Archive for July 2017

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 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.

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