Introduction: A new expo in Italy, and smoking’s unknown death toll

In this latest issue of RDH eVillage Focus, Maria Perno Goldie covers the dental microbiome, Oral Cancer Awareness Month, improving failure rates in dental implants, and the sugar industry's role in dental research.

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As you read this, I am en route to Italy to speak at the first-ever Dental Hygienist Expo in Verona, Italy, sponsored by IDEA. The meeting takes place April 10–11, 2015. There are three major dental hygiene organizations in Italy, AIDI, UNID, and IDEA. On March 21, 2015, representatives of IDEA and UNID did something extremely positive . . . they are beginning to constructively discuss a possible federation between the two associations. Stay tuned! The meeting in Verona should be quite interesting!

April is National Facial Protection Month, and is sponsored by the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Orthodontists. They encourage children and adults to enjoy sports by using common sense and taking the necessary precautions to prevent sports injuries. For more information about the prevention and treatment of facial injury, visit the website. Please help raise awareness, and view the many resources, facts and statistics, flyers and posters to download and share, and tips for avoiding injuries.

Did you ever think of hair disorders and dental decay were connected? At the 93rd General Session and Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), study entitled "Hair Keratins as Structural Organic Components of Mature Enamel: The Link Between Hair Disorders and Susceptibility to Dental Caries" was presented. The researchers reported that polymorphisms in hair keratins, related to hair disorders, are also associated with increased susceptibility to dental decay. (1)

In this issue, we discuss Oral Cancer Awareness Month, the Dental Microbiome, dental implants, the sugar industry and tooth decay, and tobacco and oral cancer. We all know how bad smoking is, but according to a new study, it may be even worse than we thought. (2) According to the study, death rates among current smokers are 2–3 times as high as those among people who have never smoked. Most of this additional mortality is thought to be connected to the 21 diseases officially recognized as caused by cigarette smoking. They are included in certified estimates of smoking-attributable mortality in the United States. However, according to the researchers, if smoking causes other diseases, these official estimates may considerably underestimate the number of deaths attributable to smoking. (2) Other diseases could include infection, kidney disease, intestinal disease, and heart and lung ailments. Read more here.

In other news, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its consumer advisory, but their position on dental amalgam has not changed. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), this came about when the FDA denied three petitions to ban or restrict dental amalgam. (3)

Happy Easter and Passover!

Sincerely,

Maria Perno Goldie

References
1. International & American Associations for Dental Research. Link between hair disorders and susceptibility to dental caries. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150314084150.htm. Published March 14, 2015. Accessed April 1, 2015.
2. Carter BD, Abnet CC, Feskanich D, et al. Smoking and mortality—Beyond established causes. N Engl J Med. 2015;372:631-40.
3. American Dental Association. FDA Updates Consumer Advisory. http://www.ada.org/en/press-room/news-releases/2015-archive/january/fda-updates-consumer-advisory. Published January 28, 2015. Accessed April 1, 2015.

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