Today's Dental News

Substance-Dependent People See Oral Health Suffer

Oral health problems are a major concern for people who are substance dependent.

A research team at Boston University concluded that most people who are substance-dependent not only have issues with a specific substance but oral health issues as well. Opioid users, specifically, showed a drastic decline in oral health in a one-year period. This study was published online in the most recent issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.

Dental medicine personnel, as well as public health and internal medical faculty from Boston University worked on the study. They analyzed the impact of various substances on oral health of a group of substance-dependent people. Opioid, alcohol, stimulant and marijuana users were part of the study. The people in the study group were asked various questions pertaining to their oral health.

Read more: Substance-Dependent People See Oral Health Suffer


Gum Disease Treatment for Pregnant Women Doesn’t Impact Baby

A study shows that pregnant women don’t have to worry about gum disease treatment affecting their baby’s health.

The worry for dentists was that the treatment could enable bacteria to get into the bloodstream of the mother. If that happened, the baby may not develop properly.

Gum disease and the way it may impact the child is one of the larger concerns during pregnancy.

Pregnant women are more likely to develop gum disease because of the hormonal changes. The problem in treating the gum disease is that the antibiotics could stain the baby’s teeth.

Read more: Gum Disease Treatment for Pregnant Women Doesn’t Impact Baby


Dentists Get Involved in Chocolate Milk Debate

Chocolate milk may not be as healthy as you think.

Nutrition experts and healthy food advocates have been saying for years that chocolate milk isn’t healthy. Now some dentists are agreeing with them.

According to new studies, chocolate milk is one of the leading causes of tooth decay for dentists’ younger patients.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry currently lists chocolate milk as a healthier snack. But many dentists now believe that it isn’t healthy because of the high amounts of sugar in it.

Read more: Dentists Get Involved in Chocolate Milk Debate


MRSA Found on Retainers, Braces

It may be as important as ever for orthodontists to make sure the retainers and braces they prescribe for patients are clean. And it’s even more important for the patients to keep them clean.

A new study showed that MRSA, a condition that could lead to blood poisoning, was found on retainers. MRSA is a strain of bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics and could be life-threatening.

The research also showed that about two out of three retainers has some kind of yeast associated with fungal infections.

This information was generated by the UCL Eastman Dental Institute in London. These bacterial problems could lead tooth decay, gum disease and other serious dental problems.

Read more: MRSA Found on Retainers, Braces


Researchers Make Possible Breakthrough in Oral Cancer Research

There may be a new, more definitive reason for why people develop oral or esophageal cancer.

New research developed by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine shows that a protein that enables cells to stick together is often not present or out of place when a person has oral or esophageal cancer. It’s not certain at this point, however, that the loss of the protein correlates to the presence of tumors.

Cancer in the oral cavity and esophagus affects more than 650,000 people every year.

The investigators made this finding by creating mice that did not have the protein, p120-catenin, in their oral-upper digestive tract. The results were that these mice developed squamous cell cancers.

Read more: Researchers Make Possible Breakthrough in Oral Cancer Research


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