Today's Dental News

Good Oral Health May Aid Athletes

There may be an incentive for athletes to maintain good oral health.

According to experts at the Oral Health and Performance conference, good oral health boosts performance by athletes. The reason is when an athlete’s oral health isn’t at optimal levels, his or her ability to train is hampered.

Dentists and doctors are starting to focus on boxing, based on the research from this conference and others. As a result, British boxers are starting to undergo regular dental checks. The early results have been beneficial.

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Australia May Soon Have Surplus of Dentists

Australia may have a good problem on its hands.

An influx of dentists has forced the Australian Dental Association to recommend to the government to begin to limit the number of dental students. If that is not done, there will be too many qualified dentists in the near future.

So far, the Australian Dental Association has requested a temporary freeze on international students getting dental degrees in Australia. The number of dental schools in the country has doubled in the last nine years. An increase in the number of international students, combined with a rise of skilled workers, has also exacerbated the problem.

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Emergency Department Dental Care Continues to Increase Other Costs

More and more people are visiting emergency medical departments for dental care, based on the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy. The problem is particularly prevalent in low-income communities.

The problems come from the fact that many people have no option but to visit the emergency room after experiencing intense dental pain. But many emergency departments don’t have the ability or the equipment to handle such situations.

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California Experiences Dentist Shortage

The Golden State is no longer appealing to dentists.

The recession, the termination of Medicaid dental reimbursements and a large number of well-known dentists in the wealthy, populated areas are forcing new dentists to leave California. The information comes from a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

California had more licensed dentists than any other state in 2012—more than 35,000. But the number of those licensed dentists who chose to live or work out of state increased by 6 percent from 2008 through 2012.

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Effectiveness of Taste Buds Hampered by Smoking

Bad news for coffee-drinking smokers: the toxic chemicals in tobacco make a person unable to fully taste the bitterness of coffee.

The information appeared in the journal Chemosensory Perception.

The researchers pinpointed the chemicals in tobacco, which are proven to make a smoker lose his or her sense of taste over time. The chemicals also create structural changes of the tongue.

The long-term effects of smoking on taste buds are still not fully known, however. It could be possible for someone to regain his or her sense of taste after giving up smoking for a long period of time.

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