OMG, APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?

CNN (4/18, Lamotte) reports that some people are touting the benefits of apple cider vinegar for a variety of conditions, including diabetes, weight loss, dental care, and more. CNN spoke with several people, including ADA Spokesperson Dr. Alice Boghosian, to determine what science says about the most common purposes for which people are using apple cider vinegar. In response to claims apple cider vinegar used as a mouth rinse or rubbed on teeth can clean and whiten teeth, Dr. Boghosian said that is “the last thing you’d want to do to promote oral health” due to the acidic nature of apple cider vinegar. “What would be a healthier option is to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, with a whitening toothpaste with the ADA seal,” said Dr. Boghosian. “That shows it’s been tested to do what it’s supposed to do.” Dr. Boghosian adds, “Anything acidic which contacts your teeth will wear out the enamel, the protective coating, and that will cause cavities.”

Frequent Headaches? Teeth seem to be getting shorter?

USA Today (4/7, Bowerman) reported that according to ADA spokesperson Dr. Maria Lopez Howell, waking up with headaches, a sore jaw, sensitive teeth, or finding fractures in teeth could be signs of bruxism, which may be attributed to stress, anxiety, and sleeping disorders. A recent study in The Journal of the American Dental Association also suggests that teeth grinding is associated with alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco use. Dr. Howell advises seeing a dentist to discuss possible solutions, which may include using a mouthguard at night to protect teeth. “Bruxism is a condition that needs to be treated by a dentist with a night guard or splint,” she said. “This actually involves the joint; we are protecting the joint and the teeth, and it needs to be done with experience and knowledge of that whole chewing complex.”

AND YOU THOUGHT I CHEWED GUM BECAUSE OF COFFEE BREATH!

The New York Times (4/5, Peachman, Subscription Publication) discusses the health claims that Wrigley Company founder William Wrigley Jr. made in the 1930s about the company’s chewing gum. In a letter mailed at the time, Wrigley wrote that chewing gum “is good for children’s teeth, which need more exercise than they get with modern soft food.” According to Dr. Jade Miller, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, there is no evidence supporting this or other claims of oral health benefits from chewing the gum sold in the 1930s, which all contained sugar. However, the article notes that since then, “dental experts have come to the conclusion that chewing sugar-free gum after meals increases the flow of saliva, which can help clear sugars and bacteria from the mouth, neutralize plaque acids and strengthen teeth, all of which can help to prevent cavities.”

DON'T FORGET TO BRUSH YOUR TONGUE!

 News (4/3, Crain) carries an article first published on WomensHealthMag.com that discusses the importance of not only brushing teeth and flossing, but also brushing the tongue. The article states that when people do not brush their tongues, a “coating of bacteria, food particles, and dead skin cells called a biofilm” can form on it, which contributes to bad breath. People are encouraged to use the correct approach when brushing their tongues by starting at the back and gently brushing toward the front.

Don't Forget to Have Your Dentist Check...

The ADA News (3/28) reported that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, “an apt time for dental professionals to review information about oral cavity and oropharynx cancers.” These cancers account for nearly 3 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States and 1.6 percent of cancer deaths. The article noted that “the Association recognizes that early oral cancer diagnoses have the potential to have a significant impact on treatment decisions and outcomes, and it supports routine visual and tactile examinations, particularly for patients who are at risk, including those who use tobacco or who are heavy consumers of alcohol, according to House of Delegates Resolution 85H-2014.”

Gum Disease & Women's Health

 

Gum Disease May Be Associated With Earlier Death In Older Women, Study Suggests.

CNN (3/29, Scutti) reports that research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests “gum disease and tooth loss are connected to a higher risk of early death in women past the age of menopause.” Michael J. LaMonte, lead author of the study and a research associate professor at the University at Buffalo in New York, notes that the findings only suggest an association between oral health and premature death. CNN adds, “The research does not show gum disease or tooth loss cause early death.”

        For the study, HealthDay (3/29, Preidt) reports that investigators “tracked data on more than 57,000 women aged 55 and older.” The researchers found that “a history of gum disease was associated with a 12 percent higher risk of death from any cause.” In addition, researchers found that loss of natural teeth was associated with “a 17 percent increased risk of death from any cause.”

