Tooth Charms Among Allure’s Previously Reported “Out-There Beauty Trends

Allure (6/2, Aberman) states in its “Daily Beauty Reporter” blog that during “Allure’s 25 years of existence, we’ve reported on some pretty out-there beauty trends,” including teeth charms in October 2000. The charms are “glued to the surface of your teeth by a dentist (ideally) and worn like an accessory,” although the “trend never really caught on.” In the October, 2000 article, American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Richard Price cautioned against wearing the jewels since they can interfere with brushing and cause plaque to build up. “Sparkles on your fingernails are one thing,” says Dr. Price. “On your teeth, they’re another.” Dr. Price adds, “You can grow new fingernails; you can’t grow new teeth.”

Coverage Continues: JADA Study Finds Association Between Sugary Drinks, Erosive Tooth Wear

Dr Bicuspid (2/16, Pablos) reported in continuing coverage that new research from The Journal of the American Dental Association finds an association between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and dental erosion among adolescents in Mexico. According to the article, “The researchers evaluated various causes for erosive tooth wear in Mexican high school students, but they found that only a high intake of sweet carbonated drinks, xerostomia, and increased age had a statistically significant impact on dental erosion.” Study author Dr. Socorro Aída Borges-Yáñez said, “We hope this study can contribute to the evidence about the role free sugars play in the development of erosive tooth wear.”

New Toothpaste Fights Tooth Decay By Turning Plaque Green

The Wall Street Journal (2/8, Johannes, Subscription Publication) reviewed a new toothpaste that aims to improve oral hygiene by binding to plaque and showing it as green, revealing areas a person missed while brushing. The article stated that researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted a short-term study of Plaque HD, finding plaque was reduced by 51.3% after people brushed with the toothpaste for up to 10 days. American Dental Association spokeswoman Dr. Mary Hayes has not tried the toothpaste, but said it could serve as a consistent reminder to patients. Dr. Hayes added that areas between the teeth and at the gumline are common areas patients miss.

        The ADA provides a list of toothpastes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Oral Health Specialist Discusses Benefits Of Drinking Tap Water

NPR (2/13, Daley) reported that “tap water is perfectly safe” in most communities, and it is a much healthier alternative to sugary drinks. Dr. Patty Braun, a pediatrician and oral health specialist with Denver Health, is spreading this message with her patients, many of whom are not drinking tap water and, in turn, are not receiving the fluoride in the community water. Dr. Braun “notes that more than half of the Latino families she sees don’t drink tap water,” explaining that prior experience with contaminated tap water in their native countries causes some recent immigrants to hesitate drinking tap water. According to the article, the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation and a community group called Westwood Unidos recently partnered “in a campaign to let Latino communities in Colorado know the tap water is safe and clean.”

Difficult-To-Diagnose Condition May Present As Treatment-Resistant Mouth Sores

In an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer (2/7), Dr. Eric T. Stoopler, an associate professor of oral medicine, discussed a 55-year-old man who sought help at an oral health clinic after suffering from mouth sores, skin lesions, and difficulty breathing. The man “died of respiratory failure about a year after he first noticed the mouth sores.” Before his death, “immunological blood tests suggested the patient’s mouth sores and skin lesions were actually symptoms of an condition called paraneoplastic pemphigus, usually caused by an underlying cancer,” and a biopsy revealed lymphoma. Dr. Stoopler said that “this patient’s case underscores the importance of regular dental exams and prompt evaluation of oral sores that don’t heal quickly on their own,” adding that “these lesions may be the first signs of a possibly life-threatening condition.”

        Visit MouthHealthy.org for additional information on mouth sores.

Enrolling In Dental Coverage From Other Memberships Listed Among Ways To Save On Dental Costs

Parade Magazine (2/9, Ingram) provides a list of five ways to save on dental costs, recommending, for example, people consider enrolling in dental coverage from other memberships, such as Costco. Among several other suggestions for saving on dental costs, the article encourages brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and regular dental visits, stating that preventive dental care helps “avoid costly problems in the future.”

Xerostomia Can Contribute To A Variety Of Oral Health Problems

In an article in the Pharmacy Times (2/10), clinical pharmacy writer Yvette C. Terrie discussed xerostomia, stating that “if left untreated, xerostomia can cause discomfort and contribute to halitosis, dental caries, periodontal disease, and other oral health problems, such as candidiasis infection due to disturbance of the oral microflora resulting from decreased salivary flow.” Medications and medical conditions are among the variety of causes of xerostomia, Terrie noted, adding that “the goals of treating xerostomia include identifying the possible cause, relieving discomfort, and preventing complications such as dental caries and periodontal infections.”

Integrating The Domains Of Dentistry And Research

Dr. Martha Somerman, director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and Dave Vannier, Ph.D., chief, Science Communication Branch, NIDCR, discuss the important role practitioners can play in shaping research that answers real-life clinical questions. This piece originally appeared as a guest editorial for the February issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

        The evidence-based movement has helped focus dentistry on the importance of a sound scientific foundation for clinical decision making. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) Center for Evidence-Based Dentistrydescribes “current, clinically relevant evidence” as 1 of the 3 pillars of effective decision making in practice. Science has indeed improved dental practice, and biomedical research will continue to yield exciting new technologies and treatments. Although essential to ensure the highest quality patient care, the evidence-based movement assumes dental practitioners are primarily consumers of research findings, when in fact clinicians have also been central to advancing the science of oral health. At the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the National Institutes of Health, we are working to capitalize on the valuable contributions practitioners can and should make to the research that will improve health.

        The concept of practicing dentists advancing scientific research is hardly new. Often the practitioner first recognizes an abnormality in a patient that sparks a fruitful line of inquiry.

        Read the rest of the editorial at JADA.

        JADA Video Interview: JADA editor Dr. Michael Glick has a one-on-one conversation with Dr. Somerman. Watch the video here.

Difference Between Dental Discount Plans, Dental Benefits Plans Explained

In an article on the AARP (2/10) website, journalist Tamara E. Holmes states that dental discount plans and dental benefits plans “differ in several ways,” including that dental plans “generally cost less” than traditional dental coverage

Many Consumers Unaware Of Recommended Age For Children’s First Dental Exam, Survey Finds

PRNewswire (2/10) hosts a FAIR Health release announcing that its consumer dental survey found that “nearly half of US consumers believe the recommended age for a first dental check-up is after a child’s second birthday,” despite dental authorities recommending children have their first dental exam “when the first tooth appears, or no later than their first birthday.” In addition, only 25 percent of the survey respondents “provided answers within the recommended guidelines.” Robin Gelburd, president of FAIR Health, said, “While people who do not live with children may not know the guidelines, it was particularly surprising that a large percentage of respondents with children in their household were also unaware of these important oral health recommendations.” MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on caring for children’s teeth.

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