Native Americans Receive Dental Work

For about the last five years Native Americans on a reservation in Nebraska have received free dental care. That’s because a team of six dentists, three assistants, and two lab technicians go there once a year.

They provide a long list of services, including free dentures.

Since the tribe is not as wealthy as others, the visit enables the people to receive dental work they would not otherwise be able to afford.

Unfortunately for the people, there is not enough time or dentists for everyone to get the work they may need.

Dental School Study Uses Genetic Test to Predict Gum Disease

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—University of Michigan School of Dentistry has signed an agreement with Interleukin Genetics Inc. to conduct what may be the largest clinical study to date using genetic testing to assess the risk for gum disease.

William Giannobile, professor at U-M dentistry and director of the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research at the School of Dentistry, will lead the study for U-M.

“It’s an exciting study because it’s a way to use genetic testing to personalize a dental treatment plan and the frequency of dental care visits of patients as it relates to oral care,” Giannobile said. “It’s a way to customize patient care.”

Do Cold Drinks Make Your Teeth Hurt?

Teeth sensitivity is a common problem experienced by many people from time to time.

Teeth are covered by a layer of hard enamel that is tightly sealed by healthy gum tissue. The inner layer of the teeth is made of a softer layer with numerous microscopic nerve endings. If these nerve endings are exposed, or if the tooth becomes irritated, tooth sensitivity results.

Many people “deal” with sensitive teeth by ignoring the problem and not doing anything about it. The nature of human beings is to stay away from unpleasant experiences or events. We have all heard of people saying that their teeth are uncomfortable under certain circumstances and they simply avoid consuming those items that cause the discomfort. However, this practice does not allow outstanding problems to be addressed and usually leads to more complicated and uncomfortable situations.

Why are sensitive teeth a concern?

Mobile Units Enable More People to Receive Dental Work

Dental work will now be offered to more people in the Portsmouth, N.H. area.

That’s because 2 mobile dental units just opened, including an operating room. They are opening because of National Health Center Week, and are available to anyone who’s a patient with Families First. To signify the occasion, there was a floss-cutting ceremony.

The project was funded by Families First, thanks to the money the group received from federal stimulus dollars. Families First offers care to the homeless, which is why the mobile dental units are so important.

One of the mobile units has an x-ray unit and a cleaning machine.

Using Xylitol to Prevent and Control Cavities

CHICAGO—If there’s one thing that all dentists have in common, it’s that they regularly see young patients with tooth decay. Roughly 42 percent of children ages 2 to 11 have had decay in their primary teeth, while approximately 32 percent of children ages 9 to 11 have decay in their permanent teeth. Although it’s vital for all patients to brush and floss every day, children in particular can improve their oral health by adding xylitol to their daily oral hygiene routine, according to an article published in the July 2010 issue of AGD Impact, the monthly newsmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

“Sugary foods and sticky candies can be difficult for children to resist, but they are a serious source of tooth decay, particularly when they get stuck in the crevices between teeth,” said Scott Cayouette, DMD, FAGD, spokesperson for the AGD. “Additionally, many children consume large amounts of soft drinks and sports drinks, which are known to have a high acidic pH and sugar content—a recipe for disaster in terms of tooth decay.” These dietary factors—combined with the possibility that children are drinking more unfluoridated tap or bottled water—might explain why the rates of tooth decay are rising.

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