This Week in Perio
Jan. 8, 2014

Study suggests link between perio disease and oral cancer
The oral-systemic link has become increasingly important as researchers have connected periodontal disease with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and pregnancy complications, and now a new study has found a possible association between periodontal disease and oral cancer. Monitoring and treatment of chronic periodontitis may be beneficial in reducing a potential cause of oral squamous cell carcinoma, according to the study authors. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Gum disease link to sedentary middle age
Inactive, middle-aged men are at greater risk of developing gum disease compared to men who take regular exercise, according to new research. Moderate to severe gum disease was associated with low levels of exercise in men ages 45-65, most of who worked in offices, according to scientists from Hannover Medical School writing in the Journal of Clinical Peridontology.More

Keeping your primary-care dentist honest
The Hill
Partisan divides have further split an already-polarized electorate and specific policy differences have made consensus impossible on almost every issue in and around the healthcare debate. Almost. While both sides go at it over every minor detail, there is one point on which everyone can agree: our system for delivering healthcare is flawed, if not fundamentally broken. And while many of the system's failures have been scrutinized ad nauseum by the media, how dentistry and dental specialties factor into the debate remains largely unknown.More

Living with gum disease
The Epoch Times
When George Washington posed for the iconic Lansdowne portrait, his lips were firmly shut, helping create an image of his noble, stoic character. Another reason for the pursing may, however, have been to mitigate the pain caused by his false teeth.More

Does a great smile reveal a healthy heart?
Your mouth may give clues to your overall health. Inflammation linked with gum disease, for example, may play a role in heart disease. Treating gum disease, however, may not lower heart risks. While some research has found that oral bacteria and the inflammation from periodontitis may contribute to cardiovascular disease, the American Heart Association reported that there's no proof that preventing periodontitis can prevent heart disease or that treating gum disease can decrease the chances of getting atherosclerosis.More

World's 1st connected toothbrush will keep cavities away
You'll have no excuse but be gingivitis free at your next dentist appointment, thanks to the world's first connected toothbrush that keeps daily tabs on your brushing habits. Called the Kolibree smart toothbrush, the device was announced at the 2014 International CES show in Las Vegas. The toothbrush, which will ship later this year, provides details about your brushing habits, improving your overall dental health. Price will range between $100-$200, depending on the model (details about different versions aren't yet available).More

Basic care for periodontal disease may not be enough for patients with diabetes
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nonsurgical treatment of periodontal disease does not improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Despite these results, the American Academy of Periodontology continues to encourage patients with diabetes to maintain periodontal health and receive appropriate treatment for any periodontal disease.More

Orthodontic treatment: Assessing patient readiness
Maintaining oral health during orthodontic treatment can be a challenge for both the patient and clinician. It is imperative that patients receive a comprehensive oral evaluation prior to the start of orthodontic care. This will allow for an assessment of the effectiveness of the patient's current oral hygiene practices. The clinician can also make a determination of whether the patient is willing and able to implement practices that will lead to the maintenance of gingival and tooth health throughout the course of treatment. During this evaluation, indices that measure oral hygiene should be integrated into the visit, and treatment modalities leading to a shift from a diseased to a healthy oral environment recommended.More

Obesity predicts periodontal therapy outcomes
Worldwide, obesity is becoming so prevalent that it can be characterized as an epidemic. It is a chronic health issue that affects more than 500 million people, according to the World Health Organization. The U.S. has a particularly high rate of obesity with more than one-third of the adult population falling into that category, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And an increase in the rates of obesity domestically increased across all income and education levels between 1988-1994 and 2007-2008. (May require free registration to view article.)More

The commodore, the toothache court-martial, and 'Moby Dick'
In 1849, with the ship St. Mary's, part of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Squadron, lying at anchor at the port of Callao, Peru, Lt. Fabius Stanly suffered "acutely from 'neuralgia' in the face." He thought that removing a tooth would alleviate the pain in his face and temple. After consulting with the ship's surgeon, who agreed the experimental extraction might work but didn't have the necessary instrumentation, Stanly was told to try the surgeon aboard the Ohio, the flagship of the squadron. The surgeon there didn't have the right tool either and advised Stanly to go "on shore and have the tooth extracted [by a dentist]." (May require free registration to view article.)More

Are there enough doctors for the newly insured?
According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, the federal agency charged with improving access to healthcare, nearly 20 percent of Americans live in areas with an insufficient number of primary-care doctors. Sixteen percent live in areas with too few dentists and a whopping 30 percent are in areas that are short of mental health providers. Under federal guidelines, there should be no more than 3,500 people for each primary-care provider; no more than 5,000 people for each dental provider; and no more than 30,000 people for each mental health provider.More