CNN (8/5, Gupta, Kounang, Lamotte) reported on the facilities available to handle medical emergencies in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games. Dr. Antonio Marttos, a trauma surgeon from the University of Miami, is overseeing all trauma and emergency services during the Games, which includes the Olympic Village Polyclinic, a mini hospital in the Olympic Village that provides everything from emergency services to dental care, along with the Americas Medical City facility, which is composed of two hospitals, one that will cater to athletes and the other to Olympic dignitaries and VIPs.
Meanwhile, the Voice Online (UK) (8/5) stated a report by dental researchers found athletes have a significantly higher risk of tooth erosion than non-athletes. The study found the athletes had high carbohydrate consumption, including sports drinks, gels, and bars during training, which may have contributed to a higher risk of tooth decay and dental erosion. Dr. Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said, “If everyday people taking part in sport, including children, are looking to copy their Olympic hero’s habits, it is important to limit the amount of times they have anything acidic or sugary.”
MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on foods that affect dental health.
The ADA News (8/2, Manchir) reports that the American Dental Association has released a statement on the benefits of using interdental cleaners after the AP questioned the oral health benefits of flossing. “To maintain good oral health, the American Dental Association recommends brushing for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner and regular dental visits advised by your dentist,” the ADA said in the statement, adding that interdental cleaners, including floss, are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums.
Business Insider (8/2, Brodwin) states that the AP report comes in sharp contrast to recommendations from basically every major dental hygiene organization, including the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Periodontology. The article adds that experts say flossing helps prevent plaque from hardening into tartar, which can contribute to receding gums and gum disease.
The New York Times (8/2, Louis, Subscription Publication) reports that there is evidence that flossing does reduce bloody gums and gum inflammation known as gingivitis. For example, a review of six trials found that when professionals flossed the teeth of children on school days for almost two years, they saw a 40 percent reduction in the risk of cavities.
New York Magazine (8/2) adds, “This very intense investigation doesn’t mean flossing isn’t beneficial,” noting that a dentist for the National Institutes of Health encourages people to continue to floss, stating that “it’s low risk, low cost.”
MouthHealthy.org provides resources for patients on flossing, including the correct flossing technique, and also provides information on plaque.
The ADA News (7/25, Manchir) reports that the August edition of The Journal of the American Dental Association contains a systematic review of the use of sealants as well as clinical practice guidelines that have been updated as a result of that review, which indicate the benefit of using sealants to prevent and manage occlusal caries in children and adolescents. “The guidelines show that sealants are more effective in managing pit and fissure caries than fluoride treatments, such as varnish,” said the article’s lead author, Dr. John Timothy Wright. “They also show that benefits are obtained by the variety of materials currently marketed in the United States for sealant use (e.g. resin based materials, glass ionomer materials, polyacid-modified resin, and resin-modified glass ionomers).” According to the article, the analysis indicated that children treated with sealants have about a 70 to 80 percent reduction in the incidence of occlusal caries compared with children that do not receive sealants.
The ADA Catalog offers three illustrated handouts to help explain sealant benefits to patients: the brochure “Dental Sealants: Protecting Teeth, Preventing Decay,” (W291); the mini-brochure “Seal Out Decay” (W191); and the “Sealants Quick Reference,” a two-sided card (W276).
A consumer-directed video on the Business Insider (7/21) website features American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Ada Cooper discussing dental carries. “The biggest myth about cavities is that if it doesn’t hurt you don’t need to fix it,” Dr. Cooper said. “That is completely wrong.” She states that when a cavity has begun to cause pain, it usually requires more extensive treatment at that point. Explaining what causes dental decay and why some people may have more cavities than others, Dr. Cooper says “brushing and flossing, of course, are the best way to minimize the number of cavities that you get.” In addition, dentists have many tools available, such as fluoride rinses and treatments, to make teeth more resistant to dental decay. The best thing to do, Dr. Cooper says, is to have regular dental visits to ensure detection and treatment of cavities while they’re still small.
The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org and MouthHealthy.org provide additional information on caries for dental professionals and for patients.
US News & World Report (7/20, Reiss) states that mitigating potential health care expenses before retirement can make all the difference. In a list of six tips for future retirees to protect their retirement nest eggs from sky-high medical bills, the article recommends people start by understanding the system. For example, individuals can select Medicare Advantage, which allows companies regulated by Medicare to cover dental care, eye exams and other medical services.
