Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Evaluation of PowSmart Powered Toothbrush - Complete

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For the past month I’ve been using the PowSmart brush every time I brush my teeth.  I figured that if I am going to evaluate something, how much better can a toothbrush be evaluated than in my very own mouth?
I’ve got to say that I have come away very impressed with this device.  The first point I’d like to drive home is the battery.  I received the brush about 5 weeks ago, I have used it every time I’ve brushed my teeth, and it is still running from the original charge.  That alone is impressive.  The company tells me that their testing has indicated the battery will run for 90 days at least on a single charge, so I’m excited to see how long mine lasts.
It also has 5 brushing modes:
  1. Clean
  2. Sensitive
  3. Gum Care
  4. Whitening
  5. Polish 

These are modes that are similar to other powered brushes currently on the market.  The model I’ve been using is the one pictured above.  It has power button that is slightly raised from the handle surface.  This requires the user to grip the brush just under the button to avoid accidentally turning the brush off during use, but I have not found that to really be an issue at all as I’ve always held brushes close to the end of the handle.

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The device is well built and sturdy.  It feels good in your hand and the brush attaches snugly.  The overall feel is “high quality” with a well designed feel.

The charger cord is a USB interface meaning you can charge your brush with your phone charger, laptop, or any other device that provides power thru USB.  The kit I received did not come with an A/C adapter so you have to provide your own, however the company is considering adding one to future packages.  The USB charger (pictured above) is hardwired into the base and cannot be removed.  I asked about that and found out that the base is waterproof just in case it should get sprayed or knocked into a sink full of water.  I had thought the base would have a USB Micro port, but that would prevent the charger from having this waterproof protection, which I find to be a nice touch.  If your brush charger ever failed, the system would be worthless.  All powered brushes have this feature, that I’m aware of.

The company makes several models and they have the following features:

  • Up to 40,000 vibrations per minute
  • 5 brushing modes
  • 12 week battery life on a single charge
  • 2 charging modes wireless (like most powered rechargeable brushes) and direct charge which allows you to charge on the road
  • Quad pacer that alerts you to brush 30 seconds per quadrant for a total of 2 minutes brushing time

There are 2 types of powered toothbrushes currently on the market.  One is sonic, featuring vibration of the brush, and the other is mechanical, featuring a clockwise/counterclockwise rotation of the brush.  PowSmart uses the sonic tech and has done so very well.  The 40,000 VPM is powerful,  but not overbearing and leaves a nice clean feeling on the teeth.  There are also an assortment of brush heads that have different bristle types to accommodate your brushing style.

The company is currently looking for US distribution and I would think this device would be a hot seller if priced right.  If you are a company looking for a powered toothbrush line to distribute, PowSmart could be a nice line to offer.  The product is definitely ready for prime time.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

NORAD Tracks Santa on Christmas Eve

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Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and every year about this time I try to let my readers know about a great service that is provided by NORAD.
The government entity NORAD is a combined effort of the US and Canada that “provides aerospace warming, air sovereignty, and defense of North America”.  Basically it tracks anything in the air to make sure it is not a threat to North America and they’ve been doing that since 1958.  However, since they are uniquely qualified to track aircraft, the organization also is uniquely qualified to track Santa!!!
To follow Santa on his journey around the world bringing toys to all the boys and girls, go to the NORAD Santa Tracker.  For those truly interested in when Santa will arrive in their area, the trackers have a phone bank setup where they can answer those types of questions for you!  The trackers are real life soldiers who work at NORAD and they volunteer their time every year to provide this service.
I personally want to thank all of the folks in the armed forces who donate their time to this worthy cause every year.  Thanks for bringing Christmas joy to so many of us.  I’ve called and spoken with them before and it was a great experience for the kids involved with that call.  I cannot say enough about how grateful I am for all you do!!!  I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the brave men and women who are serving our country and keeping the rest of us safe from those who would do us harm.  Your sacrifice is appreciated by me more than words can tell and will always be remembered by me and those I love.
If you would like to read the complete history of how NORAD came to provide this valuable and FREE service to kids and families, Wikipedia has the whole history of the program here.  I’ve got to say it’s a pretty neat read and something that shows how a “happy accident” can bring joy to so many.
The good people at Google have also created a Santa Tracker that can be accessed by clicking here.
I don’t think they have a phone service like NORAD does, but their tracker is pretty neat. 

