Archive | July, 2012

Death and Greed at the Dentist: Is Your Child at Risk?

A new investigation came out recently by ABC News appearing on both “Nightline” and “World News With Diane Sawyer” looking at sedation deaths from dentistry. The story is located over on the ABC News website which appeared on July 12, 2012 and is titled “Death, Greet at the Dentist: American Children at Risk.” A synopsis of the investigation appeared on drbicuspid.com on July 13, 2012, titled “ABC News spotlights pediatric dental sedation risks.” The story over on ABC News opens up with “American children are being put at risk by inadequately trained dentists who often seek to enhance profits by sedating their young patients for even routine tooth cleaning and cavity treatments.” In the segment on “Nightline” Brian Ross says “…it is a scandal in many cases driven by dentists who are told they can increase their bottom line. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra profits by giving their young patients a quick and all too often dangerous dose of sedatives…” The story on ABC News says “The ABC News investigation found a patchwork of state regulations with some states requiring only a weekend-long course for dentists to be certified in the administration of oral sedatives.” As highlighted in […]

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The Evidence Base for Third Molar (Wisdom Teeth) Decisions

An excellent editorial appears in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in the August 2012 edition titled “Those Who Ignore the Evidence Are Doomed to Misuse It” by Dr. Thomas B. Dodson (70, pages 1765-1767). Dr. Dodson explains how the debate regarding whether or not to either 1) remove asymptomatic, disease-free third molars, or 2) retain asymptomatic, disease-free third molars has become highly controversial. He argues that there are an assortment of viewpoints that play a role here. A) Payer-based clinical decision making: “The payer is the invisible hand in the operatory, influencing the treatment plan with a bold line that determines whether a service is covered or not. With PBCD, there is little regard or sympathy for what the OMS perceives about the individual patients and their circumstances. Thus, PBCD risks moral hazard by pre-empting services that the OMS or patient believe to be necessary to enhance the bottom line.” B) Surgeon-based clinical decision-making “SBCD integrates the best current literature with the clinician’s experiences and expertise. Detractors argue that maximizing revenue, rather than patient safety, is the OMS’s motivation for M3 removal. Publications that recommend the prophylactic removal of M3s add fuel to this fire. Here, the perceived […]

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Gum Disease More Common With Old Age

A recent study which appeared in Nature Immunology shows that the deterioration in gum health which occurs with increasing age is associated with a drop in the level of a chemical called Del-1. Periodontitis is a disease of the gums which causes bleeding and bone loss which can, over time, lead to loss of teeth. Periodontitis  is caused by an over-active immune response to bacteria that grow in the mouth. As people age they are more likely to suffer from inflammatory diseases, including gum disease. The new research investigated gum disease in young and old mice and found that an increase in gum disease in the older animals was accompanied by a drop in the level of Del-1. Del-1 is known to restrain the immune system by stopping white blood cells from sticking to and attacking mouth tissue. In mice that had no Del-1, they developed severe gum disease and elevated bone loss. Further the researchers found unusually high levels of white blood cells in the gum tissue. When the researchers treated the gums of the mice with Del-1, the number of white blood cells dropped, and gum disease and bone loss were reduced. As indicated by the researchers, understanding the mechanism […]

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Fish Oil to Help Periodontal Disease

I have previously discussed in this post http://blog.teethremoval.com/omega-3-fatty-acids-inversely-proportional-to-periodontitis/ that you should be taking omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil regularly. This is because omega 3 fatty acids have been found to be inversely associated with periodontitis which is inflammation of the tissue surrounding the teeth. Recently researchers in Australia reviewed evidence from eight unique studies that involved humans to evaluate whether fish oil supplementation could be an adjunct therapy for periodontitis. Their review of these studies showed that improvements in clinical measures were common in all studies, but were scientifically significant in two that used a combination of fish oil and aspirin. Although not conclusive, intake of fish oil is recommended for health benefits which extend beyond just your teeth. Dr. Alison Coates from the University of South Australia says: “I would recommend that people ensure they have a sufficient intake of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in their diet for general health. In Australia, these types of fatty acids are considered to be essential with ~500 mg recommended as the suggested dietary target. This equates to approximately 2 fatty fish meals per week.” Dr. Coates and her colleagues say the the evidence for fish oil being effective in […]

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Migraines – Cause and Effect

Roughly 30 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches and women are affected 3 times more often than men. Hormonal changes are part of the reason why females have such a higher incidence. Migraine headaches typically last between 4 and up to 72 hours with some experiencing them several times a month. Several risk factors have been identified that increase a person’s chance of having migraines: Family history: If one has 1 or more first-degree relatives with migraine headaches, the likelihood rises substantially. Age: Most people are between 15 and 55 who have migraine headaches. Gender: Women are much more likely to suffer from migraines than men. Certain medical conditions: epilepsy, anxiety, stroke, depression, and high blood pressure are all associated with migraines. Hormonal changes: Women with migraines often have them just before or shortly after menstruation. The exact cause of migraine is not fully understood. Some researchers believe migraines occur due to abnormal changes in the brain which results in inflammation and blood vessels swelling and pressing on nerves. Numerous triggers for migraine attacks have been identified: sleep disturbances bright lights and loud noises dehydration hormonal changes stress weather changes low blood sugar foods that contain aspartame foods that contain […]

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