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In brief: Luck and gum disease; another bad-for-teeth TikTok trend

June 20, 2022
Learn about another viral TikTok trend your patients should not be doing, what patients' feelings on luck have to do with tooth loss, and more.
Elizabeth S. Leaver, Digital content manager

Luck and gum disease

According to a new study, people who believe that luck or chance determines what happens to them are more likely to have severe gum disease compared with those who think their own actions are mainly responsible. The study was presented at EuroPerio10, the world’s leading congress in periodontology and implant dentistry, and asserted that patients who have an “external locus of control”—the extent to to which people believe that the outcomes of life events are due to factors over which they have little influence—are more likely to have periodontitis and tooth loss.

TikTok and teeth—again

As a recipe mixing flavored sparkling water with balsamic vinegar to create a so-called “healthier” alternative to soda—"healthy Coke"— makes the rounds on TikTok, the effect on teeth tells a less-than-healthy story, and one dental pros know already: that acidic foods and beverages can cause tooth erosion. The ADA shares tips for patients to reduce tooth erosion from acidic food and beverages.

Easier access to medical records could improve dental care

A new study asserts that faster access to a patient’s medical records could help dentists provide better care, but that such an exchange tends to be rare. The study, Retrospective Study of the Reasons and Time Involved for Dental Providers' Medical Consults, “[calls] attention to the importance of interdisciplinary care to provide optimum dental care and the necessity to establish systems such as integrated electronic dental record-electronic health record systems and health information exchanges.”

COVID may increase risk for oral C. albicans infection

Having SARS-CoV-2 in the mouth may compromise the production of an important antimicrobial peptide and make patients more susceptible to oral Candida albicans infection. Based on the experience of a patient recovering from COVID-19 who was experiencing unexplained chronic oral dysesthesia and dysgeusia, the University of Maryland School of Dentistry hypothesized that oral SARS-CoV-2 infection compromises the production of histatin-5 by destroying salivary gland tissue where it's produced (but noted that the hypothesis was speculative).