Preserving Research Funding in Dentistry

An interesting article titled “The vital role of research funding in preserving the oral health of the public and the dental profession,” appears as a guest editorial in the June 2015, issue of JADA and written by Maxine Feinber and et. al. The article discusses how it is critical that investments in dental, oral, and craniofacial research continue in the United States to help improve the nations oral health. The article states “…oral diseases persist on a scale that is poorly understood and wholly unacceptable… 3.9 billion people had oral conditions, with untreated dental caries in permanent teeth the most prevalent disease, affecting 35% of the world’s population….1 in 5 Americans is afflicted with dental caries…” The article says that around 4% of health care spending in the U.S. is for dental services. Even so we know little about oral disease and … Read more

Natural Tooth Loss Linked to Memory and Walking Speed Declines

A study appearing in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society looked at the memory and walking speed of older individuals with and without their natural teeth. A total of 3,166 adults age 60 and over from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing were looked at. The results showed that people with none of their own teeth were around 10% worse in both memory and walking speed tests when compared to people who still had some teeth. The results were adjusted for a large amount of potential factors such as existing health problems, physical health, drinking, depression, sociodemographic characteristics, and socioeconomic status. The link between older adults without any of their natural teeth who had worse memory and physical function was more evident in adults aged 60 to 74 years old than those aged 75 and older. The researchers say … Read more

Heart Infections on the Rise in Dental Patients After Antibiotic Reductions

In March 2008, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued guidelines recommending that dentists should no longer give antibiotics before invasive treatments to people who are considered at risk of developing a life threatening heart infection. The life threatening heart infection is known as infective endocarditis and 40% of all cases are caused by bacteria in the mouth. Researchers at the University of Sheffield set out to explore the impact of these guidelines. It was found that an increase in cases of infective endocarditis was observed above what was expected. In March 2013, this increase accounted for an extra 35 cases of infective endocarditis per month. The researchers found that the number of  prescribed antibiotic prophylaxis fell by 89% from 10,900 prescriptions per month, before the 2008 NICE guidelines, to 1,235 a month by March 2008. The researchers … Read more

Dental Emergency: What You Need to Know to Handle the Situation

It’s interesting how when it comes to an emergency, some people don’t find their oral health as important as the rest of their body. When anything in your mouth becomes broken or damaged, the implications can be quite serious, even if it seems like the situation can be easily managed at home. A tooth that breaks might not even hurt if no nerve endings have been exposed, so it feels like it’s something that can be dealt with at a later stage. But should you wait? Advances in dental technology means that even fairly major issues can be remedied if you act quickly. The simple fact of the matter is that any changes to your teeth, gums, or soft tissue inside your mouth should be examined by a dentist as soon as possible, and it’s not wise to delay. So … Read more

Nutrition is Important for Oral Health

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has published a position paper on oral health and nutrition which looks at the current research literature to support that nutrition is an important component of oral health. The paper promotes the view that dietitian nutritionists should collaborate with oral health care professionals to help in disease prevention. The paper states “Oral health and nutrition have a synergistic multidirectional relationship. Oral infectious diseases, as well as acute, chronic, and terminal systemic diseases with oral manifestations impact functional ability to eat as well as diet and nutrition status. Likewise, nutrition and diet can affect the development and integrity of the oral cavity as well as the progression of oral diseases.” The paper was published in the the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in May 2013, and is available for download at … Read more