Forensic Dentistry Playing a Role in Wildfires

When the most recent round of California wildfires began earlier this fall, little did anyone know how devastating the disaster would be - or how hard it would be to identify the dozens of victims of the wild blaze. But a grim form of dentistry - forensic dentistry - is coming to the rescue in a big way.

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366 Hits

Just the Tooth: Weird Stories from 2018

 

You know that old saying, truth is stranger than fiction? Well it's not always true, but in the case of these five tooth-related stories it sure is. If you like "news of the weird," check out these five oral health stories that prove sometimes fact really is stranger than fiction.

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44 Hits

Study Links Oral Health, High Blood Pressure

With a staggering 75 million Americans estimated to have high blood pressure, a new study in the publication Hypertension is calling on doctors and dentists to pay close attention to patients with high blood pressure and periodontitis. The study found that of 3,600 patients with high blood pressure, those who had healthier gums also had lower blood pressure numbers than their counterparts with periodontal disease.

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3157 Hits

Are Periodontal Disease and Alzheimer’s Linked?

 

According to research from the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, patients with periodontal disease could be at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers analyzed brain tissue samples from 10 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and 10 without. Of the samples of those who did have Alzheimer’s, four of the 10 showed signs of lipopolysaccharides associated with periodontal disease in their brain tissue.

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427 Hits

What Exactly Is an Underbite?

You’ve probably heard of - and seen - an overbite before. But a lesser-known bite problem that occurs in only about 10 percent of the population is an underbite. An underbite is what happens when the lower jaw protrudes past the upper jaw. Not only is this type of misaligned bite more noticeable, but it can also unfortunately subject children to bullying and low self-esteem, among many other issues.

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364 Hits

This New Innovation Could Improve Root Canal Outcomes

There are few dental procedures that strike fear in the hearts of patients like the root canal. The procedure, which clears out infected pulp inside of a tooth and replaces it with synthetic pulp, has earned a reputation of being long and painful. Worse yet, it doesn’t come with a guarantee. Because of the microscopic size of the root canals of the teeth, it can be tricky for dentists to find and clear out (and then refill) all the canals. This means even if the dentist is able to clean out all of the infected pulp, it could still come back. With risks like that, it's no wonder most people aren’t too keen on getting the procedure done in the first place.

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462 Hits

Make Oral Health a Priority in Cancer Care

Undergoing treatment for cancer can be a scary and stressful ordeal, especially if surgery is required. With so many things to remember and arrangements to be made for before and after care, it's easy to forget important steps along the way. But researchers are now saying that one surprising step in pre-op care could literally be the difference between life and death, post operation.

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1642 Hits

Group Asks Senate to ‘Brush Up’ on Oral Health

With 44 million senior citizens on some form of Medicare in the United States (and that number set to nearly double in the next 12 years), ensuring that Medicare provides adequate health care coverage for all beneficiaries is an absolute must. But, when it comes to dental care, some feel that Medicare is completely lacking. That’s because currently Medicare covers just 1 percent of dental care for seniors, requiring them to purchase additional coverage for anything beyond the most basic of care. But now, a group called Demand Medicare Dental is trying to change that, lobbying senators across America to add more vital dental coverage to Medicare - without sticking seniors with the bill.

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1033 Hits

Why Do Women Suffer from TMJ Disorders More Often Than Men?

It’s not always easy being a woman - especially when it comes to your temporomandibular joint. That’s because, according to research, women ages 20 to 35 experience the most severe temporomandibular joint disorder symptoms of any age or gender group.

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4171 Hits

Will a Sugar Tax Really Improve Oral Health in New York?

 

Earlier this year, the New York Times ran an op-ed about New York City's proposed sugar tax. The article's author spoke with former Mayor Bloomberg about his new Task Force on Fiscal Policy for Health, which pairs him with former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Larry Summers to educate leaders around the globe on the importance of adding a sugar tax to help fight obesity. But is a sugar tax really a good way to fight obesity - or is it just more government overreach into our private lives?

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3294 Hits

New Dental Bill Could Improve Access

On February 27, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Action for Dental Health Act (H.R.2422). Co-authored by the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), and Mike Simpson (R-ID), a dentist, the bill received overwhelming support from both parties, and passed with 387 yes votes.

The bill’s next stop is the Senate, where it is currently being sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ); Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI); Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA); and Tim Scott (R-SC). The bill aims to reauthorize initiatives that increase access to oral health care for people in underserved communities around the United States.

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983 Hits

How to Get the Best Care Despite Dental Phobia

Odontophobia. It’s kind of a funny word, but it’s no laughing matter. Odontophobia is the fear of going to the dentist - a fear that an estimated 10 percent of the population have so severely that it keeps them from attending routine dental exams. The danger in this, of course, is that if you don’t go to the dentist, you could be missing some very harmful oral health problems, like cavities, periodontitis or abscesses, all of which, if left untreated, can easily worsen and wreak major havoc on your mouth.

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2218 Hits

Having Many Children May Negatively Affect a Mother’s Teeth

Moms today have a lot on their plate. From juggling the family agenda to working and raising children, there’s a lot to be done, and sometimes it seems like not a whole lot of time to do it. Perhaps that’s why a new study in The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that the more children a woman has, the more teeth she may end up losing as an indirect result.

"The working theory is that between the toll pregnancy takes on the body and the amount of time mothers spend caring for everyone but themselves, they are more likely to let their oral health slide, and ultimately end up losing teeth," says Bellmore, New York, dentist Dr. Gary Lederman.

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224 Hits

Are Hi-Tech, ‘Smart’ Toothbrushes Really Worth It?

It seems like every product we use on a daily basis these days has a "smart" version either on the market or in the works. From app-enabled lawn sprinkler systems to doors you can lock from your phone, we are becoming an ever-increasing digital society. Naturally, dentistry is no exception.

