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5/4/2017 8:37:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

In a release on PRNewswire, the American Dental Association discusses its new resources related to genetics and oral health that are available for dental professionals and the public. According to the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs’ Genetic Testing Workgroup, “While genetic testing holds potential for clinical application in the future, clinical measurements remain the best approach to assessment of caries and periodontal disease at this time.” The release states that “the ADA’s resource on genetics and genetic testing explains basic genetic principles, genetic testing and using genetic information in decision-making in dentistry.”



5/1/2017 8:35:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

Investopedia provides tips to help retirees manage their healthcare costs, recommending, for example, that retirees “insure adequately or save more.” The article states that dental costs can be a “large health expense during retirement,” and “obtaining coverage in advance of anticipated dental needs is wise.”



4/28/2017 8:33:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

The University of California – San Francisco states that “one of the enduring puzzles for stem cell researchers” is how these cells “know when it’s time for them to expand in numbers and transform into mature, adult cells in order to renew injured or aging tissue.” In an attempt to understand this “decision-making process,” the release states researchers are studying the front teeth of mice to identify the signals that trigger the teeth to continuously grow. UC San Francisco’s Ophir Klein, MD, PhD, a professor of orofacial sciences in UCSF’s School of Dentistry, explained, “Our lab’s objective is to learn the rules that let mouse incisors grow continuously to help us one day grow teeth in the lab, but also to help us identify general principles that could enable us to understand the processes of tissue renewal much more broadly.” A study published in Cell Stem Cell discusses some of their findings into this process.



4/11/2017 8:15:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

The Daily Mail reports that researchers have discovered in 13,000-year-old front teeth what may be “the earliest example of the use of a filling.” Each tooth, found in northern Italy, has a “hole that extends down to the pulp chamber” the article reports. According to the article, tiny scratch marks inside the holes suggest a sharp stone was used “to remove diseased cavity tissue,” before the holes with then filled “with the tar-like substance bitumen.” The article reports that “the discovery of bitumen suggests the procedure was done out of medical necessity to remove decayed matter from the teeth and prevent further loss.” The findings are published in a paper in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
        International Business Times reports the teeth with bitumen filling are “one of the oldest pieces of evidence of ancient dentistry.”
        Ancient Origins (4/9, Karasavvas) reports the find may be “the world’s most ancient dental fillings.”



4/6/2017 10:09:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

The New York Times analyzes the health claims that William Wrigley Jr., founder of the Wrigley Company, 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.” In addition, Dr. Miller said the increased salivary flow may be particularly beneficial for people with dry mouth. “That can be caused by a lot of medications or medical problems, and increased salivary flow can really be helpful for reducing the risk of cavities,” he said.



4/4/2017 1:34:00 PM | Richard Kinsel

Fox News 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.
        MouthHealthy.org provides information on tongue scrapers and bad breath.



3/13/2017 12:22:00 PM | Richard Kinsel

In an opinion piece for The Hill’s “Pundits Blog,” Jason Friesen, founder of Trek Medics International, and Jeff Schlegelmilch, a senior adviser at the nonprofit organization, discuss the opioid epidemic, stating that with the rising number of drug overdose deaths, “new and innovative solutions” are needed “to combat it from all angles.” Friesen and Schlegelmilch state that utilizing “life-saving treatments” such as naloxone, is necessary to defeat the epidemic. The authors describe efforts at the national level to address the opioid epidemic, such as the 21st Century Cures Act and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, adding that although healthcare reform brings uncertainty, it also presents “an opportunity for states to approach the opioid epidemic with the full ingenuity our nation has to offer.”



3/7/2017 10:21:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

CAMBRA, which stands for CAries Management By Risk Assessment, is a system that dentists use to evaluate and treat patients with signs of dental caries, or tooth decay. CAMBRA was developed using scientifically-proven data (evidence-based medicine) on the evaluation and treatment of patients with dental caries. The CAMBRA method looks at all aspects of the processes that lead to the development of dental caries, and is an extremely effective way of treating the problem of tooth decay.

CAMBRA takes into account all of the different factors that affect an individual's caries risk, including:

• Current oral health status
• Diet
• Oral anatomy
• Oral health habits


The MyCAMBRA Self-Assessment App
As an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF, Dr. Kinsel has developed an iPad app that helps patients follow their own CAMBRA treatment progress. The app quickly identifies decay risks (moderate, high, extreme) with each patient’s specific treatment recommendations. Each patient receives individualized information on their oral health, and what they can do at home to stay on track. MyCAMBRA is available for dentists at the



3/7/2017 10:09:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, Dr. Donald L. Chi, a pediatric dentist and associate professor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, states that in order to help ensure “everyone has a chance at good oral health,” dental care must be “recognized as an essential benefit.” Dr. Chi states that this would involve “including comprehensive dental coverage in Medicaid and the ACA as well as in Medicare (where it is excluded).” Doing so would help undeserved adults receive needed dental care, and although this would require funding, it would “also be an investment” since “fewer emergency room visits would result in cost savings,” writes Dr. Chi. In addition, Dr. Chi says adults with good oral health would experience “less suffering” and would be more apt to find employment “without the fear of appearance-related discrimination.”



