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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

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                                     DENTAL  Updated Weekly! 2008

Oral health is the gateway to overall health!

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             Many Americans suffer from a reduced quality of life due to oral
             and facial pain.*

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December 2008

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June 2008

ADA Comments on FDA's Settlement of Dental Amalgam Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2008—The American Dental Association (ADA) believes the recent settlement between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the group Moms Against Mercury simply sets a definite deadline (July 28, 2009) for the FDA to complete what it began in 2002—a reclassification process for dental amalgam, a commonly used cavity filling material. As far as the ADA is aware, the FDA has in no way changed its approach to, or position on, dental amalgam.

Contrary to some assertions, the FDA’s current reclassification proposal does not call for restrictions on the use of amalgam in any particular population group.  It merely restates FDA’s ongoing call for public comments on that issue, as well as the findings of the most current scientific studies on amalgam.

A substantial body of peer-reviewed, scientific literature supports the safety of dental amalgam, including two clinical trials involving children published in the April 2006 Journal of the American Medical Association. The studies found that children with amalgam fillings do not experience adverse effects related to neurobehavioral, neuropsychological (IQ) and kidney function compared to a control group with composite (tooth colored) fillings.  The ADA believes these studies support the existing scientific understanding that the minute amount of mercury released by amalgam does not adversely affect children’s health.

"People depend on the FDA and other government health agencies to help protect their health. It’s critically important that public health recommendations are based on sound scientific evidence," states ADA President Mark J. Feldman, DMD. "The ADA will continue to advocate for the best oral health of the public as part of the FDA regulatory process."

Presently, FDA has different classifications for encapsulated amalgam and its component parts, dental mercury and amalgam alloy. The FDA’s proposed reclassification, which the ADA has supported since 2002, would place encapsulated amalgam and its components under one classification.

Based on extensive studies and scientific reviews of dental amalgam by government and independent organizations worldwide, the ADA believes that dental amalgam remains a safe, affordable and durable cavity filling choice for dental patients.  

The ADA offers additional information about the various dental filling options at the following link:

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IRN Workshop on Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia and Parkinson's Disease 6/08:

Parkinson's Disease and Oral Health-Effects increased cavities, plaque and gum inflammation and periodontal disease in PD Patients; reduction in hand to mouth mobility and toothbrush skills; partial or complete dentures=poor fit; dry mouth with reduced saliva due to medication.  Solutions: Regular dental exams every 6 months; dental cleaning every 3-6 months; use of electric toothbrushes with adaptive grips for limited hand sills; caregivers have responsibility in sever PD; Dry mouth OTC prouucts along with Xero-Lube, Salivart, MoiStir, Orex, no alcohol based commercial mouthwashes; swallowing evaluation for excess saliva and avoid tabacco. Source Silverman NYU Study of Parkinson's APDA

May 2008

ADA, in collaboration with OralCDx Laboratories, is embarking on a three-year nationwide public service campaign to boost public awareness of oral cancer and spotlight the dentist’s role in helping to stop this disease years before it can even start.

April 2008

BPA And Dental Sealants

Polycarbonate-one of the plastics that carry the No. 7 recycling symbol is a material that is suggested in Nutrition Action Healthletter  by David Schardt April 08 pgs 8-11 to have limited exposure too.  What worries scientists about BPA is that it is an estrogen "mimic".  It activates the same receptors in the body as estrogen does.  Because hormones are the messengers in the body's endocrine system, chemicals like BPA are called "endocrine disruptors".  "BPA is the largest volume endocrine disrupting chemical in commerce. " It causes a host of problems including breast and prostate cancer.  Bisphenol A may cause brain and behavioral disturbances in young animals...especially young animals.

The article recommends you avoid older versions of Delton dental sealant.  Dental sealants are plastic resins that dentist bonds into the grooves of the chewing surface of a tooth to help prevent cavities.  Delton is made by Dentsply International of Your, Pennsylvania.  Most dental sealants are free of BPA.  However, older Delton sealants contain a compounds that breaks down into BPA, mostly during the first day after it comes into contact with saliva.

Our office does NOT use Delton dental sealants.

"To play it safe, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, infants, young children and adolescents should try to avoid BPA".

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National Down Syndrome Society resources to help provide the important daily oral hygiene.

Living with Down’s Syndrome by making minor adaptations to the care you provide every day such as:

bulletFind out what motivates you, what you are frightened of, and what relaxes you. Putting on earphones with music can be a big help
bulletProceed slowly and be calm. We will make sure we are aware of the your needs and the need  to cut out extra stimuli.
bulletHere are resources for Dental Care for Down Syndrome:

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High-Sugar Infancy Can Mean Adult Sugar Dependency


Dental habits start forming at about 4 months of age, or at about the time when a baby switches from breast milk or infant formula to other foods, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).


This is also the age that a baby's first tooth erupts, and the types of foods that are introduced to the baby at this time can affect a lifetime of dental health. In fact, a strong correlation has been found between the use of sweetened drinks in infancy and the consumption of sugar-containing snacks in later years.


The eating habits of adults are formed at weaning, so it's important for the baby to develop good eating habits that will affect the dental health. Sugar is known to cause cavities throughout a lifetime, and the earlier an infant gets used to sugar, the easier it is to get hooked on high-sugar snacks as an adult.


