ADA President Calls On Members To Fight Against Prescription Opioid Abuse.

In a “Dear Colleagues” letter published in the ADA News (7/5), ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays writes that this month’s Journal of the American Dental Association “revisits dentistry’s role in preventing opioid abuse.” Summerhays calls on “dentists everywhere to take several specific steps to help prevent opioid pain medications from being inadvertently misused and abused.” She encourages dentists to register for the next ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program webinar “on model opioid prescribing in the context of modern drug-seeking behaviour.” Dentists should also use their state’s prescription drug monitoring program and review materials provided by the ADA, including the “ADA Practical Guide to Substance Use Disorders and Safe Prescribing.” Patients should also be advised to “sign the Medicine Abuse Project pledge to safeguard their medicines” and visit to learn about the dangers of opioid abuse. According to Summerhays, “the ADA will continue raising professional awareness about” opioid abuse “and offering resources to help prevent it.” provides resources and information on opioid abuse.…/advocacy-issu…/prescription-drug-abuse…

El Viento’s Spring 2016 Newsletter

An interesting article in the El Viento’s Spring 2016 Newsletter….
“Since El Viento’s inception, participants have had a graduation rate of 100%, far exceeding the Orange County average of 41.9% for Latino students from limited English proficiency households. In addition, 66% of El Viento students in 2014 and 86% in 2016 graduated with UC/CSU-eligible requirements completed, as opposed to 27.5% of Latino students from English proficiency households and 40% from white households. For the academic year ending in June 2015, students earned an average grade point average of 4.4 for 12th grade and 4.2 for 10th and 11th grades.”
For more information, visit

The Promise of Fighting Cavities with a Pill!

The University of Florida Health have recently identified a new strain of bacteria that can fight Streptococcus Mutans. It is currently called A12 and it not only helps neutralize acid by metabolizing Arginine in the mouth, but can kill Streptococcus Mutans. Robert Burne PhD, Associate Dean for Research and Chair of the UF College of Dentistry Department of Biology says A12 disrupts the growth of Streptococcus Mutans and therefore less biofilm or plaque forms. The team plans to develop a screening process to identify high risk patients and use this discovery to formulate a pill, like a probiotic, to prevent cavities. The research was published online in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology Jan 19, 2016.

Study Shows Long-term Cannabis Use Associated With Declining Periodontal Health.

The ADA News (6/1, Manchir) reports that research published this month in The Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry found study participants who self-reported cannabis use for up to 20 years were more likely to have periodontal disease, and that their periodontal health declined from age 26 to age 38. The article also recalls a recent report in the May issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association, which “highlights the need for specific guidance for oral health care professionals regarding cannabis use as it relates to dentists.”

Other reporting on the research focused on the finding that long-term cannabis use was associated with few physical health issues in adulthood. Reuters (6/1, Seaman) reports participants had poor periodontal health but otherwise “were generally as healthy as people who didn’t” smoke. Researchers studied over 1,000 people born in New Zealand and tracked them from age 3 to age 38. According to Reuters, the researchers “did not find a link between marijuana use in adulthood and poor physical health for a number of conditions, including lung function, systemic inflammation, metabolic health, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI).”

The Oregonian (6/1, Terry) reports the researchers “reviewed self-reported cannabis use at ages 18, 21, 26, 32 and 38,” and found that “higher cannabis use was associated with periodontal problems at age 38 after controlling for periodontal health at age 26 and overall tobacco.”

Also covering the study are HealthDay (6/1, Reinberg), LiveScience (6/1, Blaszczak), Medical Daily (6/1), The Guardian (UK) (6/1, McCarthy), and Daily Mail (6/1, Mailonline).

ADA, NHL Team Dentist Promote Mouthguards

The ADA News (4/1, Manchir) reported that Dr. Thomas Long, one of the team dentists for the Carolina Hurricanes, “believes widespread mouthguard use by the professionals is one of the reasons he has seen fewer dental injuries among athletes in recent years when compared to decades ago.” Dr. Long stated, “I think the athletes are more aware of the importance of taking care of their mouths,” and said other dentists can help young patients understand the importance of wearing mouthguards. provides additional information for athletes on caring for their teeth.

PRNewswire (4/1) hosted a release from the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons stating that April is National Facial Protection Month. According to the release, the ADA is among five associations urging “parents, caregivers, athletes and coaches to be proactive about staying safe by using a mouth guard.”