So Today I had 5 minutes to spare (surprisingly!) so I caught up with some dental news, and this extremely small “article” (more like an aside) caught my eye!

They started off by informing me that Tooth decay is not solely down to personal oral hygiene but genetics as well. Although I knew that dietary choices (Sweets, fizzy drinks, Juice, cakes – all the beautiful things in life!) have a direct impact on cavity formation, genetics are also a factor!

Note: Just to clarify, these are cavities!Cavity

(Sometimes referred to as Caries)

They are holes in the tooth which are formed when plaque erodes the enamel. The picture shows cavities on different parts of the tooth. If left untreated, they can cause further problems such as toothaches, infections as well as tooth loss.

collagenA new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation reveals that keratins are important to the structure of tooth enamel. Keratin is a fibrous structural protein which is involved in the formation of skin and the strength of hair and nails.

(On the left is an example of a fibrous protein structure)

Those at the national institutes of health discovered that individuals with mutations in their hair keratin gene are more prone to have cavities than those who have the normal gene. Those with the mutated gene had a weakened tooth enamel structure due to its irregular shape.

At this point the article ended… and I was left wanting a more in depth explanation!

What sort of structural arrangements will weaken tooth enamel?

Can these people have any treatment to re-strengthen their teeth?

How does it work genetically?

What Gene is affected?

I will endeavour to go back and find the answers to my questions and hopefully share them with you soon! Or, If your reading this and can’t wait for me to find them first, research the answers yourself and leave a comment below!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!



Should Schools check kids brush their teeth?

Recently on the news, there was an article about whether nurseries and schools should be responsible for checking if their pupils have brushed their teeth!

This was a recommendation from NICE (National Institute for health and Care Excellence) to tackle the ever-rising issue of child tooth decay. Teachers would have to check each child’s oral health before lessons and possibly even supervise them brushing their teeth, particularly in areas of the UK where child tooth decay is prevalent. NICE have said that tooth decay is very high in disadvantaged areas and so these measures should be implemented in their local schools and nurseries.

NICE recommends fluoride varnishing programmes as well for school children twice a year. During my work experience I saw this fluoride treatment placed on all the young patients who visited the dentist. It’s a thick paste that is smeared onto the teeth and left for a few hours (meaning no food or drink to wash it down!) to give a high fluorine dosage to strengthen milk teeth. I found this treatment was present in both NHS and private practices for young kids after every check up.

The article also brought up a common misconception- some families believe that maintaining oral hygiene for children is not an issue as baby teeth are“gonna fall out anyway”. Tooth decay and early gum disease are linked to future oral health, which makes it important to stop it before it’s too late.

I believe it is important to teach young children to maintain high levels of oral hygiene by not only brushing twice a day, but by brushing twice a day well. In some families this idea can be forgotten and children are left to brush without proper guidance.

My previous article about the sugar in food and tooth decay only emphasises the need to teach children from an early age how to maintain what they’ve got. Developing fun and engaging ways to teach kids how to brush their teeth can set the foundation for good oral health throughout life. Games and songs are only some methods to help kids remember every single tooth when they brush.

Overall I am not opposed to the recommendations and I can see many benefits in having this programme, or something similar to it, implemented in schools across the country. However, some schools say they do not have time in the school day and question the practicality of such measures.

Have a read and tell me what you think!

Bye! 🙂

First Womb Transplant Baby Born!

“Wow” was my first thought when reading this article on BBC news. I am excited to see where this innovation will take us and I am sure this has given many people a new and brighter view of the future.

So the story…

A womb was donated to a 36-year old lady who was born without a uterus, and thus was infertile. The uterus is very important in the development and growth of the fetus. The uterus is responsible for nurturing the fertilized ovum and anchoring it (with the help of the umbilical cord) until birth. Fertilized ovum gains nutrients needed for growth from blood vessels found deep within the uterus lining and develops into a fetus. Within the body of the uterus is the uterine cavity; it is a hollow space that has the capability to stretch to accommodate the growing fetus.

With this in mind…

For this treatment, IVF was used to create 11 embryos which were frozen. The transplant came from a 61-year old friend and immuno-suppressants were taken to ensure the uterus wasn’t rejected. After a year, a frozen embryo was chosen and implanted into the donated uterus and it was successful. Although the baby was prematurely born, due to pre-eclampsia, the mother and baby are now both doing fine.

Even though the success of this treatment has changed the lives of this family, is it too soon for the rest of those in the same situation to hope?

Regardless, the door has been opened to a possible future where surrogacy or adoption is not the only option for those who cannot children of their own. However, many more tests and trials on the new family will need to occur before it becomes a procedure for the general public. Prior to this great success in sweden, two other attempts at womb transplants have occurred. Both were unsuccessful and had to be removed. The safety of this technique is in question, and further tests on eight more couples are taking place to confirm if this treatment can be used for the wider world.

In the case of this happy new family, they will soon have to decide whether this is their one and only child as the immuno-suppressants are damaging in the long term and the womb will have to be removed soon. If this is going to be a success in the future, finding a better way to ensure the body accepts the donated womb will be the next hurdle to jump.

Go to the BBC news website to read the full article!