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As 2010 comes to a close, the American Academy of Periodontology would like to wish its members, partners, and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the profession, we would like to provide the readers of This Week in Perio a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume next Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011.

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Health care reform will reshape dentistry
DrBicuspid.com    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The sweeping health care reform bill that the U.S. Congress sent to President Barack Obama for his signature March 21 could affect dentistry for years to come. First and foremost, the bill aims to provide dental care to nearly every single child in the country. If it survives court challenges, it also will provide funding to educate more dental professionals, set up pilot programs for mid-level providers, expand dental care in community health clinics, and fund more research, preventive programs and public education about oral health. "The expansion of availability of dental coverage is going to be huge," said Meg Booth, deputy executive director of the Children's Dental Health Project. (May require free registration to view article.) More



Periodontitis and prostatitis: What's the connection?
Dental Health Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Prostatitis is a disease that affects one's prostate gland and that can result in pain during urination, significant groin discomfort, abdominal pain, lower back pain, discomfort in the perineum, and penile and testicular pain. Prostatitis also is associated with the onset of a high fever, gastrointestinal difficulties, and chills in some cases too. Now, recent research published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that there is a significant connection between periodontitis and prostatitis. When a man has gum disease he often has elevated levels of a substance identified as prostate-specific antigens. The prostate gland contains epithelial cells that, in turn, create PSA. More

The perio-cardio connection: A relationship between heart disease and gum disease
Dental Health Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Periodontal diseases are chronic bacterial infections that affect the gums and supporting structures of the teeth and, if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems including heart disease. When the link between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease was identified and debated in the 1990s, many skeptics dismissed it entirely. However, as more patient cases surfaced and were evaluated through epidemiological studies, the more the correlation became evident among the medical community. Approximately 80 percent of American adults have some form of gum disease. There have been multiple scientific explanations proposed for the perio-cardio correlation. More

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Just how safe are X-rays at the dentist?
Mail Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Regular X-rays have long been a feature of routine dental checks, and few of us gave them a second thought — until recently when a new study warned that these scans could double the risk of developing thyroid cancer. An international study of just over 300 thyroid cancer patients found that repeated X-rays dramatically increased the risk of the disease, prompting researchers to question the widely held belief that dental radiography is absolutely safe. Experts are divided on how much weight to put on the study — which relied on patients' recall of X-rays and was carried out in Kuwait, where there is a much higher incidence of the disease than the U.K. But they do agree that the thyroid and surrounding tissue is highly sensitive to radiation. More

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Periodontal maintenance — kicking it up a notch
Dentistry IQ    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mary, a baby boomer, presents for supportive periodontal therapy (periodontal maintenance), but you notice she's about three months overdue. After updating her health history, you ask her why it's been six months since you last saw her, especially because she has a history of severe chronic periodontitis and osseous surgery with a local periodontist. She's no longer alternating with the periodontist and has a good relationship with your long-term hygienist. Mary is insurance-driven, and she admits that she doesn't want to pay out-of-pocket for supportive periodontal care. While economic downturns are admittedly difficult, it's also a time to focus on core clients and manage your practice proactively. More
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Question: Whatever happened to treating periodontal disease?
Inside Dentistry    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Drs. Robert A. Levine, a clinical professor in periodontics and implantology, Michael Rethman, a past president of the American Academy of Periodontology, and Francis G. Serio, associate dean for clinical affairs at East Carolina University School of Dentistry, respond. More

Fish oil can fight dental disease
Driffield Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The discovery of a new natural weapon against dental disease has been welcomed by the U.K.'s leading oral health information charity. Following a five-year study involving elderly participants in Japan, fish oil has been found to help combat mouth infection and boost oral health in the process. Dental examinations revealed that a lack of the essential omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil in people's diets had strong links with the progression of periodontal disease. The new findings, recently published in the Nutrition journal, also revealed that omega-3 fatty acids were strongly effective against a range of oral bacteria. This news comes in light of similar findings from a U.S. National Institute for Health-sponsored study. More

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Lynne H. Slim: A peri-implantitis update
Dentistry IQ    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
I recently scheduled a periodontal maintenance appointment with my talented periodontal co-therapists, Laurie Cason, RDH, and periodontist Jeffrey S. Sherry, DDS. I trust them completely, enjoying our visits. Laurie recently lost an implant to peri-implantitis. Her implant was placed 10 years ago, and it was difficult for her to face the terminal inflammation and sudden loss of supporting bone. I recently reviewed the literature on peri–implantitis. In addition, I consulted a good friend and clinician in Calgary, Catherine Fairfield, RDH, for some simple points to consider when providing supportive care around implants, and what to consider when confronted with a failing implant. Our knowledge about peri–implantitis is generally limited. The inflammatory reactions that develop around implants collectively are known as peri–implant diseases. More

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How your gums affect your heart
Parade    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scientists increasingly are observing a connection between oral health and heart conditions. In a study published in the International Journal of Cardiology, researchers looked at two groups of patients — those who had suffered a recent heart attack and a control group — and found that the heart patients had noticeably worse oral health compared to the controls. This doesn't prove that bad teeth and gums caused the heart attacks, but it does indicate an association between the two. How might oral health affect the heart? More

Periodontists: Evolving but still saving teeth
Dental Economics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, there has been speculation about a change in the mindset of periodontists — one that could have a major impact on patient care and treatment outcomes. Some have implied that today's periodontists are forgoing traditional periodontal therapy that aims to preserve natural dentition in favor of extracting diseased teeth and replacing them with dental implants. Most periodontists would agree that a paradigm shift is occurring, but not one that discourages traditional periodontal treatment. Instead, the specialty has turned its focus to the etiology and pathogenesis of periodontal disease and its impact on other systems of the body. As a result of this changing thought process and the emerging science that supports it, periodontists have become increasingly essential partners in helping patients achieve oral and overall health. More


This Week in Perio
NOTE: The articles that appear in This Week in Perio are chosen from a variety of sources to reflect media coverage of the periodontal and oral health industries. An article's inclusion in This Week in Perio does not imply that the American Academy of Periodontology endorses, supports, or verifies its contents or expressed opinions. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication. In addition, inclusion of advertising in this publication does not constitute or imply endorsement, agreement, recommendation, or favoring by AAP of such information or the entities mentioned or promoted herein.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
Patrick McCoy, Content Editor, 469.420.2603   Contribute news
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