Fluoride plans abandoned

Date posted: May 2, 2014

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Plans to add fluoride to drinking water in Southampton have been cancelled.

It was proposed fluoride be added to the drinking water of Southampton and surrounding areas, affecting the 160,000 people living in Southampton, and a further 35,000 living nearby. However, Public Health England (PHE) issued a statement saying that will be taking no further action to implement the plans.

While PHE supports water fluoridation as an effective measure of tackling tooth decay in children, it does not wish to ‘proceed without the backing of Southampton City Council’, as this is where the majority live who would be affected.

Duncan Selbie, PHE chief executive, regrets having to stop the plans, but believes it is ‘the right decision in the circumstances’. While water fluoridation could make a significant different to the oral health of children in the area, particularly those in socially deprived locations, Selbie plans to continue to work with the City Council in order to find new ways of tackling the serious problem of tooth decay in young children.

Cllr Royston Smith is happy to hear the news, claiming that PHE did not properly consult the public on the matter, and hopes that this will ensure PHE listens more carefully to local residents’ concerns and will not fluoridate the water.

Similarly, Professor Stephen Peckham, part of the Hampshire Against Fluoridation campaign group, is glad to hear of the decision, noting that he does not believe there was a ‘groundswell of support’, and that it was the only decision possible.

He adds that he hopes this means the council will take more interest in how to educate people on maintaining good dental health, particularly in children, in terms of developing schemes that address issues such as tooth brushing.

Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Noakes, is equally pleased with outcome, noting that it is one they have been waiting for for a long time, and believes it will be a relief to those who have campaigned hard on the issue.

- See more at: http://dentallaboratory.org.uk/dentistry-news/fluoride-plans-abandoned/#sthash.S2Zia3Xc.dpuf

New EU project aims to study gum disease and improve treatment

Date posted: May 2, 2014

‘Trigger’ is a new EU project bringing together various research institutions to better study gum disease.

According to data published by the World Health Organisation, just under two thirds of all adults suffer from inflamed gums, which can cause them to bleed, swell further, or even recede. If it continues to go untreated, gum disease can become so bad that teeth loosen and actually fall out of the mouth.

However, the causes and effects of gum disease are not the focus of the new EU study, but rather the link between gum inflammation and other diseases such as cardiopulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s, among others.

‘Trigger’ brings together 11 research institutions in Europe from 9 different countries, and is focused on studying gum disease. The aim is to prove a connection between gum disease and these other diseases so that they might be able to recommend courses of treatment.

There are already numerous studies that suggest oral health is a key indicator of general health, and that problems with the mouth can indicate wider bodily health problems.

One of the tasks Trigger is attempting to complete is developing a substance that will effectively target oral germs. A key bacteria in the development of gum disease is Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is highly toxic and affects the connective tissue of the gum. The research group is hoping to develop something which will inhibit the bacteria’s action, and stop it destroying the gum and bone tissue surrounding the teeth.

Though a group has had success in this effort before, much more work needs to be done before any sort of medicine can be introduced to the market. In the meantime, gum disease can be prevented by maintaining good dental hygiene, meaning brushing teeth properly twice a day, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash.

Bleeding gums is already a sign of very mild gum disease – if the problem persists, consult a dentist as soon as possible, as the disease will only get worse if not prevented.

- See more at: http://dentallaboratory.org.uk/caring-for-your-dentures/new-eu-project-aims-to-study-gum-disease-and-improve-treatment/#sthash.xNVkhvat.dpuf