Our monthly picks of the most interesting dental and health news, plucked fresh straight from the Internet.
Free dental insurance at work replaced by free lunch
Millennials are more likely to get free food and snacks from their employers than they are to receive health care, dental coverage or retirement plans, according to a new survey from recruiting-software company Jobvite.
About 35 percent of millennials enjoy free food and snacks at work, but only 29 percent have medical coverage and just 22 percent have dental insurance, according to the survey.
“I’m staggered at this,” said Rachel Bitte, chief people officer at Jobvite, in a CBS MoneyWatch article. “Meals and snacks is a public thing — it’s very social. A lot of companies do it because it’s easy, and it’s always been like, ‘Oh here’s a nice thing to do for your employee population.’ But the fact that the medical coverage was so much lower shocked me.”
The survey also showed that as a whole, workers are more likely to have health coverage than free food: 43 percent of those polled by Jobvite get health coverage from their employers, 20 percent get fed for free.
Cigarette smoking has a profound effect on the mouth’s bacterial ecosystem, according to a new, comprehensive study of the effects of smoking on bacteria in the mouth.
Based on precise genetic testing, “the study is the first to suggest that smoking has a profound effect on the oral microbiome,” said Jiyoung Ahn, PhD, the study’s senior investigator and epidemiologist. “Further experiments will be needed, however, to prove that these changes weaken the body’s defenses against cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke, or trigger some other diseases in the mouth, lungs, or gut.”
The study revealed that more than 150 bacterial species showed significantly increased growth in the mouths of smokers, while 70 showed sharp decreases in growth. As an example, smokers had 10% more species of the tooth decay-promoting Streptococcus than nonsmokers.
The research found that the healthy oral micobiome of smokers bounces back after they quit, with those who had not smoked for at least 10 years showing the same microbial balance as nonsmokers.
Dental implant failures linked to antidepressants
New research has found that the use of antidepressants increased the odds of dental implant failure by four times. And each year of antidepressant use doubled the odds of failure.
The study, by University at Buffalo researchers, tied the failure rate to a side effect of antidepressants which “decreases the regulation of bone metabolism.” For a dental implant to heal properly, new bone must grow around the post that holds the implant in place.
Additional side effects of antidepressants that can impact implant success include osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones) bruxism (teeth grinding), and dryness of the mouth
More than one in 10 Americans over the age of 12 use antidepressants, making it the second most prescribed type of drug in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and IMS Health.
Monthly hormonal fluctuations can have an impact on women’s dental health. As detailed in a health.com article, right before menstruation teeth can feel painful and loose, gums may be swollen and sensitive, and some women want to brush their teeth every couple of hours. The cause may be “menstruation gingivitis.”
According to ob-gyn Mary Rosser, MD, PhD, at Montefiore Health System in New York City, as quoted in the article : “A surge in the female hormones estrogen and progesterone causes an increase in blood flow to the gums, and a decrease in the way that we can fight off plaque and other toxins … Plaque build-up irritates the gums, which become tender, swollen, and red, and some women see blood while they’re flossing or brushing their teeth. They may also develop sores on the insides of their cheeks. These symptoms tend to strike before menstruation and during pregnancy.”