You may have already heard of the new smart toothbrushes hitting the consumer marketplace every few months. Recently, the Apple Store launched its exclusive Colgate E1 toothbrush, which works hand in hand with its very own Apple-only app. The Colgate E1 claims to provide "mouth mapping technology," "real-time feedback" and even "brush coaching," among other things. With a $99 price tag, it’s definitely not cheap, but it's also pretty on-par with the average better-quality electric toothbrush. The question is: Is it worth the investment? A quick glance at the customer reviews on the Apple Store website aren’t very clear.

So far, out of 18 reviews, the brush gets a score of 3.5 out of 5 from consumers. Review headlines exclaim "Needs work" and "Nice Idea Poorly Executed." Overall it seems that, so far, consumers aren’t quite in love with the Colgate E1.

Another popular brush that has been around for over a year is the Grush brush for children. First introduced to the world via the ABC invention reality show "Shark Tank," Grush was designed with the goal of helping children clean all their teeth for an appropriate amount of time and with the appropriate amount of pressure. The brush connects to a smartphone app that plays a video game while your child brushes. The better he or she brushes, the higher the score. At the end of the game, parents can check the brushing data and see where their child missed the mark on brushing their teeth.

It also shows children as they brush where they need to apply a bit more pressure and what quadrant of the mouth they should be cleaning at any given time. The Grush brush isn’t quite as costly as the Colgate E1, but at $33 on Amazon, it’s still a lot of money for a kids’ toothbrush. Still, the Grush gets relatively good reviews from parents, earning 3.9 out of 5 stars. The chief complaint among Amazon reviewers is that the movements aren’t accurate. Bottom line, for $33, if you want to give the Grush a try, it can’t hurt. Kids love video games, and most kids love any excuse they can get to play on mom and dad’s smartphone for a few minutes.

As great as that sounds, unfortunately the Grush also has a high potential to backfire. Some parents have reported that their kids are more focused on the game than they are on brushing their teeth, and they’re not really paying attention to what they’re doing with the toothbrush while the game is running. The game is great if it teaches your child how to brush, but if he or she is focused solely on an app and not even looking at their teeth in the mirror while they brush, they’re not really going to learn as much about proper brush technique as they could if they were watching their own mouth.

Ultimately, it’s up to you if you want to invest in a smart toothbrush. Yes, they can be pretty cool, and if you’re a gadget person and have to have the latest high-tech innovation the second it comes out, then these devices will probably be right up your alley. But for the rest of us, it’s probably better to hold off until the smart-brushing technology improves a bit, or just skip the smart brush trend altogether. If we can’t disconnect from our phone for the four minutes a day it takes to brush our teeth, when can we?

There are plenty of affordable electric toothbrushes available today that can get your teeth clean with the correct amount of pressure and for the correct amount of time, all without requiring you to use an app or slay a virtual dragon.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your toothbrush or your brushing technique, please feel free to give Dr. Lederman's office a call at 516-882-1764.

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1162 Hits

This Candy Helps Fight Cavities

You’d be hard pressed to find a kid who doesn't love candy. But for many parents, it’s a love they’re hesitant to indulge. That’s because with so much sugar already in our diets, the last thing most kids need is more of it. Sugar in moderation is OK, but when sugar is overdone, it can cause a whole list of chronic problems including obesity, diabetes and cavities. Some studies have even linked it to hormone imbalances, premature aging and cancer.

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2020 Hits

Study Finds Link Between Gum Disease, Frailty

A recent study by the American Academy of Geriatrics has found a link between the presence of gum disease, tooth loss and frailty in senior citizens. Conducted in the United Kingdom, the study of nearly 8,000 people found that more than 60 percent of citizens over the age of 65 had some form of periodontal disease, and many more were missing more than one tooth. Another common side effect experienced by respondents was dry mouth.

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1476 Hits

Chinese Woman Discovers Surprising Culprit for Nasal Congestion

When a 57-year-old woman from Hunan Province, China, recently sought help for her chronic sinus congestion and nosebleeds, she received quite a shock from her doctor. While there are a variety of medical problems that can cause chronic congestion, the woman’s scan revealed none of those "usual suspects" were to blame. Instead of a deviated septum or sinus infection, her scans showed a small round object blocking the nasal passage. But what that object ended up being was the biggest surprise: a tooth!

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1257 Hits

Proper Denture Care Is Crucial for Overall Health

Whether you’ve just gotten your first set of dentures or you’re a seasoned pro at wearing them, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you have dentures you no longer need to care for your oral health. In fact, improperly cleaned or poorly fitting dentures can be just as dangerous to the mouth as failing to care for natural teeth.

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1849 Hits

FSA-Eligible Dental Care Options

The holiday season is fast approaching, but before you get to the business of relaxing and enjoying it, don’t forget about the other important thing that happens at this time every year: the expiration of your flexible spending account (FSA). An FSA account is a payroll tax-free health care spending account you can use for one calendar year to pay for things like doctor copays, prescription medications, medical procedures, eyewear and some dental services and products. These accounts are great for families and people with lots of medical expenses, but the downside is if you don’t use it, you lose it. This may not seem so awful until you consider that the money that vanished with the old year was money you earned - so you’ve essentially thrown away your hard-earned money, simply because you didn’t spend it.

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1184 Hits

Oral Health a Growing Concern Among Older Adults

According to the University of Michigan’s "National Poll on Healthy Aging" released in September 2017, an increasing number of older Americans are worried about caring for – and paying for – their teeth as they age. The poll, which was conducted by the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at the University of Michigan, worked in partnership with the AARP and Michigan Medicine.

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627 Hits
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