Cut Sugar to Prevent Cavities

If you are looking to avoid cavities in your teeth and wisdom teeth, then you may want to consider limiting your intake of sugar. Free sugars are added to many foods and are naturally present in other food such as honey and fruit juice. Since 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said they suggest less than 10% of all calorie intake should be from free sugars. A study conducted by Newcastle University and commissioned by the WHO and was published last year in the Journal of Dental Research explored free sugar intake as a percentage of calorie intake and the incidence of dental cavities. The article found when less than 10% of total calories in the diet is from free sugars there are much lower levels of cavities (tooth decay). The article also found that when less than 5% … Read more

Chewing Gum Linked to Headaches

An interesting study and findings regarding a link between headaches and gum chewing has come from Tel Aviv University. The article was published in Pediatric Neurology and looked at 30 patients between 6 and 19 with chronic headache and who were big gum chewers. The patients were told to stop chewing gum. After 1 month, nineteen of the patients had their headache go away and 7 additional patients in the group had a decrease in the severity and frequency of their headaches. Twenty six of the patients were then told to go back to chewing gum like they used to and they all said their previous symptoms returned within days. The researchers speculate that temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction may be the likely trigger at bay. The researchers believe that TMJ overuse is causing the headaches. Other possibilities were suggested such as … Read more

Dental Anxiety Associates with Pain During Dental Procedures

It is well known by dentists that some patients experience dental anxiety, with some patients have worse dental anxiety than others. In a review article titled “Dental Anxiety Is Considerably Associated With Pain Experience During Dental Procedures,” by Mike T. John, appearing in J Evid Base Dent Pract, 2013, issue 13, pp. 29-30, the issue of dental anxiety in dental patients is explored. The study reviews a study titled “Predictors of pain associated with routine procedures performed in general dental practice,” by Tickle M, Milsom K, Crawford FI, and Aggarwal VR, in Community Dent Oral Epidemiol, 2012 Aug;40(4):343-50. In the original study 508 patients who visit 38 different dentists in England participate. Dental anxiety was measured with the Corah Dental Anxiety Scale which resulted in a score between 4 and 20. This score was grouped into 4 different variables representing … Read more

How Evolution Sold Us Short As it Relates to Wisdom Teeth

I came across an interesting article titled “‘Not tonight, I have toothache’: how evolution sold us short” published in February 16, 2013, in the Times in London and written by Hannah Devlin. The article talks about evolution and how it relates to wisdom teeth, which is a topic I don’t usually bring up on this site/blog since it is controversial. The idea goes that wisdom teeth were important for our ancestors because their diets consisted of a lot of tough and chewy foods. As their other teeth wore down, the third molars, played an important back up role as additional teeth to use. In addition, the idea is that as humans evolved their brains became larger and their laws became smaller leaving less room available for teeth to grow. Earlier hominids (our ancestors) had very large back teeth in long … Read more

Ethical Issues for Consent in Dentistry

An article appears in the Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 39, pp. 59-61, January 2013, titled “Consent in dentistry: ethical and deontological issues,” written by Adelaide Conti, Paola Delbon, Laura Laffranchi, and Corrado Paganelli. The authors are from Italy and so the focus of the article is a discussion of some of the ethical issues in dentistry. I have previously discussed some ethical issues in medicine and dentistry. See for example, Attending to the Patient in the Informed Consent Process and Are Dentists Ethical or Scam Artists?. In the article the authors say “The right of patients to make decisions about their healthcare has been enshrined in legal statements: in Italy the National Constitution establishes that personal liberty is inviolable and that no one may be obliged to undergo any given health treatment except under the provisions of the law…In … Read more