This Week in Perio
Jan. 4, 2012

Experts: Poor dental care linked to pneumonia
The Huffington Post
Brushing your teeth properly could prevent more than just gum disease — it could also cut the risk of pneumonia, new research has found. Scientists at the Yale University School of Medicine discovered that changes in mouth bacteria preceded the development of pneumonia in hospital patients. The study suggests that thousands of elderly people who are at risk of the lung disease could increase their chances of developing the condition if they do not take proper care of their teeth. Lead author Dr. Samit Joshi told ELS Global Medical News: "Our findings may improve the way we prevent pneumonia in the future by maintaining the bacteria which live within our mouths."More

Dental implants: The superior solution to lost teeth
North Lake Tahoe Bananza
The quickest and least expensive solution to replace a missing tooth is with the use of a removable partial denture. This is a removable appliance that can be used to replace one or more missing teeth in the entire upper or lower part of the mouth. The advantage of a RPD is that for one fee, a patient can have all or most of his or her missing teeth replaced with a single appliance. Additionally, if a patient has lost lots of bone and/or teeth in the smile region of the mouth and cannot afford the surgical procedures needed to correct the defects, a RPD is a great option. However, when only replacing one or even two teeth, a RPD is rarely the option of choice.More

What your mouth could be telling you
New Jersey On-Line
Dentists can look into your mouth and see evidence of up to 120 diseases and our teeth may reveal early warning signs of serious medical conditions from kidney disease to anemia to diabetes — before these conditions show up with symptoms elsewhere in your body. Bad breath that doesn't go away could be a sign of gum disease. White or red patches on your gums or tongue could be symptoms of oral cancer. Signs of osteoporosis can show up in your mouth before other areas of the body are affected. Bleeding gums, dry mouth, and bone loss can all be indicators of other serious health problems. In fact, there's often a reciprocal relationship.More

Mouth offers clues to disorders, disease; dentists could play larger role in patient care
The Wall Street Journal
The eyes may be the window to the soul, but the mouth provides an even better view of the body as a whole. Some of the earliest signs of diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, immune disorders, hormone imbalances and drug issues show up in the gums, teeth and tongue — sometimes long before a patient knows anything is wrong. There's also growing evidence that oral health problems, particularly gum disease, can harm a patient's general health as well, raising the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and pregnancy complications. "We have lots of data showing a direct correlation between inflammation in the mouth and inflammation in the body," says Anthony Iacopino, director of the International Centre for Oral-Systemic Health, which opened at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry in Canada in 2008.More

Uninsured turn to daily-deal sites for healthcare
USA Today
The last time Mark Stella went to the dentist he didn't need an insurance card. Instead, he pulled out a Groupon. Stella, a small-business owner, canceled his health insurance plan more than three years ago when his premium rose to more than $400 a month. He considered himself healthy and decided that he was wasting money on something that he rarely used. So when a deal popped up on daily-deals site Groupon for a teeth cleaning, exam and an X-ray at a nearby dentist, Stella, 55, bought the deal &mdsah; which the company calls a "Groupon" — for himself and another for his daughter. He paid $39 for each, $151 below what the dentist normally charges.More

Dentistry 2011: Another year of challenge and change
From the impact of the economic recession on patient visits and access to care to the growing prevalence of social media and debates over what treatments dental professionals should and shouldn't provide, 2011 brought the dental community a host of political, legal, clinical, and technological surprises — and a growing sense that oral health is gaining a higher profile in the global consciousness. By most accounts, the U.S. economy has begun to turn a corner, with estimates of a modest return to growth and profitability for the dental industry in 2012. But fallout from the recession continues, with Medicaid cutbacks in state after state making an increasing number of adults unable to obtain dental care. (May require free registration to view article.)More