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Posts tagged “toothache”

Dentist Treats Polar Bear’s Toothache

A polar bear living at the Highland Wildlife Park in Inverness-shire is reported to have had treatment for a sore tooth.

Around 12 members of staff and other helpers that included vets and dental experts were brought in to treat the 75 stone animal.

The polar bear Arktos is normally playful but was found to be under the weather. Thankfully, keepers at the wildlife centre have trained the bear to open his mouth and the team were able to examine the polar bear’s mouth without someone getting hurt.

With 47 razor sharp teeth to examine this inevitably took some time to do. However, the medical staff found the problem quickly and anaesthetised the 5 year old bear to place him in a specially designed ‘dentist chair’.

Speaking with reporters, Douglas Richardson, a spokesperson for the Highland Wildlife Park, said that they train their large animals to cooperate during regular health checks, which as a result makes it easier to diagnose problems and give the animals care.

He added that they were delighted to be able to save Arktos’ tooth and that the infection would have caused the polar bear much more pain and discomfort in the wild, even potential death.

Polar bears are believed to suffer a lot with toothache in the wild, broken and infected teeth being a particular problem.

Arktos is very lucky in getting the care he receives.

World record attempt in India

The Indian Dental Association, working alongside Colgate, are planning to attempt to break the current Guinness World Record for the number of dental check-ups carried out in one day.

The IDA are going to set up temporary dental clinics at schools in five major cities; Mumbai, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Kanpur. Students and their families will be able to attend for free check-ups, advice about oral hygiene and suggestions about what further treatment they may need for healthy mouths.

A recent survey carried out across India, suggested that there is an insufficient degree of education about oral health and that many children in the country don’t even use a toothbrush, instead relying on traditional remedies to keep their teeth clean. The research also found that out of the 70% of the Indian population who suffer from tooth decay every year, 58% attend the dentist for treatment.

Participants in the study blamed the cost of dental check ups and the distance they would need to travel as two of the major barriers to them seeking dental care. This Guinness World Record attempt will not only provide check ups free of charge, but will bring the dentists to some of the poorer parts of the cities taking part.

Mr. Rajesh Krishnamurthy, VP Marketing, Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited said, “Oral care in India is a neglected area. Most people do not seem to go to dentists unless there is a problem such as a toothache. We think that getting people into dentist offices is very important because dental problems have been known to lead to other more serious complications. Good oral hygiene habits have to be set in childhood.”

Dr. Balvinder Singh Thakkar the IDA Hon. Secretary of the Jaipur Branch was present at the launch of the event. He added; “Oral health is important and critical for one’s overall health. There is low awareness of the benefit of preventive care approach to oral care. Very few realise its importance unless a toothache becomes unbearable. We have run a lot of oral care awareness campaigns along with Colgate and are proud to partner once again to attempt the Guinness World Record.”

Elephant has first root canal

An elephant who lives and works in India, being hired out for the bride and groom to ride at wedding ceremonies, has been treated by a team of top dentists after suffering with “tusk ache” for several years.

Devidasan, who is an impressive 27 years old, was diagnosed by the dentists as needing root canal treatment after the condition began to deteriorate and the split in his tusk began to widen. Although the procedure is a very common one in human patients, it is believed to be the first time that an elephant has undergone this kind of treatment anywhere in the world.

The team carrying out the procedure, which was lead by Dr CV Pradeep, professor at PSM Dental College in Thrissur, Kerala, decided to perform the potentially risky procedure on the damaged tusk without any anaesthetic drugs, instead asking the elephant’s human handler or “mahout” to help keep him calm and still, using techniques they have developed over their years working together.

The operation took nearly three hours and the team of three senior dentists from the college cleaned out a six centimetre cavity, which had become seriously infected. It was then filled with half a pound of resin, 40 times the amount needed for a human patient’s root canal treatment.

“This is the first surgery of its kind in the world. We are filing a patent for the treatment procedure – there may be some similar cases which need treatment,” said Dr Pradeep.

The team are now planning to create their own range of larger dental equipment, especially for treating elephants with similar tusk problems. For Devidasan’s procedure they had to improvise tools for the operation. Devidasan is now back at work providing a unique experience for couples on their wedding day.

More children in hospital because of dental problems than asthma

A report produced in Australia by the healthcare products manufacturer Oral B has found that dental decay accounts for more childhood hospital admissions in the country than injuries or asthma.

Tooth decay affects children living in rural areas, more than their urban counterparts, while the report also found cases where babies aged only 12 months had cavities and some children of primary school age had been forced to have all their twenty teeth extracted because of the scale of the damage.

Dentists and doctors agree that this crisis needs to be sorted now, as tooth decay can contribute to major health problems in later life such as heart disease, diabetes and strokes.

Among children living in rural areas of Australia, eight out of ten didn’t partake in brushing their teeth for the recommended two times a day, while a third had not even visited a dentist and a massive 88% of those questioned had not been to see a dentist until after the age of two. A greater proportion than half had suffered some problem relating to tooth decay, either cavities or toothache, when they reached 11.

The research was carried out by staff at the Melbourne Dental School, the Australasian Academy of Paediatric Dentistry, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Barnados Australia.

David Manton, of the Melbourne Dental School, is in the belief that it is a lack of oral health education that is the cause of many of the findings.

“There is a common misconception among parents that an oral hygiene regime should only begin once their child reaches school age but I’ve treated children as young as 12 months old,” he said. “In some cases we’ve had to take eight, 10, 12 or even 20 of a child’s teeth out because they’ve decayed so badly.”

“Some parents think they only have to take their child for a dental check-up if something goes wrong but there are signs that tell dentists of early decay. If we pick them up early enough, we can actually take measures to help that decay heal.”

Thirty seven percent of parents said cost was the main barrier to them taking their children to the dentist, while 25% said the distances needed to travel to get to a surgery were an added factor.

Oral B is launching a scheme to help improve access to dentists for families living in rural Australia, launching a mobile clinic that will provide free check-ups to children and their parents.

Toothache More Common in Minority Children

A study published in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine has found that poor children as well as those from ethnic minorities or with special educational needs are more likely to suffer from toothache or cavities.

The researchers, from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, examined the dental records of over 80,000 children between the ages of one and 17 from across the United States. They found that around ten per cent of all children in the study had suffered from toothache at some point in the previous six months, with the condition being most common in children between the ages of six and 12.

Over half of the children who had suffered with toothache also reported having cavities in the same time period. Even when taking environmental factors like insurance and family income into consideration, black and multiracial children were much more likely to suffer from toothache than their white counterparts. Poorer children had the highest incidence of toothache while functionally limited special needs children also suffer from the condition frequently.

“The prevalence of toothache, particularly among vulnerable groups who disproportionately experience it, serves to reinforce the importance of physician involvement in oral health and of efforts to better evaluate and improve our nation’s oral health and dental care system,” the authors conclude. “Optimally, our nation’s health care system would include equitable and universal dental care access so that all Americans could obtain preventive oral health care as well as timely diagnosis and treatment of dental disease.”

Toothache is a particular problem for children of school age as it can affect concentration in the classroom or while doing homework. The other serious consideration for parents and dental surgeons is that toothache and cavities are often a symptom of more serious tooth decay.

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