Archive for April 2016

Selecting Toothpaste With ADA Seal Of Acceptance Advised.

Buzzle (4/26) states that several types of toothpastes are available, such as whitening, sensitivity control, plaque control, tartar control, and anti-decay, adding that most toothpastes contain fluoride to prevent tooth decay. The article advises selecting a toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which “ensures that the product is safe, highly effective, and meets the set standards of manufacturing.”


ADA Supports Drug Take Back Day.

The ADA News (4/25, Garvin) reports that the ADA is supporting the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative, “a yearly campaign that asks consumers to turn over their unused prescriptions for safe disposal.” ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin expressed their “enthusiastic support” for the initiative in a letter to Charles Rosenberg, acting administrator for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “As prescribers of opioid pain medications, dentists have a role to play in preventing their abuse, misuse, and diversion,” they wrote. “One way is to counsel parents on how to safely secure and dispose of unused medications. Another is to tell patients about National Prescription Drug Take-Back events and prescription drug disposal sites in their area.” The 11th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day takes place on April 30 at various collection sites nationwide. The DEA website provides additional information. In addition, offers more information about opioids, including upcoming webinars, and subscriber tips.

Certain Oral Bacteria May Be Linked To Higher Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer, Study Suggests.

The Washington Post (4/20, McGinley) reports that research suggests certain oral bacteria may be linked to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Investigators “analyzed oral-wash samples collected over several years as part of two large cancer prevention and screening studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.”

        CBS News (4/20, Marcus) reports on its website that the researchers “found that two oral bacteria were elevated in the pancreatic cancer patients: Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans.” Individuals “who carried Porphyromonas gingivalis had an overall 59 percent greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer, and those who carried Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans were at least 50 percent more likely overall to develop the disease.” The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

        Medical Daily (4/19, Scutti) similarly reported that the NYU Langone Medical Center study finds “the presence of specific bacteria in the mouth may indicate an increased risk for pancreatic cancer.” After examining “the bacterial contents in mouthwash samples from more than 700 Americans,” the NYU research team found that those “whose mouths contained the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis had a 59 percent greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer,” while those with Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans had “at least a 50 percent likelihood of developing the disease.”

        Infection Control Today (4/19) reported that senior investigator and epidemiologist Jiyoung Ahn, PhD, said, “Our study offers the first direct evidence that specific changes in the microbial mix in the mouth — the oral microbiome — represent a likely risk factor for pancreatic cancer along with older age, male gender, smoking, African-American race, and a family history of the disease.”

        The Daily Mail (4/19) reported that Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the UK Oral Health Foundation, said, “Further investigation into this association needs to be carried out but if confirmed there’s no reason why a saliva test to detect for pancreatic cancer could not be taken by your dentist.”

Researchers Find Neanderthals May Have Used Toothpicks.

LiveScience (4/14, Gannon) reported that scientists have “found traces of wood trapped in fossilized plaque stuck to Neanderthal teeth,” indicating Neanderthals may have used “prehistoric toothpicks” to remove bits of food out of their teeth, according to a new study, published in the April issue of the journal Antiquity. A group of scientists led by Anita Radini, an archaeologist at the University of York in the United Kingdom, “examined teeth found at El Sidrón cave in Spain,” finding “bits of nonedible, and noncharred, conifer wood tissue in the plaque.”

Reader’s Digest Identifies Eight Common Mistakes People Make Brushing Teeth.

Reader’s Digest (4/13, Bender) states that it’s easier than one might think “to make tooth brushing mistakes,” identifying eight common mistakes people may make while brushing. The article states, for example, that a common mistake is not brushing teeth long enough, noting that “the American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes, but many people fall woefully short—and don’t even realize it.” According to the article, common mistakes also include brushing too hard, using an incorrect angle while brushing, using a toothbrush with bristles that are too firm, using a toothbrush head that is too large, using the same toothbrush for too long, not flossing regularly, and not brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. “Dental disease is totally preventable,” says ADA spokesperson Dr. Sally Cram, “and a lot of it can be avoided by stepping up your home brushing program and having check-ups.” provides additional information on the proper brushing technique.

Survey Finds Millennials More Likely To Suffer From Untreated Tooth Decay.

Global Dispatch (4/12) states that tooth decay is increasingly affecting “young adults in the age range of 20 to 34,” and many in this age group are not seeing the dentist regularly. “A study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that only 50 percent of 20-34 year olds have been to the dentist within the past year,” compared to more than 60 percent of adults between age 35 and 64. The article adds the survey of adults ages 20 to 64 also finds “it’s Millennials who have the highest percentage of untreated tooth decay in permanent teeth.”

Zika “Scarier” Than Initially Thought, CDC Official Says.

USA Today (4/11, Korte) reports, “Public health officials said Monday they’ve learned a lot more about Zika since the White House asked Congress for $1.9 billion to combat the mosquito-borne virus and are increasingly concerned about its potential impact on the” US. Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the CDC, said, “Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought.” Dr. Schuchat “said the virus has been linked to a broader array of birth defects throughout a longer period of pregnancy, including premature birth and blindness in addition to the smaller brain size caused by microcephaly.”

        The New York Times (4/11, Davis, Subscription Publication) reports that the “mosquito that carries the Zika virus is present in 30 states, more than twice what officials originally thought, Dr. Schuchat said, though no locally acquired cases have been reported yet,” which “indicates that mosquitoes in the states do not yet have the virus.”

Mothers-To-Be Encouraged To Receive Regular Dental Care.

HealthDay (4/5) reported in continuing coverage that Dr. William Wathen, associate professor at the Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry, said in a university news release that a “mother’s dental health affects her overall health and her baby’s health.” Dr. Wathen encourages mothers-to-be to receive dental care before, during, and after pregnancy.

        In a broader article on pregnancy, the Daily Mail (4/6, Healthista) also mentions that it is important for women to see a dentist during pregnancy.

“Intense Emotions” May Contribute To Bruxism.

She Knows (4/5, Gillespie) discusses bruxism, stating that although teeth grinding “is widely thought of as a sleep-related disorder,” it may stem from “intense emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension.” Delta Dental of California said, “Nervous tension, anger and frustration can cause people to start showing the signs of bruxism without even knowing it.” According to the article, the American Dental Association recommends finding a way to relax “if stress is the cause” of bruxism. “Meditation, counseling and exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety (and the likelihood that you will grind your teeth),” the ADA says. The article adds that a custom mouthguard from a dentist can also help prevent damage to the teeth during sleep. provides additional information on bruxism.

Colorado Wants Denver Residents To Drink Tap Water For Benefits Of Fluoride.

The New York Times (3/31, Turkewitz, Subscription Publication) reports Colorado is trying to convince people in Denver that the city’s “fluoride-enhanced water is actually healthier than bottled water,” but are having a hard time gaining the trust of Latino immigrants after the Flint water crisis and similar problems across the country that “have eroded confidence in public water systems.” The public health initiative began before the Flint water crisis was exposed, but is struggling under the increased scrutiny brought to public water. The initiative’s primary sponsor is Delta Dental of Colorado. The article highlights the importance of fluoride for oral health, including how fluoride “strengthens the teeth of babies in a mother’s womb, hardens the teeth of children and reduces the risk of tooth decay as gums recede in aging adults.” has additional information on the benefits of fluoride.


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