The world’s first, fully automatic toothbrush is here and it’s taking the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter by storm. The revolutionary toothbrush concept, Amabrush, has raised over $1.4 million after setting an initial goal of $57,052.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are encouraging dentists across the country to review annual water quality reports for the communities they serve. The CDC is encouraging dentists to review the reports in order to understand the fluoride levels that their patients are exposed to through drinking water. Understanding fluoride level exposure in the drinking water of patients gives dentists insight into their patients’ oral health.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in rocks, soil and water. Fluoride was first added to the drinking water system in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945. Since then, it has been added to many public water drinking systems across the United States as a preventative against tooth decay. Seventy-five percent of cities and other municipalities across the US have fluoride in their public drinking supply. This translates to over 200 million Americans receiving fluoride when they turn on the tap.
The fluoridation of public drinking water is considered one of the top 10 medical advances of the 20th century, according to the CDC. Fluoride helps to remineralize teeth against bacteria that cause tooth decay. Teeth are demineralized by acid formed when the bacteria found in dental plaque and sugars in the mouth left behind from food meet. This acid attacks and weakens the tooth’s enamel, leaving it susceptible to decay.
E-cigs, or electronic cigarettes, are a popular choice for people who have given up smoking cigarettes, but are they really safe? The e-cig device vaporizes a liquid, which is then inhaled by the user. This is commonly known as vaping. The vapor is made up of nicotine, water, glycerin, the food preservative propelene glycol, as well as flavor oils. The vapor replaces smoke and other toxic carcinogens that are found in regular tobacco cigarettes. Because the e-cig eliminates the exposure to smoke and other cancer-causing agents, users possibly lower their risk of contracting lung and other smoking related cancers. Even though e-cigs may be a healthier option than cigarettes and tobacco use, they still have a negative effect on the mouth. Dr. Norman cautions patients about the use of e-cigarettes.
Cold winter temperatures may have people dreaming about warmer climates and beach vacations. Before heading off to island destinations, individuals looking to scuba dive may want to stop by their dentist first, according to research from the University of Buffalo. New studies show that scuba diving increases the development and occurrence of some painful dental symptoms.
According to the UB study, performed in conjunction with the University of Rochester, 41 percent of scuba divers experience feeling dental symptoms under water. These symptoms include jaw pain, pain in the gums and even loosened dental restorations like crowns and fillings. Researchers believe this is a result of individuals clenching their jaw to hold a breathing regulator apparatus in their mouth in combination with the pressure exerted on the body underwater. Some patients even experience a condition known as barodontalgia, a painful feeling that occurs as a result of barometric pressure. This condition also happens to many individuals when they ride on airplanes, and even in some patients as a result of weather changes or sinus pressure and infection.
Although there are no recommended dental health requirements for scuba diving participants, a trip to the dentist for a checkup before heading out on vacation may be in a patient’s best interest. During this checkup, the dentist will be able to identify and treat potential areas of concern and ensure restorations are in good repair.
The study surveyed 100 recreational scuba divers, and results of the survey yielded 42 percent of participants reporting symptoms of barodontalgia, while 24 percent experienced jaw pain as a result of holding their breathing apparatus in their mouth. Other participants reported broken fillings and loosened crowns.
The research study also found that the majority of its participants had tooth pain in their molars, and the individuals with the most pain were those who participated in shallow water dives versus those who enjoyed diving in deep water conditions. This is because the pressure exerted on the body in shallow water fluctuates more frequently than the pressure of deep water.
To floss or not to floss – it’s not even a question.
Everyone knows they’re supposed to floss. After all, flossing, just like tooth brushing, is a key component to protecting oral health. But is flossing really necessary? Some researchers say no, which has many a dentist shaking their heads in disbelief. Dentists and other dental health professionals maintain that flossing is still a critical component to protecting the teeth and gums.
The fuss about floss began earlier this year, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture, along with the Department of Health and Human Services, quietly omitted any mention of floss in their latest publication of dietary guidelines for Americans. These governmental organizations cited concerns that there was not significant research on flossing that would warrant their continued support of the practice and were specifically concerned about the lack of clinic trials showing the benefits of flossing.