December 31, 2010

Dr. Oz: Not a Dental Authority

I would not go as far as to say Dr. Oz is a “Jack of all trades, and Master of none” because truly he is a wonderful medical physician. He is just like most other medical school trained physician, not very knowledgeable when it comes to the mouth.  I started off my career in medicine as a Certified Respiratory Therapist while going through college and then dental school, and worked in the hospitals for over 7 years full time.  During that time I was amazed at the lack of knowledge both physicians and the nursing staff had in regard to patient dental health.  The hospitals could charge someone $20 for a Tylenol, but would not provide a toothbrush for their short term or long term patients.  Today, a common excuse I hear from many of my older patients when they have a new outbreak of rampant caries, is that they were sick and the hospital didn’t give them any dental implements or assist them in their daily oral hygiene care.  Yes, I am calling the hospital standard issue “Lemon Glycerin Swab” completely useless.  To their credit some hospitals have caught on, and provide a oral hygiene kit to their patients, but at the typical extreme marked-up price, I am sure.

This is the world Dr. Oz was brought up in, and the information he gets for his show reflect this mind set.  I’m not going to get into the information he said about dental x-rays in this blog because we have using digital x-rays in our office for about 10 years (and as with all other dental offices in the USA, use thyroid shields on every patient). Instead I’m going to address an episode I saw just the other day on sugar substitutes.

I understand the aim of the segment of the show was to inform the public of the pros and cons of various artificial sweeteners found in the marketplace today, but dentistry has been waiting patiently for someone like Dr. Oz to broadcast to the public what we have begun to preach to our patient at dental offices around the world.  Come on, what does it take for the Dr. Oz’s of the world to at least mention the benefit of XYLITOL SUGAR instead of some stinky, nasty tasting fruit like noni?

  1. Xylitol is a natural sugar
  2. Discovered in 1891
  3. Tastes just as sweet as sucrose
  4. Prevents dental cavities
  5. Help prevent adult and childhood obesity
  6. Doesn’t get involved with insulin related diabetes

For more information on xylitol sugar go to the blog about xylitol sugar.

I am not mad at Dr. Oz personally, I just think he over talks the benefits of certain products while under talking others.  And I won’t tell him how to do heart surgery, if he won’t tell me how to do dentistry.