Monday, January 13, 2014

Newcastle University Research Finds Improved Oral Health by Cutting Down on Sugar Intake

Everyone has heard that cutting down on refined sugars will help prevent and reduce tooth decay. A new study done by Newcastle University helps to define exactly how much we should cut back in order to improve dental health.

The Newcastle study was commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) and it recommends an average intake of less than 10% of “free sugars” as our total calorie intake. Free sugars are found in many foods today, often added by manufacturers, but they also include sugars naturally found in fruit juices, syrups and honey.

The study showed that where individuals consume less than 10% of their total calories in free sugars, they can expect less tooth decay and better oral health. When individuals reduced their sugar intake to less than 5% of their total calories, they enjoyed even greater benefits. At 5%, researchers believe that we can reduce cavities for many years into the future, thus keeping our original teeth well into old age.

Newcastle researcher, Professor Moynihan, commented saying, “People now expect to keep their teeth into old age and given that the effects of sugars on our teeth are lifelong, then limiting sugars to less than 5% of the calories we eat would minimize the risk of dental caries throughout life.”

Researchers believe that many of us set eating patterns at an early age that can include higher amounts of sugar leading to tooth decay even before the age of 12. If the diet goes unchanged and an individual consumes higher levels of sugar, the problem worsens as they age. Tooth decay is a progressive disease that is greatly affected by our food consumption.
Food and drinks with a high sugar content, especially processed foods that are so common in Western culture, can lead to higher numbers of cavities in both children and adults.

These types of foods also take a toll on our overall well-being, exhibited by the rising rates of diabetes and obesity seen in our culture. Professor Moynihan believes that altering our diet is the best solution for both good dental and physical health.

Dr. Foley, Dr. Jones, and their team enjoy teaching adults and children about the many benefits of a healthy lifestyle.  Their patients know that they will receive top-notch dental services from a dentist that cares about their health. Dr. Foley is consistently voted among the top dentists in Nashville and she takes pride in helping her patients achieve optimal oral health. Why not call today and schedule your appointment with Nina Foley Dental Associates? Discover for yourself just how easy and enjoyable going to the dentist can be.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Can Brushing Your Teeth Prevent Heart Disease?

A new study from the researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health finds that there is indeed a link between bacteria in the mouth and heart disease. A three-year study discovered that as gum health improves, the advancement of atherosclerosis is slowed significantly.

A Definite Correlation

The build-up of plaque in arteries is a key risk factor for stroke, heart disease, and death. The study followed 420 adults who were examined for periodontal infection. Plaque samples were taken from the participants and analyzed for 11 strains of bacteria that have been linked to periodontal disease. During the three-year follow-up program, researchers saw that when an individual’s periodontal health improved, the Atherosclerosis in carotid arteries decreased.

The lead author of the paper and associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School, Moïse Desvarieux, MD, PhD, commented, saying,  “These results are important because atherosclerosis progressed in parallel with both clinical periodontal disease and the bacterial profiles in the gums. This is the most direct evidence yet that modifying the periodontal bacterial profile could play a role in preventing or slowing both diseases.”

A sampling of the fluid surrounding the gums was also taken and assessed for Interleukin-1β, a marker of inflammation.  High-resolution ultrasound was used to check the Atherosclerosis in both carotid arteries. The results were adjusted for factors like diabetes, cholesterol, body mass index and smoking.

The researchers determined that there was a definite correlation between improving an individual’s oral and dental health and the build-up of plaque in carotid arteries.

According to Tatjana Rundek, MD, PhD, a co-author of the study and professor at the University of Miami, “When it comes to atherosclerosis, a tenth of a millimeter in the thickness of the carotid artery is a big deal. Based on prior research, it appears to meet the threshold of clinical significance.”

Plans to Continue the Research

Researchers said that they planned to continue to monitor the individuals in the study group to see if there were other important changes in health for those with better oral health.

Schedule your Appointment Today!

At Nina Foley Dental Associates, we believe in good oral health. We work with patients to help them achieve optimal dental health. Our office has the most technologically advanced equipment to give patients exceptional care in a welcoming atmosphere. Dr. Nina Foley and Dr. Ryan Jones give each patient personal, friendly care. The staff is always available to answer questions and provide patients with a refreshingly different dental experience. Call us today to schedule a check-up at 615-591-0294!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Study Uncovers Startling Facts About Going to the Dentist

For many people, the thought of going to the dentist causes quite a bit of anxiety. You may find yourself dreading it even more as the day draws near. By the day of your appointment, you can have yourself worked into quite a frenzy.

New research has discovered some startling facts about what happens in the human brain when people hear the sounds of suction instruments and dental drills. According to a report from the Society for Neuroscience, Japanese researchers have learned that patients who went into their dental appointment terrified experienced much different responses in the brain than those who went in with a more calm attitude.

