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Dental Health

Gum disease linked with gestational diabetes risk

Dental Health • • Diabetes • • Gender: FemaleApr 09 08

Pregnant women with gum disease may be more likely to develop gestational diabetes than those with healthy gums, researchers have found.

Gestational diabetes arises during pregnancy and usually resolves after the baby is born, but it can raise a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on. It can also contribute to problems during pregnancy and delivery, including maternal high blood pressure and a larger-than-normal baby, which may necessitate a cesarean section.

The new findings, published in the Journal of Dental Research, suggest that gum disease may be a treatable risk factor for gestational diabetes.

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Cannabis Indicated as Possible Risk for Gum Disease in Young People

Dental Health • • Tobacco & MarijuanaFeb 05 08

Young people who are heavy smokers of cannabis may be putting themselves at significant risk for periodontal disease, according to new research.

The study, published in the Feb. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, is believed to be the first to explore whether or not smoking a substance other than tobacco – in this case, marijuana more than other cannabis products – may be a risk factor for gum disease.

After controlling for tobacco smoking, gender, socioeconomic status and infrequent trips to the dentist by one-third of the participants, the study reported a “strong association between cannabis use and periodontitis experience by age 32.”

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Tooth loss in elderly linked to mental impairment

Dental Health • • Psychiatry / PsychologySep 18 07

Older people who have lost their teeth are at more than three-fold greater risk of memory problems and dementia, UK researchers report.

“This study essentially raises questions rather than answering them,” Dr. Robert Stewart of Kings College London, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health. “The measurements were taken at the same time, so we are not able to say what caused what.”

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Nigeria to destroy all foreign-made toothpaste

Dental HealthAug 17 07

Nigeria has asked retailers to hand over for destruction all imported toothpaste on their shelves after its food and drugs watchdog said it had discovered a harmful substance in a Chinese-made brand.

The order followed a spate of scares in the United States about Chinese products, including seafood tainted with antibiotics, and toothpaste and animal food ingredients containing toxic chemicals. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) said it had found diethyl glycol—an anti-freezing agent which can damage the kidney and liver—in Colgate toothpaste.

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Fake dentist has 29-year career in Malaysia

Dental HealthAug 16 07

Malaysian police have arrested a man who practiced as a dentist for 29 years although he had no medical training and treated patients at his home in a cast-off examining chair.

The impostor’s closest brush with the dental profession was during the years 1962 to 1978, when he assisted an army dentist by carrying his bag on visits to plantation workers’ homes, the New Straits Times reported Wednesday.

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Dental assistants at risk of lung problems

Allergies • • Dental HealthJul 06 07

Dental assistants who work with substances called methacrylates may be at risk of developing asthma or chronic respiratory symptoms, a study has found.

Methacrylates are used in dental filling materials and bonding agents, like those used to cement porcelain veneers, crowns and orthodontic brackets. Dental assistants are exposed to airborne methacrylate particles when mixing these materials or during placement or removal of dental restorations.

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Tainted toothpaste had wider reach than thought

Dental Health • • Public HealthJun 28 07

Chinese-made toothpaste tainted with a potentially poisonous chemical was distributed to more places in the United States than initially thought, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

About 900,000 tubes of toothpaste containing diethylene glycol, an ingredient in antifreeze, were distributed to hospitals for the mentally ill, prisons, juvenile detention centers and some hospitals serving the general population, the Times said.

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Animal study links prediabetes and gum disease

Dental Health • • DiabetesMar 20 07

People with “prediabetes” may want to pay close attention to their dental health, if new animal research findings apply to humans.

In experiments with rats, Dutch researchers found that animals with a condition that mimics prediabetes were more susceptible to developing periodontitis, which causes the gums to recede and the bone supporting the teeth to erode.

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Dental X-rays may help detect osteoporosis

Dental Health • • Gender: FemaleJan 10 07

A computer program that analyzes routine dental X-rays could offer a simple, cheap way to detect the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis, new research suggests.

British researchers found that a software program they developed was able to spot signs of declining bone density in dental X-rays of the lower jaw—a potential sign of osteoporosis.

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Allergies, bottles may misalign baby teeth

Dental HealthOct 28 06

Nasal allergies, bottle-feeding and thumb sucking may all contribute to certain types of tooth misalignments in young children, a study shows.

In a study of nearly 1,200 children between the ages of 4 and 5, Mexican researchers found that those who were bottle-fed, used pacifiers or sucked their thumb before the age of 1 were more likely to have a posterior crossbite—where the upper teeth in the back of the mouth bite down behind, rather than in front of, the lower teeth.

Similarly, children with nasal allergies were more likely to develop an open bite, in which the top and bottom teeth in the front of the mouth do not connect when the jaw closes.

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More data needed on silver tooth fillings: panel

Dental HealthSep 11 06

A U.S. advisory panel on Thursday said a government report that found no evidence of health problems from silver, mercury-based dental fillings was incomplete and urged more study.

The panel of outside experts did not vote specifically if the silver fillings in the mouths of millions of Americans, also called amalgams, were safe. But the panel chairman said members agreed most people would not suffer ill effects.

“The key message is for the vast majority of the general population there is good evidence that amalgams are safe,” panel chairman Dr. Karl Kieburtz said in an interview.

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Stress of caregiving may lead to dental ills

Dental HealthJun 06 06

While providing care for others, many caregivers seem to forget about their own well-being, including their oral health, new study findings suggest.

“Our results indicate that caregiving is associated with elevated plaque and gingivitis levels, thus indicating that this demanding task, usually associated with increasing stress, is a significant risk factor of poor oral hygiene,” the researchers write in the Journal of Periodontology.

Caretakers “need some time to take care of themselves,” study co-author Dr. Fernando N. Hugo, of the State University of Campinas in Sao Paulo, Brazil, told Reuters Health.

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Early periodontal treatment leads to lower medical costs

Dental HealthMar 10 06

Chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus (DM), coronary artery disease (CAD), and cerebrovascular disease (CVD) have been associated with periodontal disease.

These conditions can be extremely costly to treat, and it has been unclear if earlier periodontal treatment could lead to a reduction in overall risk and medical expenditures.

At the 35th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, a team of investigators from the Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery (New York, NY) and Aetna Dental (Pittsburgh, PA) reported findings from a study that investigated the effect of early periodontal treatment on Per Member Per Month (PMPM) costs for DM, CAD, and CVD, in a population of 144,225 patients with both medical and dental insurance.

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Dental rinse could lead to painless gum checkups

Dental HealthJan 26 06

A new analytical technique could allow dentists to detect gum disease just by having patients rinse their mouth with salt or baking soda, Canadian researchers said on Wednesday.

The analysis is done by measuring the level of white blood cells in a person’s mouth, according to an upcoming study in the Journal of Periodontal Research. The study found that people with gum problems show a higher count of white blood cells, which are produced by the body to fight disease.

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Spouse Caregivers of Alzheimer’s Patients Show Higher Risk of Gingivitis

Dental HealthNov 22 05

Caregiver spouses of patients with Alzheimer’s disease develop gum disease at twice the rate of their non-caregiver counterparts, researchers report in the latest issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

Because there was little difference in oral hygiene between the two groups in the study, the researchers say the difference may be related to stress.

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