Fewer Posts will be Made During Christmas Break

Every year I try to take a bit of a break between Christmas & New Year’s Day.  We all know that our lives are fast paced with little free time and often we just don’t get the opportunity to look out the window and enjoy the landscape as the bullet train of life whizzes down the rails.  A few years back, I noticed how easy it is to get distracted by all the little things that life throws at us and consequently how easy it is to allow those distractions to take over and keep us from enjoying our lives.
Because of that realization, I decided to make a concerted effort to deliberately build into my life some time to “get all the knots out of my rope” as the cowboys used to say.  One of the biggest changes I made was to take time off during the holiday season.  From Christmas Eve to January 2nd I try and dial it back a bit.  I close my practice and spend more time in my home with friends, relatives, and other people I love.  
One of the biggest discoveries I’ve made in the past few years is the importance of sleep in our lives.  That is the reason that I have become more and more involved in treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other sleep problems in my practice.  The other thing I’ve learned about how our bodies deal with stress is the importance of relaxation and downtime.  Just as your body requires rest to rebuild after a workout, your mind body require rest to recover from the intensity of serious mental activity.  Armed with that knowledge, I now realize that my previous philosophy of “i’ll sleep/rest when I’m dead” was a truly bad plan.  Now that I know better, I am trying to take much better care of myself.  
So, over this Christmas break I will be posting less and resting more.  That way when 2019 starts, I’ll be rested and ready to attack the new year with a strong mind and a strong body.
I’ll make a few posts over the break, but not on the Monday through Thursday schedule like normal.
I’d advise all of you to relax and rest as well.  As Ferris Buehler so aptly stated, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Glitter Bomb Gets Even with Package Thieves

As a diehard geek, I’m a big fan of Mark Rober.  He is a former NASA engineer who has an incredible talent to DIY amazingly engineered things just for the fun of it.  Up to this point, one of my favorite projects of his is the dartboard that guarantees a bullseye *every time*.

However this Christmas Season, Mark has developed perhaps the best geek Christmas gift ever.  He had a package stolen from his front porch by a couple who seemed to just be strolling through his neighborhood with backpacks that they were filling with boxes that delivery services had left on front porches.

Mark felt some righteous indignation about this and decided to do something about it.  He developed an incredibly well engineered device that sets off a glitter bomb when the package is opened.  Now we all know this type of theft is a legitimate problem that needs to be dealt with.  I’ve even considered leaving a box on my front porch filled with a “present” from my loyal Labrador Retriever.  But Mark’s device has a box of dog poo beat hands down.  Watch the video & tell my honestly if you wouldn’t buy this device and use it if it were available to purchase...

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Security Breach in Twitter Support Forum

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On December 17th, Twitter announced a breach.  Here is the info from the company’s blog:

We have become aware of an issue related to one of our support forms, which is used by account holders to contact Twitter about issues with their account. We began working to resolve the issue on November 15 and it was fixed by November 16. This could be used to discover the country code of people’s phone numbers if they had one associated with their Twitter account, as well as whether or not their account had been locked by Twitter. We lock an account if it appears to be compromised or in violation of the Twitter Rules or our Terms of Service. More on what it means when an account is in a locked state here. Importantly, this issue did not expose full phone numbers or any other personal data. We have directly informed the people we identified as being affected. We are providing this broader notice as it is possible that other account holders we cannot identify were potentially impacted.

Since we became aware of the issue, we have been investigating the origins and background in order to provide you with as much information as possible. During our investigation, we noticed some unusual activity involving the affected customer support form API. Specifically, we observed a large number of inquiries coming from individual IP addresses located in China and Saudi Arabia. While we cannot confirm intent or attribution for certain, it is possible that some of these IP addresses may have ties to state-sponsored actors. We continue to err on the side of full transparency in this area and have updated law enforcement on our findings.

No action is required by account holders and we have resolved the issue. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Twitter’s Data Protection Officer, Damien Kieran, by completing the online form located here. We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us, and are committed to earning that trust every day. We are sorry this happened.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ultradent Announces Dentaltown 2018 Townie Choice Award-Winning Products

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Ultradent Products, Inc., a global manufacturer and distributor of dental materials and equipment, announces its Dentaltown 2018 Townie Choice award-winning products. Ultradent’s 2018 Townie Choice Award winners are: Opalescence® PF tooth whitening system for Best Take-Home Cosmetic Bleaching System, Ultrapak® cord for Best Gingival Retraction Material, and VALO® and VALO® Cordless curing lights for Best LED Curing Light.


