Today's Dental News

Do Cold Drinks Make Your Teeth Hurt?

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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?

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Mobile Units Enable More People to Receive Dental Work

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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.

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Using Xylitol to Prevent and Control Cavities

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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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New Process Could Improve Dental Restoration Procedures

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Oral surgeons may one day have an easier, less costly approach to one important aspect of dental restoration, thanks to a newly patented process developed by researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The process computerizes the method for creating a dental bar, also called an overdenture. For dental restoration procedures, the device is the bridge connecting dental implants to dentures.

The computerized approach was developed by Dr. Ming Leu, the Keith and Pat Bailey Missouri Distinguished Professor of Integrated Product Manufacturing at Missouri S&T, and one of Leu’s former students, Amit Gawate, who received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Missouri S&T in 2005. Leu and Gawate were recently awarded a patent for their process.

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Aid Workers Killed in Afghanistan

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Tom Grams was motivated to help the people of Afghanistan.

Soon after the 9/11 terror attacks, the Durango, Colo. dentist heard a speech about the way the Taliban treated people. The speech was given by a man who had his teeth knocked out after a beating by the Taliban. After offering to work on the man’s teeth, Grams knew he had to find a way to do more of this.

He started by volunteering in Nepal and India, and making more than 5 visits to Afghanistan. He gave up his dental practice in Colorado to do this work.

Grams, 51, was one of 10 members of a medical team whose bodies were found Friday. They were murdered on their way back to Kabul, the Afghan capital.

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