Tag Archives: caries

Study of decade of data backs argument for community water fluoridation

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Jonathan Cohen via Flickr

Children living in counties with fluoridated water have significantly less tooth decay than those living in counties that lack water fluoridation programs, according to a newly published large-scale study.

Reduced decay rates were most pronounced in the primary teeth of children living in fluoridated counties. Yet community water fluoridation (CWF) also was credited with conferring a meaningful level of protection to the permanent teeth of children and adolescents. Continue reading

Fluoride mouth rinsing by children receives renewed attention

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Protoflux via Flickr

Photo: Protoflux via Flickr

A time-honored preventive dental treatment is getting another look.

A cheap and simple fluoride mouth rinse is highly effective in reducing tooth decay in school children, a recent Cochrane review has concluded.

The paper updates a 2003 review that also showed clear evidence of the decay-inhibiting effect of fluoride rinses. Continue reading

Reports emphasize the dangers of racial disparities in oral health

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Courtesy Elena Rios, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Photo: Courtesy Elena Rios, M.D., M.S.P.H.

Hispanic medical and dental leaders at a recent joint meeting in Washington, D.C., highlighted the urgency of getting more culturally competent health care services to their communities.

A chronic shortage of Spanish-speaking health care providers has contributed to a lack of access to care and widespread health disparities among Hispanics, they stressed. Continue reading

Earliest known evidence of dentistry detected in re-examined Paleolithic tooth

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Image via Nature(A) Occlusal view of the RM3. (B) Detailed view of the large occlusal cavity with the four carious lesions and the chipping area on the mesial wall. Section A-A is directed mesio-distally, passing through the larger carious lesion. (C) MicroCT slice of the Villabruna RM3 in correspondence with section A-A.

Image via Nature(A) Occlusal view of the RM3. (B) Detailed view of the large occlusal cavity with the four carious lesions and the chipping area on the mesial wall. Section A-A is directed mesio-distally, passing through the larger carious lesion. (C) MicroCT slice of the Villabruna RM3 in correspondence with section A-A.

Scientists studying a decayed lesion within an ancient wisdom tooth say they have discovered the earliest known evidence of dentistry.

The cavitated third molar belonged to a young man said to have lived and died in Northern Italy during the Late Upper Paleolithic era.

Images from inside the 14,000-year-old tooth, obtained using scanning electron microscopy, disclosed a pattern of chipping and striations that researchers say were made using a tiny stone pick. Continue reading

Study: Sugar industry influenced plan to prevent tooth decay

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Uwe Hermann via Flickr

Photo: Uwe Hermann via Flickr

Under the influence of the sugar industry decades ago, federal health officials stepped back from an ambitious campaign to wipe out tooth decay, according to a newly published study.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed previously unexplored sugar industry documents from the 1960s and early 1970s to reach their conclusions. The paper describing the findings appeared in March in PLOS Medicine.

The documents trace industry interactions with the National Institute of Dental Research (now the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) during a period when health officials were planning to launch the National Caries Program, an initiative with a goal of eradicating tooth decay within a decade. Continue reading

Moms’ health, education can affect kids’ teeth

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Poor children suffer from more dental decay than their wealthier peers. In many cases, they live in communities where oral health services are hard to find. They lack access to the basic preventive care that children from more affluent families take for granted.

Mary OttoMary Otto, AHCJ’s topic leader on oral health is writing blog posts, editing tip sheets and articles and gathering resources to help our members cover oral health care.

If you have questions or suggestions for future resources on the topic, please send them to mary@healthjournalism.org.

Health officials and advocates stress the importance of addressing those disparities, expanding the nation’s public health infrastructure, opening more clinics in poor places.

Researchers into public health challenges have pointed out that whether you are fighting obesity or dental decay, it is harder to grow up healthy in a stressed, dysfunctional neighborhood than in one with amenities that promote well-being.

Better oral health services can help address the oral health problems of the community. But the community is just one ring in a kind of concentric system of factors some experts see as coming to bear upon wellness and disease.

The family is another ring in that system, they say. And new research suggests that the emotional health and educational level of mothers can have a lasting impact upon children’s oral health.

Starting with the oral health of teens and working backwards to age 3, researchers at Case Western Reserve Dental School explored what factors in the children’s past might have influenced their oral health outcomes.

Continue reading