The DMD Check-Up: More Support for Smoking Cessation

November 18, 2016
Greg Kelly

One news report highlights how dentists are key players in the fight against smoking, and another points to a study about the confirmed oral health hazards of e-cigarettes.

This week's list of must-read news stories for dentists includes:

Why Do Teeth Hurt? (Live Science)

The dentist’s calling: “In short, it is because, unlike hair or nails, teeth are made up of living tissue, said Christine Wall, an evolutionary anthropologist at Duke University who studies the evolution of teeth. Pain is the brain's way of knowing something has gone wrong in the tissue,” she said.

E-cigarettes Detrimental to Oral Health (News Medical)

According to the first scientific study to address e-cigarettes and their detrimental effect on oral health on cellular and molecular levels, new University of Rochester Medical Center findings suggest that electronic cigarettes are as equally damaging to gums and teeth as conventional cigarettes. Read more here.

Centenarians Have Better Teeth (Chicago Tribune)

“Recent research conducted by the American Geriatric Society found that people over the age of 100 had better oral health than those who were born at the same time, but who did not reach this impressive age.” Are there two stages of being elderly?

The Allure of Cheap Doctors, Drugs and Dentists in Mexico (USA Today)

“In Southern California, if people haven't gone to Mexico for health care, they probably know someone who has. People overburdened by the price of getting what's supposed to be some of the best health care in the world are willing to seek out options that would have seemed overly risky not long ago,” finds a troubling report from the Center for Health Journalism.

Celebrities Love Wacky Medical Procedures (New York Post)

“What’s the hottest accessory for high-flyers? Their doctors.” According to this news report from the New York Post, more and more celebrities are seeking out pricey doctors for unusual elective procedures. “Whether these patients are having these special techniques for the right reasons is up for debate.”

Why Lovers Have Better Teeth (Medical Xpress)

“Finding a soul mate can put a smile on your face in more ways than one.” Researchers from Australia’s University of Queensland have “determined that those who tended to avoid emotional intimacy, or worried their partner would not be available to them in times of need, were more likely to have negative oral health outcomes.” Read more here.

Dentists Key in Helping Patients Quit Smoking (AFA.org)

Since many probably have patients who use or have used tobacco dentists, in concert with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout efforts, are being asked to talk with their patients about tobacco abuse—which is the nation’s leading cause of preventable death.

Virginia Just Average on Dental Health Report Card (The Daily Progress)

“A new report suggests that when it comes to oral health, Virginia has room for improvement. The state earned a C+ on a new report card released by the Virginia Oral Health Coalition, which was compiled by examining data on residents' oral health.”

Dentist Pocketed $1 Million in Medicaid Fraud (Gwinnett Daily Post)

This week’s bad dentist story: “An Atlanta-area dentist has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit healthcare fraud by filing nearly $1 million in false claims with the Georgia Medicaid program, according to the US Department of Justice. She claimed to be treating patient when “not even in the country.”

From Dentist to Small-Business Owner: Tips and Options (SF Gate)

You learn how to fill cavities and keep teeth clean and healthy in dentistry school. What you don’t learn is how to raise capital and manage business debt. That can make life after dentistry school challenging. Here’s some advice on being a successful dentist and small-business owner. Read more on this topic here.