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Weekly Top 5: Chairside politics; a surprising find about wisdom teeth

July 16, 2021
This patient's experience after many years of periodontitis flips the idea that it's bad to discuss politics chairside: "I can’t stress this enough: find a dentist whose politics you like."

1. The good, the bad, and the political: “I was pretty accustomed to the awful look on a dentist’s face whenever I opened my mouth”—so says a patient about her 22-year struggle with chronic periodontitis, who found solace when she found a dentist whose strong views she agreed with.

2. In the news: A new Penn Medicine study challenges previous beliefs and seems to indicate that having wisdom teeth pulled can heighten one’s sense of taste. Researchers call it “a surprising but fascinating finding that deserves further investigation to better understand why.”

3. ICYMI: Last week, we ran a study from NYU that indicated that the greater a patient’s tooth loss, the greater the risk for cognitive impairments such as dementia. However, it turns out that dentures matter: further analysis showed that the association between tooth loss and cognitive impairment wasn’t significant when participants had dentures.

4. Personal and professional wellness: The benefits of yoga are undeniable for dental practitioners. Dr. Josie Dovidio, a certified yoga teacher, shares a few techniques that can be done with or without PPE, between patients, or any time you need a break.

5. Trending: One of the most popular articles on DentistryIQ, “Gabapentin: The most dangerous drug in America?” breaks down the potential dangers of this often-prescribed drug and how it impacts dental professionals. Recently, a study indicated that some 20% of older patients prescribed gabapentin post-op are using it long-term—another reason for dental professionals to be aware of its risks.