This Week in Perio
Jan. 5, 2011

Periodontal therapy does not improve preterm or low birth weight rates
Reuters Health via MedBioWorld
Periodontal therapy of pregnant women does not reduce the rates of preterm or low birth weight infants, a new meta-analysis shows. "Clearly, periodontal disease is an important oral infection that must be always treated when diagnosed in order to promote oral health, but we cannot recommend it for pregnant women with the goal of reducing preterm births and low birth weight," Dr. Mariana Fampa Fogacci from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, told Reuters Health in an e-mail. In light of the lack of consensus on the relationship between periodontitis and these outcomes in the literature, Dr. Fogacci and colleagues conducted a systematic review to investigate whether scientific evidence supports the hypothesis that periodontal therapy could have a preventive effect.More

Richard H. Nagelberg: It's all about perio maintenance
Dental Economics
Periodontal therapy involves many factors and events, including probing, radiographs, diagnosis, case typing, treatment planning, scaling, irrigating, surgery, prescribing, re-evaluating and perio maintenance, among others. Some or all of these activities are necessary to arrive at a successful clinical outcome; however, only one of them determines the longevity of our successful treatment results. It's all about perio maintenance. Periodontal disease is a chronic, noncurable bacterial infection that requires ongoing therapy. When we achieve disease resolution, the patient is healed — not cured. The patient never is cured; the disease is just stabilized. Periodontal disease is very similar to other diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. These are not infectious disorders; they are chronic and noncurable but very controllable, just like periodontal disease.More

Porphyromonas gingivalis accelerates inflammatory atherosclerosis in a mouse model
Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death in the developed world. While a number of risk factors for atherosclerosis have been defined, scientists continue to study other possible risk factors for this disease. Recent epidemiological and experimental studies link infectious agents with the development of inflammatory atherosclerosis. A hallmark of chronic infection with the oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis is the induction of a chronic inflammatory response. P. gingivalis induces a local inflammatory response that results in oral bone destruction, which is manifested as periodontal disease. In addition to chronic inflammation at the initial site of infection, mounting evidence has accumulated supporting a role for P. gingivalis-mediated periodontal disease as a risk factor for systemic diseases including, diabetes, pre-term birth, stroke and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.More

Does perio disease affect pregnancy outcomes or not?
Periodontal treatment during pregnancy does not reduce the risks of preterm birth and low birth weight, a new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association has found. The relationship between periodontal disease and pregnancy outcomes has become the subject of debate in recent years, with different studies reporting a range of results. And while some experts agree with the findings of the JADA study, evidence to the contrary continues to trickle in. For the JADA study, Mel Mupparapu, DMD, a professor and director of oral and maxillofacial radiology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis to assess the overall effect of treating periodontal disease during pregnancy. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Marquette grits teeth over potential dental school in Wisconsin
The Daily Reporter
The prospect of a second dental school in Wisconsin sparked a heated exchange at the Capitol between state Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, and representatives from Marquette University. The state Building Commission awarded $10 million in matching money to Marshfield-based Marshfield Clinic toward the construction of a dental training building. The money is part of a Jauch-sponsored bill that passed in April in which the state agreed to give $10 million toward training rural dentists if an organization could raise that amount on its own. Marshfield succeeded. But Marquette, which supported the bill, now opposes giving the money to Marshfield after university officials said they learned about Marshfield's desire to eventually turn the program into a dental school. Marquette's School of Dentistry is Wisconsin's only dental school.More

Link between gum health and arthritis
Jan Sidley sees a gum specialist regularly to keep her gum disease under control and in the process he may have eased her arthritis symptoms. "When I stop and think about it, over the last probably 10 years, I really have not had pain," Jan Sidley told Action News. That is possible, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University. They recruited patients with both diseases. "We looked at their mouth, and the patients who had inflammation of the gum and periodontal disease, and we treated this condition," Dr. Nabil Bissada says.More

AAOMR president: NY Times CBCT article hits the mark
The Nov. 23 New York Times article by Walt Bogdanich and Jo Craven McGinty is to be welcomed as it poses questions that are relevant to the safety of the most susceptible of our population, namely children being imaged using ionizing radiation for dental care. It further asks timely questions on the validation of information delivered as part of lifelong learning provided to dentists in the form of continuing education required to maintain a license to practice. From my perception leading the stakeholder specialty of oral and maxillofacial radiology, one of the most important goals is to develop image/patient selection criteria that are task- and age-dependent, similar to existing FDA/ADA guidelines for selecting dental imaging on the asymptomatic dental patient for dental caries, periodontal disease, and growth and development. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Got gums? Then you need to take care of them for better health
Pocono Record
Can't eat something because your gums hurt? You're not alone. The widespread condition is uncomfortable, embarrassing and quite unhealthy. The good news, though, is that it can be treated. The Pocono Record recently spoke to Dr. August Eberhardt, an East Stroudsburg, Pa., dentist, and Dr. Don Clem, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, who practices in Fullerton, Calif.More

CIGNA expands its CIGNA Dental Oral Health Integration Program
Health service organization CIGNA Corp. on Jan. 3 reported that it has expanded its CIGNA Dental Oral Health Integration Program effective Jan. 1, 2011. The program has become available to all CIGNA Dental DHMO, DPPO, DEPO and Indemnity customers with qualifying medical conditions, and they are not required to enroll in a CIGNA medical plan to utilize the program. The program will continue to offer 100 percent reimbursement of customers' out-of-pocket dental costs for certain dental services if they have any of the specified medical conditions.More

Most small businesses eligible for tax credit under health care law
Businesses with fewer than 25 employees may qualify for a tax credit on their 2010 federal income taxes under the new federal health care law. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit is part of the law's effort to maintain employer-based health coverage by reducing costs so small businesses will provide health insurance for workers. The tax credit can be up to 35 percent of health care costs for for-profit employers and 25 percent for nonprofit employers. In coming years, larger employers will face penalties if they don't provide insurance. The tax credit is an incentive for small businesses to provide coverage.More

Obama makes doctors' exemption from Red Flags Rule law
Healthcare IT News
President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that clarified the term "creditor" in the Red Flags Rule, excluding doctors and other small businesses. Red Flag Program Clarification Act of 2010 (S. 3987) sponsored by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Mark Begich, D-Alaska, was scheduled to go into effect Dec. 31. It was first introduced Nov. 30 in the Senate and unanimously passed the same day. The Senate passed the bill by voice vote Dec. 7. The Red Flags rule was developed under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, in which Congress directed the Federal Trade Commission and other agencies to develop regulations requiring "creditors" and "financial institutions" to address the risk of identity theft.More

Small business tax return errors — What to do!
Active Filings
If you haven't done it yet, you will someday. Your small business is up and running and now it's time to do your taxes. Small business tax returns aren't as difficult as you might think, but just like IRS paperwork for your personal income it's easy to make mistakes. So what do you do if you inadvertently file your return with an error? Remember that if your small business tax return is filed and you received a larger check than what you're entitled to, and you deposit it, you have committed a crime in the eyes of the IRS and it's important to correct that error.More