Today's Dental News

Hospital Stays May Hurt Oral Health

Patients who remain in hospitals for extended periods of time may have something else to worry about.

New studies show that a person’s dental health declines during prolonged periods in the hospital. The information indicates that oral diseases, such as gingivitis, are even seen in some cases. To be more specific, when people are hospitalized for any kind of breathing issue, that’s when the numbers of declining dental health are at their highest.

The research for the study was conducted in four countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France. Five studies were combined to generate this information, and all of the data was similar.

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DNA Tests Could Help Prevent Gum Disease

A new study by the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry is using DNA to predict gum disease.

Gum disease impacts roughly 19 out 20 people at some point throughout their life. The best way to avoid it is by following basic oral hygiene procedures.

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry will study the DNA of about 4,000 volunteers over the course of a year.

In some places like Great Britain, these types of DNA tests are unpopular because insurance companies could look down upon a poor DNA test and raise rates as a result. Americans, however, don’t have to worry about these issues because of the Genetic Information, Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits these practices.

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Fluoride May Damage Nervous System

Ingesting fluoride over long periods of time could damage one’s health, especially the nervous system, according to a study published in Neurologia.

This study enhances the case of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation. Still, this information is not viewed as fact by all people who study fluoride.

Based on this study, children should avoid toothpaste that contains fluoride because children are more susceptible to the possible harmful effects than adults are. The information also indicates that the harm could take as many as two decades or longer to take effect.

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Vitamin D May Prevent Bacterial Infections

New research dictates that vitamin D may protect gums from the types of bacterial infections that can develop into gingivitis and periodontitis.

To compile the data, laboratory-grown gingival cells were treated with vitamin D and the production of an endogenous antibiotic increased. It also killed a larger number of bacteria than cells that were left untreated. This paper appears in the June issue of the journal Infection and Immunity.

Periodontitis, one of the leading causes of tooth loss, impacts around half of all Americans because many are deficient in vitamin D.

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Oral Appliance Therapy May Benefit Craniofacial Growth

Children with enlarged tonsils and adenoids who wore an oral appliance for six months show significant craniofacial growth, enlargement of pharyngeal dimensions, and better breathing and snoring while sleeping, according to new research.

When the tonsils are enlarged and dental malocclusion occurs, the result is poor sleep. Some of the results include abnormal craniofacial growth and facial morphology.

To determine ways to combat these issues, the ENT Department of the University of Sao Paulo Medical School conducted a study of 40 children on the waiting list for adenotonsillectomy. The children, who ranged from age 6 to 9, showed some signs of snoring or tonsil and adenoid enlargement grades III and IV, which is constricted maxilla and/or jaw deficiency.

Read more: Oral Appliance Therapy May Benefit Craniofacial Growth

   

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