Introduction: Happy 70th birthday to community water fluoridation!
Seventy years ago, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, made history when it added fluoride to its community water system to prevent tooth decay. As one of the ten greatest public health achievements in the 20th century, community water fluoridation now allows 75% of Americans to drink water that’s equitable, cost-effective, and provides oral health protection.
Happy 70th birthday, community water fluoridation! Seventy years ago, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, made history when it added fluoride to its community water system to prevent tooth decay. As one of the ten greatest public health achievements in the 20th century, community water fluoridation now allows 75% of Americans to drink water that’s equitable, cost-effective, and provides oral health protection. On September 11–12, dental and public health organizations hosted the 70th Anniversary Fluoridation Celebration and Symposium to “celebrate fluoridation and establish a national fluoridation dialogue that will aid in refocusing efforts on securing water fluoridation for U.S. communities.” (2) For more information about community water fluoridation visit CDC’s oral health page. (3)
Good and bad news . . .
Certain viruses and bacteria that can reside in the throat may be linked to schizophrenia, so diagnostic tests could possibly be developed to identify the disease. (4)
Regarding diabetes, about 50% of all Americans have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, and that’s good news! A new study found that after 20 years of steady growth, the prevalence of diabetes in the United States has finally started to level. (5) There were differences between racial and ethnic groups. To learn more, read the article in this newsletter about diabetes.
It’s flu season! People who received the flu vaccine were protected for up to 6 months post-vaccination, the duration of most flu seasons, according to a study presented at the 2015 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases. (6) The outcomes showed that administering influenza vaccines early in the fall, before influenza becomes prevalent, may prevent the bulk of infections. The researchers also saw a marked decline in protection after 6 months, when the vaccine offered little to no protection, proposing that yearly vaccination may be prudent. (6)
More good news! Numerous illnesses that can cause blindness can be cured from transplanting cells from the oral cavity. (7) New findings make the treatment accessible to the places where the condition strikes the most frequently, that is, in developing countries. Blindness caused by limbal stem cell deficiency can now be treated and cured by transplantation of stem cells that are cultivated from tissue obtained from different parts of the body, including the oral cavity. (7)
Thanks to Janet and Erin for their contributions to this newsletter, and Therese Long and Marc Moeller for their assistance. Enjoy the beginning of fall and this newsletter!
Author’s note: Christine Hovliaras, RDH, BS, MBA, CDE, has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer for over 6 weeks and already has accrued over $20,000 in medical expenses! JoAnn Gurenlian, RDH, PhD, started the Christine Hovliaras' Cancer Fund. Over 40% was raised by 65 people in 8 days. If you find yourself in a position to assist Christine with her expenses, click here. Thank you.
Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS
1. Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Fluoridation of Drinking Water to Prevent Dental Caries. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4841a1.htm.
2. 70th Anniversary Fluoridation Celebration and Symposium. http://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/events/70th-anniversary-fluoridation-celebration-and-symposium?source=VanityURL.
3. CDC Division of Oral Health. http://www.cdc.gov/OralHealth/index.htm.
4. Castro-Nallar E, Bendall ML, Pérez-Losada M, et al. Composition, taxonomy and functional diversity of the oropharynx microbiome in individuals with schizophrenia and controls. Peer J, Published August 25, 2015, PubMed 26336637. https://peerj.com/articles/1140/.
5. Menke A, Casagrande S, Geiss L, and Cowie CC. Prevalence of and Trends in Diabetes Among Adults in the United States, 1988-2012. JAMA. 2015; 314(10):1021-1029. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.10029.
6. American Society for Microbiology. "Influenza vaccines provide moderate protection throughout the entire flu season." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2015. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150824130504.htm.
7. University of Oslo, Faculty of Dentistry. "Still more blind can be cured." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2015. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150903121834.htm.