This Week in Perio
May 4, 2011

Gum disease linked to anemia
Medical News Today
A new study suggests that severe gum disease (chronic periodontitis) may cause a reduction in red blood cells and hemoglobin leading to the blood disorder anemia. The research, published in the Journal of Periodontology, found that over a third of people suffering from severe gum disease had hemoglobin levels below normal concentrations. Following a six-month course of treatment to improve their oral health, all patients had improved levels of red blood cells, hemoglobin and all other clinical measures used to assess the health of the blood. The research also suggested that women with severe gum disease had a higher risk of anemia, compared to men. Fewer than 3 in 10 men had anemia, compared to more than 4 in every 10 women.More

Periodontists believe they should facilitate smoking cessation
Do you consider it your responsibility to help your patients quit smoking? If you answered yes, then you are in good company. A recent study that surveyed 231 periodontists found 92 percent believe that tobacco-cessation interventions are a responsibility of the dental profession. Tobacco use and dependence is an oral health problem and has a great impact on the development and progression of periodontal disease, said study author Dr. Laura Romito, an associate professor at the Indiana University School of Dentistry, in an interview with (May require free registration to view article.)More

Anxiety reduction in the dental office
Many people can have some anxiety about going to the dental office, but for individuals with true dental phobia, a dental visit can be horrifying. These clients may be so frightened that they will take any measure to avoid a dental appointment, including not showing for the appointment or canceling. Dental anxiety has been studied since the 1960s. All procedures in a dental office are potentially stress inducing. Such stress may be of a physiological nature, such as pain or strenuous exercise; or of a psychological nature, such as anxiety or fear. A common body response to stress is to increase the release of catecholamines, epinephrine and norepinephrine, from the adrenal medulla into the cardiovascular system. This issue will highlight methods to decrease anxiety in the dental office, including the use of hypnotherapy, NuCalm, Spa Dentistry, nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation, and other methods.More

Link between diabetes and oral health: Practitioners share new data, treatment protocols
The links between oral disease and other systemic health issues are well known. While some 65 percent of people in the U.S. have periodontal disease, the rate is 90 percent among individuals with diabetes. Yet, there continues to be little to no connection between the medical and dental care that patients receive. A May 4 scientific symposium at the New York Academy of Sciences will bring together physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, endocrinologists, dentists, periodontists, dental hygienists, epidemiologists, public health and nursing professionals, and basic researchers to examine the bidirectional relationship between oral disease and diabetes.More

Dementia and dental care: Nurse offers new oral hygiene strategies
When someone has dementia, normal daily activities become difficult. Something as simple as brushing your teeth can become a challenge. And for those caring for people with dementia, helping them brush their teeth can be challenging, too, because dementia increases threat perception and decreases ability to understand things in context, health experts say. But it's important to care for the teeth of this aging population, especially as more of them are able to retain their natural teeth because of good preventive dental care (regular checkups) and fluoridated water, said Rita Jablonski, an assistant professor of nursing at Pennsylvania State University. A dirty mouth provides a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae that causes pneumonia.More

CBCT and implants: Improving patient care, one implant at a time
Dental Economics
Without question, the initial perceived value of computer-assisted, 3-D analysis of dental patients was associated with treatment planning and the delivery of dental implants. As the technology became widely used by dentists, its application was dramatically enhanced. A clinician's ability to view images in three dimensions, as well as share clinical findings digitally, enhances the scope of the patient exam. Using dental cone beam technology for the differential diagnosis of lesions, to determine the relative location of teeth or roots to critical anatomical features, and for assessments of endodontic pathology — all in 3-D — are just a few examples of the numerous ways in which the technology has greatly enhanced patient care.More

Dental anesthesia without needles?
Dental Health Magazine
St. Renatus LLC has finished clinical tests in two of three U.S. Food and Drug Administration phases for its nasal mist local anesthetic. This means that in the near future patients will have the option of not using the needle when they go to the dentist for some procedures. dentist. This revolutionary needle-free anesthetic has been developed by St. Renatus LCC and pending Phase 3 testing and an approval of a New Drug Application, it soon could enter the dentist office. The results of the clinical tests in Phase 2 indicated that the nasal mist is comparable to that of a standard needle-injected dental anesthetic. Phase 3 clinical studies required by the FDA are expected to be completed in the second half of 2011.More

Group wants Ohio to approve use of dental therapists
Columbus Dispatch
About 1.5 million Ohioans have no medical insurance, and patient advocates estimate that three times that number don't have dental coverage. Even worse, many people simply don't have access to dental care. Ohio has 59 federally designated "dental shortage areas." Some are entire counties. Others are specific urban or rural areas. To close these gaps, the Universal Health Care Action Network of Ohio wants state lawmakers to approve the use of dental therapists. Therapists are not dentists but can drill out cavities, put in fillings and perform some extractions.More

Lactic-acid bacteria may protect against HPV, HNSCC
Lactic-acid bacteria in plaque can cause caries, but in saliva these same bacteria appear to protect against human papillomavirus and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, according to research presented at the recent International Association for Dental Research meeting in San Diego. The study, conducted by Dr. Mine Tezal, an assistant professor of oral diagnostic sciences at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, tested the association between dental caries and incidence of HNSCC and came up with a surprising finding: HNSCC patients had fewer caries and endodontic treatments than a non-cancer control group. (May require free registration to view article.)More

New dental technology helps detect oral cancer
The Asbury Park Press
Louis Rousso's life changed in August 2009 when he felt a strange bump on his neck. "It was such a nonchalant thing. I wasn't even sure that it hadn't been there my whole life," the 59 year-old Manasquan, N.J., resident said. But rather than ignore it, Rousso got it examined and was shocked to learn he had a cancerous tumor on the back of his tongue. The bump he had felt was an affected lymph node, one of the early warning signs of oral cancer, "which was a good thing," Rousso said, as he'd experienced no other overt symptoms.More