Today's Dental News

Nebraska Could Use More Dentists

If you have a cavity, rural Nebraska isn’t the place to be.

More than half of the 93 counties in Nebraska don’t have enough dentists, according to a report from the Center for Health Policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The report indicates that 20 counties don’t have a single dentist and 31 more counties only have one or two dentists. The future looks even bleaker, with 39 percent of dentists in the state approaching retirement.

To reverse this problem, it’s essential for the state to find ways to create incentives for dentists to open a practice in one of the underserved areas.

The state currently has programs that provide dental students with $20,000 to work in underserved areas but that is well below the going rate for such things.

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Good News for Choclate Lovers: Health Benefits

There is good news for chocolate lovers: new research indicates that chocolate could be considered a “superfood,” joining the ranks of blueberries and broccoli. It can even fight tooth decay.

Chocolate is produced from cacao, which contains powerful concentrations of polyphenols, flavonoids, and antibacterial properties.

Researchers stress that these benefits apply only to dark chocolate – not milk chocolate – and the higher the natural concentration of cacao, the better.

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Study Pinpoints Target for TMJD

People with temporomandibular joint disorder may be in luck.

Researchers located a protein that is essential in TMJD pain. This could lead to treatment for this painful disorder.

This information from the Duke Medicine researchers appears in the August issue of PAIN.

There isn’t much information known about what prompts TMJD. The research team pinpointed TRPV4, which is an ion channel protein that enables calcium to enter cells. Its involvement with inflammation and pain was examined.

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Consuming Milk After Eating Sugary Cereal Could Limit Cavities

Milk is all it takes to combat the damaging effects of eating sugary cereal.

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry conducted a study that showed milk lowers plaque acid levels and reduces damage to the enamel when milk is consumed after eating cereal.

The information appears in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

When carbohydrates are consumed four times each day in amounts greater than 60 g, a person’s risk of developing cavities is higher.

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Bad Dental Health May Cause Alzheimer’s

People with poor dental hygiene or gum disease may be at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study from the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry recently conducted the study. The study looked at brain samples donated by 10 patients to make their conclusions. The research showed that products from Porphyromous gingivalis were present in the brains of dementia patients. This bacterium is affiliated with gum disease.

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