Dr. Paul Hanna

Air Pollution Associated With Higher Risk Of Oral Cancer, Study Suggests.

Dentistry in the News

The Guardian (UK) (10/9, Davis) reports a study published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine found that “high levels of air pollution are linked to an increased risk” of oral cancer. Researchers in Taiwan studied the association “by looking at air pollution data from 66 air quality monitoring stations around the country collected in 2009,” and combining this with “data from the health records of more than 480,000 men aged 40 and over from 2012/13.” They found that after adjusting for other known risk factors for oral cancer including age, betel quid chewing, and smoking, “men exposed to the highest levels” of fine particulate matter < 2.5 microns had an increased risk of oral cancer.

Newsweek (10/9, Gander) reports that the study “did not account for the socioeconomic status of the participants, which may also play a role.”

ADA’s resources related to oral cancers for clinicians and patients are available at ADA.org/oralcancer. Dental professionals can find additional information on oral and oropharyngeal cancer on an ADA Science Institute-developed Oral Health Topics page. The ADA also offers the brochure “Get The Facts About Mouth and Throat Cancer.”

Dentists can refer patients to MouthHealthy.org, ADA’s consumer website, for information on oral cancer. JADA For the Patient also includes the articles Oral cancer: What to do if something unusual shows up and What you should know about oral cancer.

When to Talk to Your Dentist About Sensitive Teeth

Many people experience some degree of tooth sensitivity. A study published in the March 2013 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) revealed that 1 in 8 people have sensitive teeth. But many don’t discuss the condition with their dentist.

If you have sensitive teeth, you may think that the discomfort you feel when you eat or drink cold, hot, sweet, spicy, or sour foods or beverages is normal, and that the solution is simply to avoid trigger foods and drinks.

Depending on the cause of your tooth sensitivity, avoiding these triggers may help alleviate your symptoms. But tooth sensitivity can also be a sign of a serious underlying problem, which is why it’s important to discuss any tooth sensitivity — as well as any other concerns — with your dentist.
When to Schedule a Dental Visit

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. “And they will — if you take care of them,” says Kimberly Harms, DDS, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA), based in Minneapolis. But teeth are subject to damage over time. Enamel can wear down, making teeth more sensitive. Gums can recede, exposing the root and nerves and therefore increasing sensitivity. Teeth can develop cracks, cavities, and abscesses. And you might experience other dental problems.

Aside from your regular checkups, it’s important to see your dentist immediately if you suddenly experience an unusual level of tooth sensitivity, or if one particular tooth or area becomes especially sensitive. “Don’t wait for your next scheduled appointment,” says Dr. Harms.

If you have a cracked tooth, for example, bacteria can grow in the tooth and lead to an infection, she explains. The crack could also get worse. “It’s really important to take care of any dental issues as quickly as possible,” Harms says. “The longer you wait, the worse a problem can get.”

Experts at the Academy of General Dentistry also recommend that you get a dental evaluation if a tooth is highly sensitive for more than a few days and reacts strongly to hot and cold temperatures.
What to Expect During Your Visit

To rule out any underlying causes of tooth sensitivity, like a cracked tooth, a cavity, an abscess, or nerve damage, your dentist may ask questions such as:

How often do your teeth feel sensitive?
Do all of your teeth experience sensitivity, or is it just a single tooth?
How long does the sensitivity last — does it linger for a while or go away immediately?
Does the sensitivity occur only with really cold foods, like ice cream, or hot foods, like soup?
Does it occur when you’re consuming acidic food or drinks?
Do you have pain when you bite into something or chew?

Depending on your answers to these questions, your dentist may recommend changing your regular toothpaste to one that’s specially formulated for sensitive teeth; fluoride treatments to help strengthen your teeth and manage your symptoms; a mouth guard to protect your teeth from the effects of grinding or clenching; or a crown, inlay, or bonding. A surgical procedure, like a root canal or gum surgery, is sometimes necessary.

Talking to your dentist about your symptoms can help you find the best course of treatment for sensitive teeth.
Last Updated:6/14/2017

Study Shows Benefits Of Fluoride Varnish.

Study Shows Benefits Of Fluoride Varnish.

Science Daily (4/26) reports, “Fluoride varnish effectively helps in the remineralization of the tooth surface and prevents the development and progression of caries” according to a study published by the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. In the study, “a total of 5,002 children were treated with fluoride varnish” compared to 4,705 children who were not treated. All received training in “oral hygiene, instructions on the correct tooth brushing technique or provision of toothbrushes and fluoridated toothpaste.”

For more information about fluoride and the ADA’s advocacy efforts on fluoridation, visit ADA.org/fluoride. In addition, the updated 2018 edition of “Fluoridation Facts” is available in print (J120), as an eBook (J120T), or as a bundle (J120BT) of the two.

Dental professionals can also point their patients to the ADA’s consumer website, MouthHealthy.org, for information about fluoride and fluoridation. JADA For the Patient also includes the article, Drink Up! Fluoridated Water Helps Fight Decay.

