Written By Kassandra Foreman / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
While it is often accepted that tooth loss is part of the aging process, there is a new development based on research by Harvard School of Dental Medicine that suggests a way to determine if tooth loss is likely. This method does not require an extensive dental exam but by predictive programs that then refer the patient for a full dental exam.
Using learning tools and algorithms to assess factors such as socioeconomic factors as well as medical history and dental indicators can determine which patients are most likely to be affected by tooth loss. Previous methods have considered only dental history and related indicators and have proven to be less reliable than the new methods.
Tooth loss screening tools
This progress is allowing for early intervention for those who have the greatest risk for tooth loss. “Our analysis showed that while all machine-learning models can be useful predictors of risk, those that incorporate socioeconomic variables can be especially powerful screening tools to identify those at heightened risk for tooth loss,” says Hawazin Elani, study leader and an assistant professor of oral health and epidemiology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
This process has the advantage of being used by those who are not dental professionals, which increases the access to the technology for people of all demographics and around the world.
The study was comprised of 12,000 people who completed the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey which allowed information based upon age, economic situation and financial provisions, health information including diabetes and arthritis, race, and education.
It also allowed those who do not regularly receive dental care to receive the same type of analysis and suggest they receive dental care to deter or delay tool loss.
Tool loss affects not only the physical health of a person but also has psychological affects. It can decrease the food choices available and limit the healthy food choices affecting the health of the entire body as well.
Additional tooth loss care
The results point out the difference in care that is recommended based upon not only dental health but also including other demographic factors and access to regular dental care.
This work highlights the importance of social determinants of health. “Knowing the patient’s education level, employment status, and income is just as relevant for predicting tooth loss as assessing their clinical dental status,” Elani added.
Allowing for those who are not receiving dental care to determine they require additional care can assist in helping them to keep their teeth and to slow or halt tooth loss.
While if has been known that those with lower income or other factors discouraging dental care are more prone to tooth loss, there has so far been no accessible way to determine who of this portion of the population are most likely to suffer tooth loss.
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Kassandra Foreman has been writing freelance for five years now and enjoys learning about new things to write about. When not writing she teaches yoga and meditation with a focus on health and fitness.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.