Of its annual awards, Dentaltown says, “Earlier this year, Dentaltown readers voted in droves for their favorite products, services and equipment—the elements that make their lives more productive, and their staff and patients happier. If you already use their products in your practice, you can feel great knowing that you share your peers’ passion for finding the most effective ways to improve your patients’ experience. And if you’re looking for a better product or service, you can see what other docs have chosen as their raving favorites.”   


Mike Simmons, Ultradent’s brand marketing senior manager, says, “Ultradent is truly honored to receive this award for Opalescence PF tooth whitening systems, the VALO curing lights, and our time-tested Ultrapak cord. We strive to bring value to the dentist with our innovative products, and are very proud of our products and equipment and are humbled by the praise and recognition from Townie Voters. Congratulations to all of the winners this year.” 


To learn more about Dentaltown’s 2018 Townie Choice Awards, please visit To learn more about or to purchase from Ultradent Products, Inc., please call 800.552.5512.


About Ultradent Products, Inc.

Ultradent Products, Inc., is a leading developer of high-tech dental materials, devices and instruments worldwide. Ultradent’s mission is to improve the level of dental health care and to make dental procedures more predictable and hassle free. Consistent with its mission, Ultradent works to improve the quality of life and health of individuals through financial and charitable programs. For more information about Ultradent, call 800.552.5512 or visit

Monday, December 17, 2018

The Academy of Laser Dentistry’s Free Buying Guide is an Unbiased First Step Towards Laser Ownership and Proficiency


The Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD), recently published a very detailed Laser Buying Guide. Entitled, “A Comprehensive Buying Guide to Dental Lasers: Making Sense of How and What to Buy for Your Practice,” this valuable resource is now available as a free downloadable PDF document. According to ALD executive director Gail S. Siminovsky, CAE, “We developed this buying guide as the first step in what we know will become a successful journey in laser dentistry. Asking the right questions before making a purchase leads to success for dentist, patient and manufacturer.”

The ALD Buying Guide provides information that the dentist needs to know to purchase the right dental laser for their dental practice. Some of the topics covered in the ALD Buying Guide include:

• The Perfect Laser for Your Practice
• Ergonomics and Usability
• Device Quality
• Features and Accessories
• Level of Training Level of Service
• Manufacturer Considerations
• “Real” Cost Consideration
• Who Offers the Best Training and Support?

“After the dentist purchases the right laser device for their practice needs, the ALD is at-the-ready to provide the ongoing education required to operate that dental laser safely and proficiently,” explains Siminovsky. “This education and training is available during the ALD’s 2019 Annual Conference
April 4th - 6th in Dallas and throughout the year during ongoing lectures, webinars, and online education programs that are all part of the ALD Annual Membership.”

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Update - Snoring Just Might More of a Threat to Women's Health than to Men's

A new story from HealthDay News discusses a recent study done in Great Britain that shows women who snore show cardiac damage faster than men.
The information states:

Loud snoring is a hallmark of obstructive sleep apnea, which affects between 3 percent and 7 percent of adults in the United States, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Also characterized by brief periods where breathing stops, often followed by gasping for air, sleep apnea is becoming recognized as a contributor to serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and poor blood sugar metabolism.

Sleep apnea treatment depends on the cause. Treatments include surgery to open narrowed upper airways or using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine while sleeping.

Curta and his colleagues evaluated data from the UK Biobank, which follows the health and well-being of 500,000 volunteers. The researchers looked at data from nearly 4,500 participants who underwent cardiac imaging. These study volunteers were split into three groups: 38 with obstructive sleep apnea; 1,919 who reported snoring; and 2,536 without OSA or snoring.

In both men and women, those with sleep apnea and snoring tended to have larger left ventricles of the heart, meaning the walls were enlarged and the heart was working harder to pump, Curta said.

But when the snoring group was compared to the unaffected group, a more significant difference was found in the size of the left ventricle among women compared to men. These cardiac changes in self-reported snorers suggest earlier heart impairment in women and could point to undiagnosed sleep apnea, he said.

The findings suggest the transition from snoring to obstructive sleep apnea is an evolving process linked to a potentially dangerous enlargement of the left ventricle. But the research did not prove that sleep apnea causes heart changes, only that an association exists between the two.

