Category Archives: News

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

We have boxes for Operation Christmas Child here! If you would like to participate in this fun and meaningful way to encourage children in other countries at Christmas time, swing by and grab a box. Fill it up with guidance from the instructions enclosed. Return it to us by NOVEMBER 13!

2018-scholarship-winners

2018 Penshorn Science Scholarship winners selected

Two students Earn Scholarships to continue their ‘Journey of Learning’

For the past four years, two area teenagers have entered their science labs in pursuit of “how.” “How do cells really work and stay healthy?” and “how does physics make a difference in everyday things?” Their search led them each deeper into the intricacies of scientific discovery and this month Brianna Martin and Bailey Mosley have been selected as the 2018 Penshorn Science Scholars from Steele and Clemens High Schools respectively. Each senior will receive a $1250 scholarship toward her freshman year in college.

Steele HS senior Brianna Martin, the daughter of Greg and Terri Martin , realized her love of science in Pre-AP Biology. After multiple science classes, including Medical Microbiology within the STEM track, she decided to continue on that track for college. She will attend Texas State University and seek a degree in microbiology with a focus on research and a future in pathology.

“I have chosen this path because I would like to do stem cell research and work toward a cure for cancer,” said Martin.

“Brianna always wants those around her to be successful alongside of her. Her dedication to understanding what she is learning and helping others to do the same makes her an excellent student,” adds Ms. Shayler Wagner, Martin’s pre-AP biology teacher at Steele.

Clemens HS senior Bailey Mosley, the daughter of JD and Kelley Mosley, is the 2018 Texas State Champion for the Technology Students Association (TSA) competition in Engineering Graphic Solutions. Finding her niche in engineering skills, Mosley has won multiple awards at state-level TSA competitions during high school, has succeeded in a full complement of traditional AP science classes and STEM-track engineering classes, and held a leadership position in the Clemens TSA this year. She will attend Texas A&M University and major in civil engineering.

“I discovered a love of science at an early age, and was so glad that I could choose a STEM endorsement at Clemens which allowed me to participate in additional science and engineering courses over the past few years.  My hope is to someday join Engineers Without Borders and with engineering solutions provide help to those who suffer in other parts of the world,” said Mosley.

“Bailey’s understanding of AP Physics and hard work in my class was second to none. She never gave up until she had mastered the material and had helped everyone else learn it too. She understands how physics is applied in real life and she is respected highly by her peers,” said Clemens AP Physics teach Roger Alcala.

“I believe Brianna and Bailey have been well prepared by our two high schools for the college curriculums they are choosing.  It is exciting to see the new opportunities our high school students are getting to lay a strong foundation of learning in the sciences as they consider their future careers,” said Dr. Penshorn.  “Both of these young women have worked hard to excel in AP Physics and related science classes while being incredibly involved in other activities as well. As they head to college, I’m glad to be on their team and offer some financial support for this next step on their journey of learning.”

Dr. Penshorn began the Penshorn Science Scholarship in 2008 as he celebrated his 25th year of dental practice in the Schertz area.  Scholarship winners from the past 10 years now hold advanced degrees in various science fields, are health care providers, engineers and researchers. A special congratulations goes to Emily Hecox, one of the 2014 Scholars, who graduated this month from Angelo State University and begins medical school at Texas Tech this summer.

E-Cigarettes causing problems

It is commonly known among dentists and dental hygienists that patients who smoke are at higher risk for mouth cancers of all type than patients who don’t. But what is the impact of smoking e-cigarettes?

The American Dental Association this week announced new research results that show e-cigarettes are having negative health consequences and that vaping is causing more people to start a real smoking habit rather than quitting.

When they first emerged in 2004, e-cigarettes were promoted as a “healthier” alternative to traditional cigarettes for those who wanted the feeling of smoking tobacco without the harmful side effects. However, new studies are showing that burning vapors from the e-cigarette cause cells to release proteins which stress cells, leading to damage that could lead to various oral diseases. Another study shows that artificial e-cigarette flavors, especially cinnamon and vanilla, have a toxic effect on white blood cells.

Meanwhile, a study released on March 14, 2018, showed that in 2015, while 2,070 smokers in the US quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes, another 168,000 adolescents who had never smoked began smoking after first trying e-cigarettes. The authors suggest that fruit flavors have created a draw for younger users. It is worth noting that the FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.

More details about the above noted research can be found on the ADA website and at the ADA Foundation.

–Courtesy of the ADA NEWS March 16, 2018

CHARCOAL

Charcoal is the latest rage, but is it good for your mouth?
by Mark A. Penshorn, DDS, Schertz Dentist

Recently there have been many advertisements and testimonials advocating the use of charcoal and charcoal-based toothpastes. In response, a large review of international scientific literature has been published. Here’s what it found:
*None of the 50 different toothpastes that were identified had any references for any clinical trials of effectiveness or toxicity and none displayed the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
*No scientific support was found in any of the literature for charcoal providing any detoxification benefits to the teeth or oral mucosa.
*There were no reports that confirmed the claim made by 22 of the 50 vendors that charcoal based oral products unambiguously promoted antibacterial properties.
*The authors (noted below) conclude that
1. formal studies should be conducted to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy and safety of charcoal-based toothpastes and
2. claims of benefits are currently unproven.
3. there may actually be health risks associated with some of the 15 poly-aromatic hydrocarbons found in charcoal as well as other ingredients in some of the toothpastes.

In my opinion, patients should not begin ingesting charcoal or using it as a dental paste until further studies regarding its toxicity are completed.
Mark A. Penshorn, DDS October 2017

(Reference: John A. Brooks, DDS, Nasir Bushirelahi, PhD, Mark A Reynolds, DDS, PhD
“Journal of the American Dental Association”, September 2017, pg 148)

Beverages matter …

The New York Times (5/1 Bakalar) reports that “Substituting just one serving a day of water or unsweetened tea or coffee for one serving of a sugar-sweetened soft drink or dairy beverage can significantly reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes” according to a study published online in the journal Diabetologia.

The Los Angeles Times (5/1 Healy) “Science Now ” blog reports that after tracking the consumption habits of more than 25,000 Britons (ages 40-79) over about 11 years, researchers found that “drinking sugar-sweetened milk products was an even more powerful driver of diabetes; compared with those who drank one such beverage daily, people who drank water, coffee or tea instead were on average 20%-25% less likely to develop diabetes.”

Locally, the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA) gathered data on health status and lifestyles of 749 European-American and Mexican-American elders for more than 9 years. In participants over age 65 who reported that they did not consume any diet sodas, waist circumference increased less than 1 inch on average during these 9 years. In those who reported occasional consumption of less than one diet soda a day, waist circumference increased almost 2 inches. And among those who consumed diet sodas every day or more than once a day over the study period, waist circumference increased over 3 inches. “Even when you adjust for (other factors) you have this independent effect of diet soda consumption on waist circumference change over time,” said Helen Hazuda, Ph.D., who led the study.