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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin September 2010
16 SEPTEMBER 2010 EATING DISORDERS AND ORAL HEALTH Sir, I was impressed and delighted to see your Committee report 'Eating disorders and oral health' (News Bulletin, July 2010). It was great to see this sensitive issue given front-cover prominence in your publication, and I would hope that it would spur members of the profession on into being more vigilant in identifying their patient population for potential eating disorder (ED) sufferers and providing them with the help and support they need not only to optimize their oral health, but their general well-being. However, what I was less delighted about was the photograph of the wild-eyed young woman on the cover, whom I assumed was supposed to represent a typical eating disorder sufferer. As your article accurately points out, the demographics of ED sufferers include a much broader cross-section of the population than just young skinny women, and includes such 'blokey' icons as Mark Harvey, champion of the Essendon football club and coach of the Fremantle Dockers, who has courageously gone on the record about his experiences with bulimia whilst playing for the Essendon football club. If our profession is serious about providing quality healthcare for this section of the population, we need to challenge the established stereotypes of ED sufferers and realize that this affliction can affect people from a broad range of backgrounds, including members of our own and other professional communities. We must realize that the 'wild-eyed young woman' stereotype is not only inaccurate, but dampens our own ability to perceive the true prevalence of eating and other anxiety disorders, and impairs the willingness for ED sufferers to 'open up' to their dental caregivers about their ED experiences and what can be done to help them. No one wants to be perceived as a 'wild-eyed crazy-person'. Eating disorders and anxiety disorders in general are a culturally sensitive issue that needs to be treated with a degree of respect and tact. If the ADA is to communicate to the wider community that we perceive ED sufferers to be wild- eyed girls seeking a midnight binge, we will likely alienate these patients and miss out on the opportunity to do some real good for our community. I applaud the article itself and its intentions, but wish a more subtle and appropriate cover had been chosen to accompany the message. Scott Bentley Willetton 6155 COMMITTEE REPORT: EROSION IN PROFESSIONAL WINE TASTERS Sir, I would like to thank Sarbin Ranjitkar, Diane Hunt and John McIntyre of the School of Dentistry, University of Adelaide, for the erudition and thoroughness of this Committee Report. The editorial disclaimer at the end of the article states that it has not been peer-reviewed, but I am confident that it would be accepted for publication in mainstream dental journals. I have some prior knowledge, as the subject of my PhD thesis was 'The decalcification potential of foodstuffs (U of Sydney, Faculty of Dentistry, 1967). Having read their report, I realize that I erred in omitting wines from my study. I did test beer, which had about three times the enamel-dissolving effect of milk, chocolate milk and ice cream, but one- third that of coca cola and one-seventh that of orange juice. I surmize that wine lies between the last two. I had no idea, 45 years ago, that wine tasters were exposed to this occupational hazard. There must be many of them, in wine-producing areas all over the world, who are unaware of the effect, and very few, if any, would read the ADA News Bulletin. So, I suggest that the authors share their knowledge and submit their report to the Australian Dental Journal, and perhaps similar journals in the UK, the USA and Europe. Barrie Gillings Turramurra 2074 Letters to the Letters are published at the Editor's discretion and customary editorial rights are reserved. We request that letters be brief, of interest to the general membership and signed. Letters published are an expression of a personal point of view of the writer and are not necessarily representative of the policies or opinions of the Australian Dental Association Inc. feedback Editor
ADA News Bulletin August 2010
ADA News Bulletin October 2010