November 28, 2015
Dentist, Physician Collaborate On Raising Awareness Of Importance Of Oral Health.
The Harvard School of Public Health (MA) (11/24, Reiss) reports on a collaboration between dentist Romesh Nalliah, director of clinical education at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and physician William Anderson III, associate dean for clinical affairs and chief medical officer at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, both of whom are students in the part-time, nonresidential master in health care management (MHCM) program at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health. The two coauthored a paper published in the Journal of Family Practice entitled “Oral Lesions You Can’t Afford to Miss.” The article includes photos to help physicians “identify conditions in the mouth that can lead to serious systemic problems if not treated.” Anderson noted that since “many people” have medical benefits, but not dental benefits, physicians can be important in identifying “oral health issues.”
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November 21, 2015
Dentist: Nail Biting, Teeth Grinding May Impact Teeth.
According to the Los Angeles Times (11/15, Dwass, 3.6M), “Nail biting is probably the most common nervous habit,” but people also “gnaw on things like pens, pencils and ice.” In addition, some bite on “the inside of the cheek, as well as nonstop teeth clenching and grinding, all anxiety related, says USC dentist Saravanan Ram, an expert in orofacial pain.” Teeth grinding and clenching may increase with SSRI medications, typically given for depression and AD/HD. These “long-term chewing habits can cause wear and tear of teeth, as well as jaw clicking and pain.” To stop these habits, Ram suggests chewing sugarless gum or candy instead. In addition, “teeth clenching and grinding may require wearing a dental appliance, which, Ram says, should be made by a dentist.”
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October 21, 2015
ADA Spokesperson Discusses Teeth Whiteners.
The New York Times (10/20, Weintraub) “Well” blog considers whether teeth whitening strips cause damage, stating that while some whiteners may case short-term pain in sensitive teeth, American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Edmond Hewlett said sensitivity should go away after the whitening is stopped. In addition, “there would also be no biological reason for whitening strips or the tooth-whitening trays used by dentists to cause any harm in the long-term when used properly, he said,” recommending people see their dentist if they have concerns about the color of their teeth to discuss product options and to ensure tooth decay is not the cause of the discoloration.
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October 18, 2015
Physician Discusses Importance Of Dental X-Rays.
The Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review (10/15) carries an “Ask Doctor K” piece, in which Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff, a physician and professor at Harvard Medical School, responds to a reader who asked how often dentists need to take dental X-rays, expressing concern about radiation exposure. Dr. Komaroff states that “today’s dental X-ray machines emit very low levels of radiation,” adding that X-rays “are valuable for uncovering problems in places the dentist can’t see with the naked eye.” According to Dr. Komaroff, how often an individual needs X-rays depends on their dental health.
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September 27, 2015
ADA Spokesperson Discusses Dental Care For People Over Age 50.
Coos Bay (OR) World (9/24, Schnaufer) reports that it is “essential to overall wellbeing and a healthy future” for people over the age of 50 to take care of their teeth and eyes, adding that failure to do so “can lead to progressive and painful health problems, or even blindness.” American Dental Association Consumer Advisor spokesperson Dr. Sally Cram recommended people see their dentist as often as the dentist recommends, discussing the importance of early detection. “As you age, the nerves inside your teeth become smaller and less sensitive. By the time you feel cavity pain, it may be too late and you may lose your tooth,” Dr. Cram said. Additionally, Dr. Cram says that older patients may experience dry mouth more often as a side-effect of certain medications and says that it is “important to tell your dentist about any medications that you’re taking.” Dr. Cram also provides a list of recommended items patients should bring to their dental appointment and tips for proper oral hygiene
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April 8, 2015
Tongue Condition May Offer Clues To Other Health Issues.
Reader’s Digest (3/20, Kloss) reports on nine health issues an inspection of the tongue can reveal, including a vitamin deficiency, a yeast infection, normal aging, irritation, stress, and other issues. A tongue that has “brown or black fuzz” on it may be a sign of “black and hairy tongue,” which is “not cause of major concern.” Reader’s Digest reports ADA consumer advisor spokesperson and New York City dentist Ada Cooper, DDS said, “We have papilla, small bumps on the surface of our tongue, which grow throughout our lifetime,” and that they are typically worn down through normal chewing and drinking, but may become overgrown and more likely to harbor bacteria or discolored from food. Quitting smoking, and using a tongue scrapper “may be all you need,” said physician Jack Der-Sarkissian
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March 29, 2015
Energy Drink Consumption May Lead To Cavities.
The Times of India (3/27) reports on the “bitter truth about energy drinks,” including that they can be terrible for children’s teeth due to their high sugar levels. The article quotes a dentist as saying, “Do not have them too often, and whenever you do, make sure you rinse your mouth.” The drinks can also be poor for children’s health due to their high caffeine levels, dangerous vitamin and amino acid levels, and general tendency to actually dehydrate kids.
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February 15, 2015
Study On Beaver Tooth Enamel Could Lead To Better Understanding Of Human Tooth Decay.
The Phys (2/13) reports that researchers at Northwestern University discovered in a recent study that beaver teeth “have protection against tooth decay built into the chemical structure of their teeth: iron.” Indeed, the researchers found that the pigmented beaver enamel is “both harder and more resistant to acid than” human enamel, including human enamel treated with fluoride. The article reports that the “discovery is among others that could lead to a better understanding of human tooth decay, earlier detection of the disease and improving on current fluoride treatments.”
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February 9, 2015
Health Issues Associated With Over-Bleaching Teeth Explored.
US News & World Report (12/10, Woodham) reports on popular beauty practices that are especially unhealthy, such as tanning, using potentially-poisonous unregulated skin creams, poisonous hair straighteners, and over-bleaching teeth. US News reports, dentists warn that over-bleaching can break down tooth enamel, permanently damaging the teeth. “Teeth can become extremely sensitive to temperature change and gum tissue can get burned and blistered, causing gums to recede to levels inadequate to cover tooth roots,” the article adds. Moreover, the article cites former Georgia Academy of Dentistry president Dr. Jeffrey Priluck, who “recommends products and techniques approved by the American Dental Association” for those who want to whiten their teeth in moderation
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January 21, 2015
Dental Health “Very Important” During Pregnancy.
In a Q&A-style article, the Springfield (MA) Republican (12/18, Shebar) reports, “It is very important to take care of your teeth and gums while pregnant, not just for you, but for your baby’s health as well.” A study published in JADA “found that pregnant women with chronic gum disease were four to seven times more likely to deliver prematurely (before gestational week 37) and underweight babies than mothers with healthy gums.” The article notes that oral health is important even before pregnancy, and stresses that “it is important to have regular check-ups and cleaning” and to have any unresolved dental issues taken care of prior to pregnancy when possible.” Routine dental care such as check-up and cleaning can (and should) be performed during the second trimester,” the Springfield Republican adds.
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