What you’ve missed this week

Missed out on this week’s dental news? No problem, here’s what happened over the past seven days…

A third of European dentists may leave the UK after Brexit

Almost a third of dentists from Europe are considering leaving the UK in the next few years.

That’s according to a new report from the General Dental Council (GDC), published this week.

Despite this, the dental regulator claims it has seen no evidence of EEA-qualified dental professionals leaving UK registers.

More than eight in 10 of those intending to leave blame uncertainty over Brexit arrangements as a significant factor.

The survey also found that 84% of respondents believe Brexit is leading to a shortage of healthcare workers.

With 75% of people believing it is leading to a shortage of dental professionals.

Dental practice valuations keep falling

Goodwill valuations and deals have dropped in the last quarter, according to the latest NASDAL goodwill survey.

Figures show goodwill valuations have dropped for both NHS and private practices.

NHS goodwill valuations dropped to 177% of gross fees, while private valuations dropped to 104% of gross fees.

Over the past year practice valuations have plummeted from a high of 153% of gross fees.

The percentage of deals carried out has seen a more gradual decline, dropping from 137% of gross fees.

Improving oral health can help rehabilitate prisoners

A Dundee University dental professor has said improving oral health habits can help rehabilitate prisoners.

Professor Ruth Freeman, from the university’s School of Dentistry, says introducing inmates to better lifestyle choices can produce changes in offenders’ health-related behaviours.

‘Oral health is an integral part of a person’s physical health and psycho-social wellbeing, and this is also true for people in prison,’ she commented.

‘The pain of toothache can influence a person’s mood and we know that there is a link in the homeless population between having decayed and missing teeth and depression.

‘There’s no reason to think there might not be a similar link to those people in prison.’

New research links gum disease with Alzheimer’s

gum disease

Gum disease has links with Alzheimer’s according to new research published in the latest issue of Science Advances.

The research found that the bacteria P gingivalis could play a role in developing Alzheimer’s.

Almost half (45%) of the UK population could be affected by gum disease, according to the last dental survey.

The British Dental Association has used the news to remind the Department of Health on the importance of oral health.

Gum disease can vary from mild inflammation to reddened, bleeding gums and even loose teeth.

The BDA claims this study highlights the fact that oral health can’t remain an ‘optional extra’ in the health service.

Public Health England launches healthy teeth lesson plans

public health england

‘Keeping our teeth healthy’ lesson plans are now available from Public Health England as part of its Change4life campaign.

There are two plans, one aimed at five to seven-year-olds and one for seven to eleven-year-olds.

The presentations use a simple science experiment to introduce the idea of how sugary drinks can affect teeth.

For the experiment children are encouraged to submerge egg shells in high sugar drinks and water or milk.

After leaving them for a day, children can compare the egg shells to see what affect each drink has had.

Pupils are then asked what they can do to help keep their teeth clean and create a dental health plan.

School children taught to count using sugar cubes to help curb obesity rates

childhood obesity

Primary school children are being taught to count using sugar cubes to help combat childhood obesity.

Worksheets, created by Public Health England (PHE), will ask pupils to calculate how much sugar is in different foods.

Children will then be asked whether this is more or less than the recommended daily amount of sugar.

This is the first time PHE has used English and maths to reinforce the message about sugar content in food.

While some teachers welcomed the voluntary worksheets, other critics have accused PHE of fear-mongering.

Gum disease increases chances of an early labour

Gum disease significantly increases the chances of pregnant women going into labour early, a new study has found.

The study found that 45% of women who entered labour early had gum disease, compared with 29% who experienced a perfect pregnancy.

Women with untreated tooth decay or fillings were also more likely to experience early births.

Women who went into labour early had gum health scores four times lower than those who had a perfect pregnancy.

Researchers, comparing the pregnancies of almost 150 women, found those who had an early labour experienced eight times more plaque.

Catch up on last week’s news here.

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