FROM THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION

Dentistry in the News
Oral Cancer Survivors Share How Dental Visits Saved Their Lives.

In an article for Dentistry IQ (4/18), Amber Young writes that at age 35 “my dentist saved my life,” explaining how having her dental team offer “a panoramic x-ray and an oral cancer screening” led to being diagnosed with clear cell odontogenic carcinoma, a rare and aggressive cancer. “I would not be here today to write this article or be a crusader against oral cancer had it not been for the thorough and wonderful dental team and dentist who took the time to offer an oral cancer screening” and “educate the patient on what is in their best interest (and why),” she writes.

WBTV-TV Charlotte, NC (4/17, Tedesco) shares how a dental visit saved the life of Kirsten Price. After Kirsten noticed “a lump inside of her cheek,” her mom brought her to their family dentist, who advised she see an oral surgeon. Kirsten was diagnosed with oral cancer at age 12. She underwent surgery and is now fully recovered. The article stresses the importance of early detection, listing signs and symptoms of oral cancer not to ignore.

ADA’s resources related to oral cancers for clinicians and patients are available at ADA.org/oralcancer. Dental professionals can find additional information on oral and oropharyngeal cancer on an ADA Science Institute-developed Oral Health Topics page. In addition, a guide from the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable and the ADA lists actions dental health care providers can take concerning cancer prevention through HPV vaccination, and a CE course is available on HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer. The ADA also offers a brochure, “Get The Facts About Mouth and Throat Cancer.”

A head and neck cancer track at ADA 2018 will offer dental professionals ways to learn about their role in cancer screening, biopsy, and management. To register for this course or the meeting, visit ADA.org/meeting.

Dentists can refer patients to MouthHealthy.org, ADA’s consumer website, for information on oral cancer and HPV and oropharyngeal cancer. JADA For the Patient also includes the articles, Oral cancer: What to do if something unusual shows up and What you should know about oral cancer.

Dentures Were Once Made With Real Human Teeth!

THIS WILL MAKE YOU SAY-WOW!

Dentures Were Once Made With Real Human Teeth.

Atlas Obscura (3/15, Grundhauser) stated that “tooth replacement of some kind or another goes back to ancient times,” and over time, the materials used in dentures have changed. The article discussed how dentures were once made using real human teeth, since they were “thought to look better and be more comfortable than false teeth up to that point, which were often carved from bone, ivory, or animal teeth.” While some refer to these dentures as “Waterloo teeth,” due to “the practice of yanking perfectly good teeth from battlefield casualties,” Andrew Spielman, associate dean for academic affairs at the NYU School of Dentistry, said, “It’s kind of a misnomer, because the Waterloo battle was in 1815, and human teeth were in use in dentures already.” The article added that “according to Spielman, human teeth had been used in dentures for at least a century before the Battle of Waterloo, and were routinely culled from battlefields since at least the French Revolution in the late 1700s.”

E-Cigarettes Can Leak Toxic Metals Into Vapers’ Lungs, Study Suggests.

Dentistry in the News

USA Today (2/23, May) reported that researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found “significant levels of highly toxic arsenic” and other potentially harmful metals in e-cigarette vapers, according to a study in Environmental Health Perspectives. The study’s samples also contained significant levels of chromium, manganese, nickel, and lead. Study senior author Ana María Rule, assistant scientist in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, said, “It’s important for the FDA, the e-cigarette companies and vapers themselves to know that these heating coils, as currently made, seem to be leaking toxic metals – which then get into the aerosols that vapers inhale.”

Fox News (2/23, Dadourian) reported the research team “tested liquids in the refilling dispensers from 56 Baltimore area vapers and found potentially unsafe levels of arsenic, chromium, manganese, nickel and lead.” The results “also showed that aerosol metal concentrations were highest for e-cigarettes with more frequently changed coils.” Fox News points out that the FDA “has the authority to regulate e-cigarettes, but has not issued any rulings on the matter so far.”

U.S. News & World Report (2/23, Lardieri) reported, “Researchers are hopeful results of studies showing the harmful levels of toxic metals in e-cigarettes will help the FDA create rules to govern the devices.”

The ADA Foundation offers a resource on e-cigarettes.

Home oral care recommendations from the ADA

Home Oral Care
Key Points

Home oral care recommendations from the ADA are based on data from clinical studies.
While general recommendations may adequately address the needs for many patients, a dentist may tailor home oral care recommendations to fit the individual patient’s needs and wants.
Home oral care is an important contributor to oral health, and can help lessen the need for extensive dental intervention in the future.

Thumbnail image of a handout highlighting home oral care recommendations from the American Dental Association

This home oral care guide, developed by the ADA, is a summary of the recommendations below, and can be used to help facilitate discussions with your patients about their home oral health care habits.

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The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting

ATLANTA, Ga., USA: The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting — a comprehensive source of continuing education in dentistry — is announcing the return of all-day programs for dental hygienists, assistants and office staff. Hinman 2018 will also host specialty courses provided by dental hygiene, dental assisting and dental practice experts from around the country.