3/4/2017 8:20:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

The Motley Fool includes dental care among its list of “surprising things Medicare doesn’t cover.” While “Medicare does not cover routine visits to the dentist, nor will it pay for common treatments like root canals or fillings,” the article notes many Medicare Advantage plans do offer dental coverage. The article recommends people “shop carefully for coverage, paying attention to premiums, the type of dental benefits provided, and the network of covered providers.”



3/3/2017 8:19:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

        In an article and broadcast on its website, shares tips on how to stay healthy and live longer, while avoiding hip fractures. The tips include standing on one leg at a time while brushing teeth for two minutes to help with balance, along with incorporating jumping into exercise routines, receiving enough calcium and vitamin D3 each day, and managing stress. TODAY also emphasizes the importance of preventive care, including dental visits, to maintain health and avoid higher health costs in the future.
        MouthHealthy.org provides oral health information by life stages, including for adults between 40 and 60 and adults over 60.



2/28/2017 9:18:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

NPR reports many dentists are working to prescribe fewer opioids, “with state dental boards and associations issuing new guidelines for patients and practitioners.” The article notes that Dr. Paul Moore “studies the usefulness of ibuprofen and other” non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in pain management; Dr. Moore “worked on a recent update of the American Dental Association’s prescribing guidelines for opioids.” The guideline recommends dentists consider over-the-counter pain relievers as the “first-line therapy for acute pain management.” At the state level, Pennsylvania now “requires new dentists and those renewing their clinical license to get training in the best practices of opioid prescribing.” The article mentions that Pennsylvania dentist Dr. Joel Funari, who specializes in oral and maxillofacial surgery, participated in a working group in 2014 “to develop prescribing guidelines for dentists” in Pennsylvania. Dr. Funari and his colleagues found NSAIDS are “very effective” for treating dental pain. Their findings are published in The Journal of the American Dental Association.



2/25/2017 9:23:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

The Los Angeles Times includes flossing in a list of several steps to help people “live a healthier life.” The article notes that despite a story last year questioning the benefits of flossing due to a lack of research, the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage people to continue the practice. The signs of non-flossing are apparent to dentists, says Dr. Alexandre-Amir Aalam, clinical assistant professor at USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. Flossing cleans between teeth, removing the plaque and debris that brushing cannot reach. The article encourages people to speak to their dentist for the correct flossing technique.



2/24/2017 9:22:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

The New York Times 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 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 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.



2/17/2017 8:40:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

Reader’s Digest discusses the “unnecessary health risks” associated with sharing a toothbrush, encouraging people to “think twice” when considering it as an option. Mouths contain “more than 700 species of bacteria,” according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, and while most of these bacteria are harmless, “some like staph and E. coli, can lead to infection and illness.” In addition to encouraging people not to share toothbrushes, the article notes the American Dental Association also advises rinsing toothbrushes with water after each use and storing them in an upright position, ensuring they are separated from other toothbrushes.



2/16/2017 8:21:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

On its website and in a broadcast, KFVS-TV Cape Girardeau, MO reported on the growing popularity of activated charcoal in personal care products, including some that say the black powder can whiten teeth. KFVS noted that “activated charcoal has been used in emergency rooms for years to absorb poison in the stomach or in case of overdoses,” and medical professionals and health experts are cautioning against using activated charcoal for other purposes. For dental health, KFVS reported a dentist recommends brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits.



2/14/2017 10:30:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

The American Dental Association provides six oral health tips for Valentine’s Day. “If you’re planning on cozying up to someone this year, make sure your mouth is in good health,” says ADA Spokesperson Dr. Alice Boghosian. “Taking care of your teeth and gums will help you stay healthy for Valentine’s Day – and every other day of the year.” The ADA states that “cavities can be contagious,” recommending people “brush twice a day for two minutes” and clean between teeth daily “for cleaner kisses and a cavity-free smile.” Proper “dental hygiene is especially important” for halitosis, the ADA states, adding that “over-the-counter antimicrobial (germ-killing) mouthwashes or chewing sugarless gum” can also help with bad breath. The ADA also encourages people to “share a life, not a toothbrush,” speak to their dentist if they are interested in whitening their teeth, avoid smoking, and visit the dentist regularly.



