Smoking May Be One of the Major Causes of Tooth Loss, According to New Study...

A new study by researchers at the University of Birmingham and the German Institute of Human Nutrition reports that heavy and regular smokers have a significantly increased risk of tooth loss. The long-term study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, sought to prove that smoking can actually hide the effects of gum disease. Researchers collected data from 23,376 participants using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. The study states that male patients who smoke are 3.6 times more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers, and females who smoke were 2.6 times more likely. The data also showed the heavy association between smoking and tooth loss for younger people, who typically tend to smoke more than adults. In addition to an increase of tooth decay and loss of teeth, regular smoking can also mask some of the key symptoms of gum disease. Fox News reports that the gums of a smoker may appear healthier than they actually are, as smoking can cover up gum bleeding, a telling sign of disease. “Most teeth are lost as a result of either caries (tooth decay) or chronic periodontitis (gum disease),” says lead author Thomas Dietrich, a professor at the University of Birmingham. “We know that smoking is a strong risk factor for periodontitis, so that may go a long way towards explaining the higher rate of tooth loss in smokers.” According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 69% of adults between the ages of 35 to 44 have lost at least one tooth due to an accident, gum disease, failed root canal, or decay. Typically, lost teeth must be replaced with dental implants, which can be an expensive procedure. “The good news is that quitting smoking can reduce the...

New Studies Show that Antibacterial Soap is Not More Effective at Killing Germs...

These days, antibacterial soaps are a staple in just about every household. Many antibacterial brands rope in customers with promises such as: “Kills 99.9% of all germs,” which makes people think their hands will be virtually germ-free. But a new study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy is refuting those claims with evidence that antibacterial soaps are no better at killing germs than regular soaps. Tech Times reports that researchers from Korea University tested the effectiveness of triclosan, a common ingredient found in many antibacterial soaps. Triclosan is a proven bactericide and has also been linked to causing infections, hormonal issues, and an increased resistance to antibiotics. Currently, triclosan is under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration. The Korea University researchers then set out to compare antibacterial soaps containing triclosan to non-antibacterial soaps. They used a solution that contained 0.3% trisclosan, the current legally-allowed concentration, and regular soap to test 20 different strains of bacteria. After the first test, researchers found 16 volunteers to participate in another trial. They instructed the volunteers not to wash their hands with antibacterial soap a week before the test started. They then assigned each participant to either wash their hands with regular or antibacterial soap and warm water. The results showed that while the triclosan soap heightened anti-bacterial activity after nine hours, there was no significant difference between the two groups. ”These results suggest that although triclosan-containing soap does have antibacterial activity, the effects are not apparent during the short time required for hand washing,” says Dr. Min-Suk Rhee from the Department of Food Bioscience and Technology. “Antibacterial soap containing triclosan was no more effective than plain soap at reducing bacterial contamination.” Dr. Min hopes that their study will make consumers more aware about the actual...

Taj Mahal Selfie Ends in Tragedy...

It is no secret that we are a culture obsessed with social media and selfies. But that culture has now cost one man his life. Hideto Ueda, a 66-year-old Japanese man, recently visited the Taj Mahal, but reports say that he was attempting to take a selfie with a friend at the Royal Gate of the mausoleum when they fell. Ueda immediately lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at the hospital later in the day. According to the BBC, his friend only suffered a fractured leg. “He was rushed in an ambulance to the hospital but he could not be revived,” Sushant Gaur, a police official in Agra, told AFP-Jiji. “A postmortem was carried out and the cause of death is heart attack. We have duly informed the Japanese Embassy about the unfortunate incident.” There has been a growing number of incidents surrounding the fad known as “selfies,” or taking a self portrait with a mobile device. Because 74% of internet users interact on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — and often post pictures of themselves, too — the search for the perfect selfie is now taking a dangerous turn. In fact, the incident at the Taj Mahal has not been the only deadly one, either. T Back in May of this year, a Romanian teen electrocuted himself trying to take a selfie on top of a train. In 2014, a Mexican man was trying to take a selfie with a gun when he accidentally shot himself in the head. Also in 2014, a woman was taking selfies and posting them to Facebook before she died in a car accident. In the wake of these unfortunate events, governments and other agencies are launching public information campaigns in order to make people...

Fitbit Hopes To ‘Surge’ Ahead of the Competition With New Updates...

The Fitbit is already one of the hottest items of wearable tech that the average American consumer can purchase at a (somewhat) reasonable price, and the company recently announced that its fitness watch is getting a new set of updates on top of it all. According to recent reports from Tech Times and CNet.com, the Fitbit Surge has begun to roll out updates which include detailed alerts during workout sessions and a longer battery life. The updates are reportedly Fitbit’s attempt to keep its large consumer audience — which is no easy feat considering that Garmin and Polar have both released wearable tech watches similar to the Fitbit. As of Sept. 23, the Fitbit Surge hit store shelves with the new updates and with a price tag of $250. The new updates include measurements of your steps, distance, calories burned, and time spent sleeping. The Surge’s heart-rate sensor and GPS allow the watch to measure speed when you’re running or cycling as well. The new Run Cues feature will allow you to receive automatic alerts at certain times during a workout session; before you start running, you simply decide whether or not you’d like to receive these alerts, and then whether these alerts should be based on time spent exercising or distance traveled. In addition to these exercise-focused features, the Surge will also have a screen and control button where you can receive text messages and calls from your iPhone or Android smartphone, see display messages from the Surge, or listen to music. To make this all possible, the Surge also received a boost in battery life. Previously, the watch had a battery life of approximately five hours if the GPS and heart-rate sensor were both enabled; with the new update, this battery life...

School May Use New Roofing Tech to Speed Up Project...

Fire Lake Elementary school in Alaska has a serious roofing issue. According to the Alaska Star, they have had consistent leaks for years, but new roofing technology may help fight this issue once and for all. Mike Nero, who is a facilities director in the Anchorage School District, says that the ongoing issue with the elementary school’s roof is caused by the way a sloped metal roof connects to a flat rubber roof along the roof’s length, which is trapping water and ice. “Where that termination happens, the snow falls off the roof, and when it melts on the rubber roof, that ice builds up and it sort of creeps underneath the metal, and when it gets inside it leaks.” The school district is now considering trying to use the advances in roof technology to solve their issues. This would advance the project’s timeline and avoid forcing them to replace the entire roof. It is this alternative that has the district’s maintenance and facilities department nodding their heads and attempting to evaluate the design of the project over the next few months. If this use of different technology seems like it will work, they would put a silicone sealant where the roofs meet, along the entire length of the roof. They would also install snow breaks on the metal roof in order to prevent snow from melting and falling onto the flat part of the roof. This could be their solution to the ice damming. “There’s also Heat Trace, and things we could do that keep it from freezing and backing up,” Nero said. Heat Trace refers to cables that can be placed on the roof to regulate temperature, and they are often used on commercial and industrial buildings. The current timeline for the...