Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Afternoon Drill: July 12, 2011

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments for your day.

Is Mom’s Cigarette Use a Smoking Gun for Birth Defects?
Smoking during pregnancy isn’t good for a number of reasons: It’s linked to a greater risk of miscarriage, small babies and premature birth.

Now you can add to that list a greater risk of birth defects, according to a new study in the journal Human Reproduction Update.

There has long been speculation that maternal smoking might be tied to birth defects, but previous studies weren’t large enough to conclusively show that there was a relationship, according to Allan Hackshaw, an author of the study and deputy director of Cancer Research U.K. & University College London Cancer Trials Center.

To investigate the link with greater certainty, Hackshaw and his colleagues decided to look at accumulated data from 50 years of published research. Their data showed that babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy had a 25% to 30% increased risk of birth defects — including clubfoot, facial clefts and hernias –  compared to babies whose mothers didn’t smoke.

The increased risk of  is similar in magnitude to increased risk of developing lung cancer due to second-hand smoke, according to Hackshaw, though the overall risk of having a baby with a birth defect is low.

“With regards to the low absolute risk in pregnancy, one could argue: Why take the chance over something as important as a pregnancy?” Hackshaw tells the Health Blog via email.
Experts grow whole tooth units using mouse stem cells

Scientists in Japan said on Wednesday they have created teeth -- complete with connective fibers and bones -- by using mouse stem cells and successfully transplanted them into mice, a step they hope will lead to progress in stem cell research.

The entire tooth units, which were inserted into lower jaws of mice, attached successfully with jaw bones and the rats were able to chew normally, the researchers wrote in a paper in PLoS One (Public Library of Science).

"The bioengineered teeth were fully functional ... there was no trouble (with) biting and eating food after transplantation," wrote Masamitsu Oshima, assistant professor at the Research Institute for Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science.

The researchers hope this is a step to help the development of new human organs grown from a patient's own cells.
High salt + low potassium = early death: study
Put down the salt shakers. Eating too much salt and too little potassium can increase the risk of death, U.S. government researchers said on Monday.

The findings from a team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a counterpoint to a fiercely-debated study released last week that found no evidence that making small cuts in salt intake lowers the risk of heart disease and premature death.

"Salt is still bad for you," said Dr. Thomas Farley, Health Commissioner for New York City, which is leading a campaign to reduce salt in restaurant and packaged foods by 25 percent over five years.

Most health experts agree with Farley that consuming too much salt is not good for you and that cutting salt intake can reduce high blood pressure, which raises the risk of heart attack and stroke. Salt intake has been rising since the 1970s, with Americans consuming about twice the recommended daily limit.
Mobile Dental Websites
Moms with kids spend, on average, 6.1 hours per day seeking information online using their smartphones.

With that in mind grab your smart phone and look up your practice:

Was it easy to find your practice? That is do you show up on maps or search or can the prospective patient only find you by typing in a specific URL?

Prospective patients are looking for specific information in order to make a decision about your practice:

  •     Doctor details
  •     Staff Profiles
  •     Phone link
  •     Location and directions
Enjoy your day!

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