Week in Review: Voters want dental added to Medicare | Ransomware attack | Teeth grinding

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

Should the U.S. add dental benefits to Medicare? Seven out of 10 U.S. voters think so, according to poll data released on August 26. A majority of likely voters from every age group, race, gender, and political party supported the idea.

The issue of adding dental benefits to Medicare might even swing the 2020 race to be the Democratic Party's nominee for U.S. president. According to the poll results, two-thirds of Democratic voters surveyed would be more likely to support a candidate who has pledged to add dental benefits to Medicare.

Also this week, about 400 U.S. dental practices lost access to critical patient information as a result of a ransomware attack. The attack came about when hackers inserted a virus into medical records software. The software developer paid the ransom, and the affected practices are in the process of having their data restored.

In clinical coverage this week, if you want patients to stop grinding their teeth, maybe you should email them. A new study found that patients who received regular email reminders significantly reduced their daytime nonfunctional tooth contact.

Tooth or jaw pain may be symptoms of a headache, according to new research. Up to 10% of people with headaches also experience orofacial pain, and tooth or jaw pain may be the only headache symptom for some people.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend. We'll be back with new content on Tuesday. Next week kicks off our coverage of the 2020 ADA annual meeting here in San Francisco. If you are coming to the meeting and see me there, I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts about DrBicuspid.com and the state of dentistry.

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