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The DMD Check-Up: Studies Cite Diabetes, Meth as Oral Health Foes

A pair of new studies add to the evidence that methamphetamine use is disastrous for oral health and raise concerns about a heightened incidence of tooth loss among diabetics. Those stories top this week's DMD Check-Up.
Greg Kelly
PUBLISHED: Friday, December 11, 2015
A pair of new studies add to the evidence that methamphetamine use is disastrous for oral health and raise concerns about a heightened incidence of tooth loss among diabetics. Those stories top this week's DMD Check-Up. 
Diabetics at Greater Risk for Tooth Loss (WTOP)
A new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study finds “that while tooth loss among the general population has declined, it remains more common in people with diabetes.” The reason being: there is a high incidence of gum disease in diabetics which doubles the rate of tooth loss.
The Oral Consequences of Methamphetamine Abuse (
In the largest study to date, UCLA researchers offer “conclusive evidence of disproportionately high rates of dental disease in methamphetamine abusers.” The findings should “alert dentists to undisclosed methamphetamine use in their patients and help in the development of treatment plans.”
4 Times It Pays to Talk Back to Your Dentist (Money)
With 40% of Americans having no dental insurance coverage at all, dentists must address personal pocket concerns. Here are four dental procedures patients are increasingly advised to question: “You need to fill these cavities now.” “You need to replace these fillings.” “You need a mouth guard.” “You need sealants.”
“No-Drill” Dentistry Stops Tooth Decay (University of Sydney)
“Tooth decay can be stopped, reversed, and prevented without the need for the traditional 'fill and drill' approach that has dominated dental care for decades,” according to new Australian research. A professor says their “caries management system” represents “a major shift” in the oral care.
Going to the Dentist Hard for the Elderly (The Washington Post)
A troubling report on the state of dental care for American’s senior citizens. Holes in Medicare and Medicare coverage greatly hinder their access. It’s sad—Americans who “have maintained good oral health their entire lives, only to see it go down the tubes in 6 to 8 months.”
American Academy of Periodontology Installs New President (Dentistry IQ)
A prominent US dentistry organization (8,200 members) has a new leader, Wayne A. Aldredge, DMD. The New Jersey-based practicing periodontist, once a US Army captain at West Point, said his goal will be to “heighten the awareness of periodontal disease locally and nationwide.”
A Crime to Transport Dentures Across State Lines? (
An interview with a Virginia congressmen about repealing “superfluous federal laws,” found that it’s illegal to transport dentures across state lines. While the law is “murky,” some states do have “laws that only dentures provided by licensed dentists can be sold within their borders, and other states don’t have that mandate.”
The Oral Health Care System: A State-by-State Analysis (
The Health Policy Institute and the American Dental Association have teamed to create a first-ever study on the condition of oral healthcare by state. Major takeaways are: “adults view oral health as very important” and “emerging evidence that oral health is related to conditions outside of the mouth.”
Health Care Costs 101: Reaching a Spending Plateau? (
Americans spend over $110 billion annually on dental care and more than 40% comes right out of their own pockets—no insurance. That fact and many others are in the California Health Care Foundation’s new report detailing how much is spent on healthcare in America—nearly $3 trillion per year. It’s worth a peek.
This Year's Best Books (The Economist)
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” says the great writer Stephen King. So why not make some magic this holiday season by giving the gift of knowledge. Buy a book for yourself or another. Here’s a thoughtful and diverse list to peruse.

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