The Jackson (TN) Sun (7/19, Thomas) added that one of the biggest questions for retirees is whether to sign up for the original Medicare plan or an Advantage Plan. According to the article, Medicare Advantage bundles services and costs and might offer some extra benefits like vision and dental coverage but include some restrictions.
Moms may want to give their children the best of everything, but a mother with oral health problems may be passing a painful legacy on to her offspring, according to researchers in New Zealand.
A 27-year-long study suggests that mothers with poor oral health are likely to have children who also have poor oral health when they are adults. The study was published online in the Journal of Dental Research (Jan. 19, 2011).
More than 1,000 children born in New Zealand in 1972 and 1973 were examined at age 5. More than 900 participants were examined again at age 32. Participants’ oral health was compared to 835 of the mothers’ self-rated oral health reported in 1978.
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Yahoo! News provided a list of 15 foods and beverages that can stain teeth, including berries, coffee, tea, red wine, curry, hard candies, tomato sauce, cherry juice, soda, balsamic vinegar, beets, popsicles, sports drinks, grapes, and lemons. According to the article, coffee, tea, and red wine, for example, contain tannins that can contribute to staining and discoloration, and many of the items on the list are also acidic, which can erode the enamel on teeth. “You really want to minimize your teeth’s exposure to acidic foods. The acid will eat away at your teeth,” said Dr. Kim Harms, spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “Make sure you’re brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using fluoride,” Dr. Harms said. “Fluoride strengthens your teeth against those acid attacks caused by eating.”
MouthHealthy.orgprovides additional information on what causes teeth to change color.
The Sierra Vista (AZ) Herald (3/8, Neff) reports that millions of Americans are purchasing do-it-yourself whitening products, which topped $1.4 billion in sales last year, adding that toothpastes and chemical application are among the most popular over-the-counter whitening products. The article states that the misuse of whitening products can result in painful, even long term dental issues, however, adding that an Arizona dentist stresses that anyone considering whitening treatments should first see a dentist to evaluate if whitening will aggravate existing dental conditions, if the process will be painful, and if the teeth are suitable for whitening. The article notes this advice follows the ADA recommendation that patients consult with a dentist before using a bleaching product, particularly for patients with fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains.
MouthHealthy.org provides tips on achieving a whiter smile. In addition, several whitening toothpastes and a whitening product have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
The Washington Post (2/23, Chokshi) reports the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which ranks 190 metropolitan areas by the well-being of their residents based on a survey of more than a quarter-million Americans, was released Tuesday and found the most satisfied Americans share at least one unintuitive characteristic: good dental hygiene. The Post says places where people have good dental health also tend to be places where they report being generally fulfilled. The article goes on to list cities and states that rank highly in terms of well-being. At the top of the list for cities are; Naples, FL, Salinas, CA, and Sarasota, FL. Florida, California, Colorado, and Texas were home to many of the communities with the highest well-being scores. Dan Witters, research director for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, said dental care habits are a “surrogate” for well-being, adding, “People who take good care of their teeth generally think they have higher well-being lives.”
CNN (2/19, Kounang) reported online on a new study in the journal Pediatrics that confirmed high-grade fevers are not a sign of teething, but could be a sign of another illness. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Pediatric Oral Health and Research and Policy Center director Dr. Paul Casamassimo said, “If a child has a really high fever, or is in significant discomfort, or won’t eat or drink anything for days, that’s a red flag for concern.” CNN provided tips for managing teething, including use of infant pain relievers, while cautioning regular use thereof could lead to tooth decay.
Fillings are materials used to fill cavities in the teeth. Crowns cover the tops of damaged teeth. Sometimes, fillings or crowns fall out. In some cases, a filling or crown may come loose because there is decay underneath it. The decay destroys part of the tooth, so it no longer has a tight hold on the crown or filling.
When you’re pregnant, it seems everyone has advice for you. People tell you what to eat, how to prevent morning sickness, how to keep stretch marks at bay. It’s likely, however, that no one has ever told you how important it is to take care of your teeth and gums.
In fact, some people still believe that the state of your mouth will decline during pregnancy and that there’s nothing you can do about it. The saying goes something like, “You lose a tooth for every baby.”