Keeping Your Teeth Young!

 

Proper Oral Hygiene, A Healthy Diet Help Keep Teeth Looking Young.

Women’s Health (3/16) discusses how food and beverages such as bacon, wine, and coffee may impact the appearance of skin and teeth and in turn contribute to people looking older than they are. “Teeth naturally get yellow as we get older,” said ADA spokesperson Dr. Kim Harms. “Part is aging, but part is what you eat.” The article features advice from Dr. Harms, who notes that coffee, for example, can contribute to dental staining. The article states that experts say the bottom line is moderation. “As long as you’re eating a well-balanced diet, there’s nothing that’s terrible for your teeth,” says Dr. Harms. “If you follow the time-tested method of brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing, and seeing your dentist twice per year, you can have young-looking teeth no matter old you are.”

Getting Old Ain't for the Faint of Heart!

Xerostomia, Gum Disease Among Dental Problems Adults Over 50 May Experience.

The Huffington Post (11/26) carries an article from the American Grandparents Association discussing several steps people over age 50 can take to address dental problems they may experience, such as oral cancer, xerostomia, tooth decay, gum disease, and bruxism. For example, the article discusses the benefits of oral cancer screenings for early detection, fluoride to help prevent dental decay, and regular dental visits to help prevent gum disease.

FLOSSING!!!

There has been a lot about flossing in the news recently, even though there may not be research to back up flossing is good...what research is there that it isn't good? So, keep flossing it doesn't hurt you and there is something to be said about getting the food & bugs out from in between the teeth!

The Philadelphia Tribune (11/29, Faust) discusses how to care for teeth, recommending people brush their teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit the dentist regularly. “One of the best things we can do for our teeth is to brush them regularly,” the article states, adding that flossing is also necessary to remove particles of food from between teeth and to remove plaque.  MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on brushing teeth and resources for patients on flossing, including the correct flossing technique

Ancient Ancestors & Their Diet

USA Today (3/8, Watson) reports that genetic analysis of the DNA in Neanderthals’ dental tartar shows these ancient human relatives may not have consumed an authentic Paleo diet. The dental tartar analysis reveals “a resourceful species that ate whatever was available,” such as pine nuts, moss, mushrooms, wild sheep, and woolly rhino.

        The AP (3/8, Borenstein) reports that study co-author Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA in Adelaide, said dental plaque offers a lifelong record of what Neanderthals ate. “It’s like a fossil,” he said. The analysis shows Neanderthals’ diet varied based on where they lived.

I wonder what they will find when they examine our remnants...Twinkies?

THIS IS WEIRD!

The Daily Mirror (UK) (3/8, Waghorn) reports that research suggest seniors with more teeth are less likely to have dementia. The study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that for individuals with 10 to 19 teeth, “the risk of developing Alzheimer’s within five years rose by 62%” compared to those with at least 20 of their original 32 teeth. In addition, individuals with only “one to nine teeth remaining were 81% more at risk.”

        In a release on EurekAlert (3/8), study co-author Dr. Tomoyuki Ohara said, “Our findings emphasize the clinical importance of dental care and treatment, especially in terms of maintenance of teeth from an early age for reducing the future risk of dementia.”

Daily Habits and Your Teeth

Stating that “some seemingly innocent daily habits” may harm oral health, Everyday Health (3/7, Patino) encourages readers to take a quiz to test their knowledge about oral health habits and learn how to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Featuring oral health information and tips from ADA spokesperson Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty, the quiz focuses on how daily decisions about food and beverages, toothbrushes, stress management, and more impact oral health. For example, when selecting a toothbrush, Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty states, “You always want to use a soft-bristled brush because if you brush too hard or if your toothbrush is too abrasive, you can damage your enamel or gums.”

Throw Out That Old Tooth brush!

Old Toothbrushes Among Items To “Toss Immediately.”

In a consumer-focused article, Realtor (2/3, Evans) includes old toothbrushes among several bathroom items to “toss immediately” for “the sake of space, your health, and your sanity.” The article states that for those who have been using the same toothbrush for more than three or four months “that’s too long,” according to the American Dental Association. In addition, toothbrushes should be replaced sooner if bristles are “bent or frayed,” since they do not clean teeth as well. The article also encourages people to dispose of old makeup; expired sunscreen; hotel toiletries; almost empty shampoo bottles; unused beauty products and gifts; old razors; and expired medications, encouraging people to follow the FDA’s guidelines for safely disposing unused medication.

