This Week in Perio
Mar. 14, 2012

Common drug helps reduce gum disease pocket depth
Dental Health Magazine
Patients who have had a heart attack or a stroke are recommended to take a small dose of aspirin. This common painkiller helps the blood becoming more "fluid," and it does not allow it to clot in excess. Thus, the blood clots cannot block the arteries and the blood can flow normally to the heart and the brain. A study has been published in this month's issue of the Australian Dental Journal, according to which a low dose of daily aspirin intake can actually help reduce the size of the dental pockets of patients struggling with periodontal disease. In the study there have been involved 152 patients who were given a reduced amount of aspirin every day for a period of six months.More

How to keep your teeth, gums healthy
AARP
"Watch your mouth!" your mother might have reprimanded when you said something naughty, but it's also excellent advice to follow for maintaining your health as you age. Doctors are beginning to realize that the condition of a patient's gums, teeth and mouth is an important indicator of overall health, because the mouth can be the gateway for bacteria to cause problems in other parts of the body. Periodontal disease — bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone — has been linked to heart disease, arthritis and diabetes. "Bacteria from the mouth can get into the bloodstream, affecting parts of the body like the heart or joints, triggering inflammatory reactions," says Alexandre Vieira, associate professor of oral biology at the University of Pittsburgh.More

Rise in preschool cavities prompts anesthesia use
The New York Times
The number of preschoolers requiring extensive dental work suggests that many other parents make the same mistake. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted an increase, the first in 40 years, in the number of preschoolers with cavities in a study five years ago. But dentists nationwide say they are seeing more preschoolers at all income levels with six to 10 cavities or more. The level of decay, they added, is so severe that they often recommend using general anesthesia because young children are unlikely to sit through such extensive procedures while they are awake. There is no central clearinghouse for data on the number of young children undergoing general anesthesia to treat multiple cavities, but interviews with 20 dentists and others in the field of dental surgery suggest that the problem is widespread.More

New method for stronger dental implants
Linköping University
Millions of people have bad teeth replaced with implants. Often following the procedure, they are unable to chew food for up to six months, until the implant has become fixated in the bone. Now, for the first time, a drug coating that has been tested on humans allows titanium screws to adhere to the bone better and faster. Linköping researchers behind the method report that the results are good. The study, led by Per Aspenberg, professor of orthopaedic surgery at Linköping University in Sweden, is published in the journal Bone and was highlighted in the British Medical Journal.More

FAQ: The Supreme Court and health reform
The Washington Post
Later this month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the health reform law's constitutionality. The following are seven key questions and answers on where the lawsuit has been, what will happen in the Supreme Court and what it means for the Affordable Care Act.More

A protocol for follow-up visits post-implant placement
DentistryIQ
Although the high predictability and long-term success rate of dental implants is well documented in the literature, complications and failures can occur. Proportional to the increase in the volume of dental implants being placed is the number of adverse events that will occur. Some complications may be relatively minor and easy to correct, while others will be major and result in the loss of the implant or prosthesis. Implant complications and failures are most likely to occur within the first year of placement of the dental implant fixture and delivery of the final prosthesis, with some studies suggesting complete implant failure ranging from 3 to 8 percent.More

Advocates propose allowing dental therapists to perform some midlevel dental care in Maine
The Republic
Some healthcare advocates and business leaders say Maine should allow dental therapists to perform some work to improve the oral health of state residents. Proponents said at a forum in Augusta such a program would provide more access to dental care quickly and efficiently to more Mainers, especially children. Dental therapists would work under the supervision of a dentist and perform midlevel care. They say there is a shortage of dentists in the state.More

Successful dental implants for patients taking biphosphonates for osteoporosis
Newswise
Reducing a patient's treatment time and simplifying the treatment can increase patient acceptance and reduce the risk of complications. For dental implants, this means moving away from the traditional two-stage surgical approach toward a one-stage procedure. The success of this concept when combined with another complication — that of patients receiving drug therapy for osteoporosis — was studied to determine the best method of treatment in this situation. The current issue of the Journal of Oral Implantology reports on adult patients, all taking oral biphosphonates for osteoporotic disease, who received fixed full-arch dental prostheses supported by six implants.More

Focus of anti-inflammatory diet differs from that of a traditional diet
DentistryIQ
Kris Dowling writes, "When it comes to nutrition, I've found the subject to be almost as touchy as discussing politics or religion. People can be very dogmatic in their beliefs with regard to what they eat and why. Giving advice or stating an opinion surrounding their choices can be a bad idea. There are so many diet and nutrition books on the market that it's easy to become an 'expert' in whatever one believes. However, there are certain things we, as dental professionals, can offer our patients regarding nutrition information. Periodontal disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's, and autoimmune diseases (to name a few), have one common denominator: inflammation."More

An oral health reform idea in New Hampshire is rooted in controversy
The Sentinel
Amid the contention swirling around contraceptive coverage policies and the political dust kicked up every time a new aspect of the federal health care legislation goes into effect, another health-related concern — inadequate access to dental care — is brewing more quietly among public health experts and state and federal lawmakers. Untreated dental conditions led to 830,590 visits to emergency rooms nationwide in 2009, up 16 percent from three years before, according to a recent study by the Pew Center on the States, a nonprofit agency that focuses on public policy.More

A refresher course on polishing your inner allure
The Gainesville Sun
Whether it's head over heels, like Christian glimpsing Satine in "Moulin Rouge," or digging in your heels a la Erin Brockovich when she starts working for the grumpy Edward L. Masry, first impressions can attract, repel or even bewilder — and they stick around. The smart move is to boost your appeal to friends, lovers and colleagues, both new and old. It will help assure the health of your heart, brain, immune system — and spirit. And if you attract and keep friends (and have a happy marriage), you have about a 50 percent chance of living longer than people who can't make those good first or lasting impressions. Maybe that's because when you're connected, you feel less stress — and that's a bonus for every part of the body.More

Kansas Health Foundation launches dental campaign
The Wichita Eagle
Alice Hart of Wichita, Kan., has no dental insurance. When one of her teeth started crumbling, her dentist wanted to do a root canal and then put a crown on the tooth, for $2,000. Hart would have to pay all of it, which she couldn't do. A friend told her about the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program at Wichita State University. It offers advanced training for dental-school graduates and reduced-cost services to patients. Hart decided to have her tooth pulled there. It cost her about $200 for cleaning, X-rays and the extraction.More

Taking on the dental crisis: A Q&A with Bernie Sanders
The Nation
This summer, as chairman of the subcommittee on primary health and aging, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., began preparing for a hearing on "The Dental Crisis in America." Part of that effort involved soliciting stories from his constituents and Americans across the country about their experiences with access to affordable dental care. He received more than 1,000 responses. "People who are suffering with dental disease and problems with access have never had a chance to express themselves, so they're taking advantage of this opportunity to do it," Sanders recently said.More

Answer Man: No shortage of dental floss
Post Bulletin
Q: We have been on a quest to purchase dental floss, being the dentally aware family that we are. At each store we've checked, the shelves are bare. What's the deal? Is there a current national shortage of dental floss? Or a manufacturing deficiency? What are we and other diligent flossers to do? Please help us, Answer Man. You're our only hope. —Frustrated about Floss
A: Sorry, Flossy, but I can't find any evidence of a critical national shortage of this product. I called some local pharmacies and stores and they say there's enough floss to go around, so I'll just recommend that you keep trying.More