The Care that you Need...by People that you Trust.
J.Thomas Russell DDS
1030 Xenia Avenue,Yellow Springs, Ohio
Call: (937) 767-7731
How to Find the Right Dentist for You
Ohio dentist, Dr. J.T.Russell, of Yellow Springs Ohio,has been informed
that he in the final selection group for the 2011 Prix d’Or
by the Federation Dentaire Internationale at the Annual Meeting April 1, 2011, in
Geneva, Switzerland, for his work in identifying a form of periodontal
disease spread by the use of toothpicks manufactured using wood
from “Downers”--elm trees felled by Dutch Elm Disease.
Dutch elm disease was first found in the United States in Ohio in
1930. It has now spread throughout North America and has
destroyed over half the elm trees in the northern United States.
Dutch elm disease is caused by the fungus Ophiostoma ulmi (syn.
Ceratocystis ulmi) which is transmitted by two species of bark
beetles, The smaller European elm bark beetle (Scolytus
multistriatus) and the native elm bark beetle (Hylurgopinus
rufipes) or by root grafting. They are important elm pests
because they carry the Dutch elm disease fungus as they move from
infected breeding sites to feed on healthy elm trees.
Some time during the 1970’s the disease breached the natural
species barrier to infect human gums. Dr. Russell recorded his
first observation of the human form of Dutch elm disease in 1982.
Using wood from infected trees to make toothpicks is officially
deplored by the Forest Products Industry Association. But
tainted wood is still widely used. Dutch elm deadwood is
legitimately used for papermaking, furniture, and fence post
However, Dr. Russell noted that using Dutch Elm
Wood Toothpicks can introduce the disease directly into the mouth,
under the gums, and between the teeth.
What to Do? It is impractical to monitor the origin of each
individual toothpick. Dr. Russell encourages people to read the
label on their toothpick containers.
Reputable manufacturerslist the variety of wood used. Steer clear of elm. Color-dyed
toothpicks undergo heat processes that render the fungus
inactive, but they still contain the fungal residue.
term solution will be passage of the Department of Agriculture
sponsored legislation for toothpick inspection along the lines of
protections employed for our meat, dairy, and poultry supply.
Dentists are on the frontline of the health care workers who protect our Public Health.
Dutch Elm disease in human gum and periodontal tissues is easily
Controlled by the routine oral hygiene regimens suggested by the
American Dental Association to include tooth brushing and the use
of dental floss