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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

THE FUTURE OF DENTAL HEALTH

On 14 August 2012 I posted on:


Well, dental science has not yet gotten close.  However, Scientific American recently had a special section on:


I suspect Colgate-Palmolive paid a hefty fee for being so prominent, as Ian Cook, President and CEO of the company, provided the introduction.  Let me summarize, for most of the following make (I wrestle with singular or plural, but "most" is affected by "following" which refers to many topics) good sense, and in many ways are startling:
  • The prevalence of cavities in adult permanent teeth makes tooth decay the most widespread health condition in the world.  2.4 billion adults are untreated.
  • Finally, dentists and doctors are beginning to cooperate.  Of all the countries, Malaysia is the most progressive.  In 2005 New York University combined its nursing and dental programs, which then was considered to be radical.  In  2014 Case Western Reserve Universe with the Cleveland Clinic, proposed merging nursing and dentistry into its medical school. 
  • Sure, fewer patients, but dentistry is now emphasizing prevention.  Control of sugar, simple cleaning and fluoride are the keys.
  • The average American consumes 166 grams of sugar, nearly six times the recommended amount.
  • Oral health is a global challenge.
  • Oral inflammation affects the whole body.  Periodontitis, the swelling, bleeding and receding of your gums, caused by some species of bacteria, raises (this time, singular, because "periodontitis" dominates) the risk of:
    • stroke
    • Alzheimer's
    • pneumonia
    • cancer
    • respiratory illness
    • cardiovascular disease (for example, oral bacteria are found in the plaque inside blood vessels)
    • type-2 diabetes
    • premature births

  • 30% of adults worldwide have no natural teeth.
  • Soon, there will be no drills, no injections and 3-D technology to provide immediate crown replacements.
  • Biologically active fillings are becoming available to regenerate decayed teeth.
Inflammation is more and more being used as a catchall medical term as a cause of illness.  This is a the biological response of body tissues to pathogens and other irritants.  Uncontrolled, this leads to rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart disease and just about everything else.  Your mouth could well be responsible for much of what ails you.  

Aspirin has been recommended to control inflammation.  What aspirin does is to produce in your body lipoxins and resolvins that regulate inflammation.  Omega 3 fatty acids also help.  Those who take statins to control cholesterol, like me, also benefit, for this pill remediates inflammation.

Well, you got to applaud the dental and medical professions for their progress.  Want to become one or the other?  The professions with the highest suicide rates are:
  • #1  medical doctors (1.87 times higher than the norm)
  • #2  dentists (1.67)
  • #3  police officers (1.54)
  • #4  veterinarians (1.54)
  • #5  financial services (1.51)
  • #6  real estate agents (1.38)
  • #7  electricians (1.36)
  • #8  lawyers (1.33)
  • #9  farmers (1.32)
  • #10  pharmacists (1.29)
In a Business Insider-developed list, #1 was marine engineers at 1.89, with doctors at #2 and dentists #3.  Further, white female physicians were 2.78 times more likely to commit suicide than a woman worker.  Black police officers were at 2.55, but black females in any protective service field were the worst of any occupation at 2.78.  In general, for males, keep away from coal mining and seafaring.  Many residents at 15 Craigside will be relieved to learn that the lowest rate of suicide was found in teachers and librarians.

Now how did I get here?  Oh, yes, dental health, not mental health.  I noticed that my dental health plan is not anywhere close to the coverage provided by my medical plan.  I wonder why?  Perhaps a future posting.


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