyperplasia
  • Verruciform xanthoma
  • Verrucous carcinoma 
  • Fibro epithelial polyp.


Surgical excision of the lesion including the base recurrence is rare.

What is Hairy Tongue: Pathogenesis Clinical Features and Treatment

Definition Hairy tongue is an unusual condition which occurs due to hypertrophy of the filliform papilla of the tongue along with loss of normal desquamation process This eventually leads to the formation of a pigmented thick matted layer on the tongue surface heavily coated with bacteria and fungi.

Pathogenesis: Why hairy tongue occur 
Hairy tongue
Hairy tongue

Normally the keratinized surface layers of the tongue papillae are continuously desquamated thourg
friction of the tongue with food, rough palate and upper anterior teeth. After desquamation tongue papillae are replaced by newer epithelial cells from below.

Lack of tongue movement due to local or systemic disease disturb the regular shedding of the keratin of the tongue papilla especially the filliform papilla.which lengthens and produces a hairy appearance on tongue surface.

Such hypertrophic papillae are often coated with microorganisms and become discolored by retaining pigments from foods, medicines and chromogenic bacteria etc.

Clinical Features of hairy tongue how does it look

  • Hairy tongue commonly affects the mid dorsum of the tongue.
  • Hypertrophy of the filliform papilla produces a thick matted layer on the dorsal surface hairy tongue in extreme cases may produce a thick lathery layer coating on the tongue surface and this condition is often known as early or encrusted tongue.
  • Hypertrophied filliform papilla often brushes sfot palate and produces gagging reflex.
  • Hairy tongue in many cases produces bad breath.
  • There can be irritation to the tongue due to accumulation of food debris and microorganisms.
  • Hairy tongue is considered as mirror of general health. Because it is associated with various systemic disease.

Treatment of hairy tongue.

  • Cleaning and scraping of tongue everyday
  • Application of topical keratolytic agents
  • Consumption of yogurt
  • The effected tongue papilla often rapidly returns to normal when long term antibiotics or oterh drugs are discontinued.