Twitter users are frequently posting their stories of toothaches and seeking advice from other users. The impact on dentistry is positive any way you look at it.
The study regarding this phenomenon “Public Health Surveillance of Dental Pain via Twitter,” appeared in the Journal of Dental Research, the official publication of the International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR).
To compile the data, the research team combed through the content of Twitter posts involving dental pain. There were 1,000 tweets chosen randomly from 4,859 total tweets throughout the course of seven days, nonconsecutively. All aspects of the issues were categorized, including the pain, actions taken, the results on daily life, etc.
After omitting ambiguous tweets, spam and other extraneous information, 772 tweets were analyzed. The researchers then looked at what percentage of tweets fell into each category, with 83% involving some kind of dental pain.
Still, the information the researchers compiled is not perfect, considering it came from a series of random Twitter posts. But it could be an interesting avenue for dentists to explore.
This research was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Center for Research Resources, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the Office of the Director, and the UCSF Clinical & Translational Science Institute.