© roblan | Dreamstime.com
Untitled Design 22

In brief: PFAS in dental floss; "I have pain 24 hours a day"

Sept. 21, 2022
Read about a study that shows PFAS, the "forever chemical," in numerous brands of floss, a French dentist jailed for performing thousands of unnecessary and painful procedures, and more.

PFAS in dental floss

According to Environmental Health News, testing done on 39 different brands of floss for polyfluoroalkyl substances—PFAS—found evidence of the chemical in a third of the samples, with levels ranging from 11 ppm to 248,900 ppm. The results are part of joint testing on ordinary products for evidence of the "forever chemical." While an advocate decried the “insidious nature of low dose adverse effects from endocrine-disrupting chemicals,” Oral B, one of the companies pinpointed in EHN.com’s study, said “Our dental floss undergoes thorough safety testing and we stand behind the safety of all our products.”

Shortage of hygienists has dentists doing cleanings

The nationwide shortage of dental hygienists has been making news (and affecting practices) for months. In NPR’s All Things Considered, a dentist describes how “the doctors—[her] included—have been doing the cleanings just to be able to take care of everybody” and said her efforts to find a hygienist have been “emotional.”

The persistence of anti-fluoride theories

Despite fluoride’s proven role as an improvement to oral health, anti-fluoride ideas have continued to flourish for some 70 years: “Indeed, anti-fluoridation conspiracy theories even managed to precede the actual dawn of fluoridation itself.” Salon takes a look at why this is, and the real-world consequences of such misinformation.

“I have pain 24 hours a day”

The Guardian reports on a French dentist who’s been jailed for deliberately performing thousands of unnecessary—and from patients’ accounts, harrowing—procedures. Prosecutors described how Lionel Guedj deliberately harmed healthy patients from low-income neighborhoods in Marseille to defraud the social security system; in one example, between 2006 and 2012, he was accused of performing 3,900 root canals on 327 patients who didn’t need them. “I have pain 24 hours a day … My life is on standby” reported one patient, who says Guedi pulled out 24 of her healthy teeth.

“Positive stress” on teeth can yield positive results

Research has indicated that "positive stress" can induce good changes in tooth stem cells to make them more resistant to injury and disease. The study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, is the first to show that adaptive mechanisms in tooth stem cells induced by preconditioning to stress can boost the potential tooth pulp tissue regeneration.