The DMD Check-Up: Sugar Skews Research

September 16, 2016
Greg Kelly

Here's our weekly look at the dental industry's top stories from around.

Industry influence appears to have skewed foundational research into the dangers of sugar, according to a new report. That story tops this week’s DMD Check-Up. Also making the list: a controversial ingredient disappears from soaps, but it’s still in at least one brand of toothpaste.

How the Sugar Lobby Skewed Health Research

(Time)

It’s a source for far too many oral ills (and many other maladies)—sugar. Now in combing through decades of archival documents, University of California, San Francisco researchers report that the sugar industry sponsored research that turned attention away from the sweetener’s link to heart disease and toward fat and cholesterol as the bigger culprits.

Good Rural Dentists Hard To Find

(NPR.org)

Fundamental oral healthcare is lacking in America, mostly in the south. Here’s some serious reporting about a recent “report by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that people in rural areas are poorer and less likely to have dental insurance than their urban counterparts.”

Toothpaste May Contain Controversial Ingredient

(Allure)

The Food and Drug Administration has “banned some antibacterial soaps because they contain a chemical called triclosan, which has been shown in animals to mess with hormone levels that affect metabolism and thyroid function—a side effect that some health experts warn could occur in humans. But despite the ban, you might still be getting a daily dose of triclosan, according to

The New York Times

—the antibacterial chemical is in Colgate Total toothpaste.”

Patients Must Not “Blindly Adhere” to Dentists

(The Telegraph)

“Patients must challenge dentists who insist they return for a check-up every six months—says Great Britain’s most senior dentist—amid warnings that dental treatment is becoming a rich man's hobby. You don't see your GP every six months so why would you see your dentist?” asks Dr. Sara Hurley.

Healthcare Providers Scramble to Meet New Disaster Readiness Rule

(The New York Times)

“An estimated 72,315 American healthcare providers and suppliers — from hospitals and nursing homes to dialysis facilities and care homes for those with intellectual disabilities – will have a little over a year to meet new federal disaster preparedness requirements. The need for patient care doesn’t stop because streets are flooded or trees are down.

Coffee's Health Benefits Outweigh Stained Teeth

(Healthy Women)

Good news for patients: “Coffee may stain teeth, but its health benefits outweigh that problem, dental experts say. Research suggests that java may help protect the liver; reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes; boost metabolism; and keep the brain sharp, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Early evidence also shows that coffee may protect teeth by preventing bone loss in the jaw.”

Where Did The Tooth Fairy Come From?

(Forbes)

An entertaining story by a bioarchaeologist: “The Tooth Fairy has an interesting and distinctly American origin. But while tales about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were long ago traced back by historians and folklorists, the mysteries of the Tooth Fairy’s beginnings weren’t uncovered until the 1990s by folklorists Rosemary Wells and Tad Tuleja.”

Losing Teeth Raises Senior’s Risks of Disability

(Science Daily)

New research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society “suggests that it is essential for older adults to receive adequate dental care, as well as the support they need to maintain good oral health self-care.”

Teeth Rot Contest: Mountain Dew vs Coca-Cola

(Mashable)

This week’s wacky oral health-related viral video: “Fizzy drinks like Mountain Dew and Coca-Cola aren't great for the old gnashers, but this video shows the exact effect the drinks can have, in plenty of gory detail.”