Dimensions Digest Focuses on the Microbial Community of Periodontal Diseases
In the fourth edition of the Dimensions Digest biofilm series sponsored by Sunstar Americas, Inc, authors Alessandra Agostinho Hunt, DDS, MS, PhD, and Garth A. James, PhD, discuss the complexity of periodontal diseases, including the origin of infection, proposed theories on their etiology, and the role of the immune system. Included with this issue, the 32-page digest explains why periodontitis requires constant monitoring and intervention. Agostinho Hunt is a research associate at Michigan State University in East Lansing, and James is the medical project manager at the Center for Biofilm Engineering and an associate research professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman.
Tom's of Maine Funds Nonprofit Dental Clinics
Seven-year-old Sam Winn of Needham, Mass, submitted this drawing for Tom's of Maine's "Be a Tooth Fairy Hero" contest.
Oral health care product manufacturer Tom's of Maine recently recognized the grassroots efforts of 10 families as part of its "Be a Tooth Fairy Hero" initiative. The winners, who were selected randomly, each earned $10,000 for a nonprofit dental clinic in their state and a Tom's of Maine natural toothpaste donation for their school. The initiative is part of the company's Dental Health for All™ program, which was founded more than a decade ago. To date, the program has helped underserved young patients receive an additional 200,000 dental visits by providing $1 million in funding to more than 30 school- and community-based dental clinics, as well as distributing more than 1 million tubes of toothpaste.
Entrants submitted an entry form, as well as an optional drawing by a child age 10 or younger that depicted what he or she imagines the tooth fairy may look like. Some of the submitted drawings can be seen on the company's Pinterest page at pinterest.com/tomsofmaine/tooth-fairy-heroes.
Company Founded by Dental Hygienist Assists Cancer Patients
Jill Meyer-Lippert, RDH, understands how illness can affect oral health, which inspired her to start Side Effect Support LLC, a company dedicated to improving the oral health of those battling cancer. After witnessing the effects of cancer on several of her friends and family members, Meyer-Lippert, who has worked as a dental hygienist for 20 years, decided to create a resource to educate patients about cancer's effects on oral health and provide caregivers with strategies to support patient's self-care regimens to reduce resultant side effects of cancer treatment on the dentition.
"Oral health can play a major role in the comfort and quality of life of oncology patients, yet it is often an overlooked aspect of their care," said Meyer- Lippert. "Diseases and infections in the mouth can complicate, delay, or affect the ability to complete treatments."
The company website, www.sideeffectsupport.com, includes links to national and local cancer support groups, continuing education courses, and blogs for both patients and professionals.
Project to Support Oral Health of Older Adults
Oral Health America (OHA) has launched the Wisdom Tooth Project, which aims to provide older adults—especially those vulnerable to dental disease—and caregivers with the resources needed to maintain good oral health as they age. According to OHA, 25% of the country's population will be 60 years or older within the next two decades, and many of these individuals will be without access to professional dental care. The Wisdom Tooth Project uses a combination of online resources, demonstration projects, regional events, and print and online communication to educate patients and professionals on the importance of maintaining proper oral health throughout their lifetime.
From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. June 2013; 11(6): 14.
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