Health officials in Oregon have recommended using dental hygiene products to clean teeth without an oral surgeon.
The recommendations come as more states seek to ease restrictions on dentists who prescribe the services.
They say using dental products can reduce dental wear and tear, which can lead to a range of dental conditions including cavities, abscesses and gum disease.
The American Dental Association has said the use of dental hygiene alone may not prevent cavities or abscessions.
Health officials in Washington, Oregon and California recommend using oral hygiene products and have issued similar warnings for a variety of other products.
“It’s not just toothpaste,” said David DeBolt, the director of the Oregon Dental Board.
“You’re actually using a whole suite of products.”
Oregon health officials have said they’re seeing more than 1.6 million patients a year with cavities and abscessed teeth, but they haven’t been able to track how many of them are using oral products.
The agency has not found evidence of a link between dental hygiene and health problems.
California HealthCare said in a report released Thursday that dental hygiene programs in Washington and Oregon are among the best in the country, but that they have not seen a significant reduction in dental wear or tear, a problem that is most common among younger people.
The report said the state’s program is the most effective at treating cavities.
Oregon HealthCare also said dental hygiene services have not been associated with a significant increase in health care costs for patients, although the report said it did not include information on how much dental wear costs.
The American Datal Association has been calling for more dental hygiene research and has urged states to ease dental restrictions on oral surgeons.