ToothFairy & Inflation

Tooth Fairy Survey: Cash Payouts Up In 2016.

USA Today (2/24, Haq) reported Delta Dental’s 13th annual Tooth Fairy survey found “cash payouts have soared during the past year to an all-time high average of $4.66,” up $.75 from 2015. The data shows also that the Tooth Fairy paid out about $290.6 million for lost teeth in the US in 2016, a 13.5% increase from the previous year. Delta Dental Vice President of marketing Jennifer Elliott said, “In addition to the excitement a visit from the Tooth Fairy brings, she also delivers lessons in finance and good oral health. ... Having conversations with children about good oral health habits, from an early age, can help establish strong habits for a lifetime, and the Tooth Fairy can be a great way to help spark those conversations.”

ToothFairy & Inflation!

Tooth Fairy Survey: Cash Payouts Up In 2016.

USA Today (2/24, Haq) reported Delta Dental’s 13th annual Tooth Fairy survey found “cash payouts have soared during the past year to an all-time high average of $4.66,” up $.75 from 2015. The data shows also that the Tooth Fairy paid out about $290.6 million for lost teeth in the US in 2016, a 13.5% increase from the previous year. Delta Dental Vice President of marketing Jennifer Elliott said, “In addition to the excitement a visit from the Tooth Fairy brings, she also delivers lessons in finance and good oral health. ... Having conversations with children about good oral health habits, from an early age, can help establish strong habits for a lifetime, and the Tooth Fairy can be a great way to help spark those conversations.”

Possible Link Between Diabetes & Gum Disease

The New York Times (2/23, Rabin, Subscription Publication) reports that a new study suggests periodontitis may be an early warning sign of type 2 diabetes, and given this, screening for type 2 diabetes at dental offices may be beneficial. In the study involving 313 patients at a dental clinic in Amsterdam, researchers found that “nearly half of the patients with any degree of periodontitis had blood sugar tests indicating they had pre-diabetes, a condition that can progress to full-blown diabetes.” A simple finger stick analysis “can help with early diabetes screening,” said Dr. Wijnand J. Teeuw, first author of the study, which is published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care.

        MedPage Today (2/22, Minerd) reports the study suggests that “screening periodontitis patients in the dentist’s office with a glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) test may help identify undiagnosed cases of diabetes and prediabetes.”

        In addition, HealthDay (2/23, Gordon) reports ADA spokesperson Dr. Sally Cram said many people with uncontrolled diabetes see improvement when their gum disease is under control, noting the benefits of preventive dental care. “Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once, and see your dentist periodically,” said Dr. Cram.

Whitening Your Teeth

Patients Advised to Consult with A Dentist Prior To Any Tooth Whitening Regimen

Consumer Reports (11/10, Harrar) discussed home tooth whitening treatments, which may help remove surface stains, per a dental adviser to Consumer Reports. “You will see a noticeable difference, but results can vary depending on individual teeth and the depth of staining or discoloration,” says

Dr. Edmond Hewlett, a professor of dentistry at the University of California Los Angeles and spokesperson for the American Dental Association. Home tooth whitening kits can’t address all discoloration, however, says Dr. Hewlett, and checking with a dentist first before beginning a tooth whitening treatment is advised. The article noted that “good dental hygiene is key,” and Dr. Hewlett says, “Keep your teeth clean with regular brushing and flossing.”

Gum Disease and Arthritis?

Gum Disease Can Worsen Pain for Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers

Dental Asia (9/30) reports on the ways in which poor dental hygiene and gum disease can contribute to and worsen rheumatoid arthritis. By testing gum disease strains on arthritic mice, researchers found that Porphyromonas bacteria made the mice’s joint pain worse. Dental Asia recommends that people with rheumatoid arthritis who wish to prevent gum disease use a moving toothbrush, rinse their mouth with mouthwash, quit smoking, and eat a healthy and clean diet.