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Nutrition plays key role in oral health
 

There is a strong connection between the food people eat and their oral health, a recently updated position paper of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has stated.
The Academy’s position paper highlighted that nutrition is an integral component of oral health.

The Academy supports integration of oral health with nutrition services, education and research. Collaboration between dietetics practitioners and oral health care professionals is recommended for oral health promotion and disease prevention and intervention.

According to the Academy’s position paper, dental caries – also known as tooth decay – “is the most prevalent, chronic, common and transmissible infectious oral condition in humans.”
In addition, a person’s overall health can be affected by tooth loss, since “declining periodontal health” can lead to diminished dietary quality because of lack of essential nutrients in a person’s diet.

The Academy’s position paper emphasizes that oral health problems can be prevented by:
Eating a healthy balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy products and whole grains that provide essential nutrients for optimum oral health and overall health.
Practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day; drinking fluoridated water; and seeking regular oral health care.

“As knowledge of the connection between oral and nutrition health increases, it highlights the importance of dietetics practitioners and oral health care professionals to provide screening, education and referrals as part of comprehensive client/patient care,” according to the authors of the Academy’s position paper.

No need to toss your toothbrush after sorethroat

You might not need to throw out your tooth brush after recovering from a sore throat after all, according to a new study.

While some health care professionals tell patients – especially children – to replace their toothbrushes after suffering from a cold, the flu, or a case of strep throat, researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston advise that doing so might not be necessary.

To determine whether the advice is warranted, the UTMB researchers tried to grow group A Streptococcus (GAS), the bacteria that causes strep throat, on toothbrushes that had been exposed to the bacteria in a laboratory. The bacteria did in fact grow and remained on the toothbrushes for at least 48 hours.

Surprisingly, two new toothbrushes that were not exposed to GAS and served as controls also grew bacteria even though they had been removed from their packaging in a sterile fashion. An adult-size toothbrush grew gram-negative bacilli, and a child-size toothbrush grew gram-positive cocci, which was identified as Staphylococcus.

Since this was not the main focus of the study, the researchers did not investigate this finding further.

"This study supports that it is probably unnecessary to throw away your toothbrush after a diagnosis of strep throat," said co-author Judith L. Rowen, MD, associate professor of pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at UTMB.
 
Fish oil may not help prevent age-related blindness

Adding the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, or both to a formulation of antioxidant vitamins and minerals that has shown effectiveness in reducing risk of progression to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) did not further help reduce the risk, a new study has found.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world,
according to background information in the article.

Without more effective ways of slowing progression, the number of persons with advanced AMD is expected to double over the next 20 years, resulting in increasing socioeconomic burden, the researchers wrote.

"Oral supplementation with the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation (antioxidant vitamins C, E, and beta carotene and zinc) has been shown to reduce the risk of progression to advanced AMD. Observational data suggest that increased dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]), or both might further reduce this risk," they said.

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