Archive for January 2016

ADA Spokespeople Provide Tips For Oral Health.

In an article titled, “10 Surprising Habits Killing Your Teeth,” US News & World Report (1/27, Costa) provides oral health information and tips from several ADA spokespeople. For example, discussing how insufficient water intake can impact oral health, Dr. Ruchi Sahota says, “A dry mouth can be an environment where it’s easier for bacteria to cause cavities.” Dr. Sahota also discusses the importance of limiting sugary foods and drinks, brushing teeth gently, and avoiding using teeth as tools, among other topics. Dr. Genaro Romo discusses the importance of caring for baby teeth and also mentions that having acid reflux or consuming acidic food can damage enamel. In addition, Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty provides the following advice: “Brush your teeth twice daily, floss daily, regularly visit your dentist and have a good, balanced diet. All of those things are going to protect you from damaging your teeth and enamel.” The ADA provides additional information and tips for oral health at MouthHealthy.org.

Article Considers How Mint Came To Symbolize Freshness.

Vox (12/21, Stromberg) considers how “all sorts of breath-freshening products” use mint as the default flavor, adding that historian Rachel Weingarten says, “The idea that mint equals freshness is more of an illusion than anything else. It’s a triumph of advertising.” The article describes “a brief history of mouth care,” and states that “mint originally became marketers’ flavor of choice for a specific reason: peppermint includes menthol, a substance that interacts with receptors in our mouths to produce the sensation of cold.”

JADA Study Finds Association Between Sugary Drinks, Erosive Tooth Wear.

PRNewswire (1/25) hosts a release from the American Dental Association stating “new research from The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) shows that sugary drinks are associated with erosive tooth wear among teenagers in Mexico.” After providing a food questionnaire to teenagers living in Mexico, the study authors examined the teenagers for “erosive tooth wear,” finding “the overall prevalence of erosive tooth wear was 31.7 percent, with sweet carbonated drinks – soda – causing the most erosion.” JADA editor Michael Glick, D.M.D., said, “The oral health of children is always top of mind, and we’ve seen recently that sugar is a leading problem when it comes to their overall health and dental health.” Glick adds, “This study shows an association between high intake of sweet drinks and poor oral health. This issue needs to be taken seriously.” MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on how nutrition affects children’s teeth.

Report Finds Many Children With Medicaid Not Getting Required Dental Care.

The AP (1/25, Johnson) reports that three out of four children covered by Medicaid “in four states didn’t receive all required dental care over a recent two-year period, according to a federal report that recommends a government push to improve access to care.” Investigators with the HHS Office of Inspector General reviewed Medicaid dental claims for 2011 and 2012 in California, Indiana, Louisiana, and Maryland. Meredith Seife, a deputy regional inspector general who worked on the report, said, “We found a significant number of children, 28 percent, who didn’t receive any dental services over a two-year period” despite being continuously enrolled in Medicaid.

Periodontitis May Be Linked To Elevated Risk Of First MI.

Medscape (1/20, Busko) reports that research published in Circulation indicated individuals “who had a first MI were more likely to have periodontitis than matched controls.” Investigators found that “43% of MI patients vs 33% of matched controls had mild to severe periodontitis (P<0.001), in the Periodontitis and Its Relation to Coronary Artery Disease (PAROKRANK) study.” After controlling “for smoking, diabetes, education, and marital status, individuals with periodontitis had a 28% increased risk of MI.”

 

Oral Hygiene Tips Provided.

The Craig (CO) Daily Press (1/15) provided oral hygiene tips from MouthHealthy.org to “help keep your smile beautiful,” recommending brushing teeth twice daily for two minutes with a soft-bristled brush, flossing daily, and regular dentist visits.

Dental Expenses Among 50 Tax Deductions Identified.

Money (1/18) includes dental and medical expenses in a list of 50 tax deductions that people may not know about. According to the article, “You can deduct medical and dental expenses for you, your spouse and your dependents after your total medical expenses exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI),” and “if you or your spouse is age 65 or older, you can deduct total medical expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of your AGI.”

Editorial: Dental Care Should Not Come From The Emergency Room.

In an editorial, the Bangor (ME) Daily News states that “dental problems are a top reason for emergency department visits among poor residents in Maine,” adding that the emergency department is not only the “wrong place” to receive such care, but also more expensive than preventive dental care. The Daily News supports a bill that would “take a modest step to address this by providing preventative dental care through MaineCare to pregnant women,” stating that the bill would help promote oral health during pregnancy. The Daily News concludes that although “there’s a strong case for extending dental coverage to all adult MaineCare recipients,” this bill represents a positive “modest step.”

        The ADA Health Policy Institute also published a research brief finding the number of patients seeking dental care from emergency departments is continuing to rise.

        Meanwhile, MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on dental health during pregnancy.

Researchers Develop Technology That May Help Bone Repair Itself.

EurekAlert (1/14) hosts a release announcing, “Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed a polymer sphere that delivers a molecule to bone wounds that tells cells already at the injury site to repair the damage.” According to the release, “The technology can help grow bone in people with conditions like oral implants, those undergoing bone surgery or joint repair, or people with tooth decay.” Peter Ma, professor of dentistry and lead researcher on the project, said, “The new technology we have been working on opens doors for new therapies using DNA and RNA in regenerative medicine and boosts the possibility of dealing with other challenging human diseases.” The findings are published in the Jan. 14 issue of Nature Communications.

3-D Printed Antimicrobial Teeth May Soon Be A Possibility.

Healthline (1/14, Barrett) reports that “the rapid evolution of 3-D printing technology in the dental industry will soon expand beyond simply creating crowns or dentures to incorporate chemicals that fight the bacteria that cause tooth decay and infection in the first place.” Researchers from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have reportedly “developed an antimicrobial plastic infused with quaternary ammonium salts that can eventually be used with 3-D printers to manufacture a variety of bacteria-zapping dental appliances within minutes, right in a dentist’s office.” A study published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials showed that after applying the bacteria Streptococcus mutans to printed teeth, one set with the ammonium salts mixed into the dental resin and the other without, “99 percent of the bacteria was eliminated from the treated teeth while almost all of the bacteria remained on the control set.”

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