The full article can be read at HealthDay.


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Garrison Dental Announces FitStrip IPR System Kit



FitStrip IPR System Kit

Garrison’s newly devised FitStripTM Interproximal Finishing and Contouring System has been expanded to include a
comprehensive interproximal reduction kit. The new IPR kit provides clinicians with all the diamond abrasive strips and
gauges necessary to quickly and accurately prepare teeth and measure interproximal space for advanced aligner

This complete kit includes ten diamond coated abrasive strips (two each of .11mm, .21mm, .30mm, .40mm and .50mm),
two interchangeable handles and stainless-steel IPR gauges.

FitStrip represents the best solution for IPR (interproximal reduction), creating the space needed for minor movement of
teeth when necessary. Working in concert with orthodontic treatments such as Clear CorrectTM, Invisalign®, Six Month
Smiles® and others, the color-coded strips provide the roadmap for achieving the desired IPR quickly, easily and
effectively. No other system provides FitStrip’s level of flexibility and ease of use.

In addition, the original FitStrip kit and new Universal FitStrip kit include both single-sided and double-sided strips. All the
strips feature the unique ability to be adjusted from straight, for contact reduction, to curved, for interproximal contouring,
with a simple twist of the color-coded barrel thereby eliminating clinician hand fatigue. The interchangeable handle easily
attaches to any of the FitStripTM components significantly improving clinician ease of use and patient comfort. The
clinician’s hand stays outside the mouth providing a clear field of view and easier operation.

The FitStripTM is indicated for use in IPR, contact reduction, interproximal finishing and contouring, crown and bridge
cement removal/clean up as well as separating inadvertently bonded teeth.

Color coded and conveniently organized, the FitStripTM Interproximal Finishing and Contouring System also has a complete
selection of refills available. Contact Garrison Dental Solutions at 888-437-0032 or visit for more

About Garrison Dental Solutions
Garrison Dental Solutions, established in 1996, is a privately held company specializing in the design,
development and manufacturing of product solutions to improve the quality and efficiency of dentistry. The
Company is the industry leader in sectional matrix systems and its products are sold globally. Please visit for more information.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ultradent Donates $10,000 to Humanitarian Medical & Dental Education Charity To Kick Off Holiday Season

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Ultradent Products Inc. announced on November 27, 2018, known nationally as “Giving Tuesday,” that it would donate $10,000 toward a Humanitarian Medical and Dental Education Fund started by the Adams, Gladwell, Durham Foundation based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The money will go toward providing professional medical and dental education to underserved populations through online lectures and hands-on training provided to students through virtual reality programs. “We’ve basically created online education with hands-on education via virtual reality technology that allows the students to actually perform procedures as if they were on an actual human, in an actual lab, but via technology,” says Dr. Mark Durham, a prosthodontist and co-founder of the Adams, Gladwell, Durham Foundation. He adds, “The challenge on the planet today is that there is progress in some areas and the lack of progress in others which leads to problems for people—humans just like you and I,” adds Durham. “The solution is scaling education. If we can share this information with a lot of people they can start doing things that have never been done before and really create another renaissance, which would be beautiful for humanity. So what we’re doing is investing in systems and technology that we’re developing that allows us to go into areas of the world and deliver education for a fraction of the cost, with some of the best minds.”

The push to provide education in place of services, they believe, could change the world. “It’s teaching them how to fish, per se, instead of just doing the procedure for them,” added Dr. Nathan Adams, an oral surgeon and co-founder of the foundation.

As for their progress toward the goal of educating as many people as possible, Durham reports, “So far, the foundation has built three surgical modules for around $50,000, which can now be shared to any of the 7 billion people on the earth without us charging any of them a penny to download. This year, because we are getting faster at building modules, our team and our local collaborators have a goal to see eight modules built for the same amount of money. Imagine the amount of people that will receive surgical training with the additional eight modules we build together!”

To learn more about this wonderful cause, or to donate, please visit

Ultradent gladly supports hundreds of humanitarian efforts every year, worldwide. This includes donations toward major disaster relief efforts as well as smaller, individually run humanitarian missions. To learn more about Ultradent’s humanitarian efforts, please visit

Monday, December 10, 2018

My Thoughts Regarding Xorvision DENclarity Monitor


As a clinician, one of the most important diagnostic tools I have is radiography.  Next to my own eyes, radiographs are the next most important part of my diagnostic armamentarium.

