Today's Dental News

Maine Group Looks to Add Dental Hygiene Therapists

A coalition in Maine is hoping to insert a new category of dental hygienists.

Dental Access for Me aims to provide affordable dental care for many more people in Maine. The group is looking to gain support of a bill that would create dental licenses for dental hygiene therapists, who would have the ability to perform some of the more routine dental procedures, like pulling teeth or filling cavities.

Dental hygienists advance to the level of dental hygiene therapists after schooling, 1,000 clinical hours and then taking an exam.

Read more: Maine Group Looks to Add Dental Hygiene Therapists


Gum Disease May Cause Higher Risk of Asthma

People with gum disease need to make sure their condition doesn’t lead to other health problems—like asthma.

A new study that appeared in the Journal of Periodontology indicates that people with gum disease are five times more likely to develop asthma when compared with people who maintain good oral health.

This bit of information is concerning because in many countries, more than half of the people don’t maintain what would be considered good oral health. People need to be more aware of the damaging effects that may result from gum disease.

Read more: Gum Disease May Cause Higher Risk of Asthma


Some Claim Oil Swishing Provides Oral Health Benefits

Oil may be beneficial to your health, according to some people.

A new trend has some people swishing coconut oil around their mouth for about 20 minutes each day before spitting out the oil. The goal of oil pulling, as it’s called, is to remove bacteria from one’s mouth.

Despite the numerous skeptics, some dentists are claiming that the coconut oil is producing whiter teeth and healthier gums.

The trend of oil pulling has spread by word of mouth. In addition to reducing plaque, there have also been cases of acne clearing, and fewer asthma and sinus problems. There have even been reports of improvements in heart and stomach conditions.

Read more: Some Claim Oil Swishing Provides Oral Health Benefits


Oral Cancer Risk Doesn’t Result in Lifestyle Changes

Mouth cancer risk is not enough to motivate most people to change their lifestyle.

A recent study showed that 20 million people wouldn’t change anything even if they knew it would lead directly to mouth cancer. In all, 30 percent of people said they wouldn’t eliminate smoking, drinking or an unhealthy diet even if they knew that doing so would directly correlate to a lower risk of developing oral cancer.

About one of every four participants in the study said they felt they were at risk of developing mouth cancer solely based on the way he or she lived.

Read more: Oral Cancer Risk Doesn’t Result in Lifestyle Changes


Chocolate Better Than Fluoride?

For the 40 million Americans who suffer from tooth sensitivity, relief may now come in the form of chocolate.

A naturally occurring extract in cacao, called Rennou, has been found to work better than fluoride to restore and repair enamel.

This research was done at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Eighty patients compared the enamel strengthening potential of Theodent toothpaste, which contains the extract, to standard, fluoride-based toothpastes. Researchers examined each product’s ability to repair and remineralize exposed dentin.

Read more: Chocolate Better Than Fluoride?


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