This Week in Perio
Feb. 9, 2011

7 steps to healthy teeth
From tap water to exercise, AARP has found the secrets to keeping your smile strong. Want to keep your teeth? Follow these surprising tips: 1. Break a sweat. Exercise may lower the risk of gum disease, says Dr. Samuel Low, former president of the American Academy of Periodontology. 2. Power up. Use a high-quality electric toothbrush with a small head, says New York City periodontist Dr. Greg Diamond. "They're optimized to remove plaque," he says. 3. Go beyond floss. If your gums recede (as even healthy gums can), interproximal brushes, which look like tiny pipe cleaners, may work better than floss, which can miss plaque on a root.More

Dental implants can be successful with less root than crown
Medical News Today
Dental implants are now a common way to replace a tooth. But a dentist must first determine that an implant restoration can be successful for a particular patient. As an indicator, dentists use the crown-to-root ratio. However, the ideal crown-to-implant ratio for the replacement tooth has yet to be determined. A new study in the current issue of the Journal of Oral Implantology evaluated the health of implants that had been in place more than five years. By examining the crown-to-implant ratios in these cases, the authors found that this factor was not as important to the success of implants as previously thought.More

Periodontal disease associated with a higher risk of breast cancer
It is a well-known fact that oral hygiene relates directly to one's overall health. Of the bacteria that thrives in the mouth, certain strains that cause periodontal disease also have been linked with pneumonia, prostate cancer, stroke and diabetes as well as breast cancer. In a study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, a survey of 3,273 subjects found that women with chronic periodontal disease — which was indicated by missing molars — had a higher incidence of breast cancer.More

Gum disease links to heart disease, stroke
Aim West Milford via
Researchers have found that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. In a recent study it was found that people diagnosed with acute inadequate blood supply in the brain were more likely to have an oral infection, which includes gum disease, when compared to those in the control group. Gum disease can also cause existing heart conditions to worsen. Over the past few years there has been a growing knowledge of the link between gum disease, heart problems and stroke. The cause and effect relationship is not fully understood, but it is becoming clearer as more research is done.More

Dr. Asghar Naqvi: Fishing for a better smile
Salmon is one of my favorite foods; I eat it a couple of times a week. As a doctor, I know that fish is good for my heart — lots of studies have shown that it can reduce your chance of dying from a sudden heart attack, lower your bad cholesterol levels and improve your blood pressure. But it wasn't until about a year ago that I learned it might have an unexpected bonus: healthy teeth and a better smile. While in medical school, I wanted to explore the connection between nutrition and chronic diseases. I was thinking about writing a paper on heart disease, but many of my ideas already had been covered in other studies. Then my adviser suggested I look into periodontitis, a fancy name for gum disease. That turned out to be a great idea!More

Nanotechnology research lays the foundation for smart implants
Imagine intelligent medical implants that can continuously monitor their condition inside the body and autonomously respond to changes such as infection by releasing anti-inflammatory agents. Thanks to nanotechnology, medical research is moving quickly toward this goal. The market for medical implant devices is huge and growing fast — in the U.S. alone it is estimated to be $23 billion per year and is expected to grow by about 10 percent annually for the next few years. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization therapy devices, pacemakers, tissue and spinal orthopedic implants, hip replacements, phakic intraocular lenses and cosmetic implants will be among the top sellers. Each year in the U.S., almost 500,000 patients receive hip and knee replacements, about the same number need bone reconstruction because of injuries or congenital defects, and 16 million Americans lose teeth and may require dental implants.More

Senate approves 1099 repeal as amendment to FAA measure
The Hill
On their first try, Senators easily approved an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill to repeal the onerous 1099 provision included in the health care act. The Senate approved, on a 81-17 vote, a motion to waive a point of order against the amendment offered by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., to eliminate the requirement that businesses must file the forms with the IRS for purchases of $600 from each vendor. Senate Republicans expressed some confusion over why Stabenow had signed onto a nearly identical amendment by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and also offered her own. The Johanns-Manchin amendment had the support of 61 lawmakers.More