However, x-rays are useless if you are unable to read them.  A doctor can own the best sensor in the world, but if the image is viewed on a suboptimal monitor then diagnostic accuracy is lost.  That’s the reason that doctors should pay close attention to the monitors they use in their practices.

Because the monitor makes such a difference, for the past several years, I’ve been using monitors from Exorvision in my practice.  Their latest effort, the 24” DENclarity is truly a homerun product.

The DENclarity is exclusively designed for use in a dental office.  It has an incredible grayscale and an amazing 1000:1 contrast ratio.  This means that subtle nuances in radiographs are picked up clearly and diagnostic accuracy increases.

The monitor is also sealed and a glass overlay protects the LCD.  This means that the DENclarity can be disinfected by spraying disinfectant directly onto the screen and molding.  The plastic housing of the monitor is strong and resistant to staining or discoloration from solutions.

It also uses a special low voltage power system that greatly increases safety in a healthcare environment.

In addition to its healthcare features, the monitor also supports a wide range of inputs.  HDMI, VGA, Video, Audio, TV Coaxial, USB, and a headphone jack are all present which makes connecting to the DENclarity easy and predictable no matter what input you may need.  It also has a TV tuner allowing the monitor to double as an over the patient entertainment system.

In the world dentistry, it’s imperative to find the right equipment for each situation we face.  I find the DENclarity monitor to be the right choice for my practice. Human beings perceive somewhere around 85% about their environment through the eyes.  For clinical diagnosis, co-diagnosis with the patient, and educating the patient through the sharing of clinical images, I find the DENclarity to be the best way to engage that 85%.  This monitor is highly recommended.  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Allergy Practice Pays $125,000 to Settle Doctor’s Disclosure of Patient Information to a Reporter

This is posted directly from the Department of Health and Human Services website.  I’ve posted this to remind everyone in healthcare that even though a patient can discuss their Protected Health Information with others, we cannot.  There is a great lesson to be learned here:

Allergy Associates of Hartford, P.C. (Allergy Associates), has agreed to pay $125,000 to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and to adopt a corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. Allergy Associates is a health care practice that specializes in treating individuals with allergies, and is comprised of three doctors at four locations across Connecticut.

In February 2015, a patient of Allergy Associates contacted a local television station to speak about a dispute that had occurred between the patient and an Allergy Associates’ doctor. The reporter subsequently contacted the doctor for comment and the doctor impermissibly disclosed the patient’s protected health information to the reporter.

OCR’s investigation found that the doctor’s discussion with the reporter demonstrated a reckless disregard for the patient’s privacy rights and that the disclosure occurred after the doctor was instructed by Allergy Associates’ Privacy Officer to either not respond to the media or respond with “no comment.” Additionally, OCR’s investigation revealed that Allergy Associates failed to take any disciplinary action against the doctor or take any corrective action following the impermissible disclosure to the media.

“When a patient complains about a medical practice, doctors cannot respond by disclosing private patient information to the media,” said OCR Director Roger Severino. “Because egregious disclosures can lead to substantial penalties, covered entities need to pay close attention to HIPAA’s privacy rules, especially when responding to press inquiries.”

In addition to the monetary settlement, Allergy Associates will undertake a corrective action plan that includes two years of monitoring their compliance with the HIPAA Rules. The resolution agreement and corrective action plan may be found on the OCR website at


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Mistake by Two Factor Authentication Company Compromises Users vis SMS