“Hinman 2018 is the perfect opportunity for the entire dental team to learn about the latest developments and best practices in dentistry,” said Dr. Patrick Yancey III, general chairman for Hinman 2018. “Dental hygienists, assistants and office staff can choose from more than 250 quality continuing education courses and attend professional networking and fun-filled social events, as well as visit an exhibit hall featuring nearly 400 companies.”

Courses for entire dental team

Designed for the entire dental team, the New Product Showcase (Fr339) will be held on Friday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to noon. Open to all attendees at no fee, 18 companies will present the latest products and services in an informative, non-commercial manner. In addition, all dental professionals are invited to “Women and Their Money,” led by Megan Brinsfield with Motley Fool Wealth Management. She will address why women are saving less, living longer and speaking the language of money less fluently than their male counterparts. This course (Sa366) is offered from 9 a.m. to noon at no charge. Hinman also is bringing back its popular all-day educational tracks designed for hygienists, assistants and office staff. These tracks include:

Prevention Convention

Hinman’s Prevention Convention (Th201) is designed primarily for dental hygienists, but is open to dentists, students and others as well. Held on Thursday, March 22, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., this all-day track includes the following sessions:

“Think Outside the Mouth: Treatment Planning for Nonsurgical Periodontal Treatment,” Karen Davis, 8 – 9 a.m.
“Communicating with Confidence,” Renee Graham, 9 – 10 a.m.
“Change Your Thinking, Change Your Hygiene Appointment,” Sheri Kay, 10 – 11 a.m.
“Hygiene Shouldn’t Be a Pain in the Neck,” Dr. Bethany Valachi, noon – 1 p.m.
“Oral and Tonsillar Cancer: The HPV Dichotomy,” Dr. John Kalmar, 1 – 2 p.m.
“Hot Topics in Infection Control,” Nancy Dewhirst, 2 – 3 p.m.

Dental Assisting Extravaganza

Hinman’s Dental Assisting Extravaganza (Fr237) is designed primarily for dental assistants, but is open to dentists, students and others as well. Held on Friday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., this all-day track includes the following sessions:

“Saying It Right the First Time,” Char Sweeney, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
“The Team Approach to a Successful, Energized Dental Practice,” Jo-Anne Jones, 10:30 a.m. – noon.
“Highway to Health: A Roadmap to Self-Managing Your Work-Related Pain,” Dr. Bethany Valachi, 1:30 – 3 p.m.
“Assistant U: Top Products Every Assistant Uses,” Shannon Pace Brinker, 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Business Office Bonanza

Hinman’s Business Office Bonanza (Fr238) is designed primarily for dental office staff, but is open to dentists, students and others as well. Held on Friday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., this all-day track includes the following sessions:

“The Gift of Connection,” Sheri Kay, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
“Total Team Concept for Effective Scheduling,” Lois Banta, 10:30 a.m. – noon.
“Recent Dental Code Changes: What Every Dentist Should Know About Dental Coding,” Dr. Gary Dougan, 1:30 – 3 p.m.
“Why Patients Say ‘No!’” Steven Anderson, 3 – 4:30 p.m.

To register and learn more about Hinman 2018, visit www.hinman.org.

The Hinman Tradition

The Hinman Dental Meeting is designed with a commitment to quality and professionalism and a high regard for the value of continuing education. The meeting is sponsored by the Hinman Dental Society, a non-profit organization, and all excess revenue is invested and gifted in the form of individual scholarships to dental, hygiene, assisting and lab tech students and contributions to institutions that foster dental education.

CDC Officials Say Flu Responsible For Deaths Of 53 Children.

CDC Officials Say Flu Responsible For Deaths Of 53 Children.

On its website, CBS News (2/3, Begnaud) reported that the flu epidemic has led to the deaths of 53 children so far. As CDC acting director Anne Schuchat, MD, explained, “We’re seeing deaths increase in children and in adults. … So it’s proving to be a very difficult season.”

Meanwhile, CNBC (2/2) reported on a study from the journal Eurosurveillance, which “found that the flu vaccine was only 10 percent effective against H3N2 (the main flu subtype going around in the US this season) among adults in Canada.”

The AP (2/2) reported Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) called for $1 billion in increased spending to develop a universal flu vaccine.

ADA Article

Dentistry in the News
Business Insider: For Better Health, Choose Tap Water.

In a piece debunking several health myths, Business Insider (1/2, Ramsey) states that it is a myth bottled water is healthier to drink than tap water. The article explains that unless a person lives “in an area with known unclean drinking water, opting for bottled water” is not the healthier choice, and in fact, the person “could be missing out on fluoride, which is important for keeping teeth from decaying.”

Information about fluoride and community water fluoridation is available at ADA.org/fluoride, and the ADA Catalog also features the Fluoride Nature’s Cavity Fighter brochure. There are additional resources for patients on MouthHealthy.org, including A Mom’s Guide to Fluoride