:DentalPlans Weekly Dental and Healthcare News Roundup

 

The Balancing Act

Figuring out how to balance all of the demands on your time and budget can be tough. If you’re looking for some positive solutions to ease the stress of a busy life, check out the “The Balancing Act” on Lifetime Television®.

The show is always worth watching, but we suggest that you make a particular point of tuning in on Wednesday, September 30th at 7:30 a.m. (EST/PST). That’s when our own Bill Chase, vice president of marketing for :DentalPlans will chat with Balancing Act host Olga Villaverde. Bill and Olga will discuss alternatives to dental insurance as well as the impact that oral health has on people’s overall wellbeing.

“Our mission since :DentalPlans opened for business back in 1999 has been to find the best ways to provide affordable access to quality dental and health care. We aim to support Americans in their drive to live healthier, happier lives,” says Bill.

PS: Watch the show, and you’ll be able to access a special discount on any of the dental plans that we offer on dentalplans.com!

 

Mind Meld

Brain scientists at the University of Washington used an old school game to prove that their cutting edge technology works. They now claim that they have successfully demonstrated that you can link peoples’ brains across the Internet.

“We were surprised at how well it worked,” said Patrice.

They used “20 Questions,” a guessing game in which one person thinks of a person, place or thing and the other tries to guess what it is by asking 20 or fewer questions. The questions asked can only be answered with a yes” or a “no.”

Two participants played the game in rooms located a mile. One participant wore an electrode-wired cap connected to an electroencephalography (EEG) machine to transmit signals from the brain. The other’s cap had a magnetic coil situated over his brain’s visual cortex.

The electrode-equipped player answered questions by simply looking at a flashing light that indicated whether the answer was yes or no. For every yes, a signal was transmitted to the electric coil worn by the second participant.

Participants guessed the object correctly 72 percent of the time. In a series of control games, where everything remained the same but no brain signals were transmitted, participants guessed the correct answer only 18 percent of the time.

Why meld minds? The researchers suggested that it could enable the “transfer of information from a healthy one to a damaged one. Or it might allow an alert person to transmit that brain state to somebody who is sleepy, or struggling to pay attention.”

 

Sleep Makes You Happy

A new research study has shown that many people diagnosed with depression might actually be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

David Hillman, clinical professor at the University of Western Australia and a member of the research team, said that treatment for OSA results in significant improvement in symptoms commonly linked to depression, including suicidal thoughts.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea include pauses in breathing, snoring, disrupted night sleep and consequently, excessive sleepiness during daytime. The most common treatment for OSA is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy (CPAP).

The study also highlighted the fact that OSA is an under-diagnosed condition that is commonly misdiagnosed as depression. About 73% of patients participating in the study who were diagnosed for sleep apnea had symptoms of depression, but after receiving CPAP therapy for 3 months, only 4 percent of the patients still showed symptoms of depression.

OSA is estimated to affect 1 in 2 men and 1 in 5 women, but up to 82% of cases are undiagnosed, according to the researchers.

 

Smoking and Tooth Loss

 A new study has confirmed that smokers have a significantly increased risk of tooth loss. Male smokers are up to 3.6 times more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers, female smokers are 2.5 times more likely.

The study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, is based on long-term research conducted at the University of Birmingham and the German Institute of Human Nutrition.

Tooth loss remains a major public health problem worldwide. In the US, more than 35 million Americans do not have any teeth at all, and 178 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth.

Lead author Professor Thomas Dietrich, from the University of Birmingham, stated that, “Most teeth are lost as a result of either caries (tooth decay) or chronic periodontitis (gum disease). We know that smoking is a strong risk factor for periodontitis, so that may explain the higher rate of tooth loss in smokers.”

Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of losing teeth fairly quickly, but it takes at least a decade for a smoker to be at the same risk for tooth loss as someone who had never smoked.

 

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