Fruit drinks are high in sugar and in turn can cause enamel erosion if consumed frequently. A baby should never be allowed to fall asleep with a bottle of fruit juice, because the sugary liquid bathes the newly erupted teeth in a cavity-causing substance that can cause baby bottle tooth decay. Drinks other than water should not be continually sipped throughout the day and should be served at mealtimes – never at bedtime.  Children given high-sugar medicines regularly at bedtime are also at risk of forming cavities


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March 2008

Awareness of gum and underlying bone disease is very low. Only 50% of the population visits a dentist on a regular basis. Of that 50%, 80% have some degree of gum and bone disease. It is an epidemic. Were this any other disease, we would be calling on the CDC for immediate action!

Be sure your team knows the risk factors, early signs and available resources regarding osteonecrosis of the jawbone. Review and update each patient’s health history at each visit. Then talk to those patients who take bisphosphonate medication such as Fosamax® (orally) or who are receiving cancer treatment about the possible damage to the jawbone. Tell them about the signs to look for and empower them with information that may assist them in delaying its onset or in referring friends at risk. Use the ADA’s “For the Dental Patient” as a link from your website, an informative stuffer in take-home totes or as a laminated article for reception area reading.

Be aware of signs that should trigger a consultation with their dentist or physician:
      pain, swelling, or infection of the gums or jaw
      gums that are not healing
      loose teeth
      numbness or a feeling of heaviness in the jaw
      exposed bone
Studies have shown that the best way to avoid this disease is to maintain proper oral hygiene.

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Sports Drinks
Americans spent over 5.4 billion dollars on sports drinks last year.
Source: ABC News

Three of the most popular sports drinks have a high acid level (below the recommended 5.5 pH level) that softens the enamel on teeth.
Think About Your Drink
Use National Nutrition Month (March) to focus your internal and external marketing efforts. Focus on beverages that damage teeth. It is likely that one in three of your patients drink soft drinks and a growing number consume sports drinks. Ask questions about beverage consumption and advise patients to look at the label for the serving size and the sugar content. Also tell them how to combat the effects of the sugar and acid.

Actions for you to take if you drink soft drinks or sports drinks:
     drink water with fluoride in between
     chew sugarless gum
     brush teeth after drinking a sports drink or soft drink
     drink soft drinks with a meal rather than sipping all day
     forgo the sugar and acid drinks all together
Reinforce the chair-side message with direct mail messages to internal or external lists as eye-catching reminders of how damaging sports drinks and soft drinks can be. Provide a link to WebMD or Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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February 2008

The American Medical News recently published a story about bisphosphonates that included some questionable information about what dentists recommend to osteoporosis patients who need oral surgery or other dental treatments. The story quotes a source who says that dentists tell patients not to take bisphosponates prior to dental procedures. We have responded to this article with a letter to the editor pointing out that ADA does not recommend that patients stop taking these drugs prior to dental procedures, but instead say that dental treatment should not generally be modified solely on the basis of bisphosphonate therapy. The ADA recommendations stress that the incidence of bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw is very low and that to further mitigate the already low risk, patients should maintain good oral hygiene and visit their dentist regularly. Patients may also benefit from having a dental exam prior to beginning oral bisphosphonate therapy or as soon as possible after they begin therapy. Recognizing that discontinuation of these drugs is a serious medical decision which should be made by the patient and their prescribing physician, the ADA recommends that dentists encourage patients to consult with their treating physician about any health risks associated with use of these drugs. The ADA will continue to update the recommendations as new information is available and emphasize the importance of good communication between the dentist, patient and physician on this topic.

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January 2008

 January is Swim Team Time....

Swimmers Risk Stained Smiles, Chipped Teeth


Competitive swimmers may be at risk for developing yellowish-brown or dark-brown stains on their teeth, reports the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.


Athlete swimmers, who often swim laps more than six hours a week, expose their teeth to large amounts of chemically treated water. Pool water contains chemical additives like antimicrobials, which give the water a higher pH than saliva, causing salivary proteins to break down quickly and form organic deposits on swimmer's teeth.


The result is swimmer's calculus, hard, brown tartar deposits that appear predominantly on the front teeth. "It's a common cosmetic condition among swimmers," . Swimmers who notice the stains should talk to their dentist and perhaps increase their dental visits to three or four times a year.


 "Swimming underwater and quickly coming to the surface causes some children to hit the hard ledge, loosening the front tooth,".


Also, running on slippery, slick cement and ceramic pool surfaces sends many children headfirst into the ground, often causing chipped or displaced teeth. "Diving into shallow waters and hitting the bottom pushes the tooth up and can fracture the whole bone,".

Oral Health Fact Sheets


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Check out the latest dental news for 2007 at:  Dental News 2007
Check out the latest dental news for 2006 at : Dental News 2006
Check out the latest dental news for 2005 at:  Dental News 2005
Check out the latest dental news for 2004 at:  Dental News 2004
Check out the latest dental news for 2003 at:  Dental News 2003
Check out the latest dental news for 2002 at : Dental News 2002
Check out the latest dental news for 2001 at:  Dental News 2001
Check out the latest dental news for 2000 at: Dental News 2000

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
This site is privately and personally sponsored, funded and supported by Dr. Peterson.  We have no outside funding.
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