For 39 days a year, I wear the uniform of the U. S. Army. That’s 12 weekends and 15 days of annual training. But for 365 days a year, I am a dental student, a person and a member of a community. Veterans face barriers to accessing dental care they need. Opportunities arise around us every day to serve others. How can we use our knowledge and skills as dentists to serve those who served our country?
Working with patients is integral to the practice of clinical dentistry, and in order to offer the best care for our patients as future providers, we need to be able to communicate health conditions and treatment plans.
Silver diamine fluoride (SDF) is the newest buzzword in dentistry. What can this new formulation do? As an oral health care provider, here’s what you need to know about it.
Although SDF has only recently started making headlines in the U.S., it has been approved for use in Japan for more than 80 years. Currently, it has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for use in adults 21 and older.
We all know the expression “the eyes are the window to the soul.” As oral health professionals, we view the mouth as the window to the entire body. Studies have shown that good oral health correlates to better overall health. Contrarily, poor oral health has been linked to a long list of systemic diseases. A 2011 article in Diabetologia found a prominent link between oral health and diabetes.
There is no doubt, our country is experiencing a chronic health crisis. We have higher health expenses than any other country and experience mediocre overall health outcomes (i.e., chronic disease prevalence, life expectancy, etc.) compared to other countries. As our health care industry is forced to make a transition toward outcome-based care, I believe that dentistry could have an invaluable role to play in the future setting of primary care.
As children, we were all told to brush our teeth twice a day and floss on a regular basis. I’ll be the first to admit that the younger version of myself didn’t think twice about skipping those responsibilities a few times a week. Naturally, a few cavities developed, as I found out during regular visits to the dentist’s office.
People with diabetes are in a higher risk of oral health problem due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels. According to American Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes. Due to less control of their blood sugar, these patients have a higher chance of developing oral health problems. Hyperglycemia, or high level of glucose in the blood, makes the saliva have too much glucose. This helps bacteria grow in the mouth. These bacteria could progress plaque formation which could later cause tooth decay or gum disease. If some plaque does not move over a long period of time, they stay above your gum line and turn to calculus. Calculus makes it difficult to brush and floss between your teeth. The gum may become swollen, tender and easily bleed, especially during brushing. These are signs of gingivitis. Read on to learn more about the oral complications associated with diabetes…