This Week in Perio
Feb. 13, 2013

Untreated periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, other diseases
Chicago Tribune
Nearly half of the people over age 30 in the U.S. have periodontal disease, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It occurs more frequently in men than women, is more likely to occur in current smokers and is most prevalent in Mexican-Americans. In those 65 and older, the rate increases to more than 70 percent. Men with this gum disease are 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers according to the American Academy of Periodontology.More

Small changes in diet can improve heart health
Wausau Daily Herald
While there are many facets to heart health, making small switches in a daily diet is one of the easiest to begin and maintain, one expert says. Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins, which hamper the body's inflammatory response to bacteria that cause gum disease. The inflammatory response has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Switch out your morning coffee for a cup of tea instead.More

More physician assistant programs teaching oral health
Oral health has become an important component of a University of Colorado physician assistant program, reflecting a growing trend toward interdisciplinary collaboration among health professionals. Physician assistants are particularly useful for doing oral exams in children, especially for underserved populations and in rural areas, according to Dr. Mark Deutchman, a professor in both the medical and dental schools at CU. The university began incorporating dental education into its physician assistant curriculum in 2009, largely through the efforts of Deutchman. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Brushing teeth 'Gangnam Style': Dentists say song is best for children to clean effectively
Mail Online
"Gangnam Style" became an international cult hit with celebrities, Eton students and even a robot destined for work on a warship copying the iconic song and dance. Now, Korean pop star PSY's song has been identified as the best for encouraging children to brush their teeth properly as it enables them to complete the correct number of strokes needed for a complete clean. An expert from Brighton Institute of Modern Music and a dental professional have devised a musical formula for brushing teeth, which works out the pattern of beats needed for a perfect clean.More

Beyond saying 'Ah!' — What your mouth says about your health
Mother Nature Network via The Dallas Morning News
Even if your teeth look white and pearly and have no cavities, symptoms in your mouth could spell trouble for other areas of your health. "If your eyes are a window into your soul, your mouth is a gateway into your health," says Sanda Moldovan, a periodontist in Beverly Hills, Calif. "The way I treat patients who come to me, I connect the mouth with the rest of the body because I do believe we're a unit, and we're no longer separating the two." What's going on below can directly affect the teeth, the gums and the mouth, so never ignore an oral problem. The following are some things your mouth can reveal about your health.More

Wayki toothbrush's built-in alarm clock turns off with good oral hygiene
A new startup called Wayki is adding its innovative toothbrush design to the list of gadgets hoping to improve the lifestyle of users by adding a modern tech spin to an age-old tool. The Wayki is a toothbrush that doubles as an alarm clock, but rather than just being a roughshod combination of the two, it uses the alarm function to reinforce tooth-brushing action and hopefully ingrain some good health habits for users.More

Study: Obesity associated with gum disease risk
The Huffington Post
Your waistline could have an effect on your oral health, a new review of studies suggests. Research published in the journal General Dentistry shows an association between obesity and gum disease (also known as periodontitis), though whether one causes the other — or vice versa — has yet to be determined. But researchers do think that a possible reason for this association is that "obese individuals' bodies relentlessly produce cytokines, proteins with inflammatory properties," study researcher Dr. Charlene Krejci, who is an associate clinical professor in periodontics at Case Western Reserve University, said in a statement.More

Coconut oil may help with tooth decay
A team from the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland tested the antibacterial action of coconut oil in its natural state and coconut oil that had been treated with enzymes. The oils were tested against strains of Streptococcus bacteria which are common inhabitants of the mouth. They found that enzyme-modified coconut oil strongly inhibited the growth of most strains of Streptococcus bacteria including Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium known to be a major cause of tooth decay.More

Mice fall short as test subjects for humans' deadly ills
The New York Times
For decades, mice have been the species of choice in the study of human diseases. But now, researchers report evidence that the mouse model has been totally misleading for at least three major killers: sepsis, burns and trauma. As a result, years and billions of dollars have been wasted following false leads, they say. The study's findings do not mean that mice are useless models for all human diseases. But, its authors said, they do raise troubling questions about diseases like the ones in the study that involve the immune system, including cancer and heart disease.More

How will new tax laws affect your dental office?
While the recently negotiated American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 will increase taxes for many dentists, the cloud does have a silver lining for those able to take advantage of the increase in deductions for new equipment and the extension of other tax breaks. Among the most significant deductions is the increase in the maximum that can be expensed for new equipment under Section 179, according to J. Haden Werhan, a certified public accountant with Thomas Wirig Doll, an accounting and wealth management firm that works with dentists. (May require free registration to view article.)More

FDA plans to reclassify safety of dental implant
Courthouse News Service
The Food and Drug Administration plans to reclassify a blade-form surgically implanted dental device, citing the benefits of such devices relative to their risks. The blade-form endosseous dental implant is a kind of device, made of titanium alloy or other so-called biocompatible material, that is surgically installed into a patient's jaw bone. A denture, crown, bridge or similar dental restoration is attached to the implant by means of a screw extending into the patient's mouth, the proposal states.More

New dental implants for people with bone deficit
The Medical News
Elderly or people with osteoporosis, smokers, diabetics or people who have had cancer are sometimes not eligible to receive dental implants as their bones are unable to correctly integrate the new prostheses which replace the root. Researchers at the Universitat Jaume I in Castellón have developed an implant coating with a novel biodegradable material aimed at people with bone deficit. It also will increase the overall success rate of implants through an enhanced biocompatibility and reduce the time of osseointegration or bone integration.More

Spike in heart disease, gum disease causes alarm
Clay Today
An Orange Park, Fla., dentist is concerned about the spike in cases involving periodontal disease. Commonly referred to as gum disease, studies by the American Dental Association have revealed gum disease has been linked to major health problems such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis and premature and underweight babies. "Periodontal disease is contagious," said Dr. Betty Klement, who served as chair of the Florida Board of Dentistry in 2008. "If you eat or kiss someone with gum disease, the bacteria can be transferred. We have noticed that if a husband has gum disease, there is a higher tendency the wife will too."More

Researchers increase success rate of dental implants
Dental Tribune
Spanish researchers have developed an implant coating with a novel biodegradable material aimed at people with inadequate jawbone. According to the inventors, it also will increase the overall success rate of implants through its enhanced biocompatibility and reduce osseointegration time. Elderly people or people with osteoporosis, smokers, diabetics, or people who have had cancer are sometimes not good candidates for dental implants, as their jawbone is unable to integrate the implants adequately.More

Dentist claims Walmart stole idea for in-store clinics
Dr. Kianor Shah has filed a lawsuit against Walmart, claiming the retail chain stole his idea for putting dental clinics into its stores. The suit alleges conspiracy, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract and confidence, and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, according to a press release by Shah's attorneys. It was filed in the Superior Court of California, Riverside County, in December. Shah claims he pitched the idea of opening low-cost, full-service dental offices in big-box retailers to Walmart. After the chain committed to Shah's idea, store officials subsequently rejected the proposal, according to his complaint. (May require free registration to view article.)More