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Most of us use 2 factor authentication at least some of the time with some of the websites we work with.  Usually banking, Google, Apple, and others will help prevent data theft through this process.
In a nutshell, you log into a site and before you can access your info, the site sends you a text message with a multiple digit “security code” that you must then enter before the website will allow you entry.  Since most of us live and die on our phones nowadays and always have it with us, sending a message to your phone is a pretty good way of ensuring your identity.
That is, it’s a pretty good way IF the company providing the security code is practicing good security themselves.  However, a recent case has come to light where just the opposite was happening.
It seems that a company called Vovox is one (of many) companies that act as a "gateway” which sends the 2-factor codes to the user’s phone.  The idea, of course, is that the 2-factor process allows for better confirmation that the person requesting access to the site is indeed the individual who needs access.  It’s  another link in the security chain that helps prevent data and identity theft.  Now, thanks to security researcher Sebastien Kaul it has come to light that Vovox had made a critical mistake in safeguarding the data of the individual’s requesting the 2-factor authentication.
What Kaul discovered is that Vovox had a database of over 26 million text messages sitting on a server.  The database was not encrypted nor was it password protected.
The information contained passwords in plain text, account security codes, package tracking info, medical appointment reminders, and more.
The communications were from companies the likes of Google, Microsoft, banks, medical institutions, and others.
According to TechCrunch, “Each record was meticulously tagged and detailed, including the recipient’s cell phone number, the message, the Voxox customer who sent the message and the shortcode they used.” 
When notified, Vovox promptly removed the database.  The problem here is that even if users provide *perfect* security, we are still at the mercy of people further downstream from us.  Obviously, the best course for anyone to pursue is to remain “security vigilant”, but to also be aware that even with our best efforts, leaks are possible.  A tip of the electron to Sebastien Kaul for discovering this and helping to make sure the info was secured.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Ultradent Introduces the All-New Omni-Matrix™ Disposable Retainer and Matrix

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—Ultradent Products, Inc., is pleased to introduce the all-new Omni-Matrix disposable retainer and matrix, a superior circumferential matrix band solution. Designed to perfectly customize to any preparation, the band’s circumference can be easily adjusted simply by twisting the handle, and the pivoting head allows it to access any quadrant of the mouth. Once the restoration is complete, the Omni-Matrix band easily releases without disturbing the restorative material.

The Omni-Matrix disposable retainer and matrix features an unmatched body design that is ideal for both single and simultaneous restorations. Its innovative shape allows superior procedural visibility and patient comfort, and its ultra-thin burnishable stainless steel adapts to all preparations. Additionally, its unique winged and wingless styles meet individual case needs while its disposable design saves time and money.

To learn more or to purchase the Omni-Matrix disposable retainer and matrix, call 800.552.5512, or visit

About Ultradent Products, Inc.

Ultradent Products, Inc., is a leading developer and manufacturer of high-tech dental materials, devices, and instruments worldwide. Ultradent’s vision is to improve oral health globally. Ultradent also works to improve the quality of life and health of individuals through financial and charitable programs. For more information about Ultradent, call 800.552.5512 or visit

Monday, December 3, 2018

New Research Shows that Certain Oral Bacteria that Cause Periodontal Disease may also Cause Esophageal Cancer

My good friend and co-worker at DPR, Kristen Mott, has written a  good article about a recent discovery that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease (gum disease) may also be linked to esophageal cancer.  While only about 1% of cancers diagnosed in the U.S. each year, it is a terribly debilitating disease.  Also, 1% seems like a small number until you read that it represents 17,290 new cases this year.
Here’s a portion of Kristen’s well written article:

Oral bacteria has been linked to a wide range of serious medial conditions, including pancreatic cancer, stroke and lung cancer. New research shows that oral bacteria may also be linked to esophageal cancer.

Esophageal cancer makes up about 1 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 17,290 new esophageal cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2018.

While previous research has shown that periodontal disease caused by certain oral bacteria has been linked to several types of cancer, Jiyoung Ahn, an associate professor in the department of population health and the department of environmental medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York, wanted to investigate the connection between oral microbiota and the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) or esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

According to the study, Ahn and her colleagues collected oral wash samples from 122,000 participants in two large health studies: the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition cohort and the National Cancer Institute Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. According to the research, in 10 years of follow-up, 106 participants developed esophageal cancer.

In a prospective case-control study, the researchers extracted DNA and sequenced oral wash samples, which allowed them to compare the oral microbiomes of the esophageal cancer cases and the cancer-free cases. Certain bacteria types were found to be associated with a higher risk of esophageal cancer, such as the Tannerella forsythia bacteria, which was associated with a 21 percent increased risk of EAC. Another periodontal pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivitis, was associated with a higher risk of ESCC.

However, the researchers also discovered that a few types of oral bacteria were associated with a lower risk of EAC. Bacterial biosynthesis of carotenoids was also associated with protection against esophageal cancer, according to the study. Ahn told Science Daily that certain bacteria may actually have a protective effect, and future research on the topic is required.

The American Dental Association says additional research is needed to examine whether certain bacteria could play a role in preventing esophageal cancer.

For the full text of the article, follow this link to Dental Products Report.