Posts Under Health and Safety

Benefits Of Oil Pulling Not Supported By Scientific Evidence.

UPI (6/14, Feller) states that “coconut oil keeps coming back as a non-pharmaceutical remedy for just about everything,” adding that “there is disagreement, however,” on the reported benefits of the oil. Although some studies suggest “possible benefits” from adding coconut oil to the diet, “concepts like oil pulling and oil detoxes are based less on evidence than on traditional practices and beliefs.” The article states that “oil pulling is a traditional folk remedy” that involves swishing coconut, sunflower, or sesame oil in the mouth, and the purported benefits do not have “much scientific support.” In addition, “studies have shown oil pulling to be far less effective at cleaning the mouth than mouthwash.” The American Dental Association observes oil pulling also has “the risk for adverse health effects.” provides additional information on oil pulling, noting that “based on the lack of scientific evidence, the American Dental Association does not recommend oil pulling as a dental hygiene practice.”

Do Electric Toothbrushes Work Better Than Regular Toothbrushes?
They both clean your teeth, but does one do a better job? ADA dentist Dr. Richard Price breaks down the benefits of electric and regular toothbrushes in this “Ask an ADA Dentist” video. Watch now

Jaw Pain Seen As One “Odd Symptom” Women Over 40 Should Not Ignore.

Today Show Online (6/9) stated that turning 40 is when women may “start experiencing body changes and new aches and pains,” changes that women may not “pay enough attention to.” Although many changes are “nothing to worry about,” TODAY includes jaw pain among four “odd symptoms” women shouldn’t ignore. The article stated jaw pain most likely results from “a gum or tooth infection,” a “condition called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction,” or moving the “jaw awkwardly,” recommending people visit a dentist “if the pain lingers for more than a few days or becomes worse.” The article added, “However, in some cases, jaw pain can signal a heart attack, especially in women,” in which case seeking immediate help is necessary. TODAY also discussed belly bloat, fatigue, and new skin growths. provides additional information on bruxism and TMJ disorders for patients.

Study: 25% Of Cancer Patients Unable To Afford Treatment; Some Also Unable To Afford Dental Visits.

UPI (6/3, Feller) reported that “more than one-quarter of cancer patients can’t afford to pay for their treatment,” and some of these patients also cannot afford dental visits, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Researchers at the University of North Carolina found 524 of the 1,992 patients in the study reported “financial toxicity,” defined as having their medical expenses exceed what they can afford. In addition, 23 percent of patients with financial toxicity “could not afford to go to the dentist.” An “inability to afford general household expenses” was the “most common reason” for patients having trouble paying for care, which affected 18 percent of the participants, while lack of health benefits affected 11 percent. Dr. Greg Knight, a researcher at the University of North Carolina, said in a press release, “There is a significant proportion of our patients who are having financial difficulties, and perhaps missing care because of those difficulties.” and the Oral Health Topics on provide information on oral and oropharyngeal cancer for dental professionals and for patients. also provides information for patients on how cancer affects dental health.

Study Shows Long-term Cannabis Use Associated With Declining Periodontal Health.

The ADA News (6/1, Manchir) reports that research published this month in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry found study participants who self-reported cannabis use for up to 20 years were more likely to have periodontal disease, and that their periodontal health declined from age 26 to age 38. The article also recalls a recent report in the May issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association, which “highlights the need for specific guidance for oral health care professionals regarding cannabis use as it relates to dentists.”

        Other reporting on the research focused on the finding that long-term cannabis use was associated with few physical health issues in adulthood. Reuters (6/1, Seaman) reports participants had poor periodontal health but otherwise “were generally as healthy as people who didn’t” smoke. Researchers studied over 1,000 people born in New Zealand and tracked them from age 3 to age 38. According to Reuters, the researchers “did not find a link between marijuana use in adulthood and poor physical health for a number of conditions, including lung function, systemic inflammation, metabolic health, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI).”

        The Oregonian (6/1, Terry) reports the researchers “reviewed self-reported cannabis use at ages 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38,” and found that “higher cannabis use was associated with periodontal problems at age 38 after controlling for periodontal health at age 26 and overall tobacco.”

        Also covering the study are HealthDay (6/1, Reinberg), LiveScience (6/1, Blaszczak), Medical Daily (6/1), The Guardian (UK) (6/1, McCarthy), and Daily Mail (6/1, Mailonline).

US Women’s Field Hockey Team Equipped With Custom-Fitted Mouthguards.

In a broader piece reporting on the US women’s field hockey team, which is preparing for the Rio Olympics, the Washington Post (5/28, Clarke) noted that the players wear “custom-fitted mouth guards that are regarded as essential in this high-velocity sport.”

        Meanwhile, WGN-TV Chicago (5/26) reported on its website that sport injuries can affect teeth, stating that mouthguards can “change the playing field, protecting the teeth and head on impact.” provides additional information on mouthguards.

Tooth Pain May Indicate Bruxism And Should Not Be Ignored.

Woman’s Day (5/12, Brody) identified seven “seemingly trivial pains” a person “should never ignore,” including tooth pain that causes waking during the night. The article stated that experiencing tooth pain may be a sign of bruxism, which is sometimes brought on by stress. “Call your dentist so he or she can figure out the problem,” the article stated, adding that a dentist may recommend a mouth guard. provides additional information on bruxism.

Bruxism May Be Contributing To Fatigue.

Fox News (5/16) carries an article from Prevention Magazine (5/3, Levine) discussing six reasons people may be tired in the morning, even after having sufficient sleep. The article includes bruxism among the six reasons listed, stating “if you wake up with a headache, it’s most likely because you’ve been clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth overnight.” Visiting a dentist to determine if a mouthguard would help is recommended. provides additional information on bruxism.

Survey: Nearly A Third Of Americans Never Floss Their Teeth.

US News & World Report (5/2) reports that a new nationally representative analysis aimed to determine how often people floss their teeth, finding that 30 percent of the population floss daily, over 37 percent floss less than daily, and nearly 33 percent say they never floss. For the analysis, researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, looking at information from “9,056 US adults, age 30 and up, who participated from 2009 to 2012.” Among the findings, males and people 75 or older were more likely to report never flossing than females and those age 30 to 44, respectively. ADA spokesperson Dr. Matthew Messina said, “It’s nice to have a study that actually looks at [flossing] and gives us a big enough sample to work with,” observing that it is probably good news that two-thirds of patients are flossing daily or regularly. Lead author Duong T. Nguyen, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “Something as simple as flossing is, to a lot of people, a bane. ... Yet, in the long run it can be so beneficial – it can prevent tooth loss and everything that comes with it.” provides additional information on flossing.

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.”


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