Dentist Hiroyuki Karibe, who is also a Japanese researcher, believes that if scientists can find out what’s going on in the human brain when patients hear certain sounds, then they might be able to discover methods of making them feel more relaxed.

As Karibe explained to the South China Morning Post, “As a pediatric dentist, I’ve seen many patients since 1987, and from my clinical experience, I have found that the sound of drilling can evoke anxiety in dental patients.”

Karibe surveyed a group of 21 women and 12 men from ages 19 to 49. He asked them to rate their fear of going to the dentist. Then using their scores, he split the group up into low and high fear ratings. Next, he performed functional magnetic resonance imaging machine (fMRI) scans on these participants.  A series of sounds were played while the scans were being performed from the sound of suction tools to dental drills.

Karibe found some very interesting facts from this experiment. He explains: “All of the participants were isolated in the fMRI room when they listened to the dental sounds, so we couldn’t see if they responded visibly or audibly to the dental sounds, but we could recognize their responses from their brain activity.”

The people in the low-fear group did not show much of a response to the dental sounds. However, those in the high-fear group became much more anxious when they heard dental sounds than when listening to neutral sounds.

Karibe said that participants who were anxious about going to the dentist showed an intense response in a region of the brain called the left caudate nucleus. This is an area that researchers believe plays a role in remembering sounds.

Karibe concluded by saying, “We believe the findings can be applied to assess the effectiveness of interventions such as cognitive behavior therapy for patients who have a strong fear of dental treatment.”

Skilled Brentwood Dentists

Dr. Nina Foley and Dr. Ryan Jones provide patients with gentle dental care that is designed to alleviate stress and make them feel relaxed and calm.  These Brentwood Dentists specialize in high quality aesthetics using the latest technologies.

Dr. Foley is excited to announce that her practice has been ranked by the Nashville Scene Reader’s Poll among the top 3 best dentists in Nashville for the past 4 years (2010-2013). She is honored by this recognition and would like to personally thank each and every one of her patients who took the time to vote.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Top Dentist in Nashville, Tennessee Improves Patient’s Experience In Unusual Way


dr nina foley franklinFor most people, a trip to the dentist’s office falls somewhere between scary and stressful, but when you know and trust your dentist, the stress level can go way down. This is one of the unique ways that Dr. Nina Foley alleviates her patient’s fears and makes them feel comfortable. She makes a point of getting to know her patients and today many of them are good friends.

Another thing that Dr. Foley feels important is streamlining the patient experience so that a patient never feels confused, upset or like they don’t know what’s going on. Improving patient experience is, in fact, at the top of Dr. Foley’s list and she accomplishes this in many ways.

One of the more creative ways that Dr. Foley has recently improved patient experience concerns the overall organization of her office. She began to notice that, as her practice had grown, the staff had also grown. The amount of equipment and supplies had grown as well, causing a few organizational issues.

When staff are forced to walk extra steps in order to get certain items, it increases their fatigue by the end of the day and takes extra time. Dr. Foley’s innovative solution was to contact a major manufacturer of stackable bins and storage components. Monster Bins worked directly with Dr. Foley and her staff to maximize the office storage capacity by equipping her office with today’s best storage solutions.


Monster bins took a look at her office design and needs and recommended several types of bins and each type serves a specific purpose. For instance, in one area, a stackable bin is used to hold supplies and important documents. This makes it easy for the staff to locate exactly what they need. The bin’s open front allows staff to quickly see and grab what they need. These are available in many colors, which gave Dr. Foley the idea of color coding the entire office for an even greater method of categorizing and arranging tools, files, equipment and supplies.

Many of these colorful bins are attached to a wall-mounted panel, which frees up valuable counter space. Another type of storage bin that is used throughout the office is the clear tip-out bins.  These are two feet wide and broken down into small compartments.  Each compartment has a clear cup that tilts outward at a 45-degree angle.  The staff have all noticed that they can save time and effort because they always know where an item is and it’s very easy to reach into the compartment and pull out the exact item you’re looking for.

Organizing an office of any kind is a great way to save time and money and give customers a better experience, but at Dr. Foley’s office there’s an additional benefit. Her new system streamlines the entire patient experience from beginning to end. It increases productivity and patients always feel comfortable and confident that they will receive top-notch dental care.

This is just one of the many reasons why Dr. Foley continues to be patients’ favorite. This year she was again voted among the Top 3 dentists in the Nashville Scene Readers’ Poll. She is very detail oriented and takes pride in giving her patients the best possible experience while at her office. Why not call today and schedule your appointment with Dr. Foley? Discover for yourself just how easy and enjoyable going to the dentist can be.