This Week in Perio
Feb. 8, 2012

Individualized oral instructions can improve oral hygiene
Effective oral hygiene can be a major factor in preventing periodontal disease, but patient compliance can be a challenge. Now a new study that compared the effectiveness of written, oral standardized, and oral individualized instructions in reducing gingivitis has found that the most effective of the three techniques was oral individualized instruction. "We decided to conduct this research because there was no research to prove the efficacy of skills training without any further motivational input," lead author Renate Deinzer, Ph.D., told "We also wanted to test the relative efficacy of differing teaching methods." (May require free registration to view article.)More

What causes gum recession and can it be prevented?
The Boston Globe
Q: What causes gum recession and can it be prevented?
A: Gum recession is the gradual loss or retraction of the soft tissue of the gums, eventually exposing the roots of the teeth. Unlike the visible part of your tooth, which is buffered by a hard coating of enamel, the roots are much more vulnerable. One of the first signs of gum recession is teeth that are highly sensitive to cold and heat at the gum line. Gum recession is a common problem, and if left untreated over time it can leave teeth more susceptible to cavities and infection.More

Quitting smoking may halve risk of oral health problems
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Adult smokers are twice as likely to develop oral health problems as those who have kicked the habit, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found. Compared to people who never smoked, current smokers are four times more likely to develop oral conditions, such as mouth cancers, gum disease and cavities. The CDC investigators also found that smokers between the ages of 18 and 64 are nearly 1.5 times as likely as former smokers and more than twice as likely as people who never smoked to have three or more oral health problems.More

10 simple ways to live longer, healthier
Think of it as the healthy aging equivalent of "Let's Make a Deal." What exactly would you do to get those extra couple years of living hidden behind door No. 2? Would you be willing to sleep in more to add another two years? Maybe floss more often in exchange for another year of living? How about having sex more often to extend your life expectancy? Is that something you might be interested in? As the baby boom generation ages and our society in general gets older, there has been a greater focus on not only living longer lives, but also living healthier lives longer.More

Beat stress for less
This year the end of the holidays probably didn't bring the usual stress relief; there are still worries about unemployment, a flailing housing market, and a volatile stock market, all of which may be taking a toll on your health. Stress increases your risk of a host of ailments, including heart disease, weight gain, gum disease, and even the common cold, says Dr. Miriam Alexander, president of the American College of Preventive Medicine. That, in turn, will hit your wallet.More

Injectable progesterone contraceptives may be associated with poor periodontal health
Injectable progesterone contraceptives may be associated with poor periodontal health, according to research in the Journal of Periodontology. The study found that women who are currently taking depotmedroxyprogesterone acetate injectable contraceptive, or have taken DMPA in the past, are more likely to have indicators of poor periodontal health, including gingivitis and periodontitis, than women who have never taken the injectable contraceptive. DMPA is a long-lasting progestin-only injectable contraceptive administered intermuscularly every three months.More

Could teeth hold potential cure?
Your child's tooth could be the key that unlocks new treatments for serious diseases. It may be hard to believe, but research seems to back it up. Colin's two front teeth look real — but they're actually porcelain crowns. His mother, Michelle Helfer, wants her son to have his very own two front teeth again — and she's banking on a medical breakthrough to make that possible. "It's a gamble, nevertheless, but certainly an investment that will pay off in spades," Michelle said. The Getzville mother is hoping that stem cells inside Colin's wisdom teeth will ensure his future health — and even regrow his knocked out teeth.More

The heart of the matter
The New York Times
Q: Are oral plaque, coronary vessel plaque and eye plaque the same substance?
A: Coronary plaque and eye plaque are directly related, while oral plaque is a different entity, said Dr. Holly S. Andersen, director of education and outreach for the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The kind of plaque that causes atherosclerosis is "a soft, yellow, greasy gruel that is made up of a combination of cholesterol, fat and inflammatory cells that circulate in your bloodstream," Andersen said. It can rupture and cause a heart attack or stroke.More

Maryland lieutenant governor to address childhood dental care, remember 12-year-old Deamonte Driver
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown says more needs to be done to ensure Maryland children receive proper dental care. Brown will speak about expanded access to oral healthcare for kids Monday at an event to recognize National Children’s Dental Health Month. He also will use the event to remember Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old boy from Prince George's County who died five years ago after bacteria that caused a toothache infected his brain. Since Deamonte's death, several programs have been launched in Maryland to improve access to dental health for children, but Brown said more can be done to improve services and oral health awareness.More

Factors that could cause dental problems and how to have a healthy tooth
News Olio
Go and see any dentists, and the common advise that they will give is to brush our teeth after every meals, especially if we are enjoying sweet foods. Bacteria will grow in between our teeth (especially where food leftover stuck in between) and this can cause tooth decay and gum erosion. Your doctor will advise you to brush your teeth (and floss) at least twice a day, or after every meal. Lack of cleaning our mouth will not only damage the teeth but also could cause sensitive teeth problem. Globally, 1 out of 3 people already had sensitive teeth problem. Survey showed that more women are experiencing this problem.More

Dental implants: Information, facts and teeth advice
News Olio
Replacing teeth, whether singular or multiple, can be a traumatic ordeal; however, dental implants have improved over recent years and now offer convenient, realistic tooth root replacement. Basically, with the help of implants, your replacement tooth will actually feel like a real tooth. Whether you've lost a tooth, or multiple teeth, to injury, decay, disease or old age, dental implants will provide a base for a natural-looking replacement. Read on for more information about what dental implants are and how the application process works.More

Brush, floss, and bathe your teeth in blue light? PhotOral is out raising money for a new oral hygiene device
The Boston Globe
Scott Kirsner writes, "I don't know about you, but my dental care regimen goes something like this: thirty seconds with the anti-plaque rinse, brushing with my Sonicare electric toothbrush, and flossing. The founders of a Lexington startup, PhotOral, suggest adding one more step, in the morning and at night: 60 seconds chomping on a white mouth guard embedded with blue LEDs. The company is out raising $1 million to get the device ready for production, and founders Nikos Soukos and Stamatis Astra invited me to their offices last week to see their just-finished working prototype."More

Choose foods carefully to take bite out of tooth decay
A healthful diet can make all the difference when it comes to preventing painful cavities, tooth loss and gum disease. Changes begin in your mouth with the first bite of some foods. When you eat and drink starchy and sugary foods, you create a meal for bacteria in plaque. Plaque is a thin, clear film on teeth that is home to bacteria. It needs to be removed by brushing and flossing after meals. This helps protect teeth from decay. If this is not done, plaque hardens into tartar, which needs to be professionally removed.More