Kyle Holmberg, a student within the School of Dentistry at the University of Minnesota, is among an elite group of medical, dental and veterinary scholars conducting research at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Washington, D.C. Due to his impressive work in the field of dental and cranial research, Holmberg is the first student to be featured as an AHC Gamechanger.
Saturdays are meant for sleeping in and lounging around, right?
Last Saturday, more than 250 University of Minnesota School of Dentistry students and faculty volunteered their time to help brighten the smiles of almost 200 young patients through the national charitable program Give Kids a Smile Day.
Held on either the first Friday or Saturday of February across the United States, Give Kids a Smile Day provides free oral health education, screening and treatment services to children from low-income families.
Alex Fok, Ph.D., is the Director of the Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics in the School of Dentistry
It’s not every day a dental school hires a nuclear engineer to direct its research center, but that’s just what the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry did in 2007.
Alex Fok, Ph.D. has a vision to apply engineering principles to the design and assessment of dental restorations, which sets him apart in the health sciences. Fok completed his undergrad and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manchester, UK. He worked four years as a nuclear engineer, then joined the faculty of the University of Manchester’s School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering where he worked on stress analysis of the fuel core components of graphite-moderated nuclear reactors
If you know a kindergartener, or were ever a kindergartener, it’s fair to say you’ve heard at some point that the most awesome holiday is Halloween. Why is it better than all the rest? Pillowcases full of candy.
Though a young child’s dream come true, mounds of candy is a mouth’s (and a dentist’s) worst nightmare. Most of us know sugar is bad for teeth, but do we really know why?
We met up with Dr. Dan Shaw, Pediatric dentist and Clinical Associate Professor, Pediatric Dental Clinics at the University of Minnesota to explain just how food affects teeth, and why candy can be so bad.
He broke down the facts, starting with acid attacks.
“An acid attack happens when sugar in our food interacts with the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths to produce an acid which demineralizes or dissolves the tooth,” said Shaw. “This acid attack starts with the first taste of sugar and goes on for about a 20 minute period, so it takes 20 minutes for a mouth to go back to normal.”
Are there some candies that are real cavity culprits?
If you want to limit the duration and frequency of acid attacks on your teeth, Shaw says the goal is to be aware of how often and how long your teeth are exposed to sugar. So, things like suckers, hard candies and chewy candies, can be problematic.
“Sticky, gooey, chewy candies – like caramels – stick to your teeth and are more harmful in terms of what they will actually do,” explained Shaw. “They are on the teeth longer, causing a longer acid attack.”
Watch his full interview for tips on how to protect teeth from cavities during times of high sugar exposure, like Halloween.
In an earlier Health Talk post, Matt wrote about the importance of helmets and mouth guards. In that post our expert’s advice on mouth guards was simple: wear them!
Of course I wanted to find out more. What was the University of Minnesota doing to support Gopher athletes and their teeth?
I turned to James Gambucci, D.D.S., M.P.H., in the Department of Primary Dental Care at the University of Minnesota, who along with Mark Roettger, D.D.S., clinical director of the General Practice Residency Program and past president of the Academy of Sports Dentistry, has been instrumental in coordinating a dental care program between the School of Dentistry and the Athletics Department.
Not only does Gambucci “get” teeth, but as a former U of M hockey player himself, he understands firsthand the importance of mouth guards!
Driven by his clinical experience with patients, Rhodus feels that his innovative screening method was developed out of necessity.
“Hearing success stories from patients who have benefited from our research has been one of my biggest motivations to continue the work we are doing,” says Rhodus. “I was able to see firsthand the effects of oral cancer and I knew I had to do something about it. Through patient care and education that’s exactly what we are doing.”