The DMD Check-Up: Oral Cancer Education Lacking

April 15, 2016
Greg Kelly

Our weekly check-up on the latest news for dentists from around the web.

A new survey finds a stunning lack of awareness of oral cancer among patients. That story tops this week’s DMD Check-Up. Also making the list: A fugitive wanted for the murder of a Texas dentist is caught.

Oral Cancer Survey Reveals Shocking Statistics (DentalTown)

A new national survey finds that 58% of US adults know “very little or nothing at all” about oral cancer and only 37% report being screened for oral cancer at their last dental check-up. There’s a need to educate “consumers on the risks and provide clinicians with simple, accurate and cost-effective tests that can help detect oral cancer before it is too late."

No Smile in Sight (Daily Mail)

In this week’s viral “bad-dentist” story, “an Indiana man who went to the dentist expecting to have four teeth pulled woke up in hospital with all his teeth missing.” The dentists explained that all of “Don Grisby's teeth had to be pulled due to an abscess that threatened to spread throughout his mouth.”

Tooth Decay Most Common Reason for Day Surgery on Children (CBC News)

“Rotting teeth is a public health issue affecting an increasing number of Canadian children, according to University of Calgary researchers. “Early Childhood Caries, or baby bottle decay, is sending 1 in 100 children younger than 5 to hospital for day surgery.”

‘Mastermind Murderer’ of Dentist Caught (CNN)

The fugitive dental hygiene student, on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list for the murder of a dentist, has been apprehended. Brenda Delgado, only the ninth woman to make the FBI list, was arrested in Mexico. A love triangle led to the cold-blooded murder in a posh neighborhood. An extradition battle looms.

Doctor Tops List of Prestigious Occupations (Voice of America)

Nearly all Americans—9 in 10—think that being a doctor (physicians and dentists?) is a prestigious occupation, according to an annual Harris Poll. That’s tops. Other professions that are held in high esteem include scientists, firefighters, and military officers.

Final 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Health Affairs)

While nutrition is a relatively young science, dentist can play an important role in finding and preventing eating disorders. These guidelines are extremely influential and heavily lobbied—forming the basis for all federal nutrition policies. Lots of worthwhile info here.

A Child’s Death and the Power of the Dental Lobby (Calmatters.org)

Hit job or point made? A potent essay about the tragic death of 6-year-old California boy during a dental procedure and a subsequent effort to change state law. “Dentists and related professional organizations are also big political donors, pouring at least $12 million over the last five years into California races.”

Best Thing Since the Toothbrush (Business Wire)

The hand-held PhotOral is “a novel oral hygiene device that uses smart light technology and blue LEDs to combat pathogenic bacteria in the mouth.” Forsyth Institute researchers say that “unlike brushing, flossing or using an oral antiseptic, which can kill the good bacteria along with the bad, the PhotOral device only kills harmful bacteria.”

More Than Just the Fluoride (Calgary Herald)

“Unaffordable dental care and poor diet choices, not lack of fluoride, are the biggest causes of severe oral decay in children,” according to Canadian researchers. But Calgary dentists are blaming the removal of fluoride from the city’s water supply five years ago for the sharp increase in tooth decay among children.