2/13/2017 8:47:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

Fox News reports that some parents are banking children’s baby teeth, hoping that some day the dental stem cells may be used to treat type 1 diabetes, neurological disorders, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, and more. “I believe those are the kinds of applications that will be the first uses of these cells,” said Dr. Peter Verlander, chief scientific officer for Store-A-Tooth. Noting that scientists have used stem cells from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow to treat diseases, metabolic and immune disorders, and blood cancers for years, the article states “there is the potential for dental stem cells to be used in the same way,” although “researchers are only beginning to delve into the possibilities.” Dr. Jade Miller, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, says “dental stem cells are not science fiction.” Dr. Miller adds, “I think at some point in time, we’re going to see dental stem cells used by dentists…on a daily practice.”



1/23/2017 12:13:00 PM | Richard Kinsel

The ADA News (1/20) reported that the Food and Drug Administration has anew consumer page listing questions for patients to ask their physicians, dentists, and other healthcare professionals before taking opioid painkillers. The new page also offers tips on opioid prescription storage and disposal. The article notes, “The ADA encourages dentists to talk to their patients about the dangers of using opioid painkillers for nonmedical purposes.” The ADA also “offers free continuing education courses to members and nonmembers alike that cover the latest techniques for recognizing when a patient may be seeking opioids for nonmedical purposes, and how to briefly counsel and refer those patients for appropriate substance abuse treatment.”



1/11/2017 9:38:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

KTRK-TV Houston (1/5) discussed how methamphetamine use can harm health, sharing “photos of repeat meth offenders” to illustrate the physical side-effects of methamphetamine use. The article notes that methamphetamine use negatively affects dental health, often leading to tooth loss. The article states that “according to the American Dental Association, meth mouth is probably caused by a combination of the drug’s effects, both physical and psychological,” which can result in xerostomia and extended periods of poor oral hygiene.
        The ADA provides additional information on “Meth Mouth” atMouthHealthy.org. A study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association also examined dental disease in methamphetamine users.



1/9/2017 9:01:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

In a release on PRNewswire (1/4), the Delta Dental Plans Association states that “dentists lead the pack of health practitioners adults want to see more,” according to its 2016 Adult Oral Health Survey. The survey finds that “41 percent of American adults reported they do not get to the dentist as often as they’d like,” followed by dermatologists at 28 percent. According to the survey, adults who brush their teeth less than twice a day report wanting to see the dentist more than those who brush their teeth more often. “Seeing the dentist regularly is an important part of maintaining good oral health,” said Bill Kohn, DDS, Delta Dental Plans Association’s vice president of dental science and policy. “We’re at least glad to see that even those who aren’t getting to the dentist as often as they’d like, recognize the importance of making more time to do so.”
        WAND-TV Champaign, IL (1/4) reports that in Illinois, the survey finds 43 percent of adults report they do not visit the dentist as often as they’d like.



1/6/2017 8:59:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

Treating cavities is important, but preventing cavities is best. That’s where fluoride comes in. Millions of children in the United States and around the world have been spared thanks to fluoride in tap water, toothpaste and routine dental checkups starting no later than a child’s first birthday.

Your patients who are parents may have a lot of questions about fluoride. We’ve got answers for them in a guide written for parents by a parent: dentist and Harvard researcher Dr. Brittany Seymour.
Share this fluoride guide with your patients today, and start the conversation that could lead to a lifetime of healthy smiles for their children.



12/24/2016 1:05:00 PM | Richard Kinsel

In The Hill “Congress Blog,” the authors of the article “Projections of Dental Care Use Through 2026: Preventive Care To Increase While Treatment Will Decline,” which was published in the December 2016 issue of Health Affairs, discuss their findings. Using data from the 1996-2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a forecasting model suggests visits for preventive dental care are projected to increase in the future, while visits for dental treatment are expected to decline. “More prevention and less treatment means significant savings for individuals and government – measured in both individual pain and suffering as well as dollars and cents,” the authors say.



12/23/2016 1:03:00 PM | Richard Kinsel

The Washington Post reports that researcher Karen Hardy broke down “calcified plaque from some of the oldest human remains in Europe,” finding “pieces of indigestible wood fibers.” The article adds that “Hardy believes they’re from small sticks early humans would jam in their teeth to clean them.” By examining the calcified plaque from a “fossil from the Sima del Elefante archaeological site in Atapuerca,” Hardy was also able “to discern that they ate grass, seeds, other plants and meat – all raw, indicating they didn’t yet use fire to cook.”



12/22/2016 8:48:00 AM | Richard Kinsel

In a column in the Master Herald, Faramarz Hedayati considers the “increased demand for teeth whitening.” Hedayati adds, “Professional teeth whitening treatment is far more effective and safer compared to do-it-yourself teeth whitening products that can already be purchased over-the-counter.” Such treatments can contain ingredients harmful to teeth, have limited effectiveness and consistency, and weaken tooth enamel. Additionally, over-the-counter teeth bleaching products are not regulated by the Federal Drug Administration.



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