August 16, 2016
Fox News: Charcoal Teeth Whitening Products Do Not Have ADA Seal Of Acceptance.
Fox News (8/15) reports that dentists and other medical professionals are warning against using a DIY teeth whitening method that “involves smearing a charcoal-derived black mixture on teeth.” The method has become more popular since the posting of a YouTube video, that has been watched more than 1.5 million times. The article reports that dentists say using this DIY method “may lead to enamel deterioration and tooth erosion,” noting “the American Dental Association has currently not evaluated or approved any charcoal teeth whitening products.”
MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on teeth whitening. In addition, several whitening toothpastes and a whitening product have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
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July 13, 2016
While Not Recommended, Nail Biting And Thumb Sucking Reduce Risk Of Developing Allergies, Study Finds.
CBS News (7/11) reports on its website and during a broadcast that “children who bite their nails and suck their thumbs are about one-third less likely to develop certain allergies,” according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics. “Cat, grass, house dust mite, and dog [allergies] – those were reduced, some significantly, some borderline,” said study author Malcolm Sears, a researcher for the Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at McMaster University School of Medicine, in Ontario, Canada. “When they suck their thumbs or bite their nails they’re exposing themselves to additional microbes or dirt which is stimulating the immune system.” CBS News adds that the findings do not imply parents should encourage their kids to bite their nails or suck their thumb, noting “the American Dental Association advises that while thumb- or finger-sucking is a natural reflex in young children, intense sucking can cause problems with a child’s tooth alignment.”
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May 21, 2016
Tooth Pain May Indicate Bruxism And Should Not Be Ignored.
Woman’s Day (5/12, Brody) identified seven “seemingly trivial pains” a person “should never ignore,” including tooth pain that causes waking during the night. The article stated that experiencing tooth pain may be a sign of bruxism, which is sometimes brought on by stress. “Call your dentist so he or she can figure out the problem,” the article stated, adding that a dentist may recommend a mouth guard.
MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on bruxism
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January 20, 2016
Inventor Creates Caffeinated Toothpaste.
Business Insider (1/19, Price) states in continuing coverage that Dan Meropol invented Power Toothpaste, a caffeinated toothpaste that provides about “80mg of caffeine per brushing.” The toothpaste is “launching on Indiegogo on Tuesday, starting at $12 per tube.”
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November 28, 2015
Dentist, Physician Collaborate On Raising Awareness Of Importance Of Oral Health.
The Harvard School of Public Health (MA) (11/24, Reiss) reports on a collaboration between dentist Romesh Nalliah, director of clinical education at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and physician William Anderson III, associate dean for clinical affairs and chief medical officer at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, both of whom are students in the part-time, nonresidential master in health care management (MHCM) program at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health. The two coauthored a paper published in the Journal of Family Practice entitled “Oral Lesions You Can’t Afford to Miss.” The article includes photos to help physicians “identify conditions in the mouth that can lead to serious systemic problems if not treated.” Anderson noted that since “many people” have medical benefits, but not dental benefits, physicians can be important in identifying “oral health issues.”
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November 21, 2015
Dentist: Nail Biting, Teeth Grinding May Impact Teeth.
According to the Los Angeles Times (11/15, Dwass, 3.6M), “Nail biting is probably the most common nervous habit,” but people also “gnaw on things like pens, pencils and ice.” In addition, some bite on “the inside of the cheek, as well as nonstop teeth clenching and grinding, all anxiety related, says USC dentist Saravanan Ram, an expert in orofacial pain.” Teeth grinding and clenching may increase with SSRI medications, typically given for depression and AD/HD. These “long-term chewing habits can cause wear and tear of teeth, as well as jaw clicking and pain.” To stop these habits, Ram suggests chewing sugarless gum or candy instead. In addition, “teeth clenching and grinding may require wearing a dental appliance, which, Ram says, should be made by a dentist.”
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October 21, 2015
ADA Spokesperson Discusses Teeth Whiteners.
The New York Times (10/20, Weintraub) “Well” blog considers whether teeth whitening strips cause damage, stating that while some whiteners may case short-term pain in sensitive teeth, American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Edmond Hewlett said sensitivity should go away after the whitening is stopped. In addition, “there would also be no biological reason for whitening strips or the tooth-whitening trays used by dentists to cause any harm in the long-term when used properly, he said,” recommending people see their dentist if they have concerns about the color of their teeth to discuss product options and to ensure tooth decay is not the cause of the discoloration.
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October 18, 2015
Physician Discusses Importance Of Dental X-Rays.
The Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review (10/15) carries an “Ask Doctor K” piece, in which Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff, a physician and professor at Harvard Medical School, responds to a reader who asked how often dentists need to take dental X-rays, expressing concern about radiation exposure. Dr. Komaroff states that “today’s dental X-ray machines emit very low levels of radiation,” adding that X-rays “are valuable for uncovering problems in places the dentist can’t see with the naked eye.” According to Dr. Komaroff, how often an individual needs X-rays depends on their dental health.
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September 27, 2015
ADA Spokesperson Discusses Dental Care For People Over Age 50.
Coos Bay (OR) World (9/24, Schnaufer) reports that it is “essential to overall wellbeing and a healthy future” for people over the age of 50 to take care of their teeth and eyes, adding that failure to do so “can lead to progressive and painful health problems, or even blindness.” American Dental Association Consumer Advisor spokesperson Dr. Sally Cram recommended people see their dentist as often as the dentist recommends, discussing the importance of early detection. “As you age, the nerves inside your teeth become smaller and less sensitive. By the time you feel cavity pain, it may be too late and you may lose your tooth,” Dr. Cram said. Additionally, Dr. Cram says that older patients may experience dry mouth more often as a side-effect of certain medications and says that it is “important to tell your dentist about any medications that you’re taking.” Dr. Cram also provides a list of recommended items patients should bring to their dental appointment and tips for proper oral hygiene
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April 8, 2015
Tongue Condition May Offer Clues To Other Health Issues.
Reader’s Digest (3/20, Kloss) reports on nine health issues an inspection of the tongue can reveal, including a vitamin deficiency, a yeast infection, normal aging, irritation, stress, and other issues. A tongue that has “brown or black fuzz” on it may be a sign of “black and hairy tongue,” which is “not cause of major concern.” Reader’s Digest reports ADA consumer advisor spokesperson and New York City dentist Ada Cooper, DDS said, “We have papilla, small bumps on the surface of our tongue, which grow throughout our lifetime,” and that they are typically worn down through normal chewing and drinking, but may become overgrown and more likely to harbor bacteria or discolored from food. Quitting smoking, and using a tongue scrapper “may be all you need,” said physician Jack Der-Sarkissian
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