Dental Care Can Reduce Respiratory Infections in ICU Patients

respiratory infectionsAccording to some new research published in the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, patients who are being cared for in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were less likely to develop respiratory infections if they had received enhanced oral care from a dentist.

Many patients in the ICU are on ventilators which can cause respiratory infections like pneumonia. Because bacteria infections often start in the mouth, the study suggested that having a dentist provide weekly care on the patients may improve outcomes for vulnerable patients.

The study included patients that were in the ICU for at least 48 hours. Some were randomly chosen to receive dental treatment each day which included teeth brushing, tongue scraping, even treatment of cavities and tooth extraction if necessary. The patients that were provided dental care were 56 percent less likely to develop a respiratory tract infection during their stay in the ICU.

Enhanced Dental Care Reduces Respiratory Tract Infection Risk In ICU Patients | News Medical

Dentists Helping Children With Autism

children with autismIf you are a parent of a child with autism, you may have found that a visit to the dentist is not an easy task.  Children with autism become accustomed to routine and the lights, odd noises and instruments can be enough to make them panic.

Parents of children with autism and other special needs have had difficulty finding dentists who will treat them.  In 2005, nearly three fifths of dentists said they would not provide care for children on the autism spectrum. But as more children receive diagnoses of autism, more dentists are now recognizing it and beginning to accommodate them. Continuing education programs are now available to help dentists and their staff use what they have learned in dental school and apply it to treating children with special needs.

Because not two children are alike, and because it is so important for all children to see the dentist regularly, this is a huge step in the right direction. Parents should remember this and don’t give up if you have one bad experience.  There is help out there, and it is becoming more available.

For Children With Autism, Opening A Door To Dental Care|New York Times

Dental Care Myths

25193216-dental-doctor-on-white-backgroundIn the dental world there are many facts about how to keep your teeth looking healthy and bright.  But unfortunately, there are some dental care myths as well.  If you are living by any of these, you may be hurting your dental health.

Whiter teeth are healthier – This is a myth. Even if you have bright, white teeth, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have infection or cavities that aren’t showing. The natural color of teeth can vary from person to person and teeth can change color as we age.  The important thing is that your teeth are free of decay.

Bleaching your teeth is dangerous – This is also a myth. Before 1990 some of the materials that were used to bleach teeth were quite acidic and could break down the enamel.  But nowadays the products used for bleaching are reasonably safe. One thing to watch out for is that prolonged use can cause tooth sensitivity.  But if this happens, the sensitivity should go away as soon as you stop bleaching.

Brushing your gums is bad – Another myth. Brushing is good for the teeth, gums and tongue.  This helps to get rid of plaque in all these areas.  Plaque leads to inflammation, gingivitis and gum disease.

The more sugar you eat, the worse off your teeth are – Not exactly true. While too much sugar is not good for our bodies, it’s not actually the sugar that causes tooth decay.  Bacteria in the mouth need sugar to survive, but even if you don’t eat sugar you will be prone to the same tooth decay if you don’t practice proper hygiene habits.

Place an aspirin next to your tooth for tooth pain – Aspirin only works when it is in the blood stream.  This means that if the pain is coming from the gum, it is possible aspirin could temporarily relieve some amount of pain there. But if the pain is coming from the tooth the aspirin would need to enter the blood stream to relieve the pain.

Flossing isn’t important – This is of course a myth. Flossing is a very important part of oral hygiene as it helps to remove extra particles of food and plaque which leads to decay. Flossing is a step that many tend to skip, but it is cheap and easy so it should be a part of our every day routine.

Oral Hygiene: 6 Dental Care Myths That May Be Killing Your Pearly Whites | Medical Daily

Researchers See Need To Improve Dental Service Use Among US Women of Childbearing Age

29764555-young-girl-on-examination-at-the-dentist-in-the-dental-clinicSome recent studies show that there is a need to improve dental service use among US women of childbearing age.  Oral disease can be prevented or improved with regular dental visits.

Researchers suggest that prenatal visits might be a good opportunity to encourage pregnant women to seek preventative dental care during pregnancy.

To read more about this study and the need for improved dental service for women of childbearing age, see here: Researchers note need to improve dental service use among US women of childbearing age – Medical News Today.

Dental Care Quiz

Do you know all there is to know about dental care?  Are the things you know about your oral health actually true or myth? A quiz on How Stuff Works will help you determine fact from myth and ask29625346-quiz-button questions about your dental health.  Such as, “The bacteria in your mouth feed on carboydrates and produce what tooth damaging by product?” To find the correct answer and to take the dental care quiz yourself. Check it out here: HowStuffWorks “Tooth or Fiction: Dental Myths Quiz”.