Dr. Jason T. Lipscomb: 5 things dentists should do on Twitter right now
Social Media for Dentists
Twitter is probably the most misunderstood yet powerful form of social media out there. Many doctors often overlook it because of its simplicity and perceived shallow nature. At one of our classes I asked, WWhat do you post on Twitter?” One attendee said, "I see a bird. Oh, I see a car. I am wearing a pink shirt." I am a big fan of sarcasm, so I was able to pick up on what he was saying. We then showed several people on Twitter who had tweeted pictures of a clock on the wall and telling everyone that their dentist was late. He may think that people are just talking about birds and cars, but they actually were giving dentists bad/good reviews. People are talking about their dental offices on Twitter, so you need to be there, too.More

Oral health: Don't brush it aside
What motivates you to visit the dentist: A sore molar? Time for a cleaning? A crush on the hygienist? These are all (or nearly all) sound reasons for keeping your semi-annual appointment. But there's a significant link between your smile and your overall health that recently has come to light. Dental experts and medical physicians are learning to recognize striking correlations between oral hygiene and serious diseases, providing all new incentives to take excellent care of your teeth and gums.More

Kansas family reaches settlement in medical gas accident case
Lawrence Journal World
The family of a 20-year-old Tonganoxie High School graduate who suffered brain damage during a 2009 dental procedure in Lawrence has reached a $3 million settlement with a Lawrence plumbing company. But legal action is pending against several defendants, including the city of Lawrence, Kan., in the case that was filed on behalf of Austin Stone. A trial is scheduled for November. The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of Stone and his guardians, Tara Passmore and Lance Stone, alleges that oxygen and nitrous oxide lines were crossed during design and construction of Dr. Kirk Vincent's office at 4811 Bob Billings Parkway. In a settlement agreement, Action Plumbing, which installed the medical gas lines, denied liability. Chief Douglas County District Judge Robert Fairchild approved the settlement.More

Judge rules health law unconstitutional
The Wall Street Journal
A federal judge in Florida has ruled that Congress violated the Constitution by requiring Americans to buy insurance as part of the health overhaul passed last year, and said the entire law "must be declared void." With his ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson set up a clash over whether the Obama administration still has the authority to carry out the law designed to expand insurance to 32 million Americans. David Rivkin, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the ruling meant the 26 states challenging the law must halt implementation of pieces that apply to states and certain small businesses represented by plaintiffs. But the Obama administration said it has no to plans to halt implementation of the law.More

Dentists seek to give Botox shots
The Tennessean
The dentist's chair is the fountain of youth in states where people can have their mouth wrinkles erased while getting their teeth whitened. States including Iowa, Ohio and West Virginia allow dentists to inject Botox and dermal fillers. Now, some oral surgeons in Tennessee have the full blessing of the state to administer Botox. But that doesn't mean a trip to your dentist is about to become a spa visit any time soon. Physicians for more than a decade have opposed attempts by dentists and oral surgeons in this state to do cosmetic procedures on the face. A truce was reached in 2003 when the Board of Dentistry set qualification guidelines for oral surgeons who have specialized in cosmetic work.More

Laser treatment offers help for gums
The Times-Tribune
February is National Dental Health Month and seems like an appropriate time to present information about a new technology available in dentistry that provides a minimally invasive, painless and effective alternative to traditional dental surgery to the gums: laser-assisted new attachment procedure, or LANAP. It is estimated that greater than 50 percent of American adults have moderate to severe gum disease, but fewer than 3 percent receive periodontal treatment annually. In addition to the risk of losing their teeth, new and growing bodies of evidence show a link between periodontal disease and serious systemic problems like atherosclerotic heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, diabetes, preterm low-birth-weight babies and Alzheimer's disease. And the list is growing.More