Award for decay prevention

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

An Australian research project has won a prestigious award from the International Association for Dental Research for dental caries prevention.

Led by Denise Bailey, the pilot study investigates the use of general medical practitioners for providing information on preventing dental caries. The study involved researchers from the Melbourne Dental School and the Oral Health CRC.

Dental caries, known commonly as tooth decay, is a major cause of toothache with symptoms including infection, bad breath, tooth loss and inflammation. Currently, one in four Australian adults have untreated caries.

The use of some medications for hypertension or depression can affect saliva production, which has the potential to lead to increased risk of dental caries.

The pilot study aims to increase general medical practitioners' understanding of the potential links between medication and dental caries, and improve the advice given to patients.

The study brings together knowledge, support and membership of two practice based research based networks, VicReN and eviDent. Through working closely with practitioners, the study's outcomes will be directly communicated to medical and dental professionals.

Lead researcher Denise Bailey received the award of behalf of the team at the International Association for Dental Research's conference in San Diego.