This Week in Perio
Mar. 21, 2012

Study finds link between contraceptive and periodontitis
An injectable contraceptive administered every three months may be putting women who opt for this method at increased risk for periodontal disease, according to a new study in the Journal of Peridontology. Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate is a progestin-only, injectable contraceptive that is most often seen under the brand name Depo-Provera, marketed by Pfizer. It has been suggested that progestins may have an inflammatory component and/or stimulate the synthesis of prostaglandins, which is why the extended use of DMPA may be associated with a higher risk of periodontal diseases, according to the study authors. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Oral health critical for congenital heart disease patients
Poor dental hygiene behaviors in patients with congenital heart disease are increasing their risk of endocarditis. Teens with congenital heart disease floss, brush and visit the dentist less than their peers. But they have healthier behaviors when it comes to alcohol, cigarettes and illicit drugs. Adults with single ventricle physiology (a type of congenital heart disease) also have poorer dental hygiene practices than their peers despite having better health behaviors overall. The findings were presented in two studies at the 12th Annual Spring Meeting on Cardiovascular Nursing, 16-17 March, in Copenhagen, Denmark.More

Study: Weight loss leads to healthier gums
Dental Health Magazine
A group of researchers from the Case Western University School of Dental Medicine has found that the human organism is able to fight much better gum disease, if the inflammation triggering fat cells disappear first from the body. Initially, the study involved 31 patients struggling with obesity and gum disease. Approximately 50 percent of these patients have gone through gastric bypass surgery in order to have fat cells from the abdomen removed. These patients had an average body mass index of 39. The other part of the study group involved people with a lower BMI of 35, who also were going through treatment for gum disease, but who did not go through gastric bypass surgery.More

HHS issues insurance exchange rules for dental coverage
Standalone dental plans would have the same cost-sharing limits and restrictions on annual and lifetime limits as qualified health plans under rules issued yesterday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding mandated pediatric dental coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The rule also require standalone dental plans to offer child-only plans in the insurance exchanges. The final rule governing how states should set up insurance exchanges and qualified health plans cover how Americans can buy essential health benefits, including mandated pediatric dental coverage. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Healthcare law challenge weighed by Supreme Court: What's at stake?
The Huffington Post
Two years after the president signed the Affordable Care Act, the justices of the Supreme Court are poised to weigh in with their opinions about the far-reaching act, with people across the country expectantly awaiting the outcome of the legal challenge. The court will consider over the course of three days several cases brought by 26 states and several private plaintiffs. Along the way, legal scholars, political figures, healthcare leaders and ordinary citizens have probed the constitutionality of the law's controversial requirement that virtually all Americans must purchase minimal health insurance coverage starting in 2014 or pay a tax penalty.More

Fired Jewish dentist claims religious bias
The Detroit News
A Michigan dentist has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that he was fired by his employers at a Detroit-area dentist office because he is Jewish and was given less favorable treatment than Arab employees in the practice where he worked. In his lawsuit filed in federal court, Dr. Mark Ellis alleges that he was advised against wearing a Yarmulke, a head covering traditionally worn by Jewish men, and Tzitzit, ceremonial religious tassels, during work hours at his job as a dental manager at Midwest Dental of Dearborn, which does business as Midwestern Dental, "since the office was located in Dearborn with a large percentage of Arabic patients," according to the lawsuit. "Defendant, however, permitted Muslim dentists to wear head covering or other clothing dictated by their religious beliefs," according to the complaint.More

Health tip: Am I at risk for gum disease?
HealthDay News via Yahoo Health
Periodontal disease, sometimes called gum disease, attacks and damages tissue called the sulcus that sits just below the gum line. The American Dental Association mentions the following factors that increase your risk for periodontal disease.More

Preparing a dental office marketing campaign
Marketing is the discipline of communicating a business and its offerings to its target customers. This communication includes the facts of the product or service, how appealing its seems, how it's priced and where to find it. In dental office terms, the same parameters apply. It is necessary to communicate with the target audience exactly what is being offered. One thing is for certain, neglect a loud and clear voice in any marketing campaign and face the consequence of being relegated to obscurity.More

How dentists can engage via Facebook
Modern Dental Practice Marketing
In addition to your dental website and your dental blog site, Modern Dental Practice Marketing encourages dentists to use social media — especially Facebook — for marketing. Did you know that there are more than 800 million Facebook accounts? Now that a huge percentage of the population in the U.S. has a smartphone, people are on Facebook all the time. If using Facebook for your dental practice seems like uncharted territory, the following tips are sure to help you navigate the murky waters of social media marketing.More

White blood cells cast 'spider's web' of germ-killing DNA
Scientists at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. have found a way of triggering the release of a powerful "spider's web" of disease-fighting DNA in the body's protective white blood cells. Researchers in the School of Dentistry used Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) to produce the webs, known as NETS (neutrophil extracellular traps), from the white blood cells of patients who have a condition in which their cells are unable to produce NETs naturally. The findings are reported in the journal Clinical and Experimental Immunology.More

Kentucky bill would improve nursing home dental care
Lexington Herald-Leader
Last year, a resident of a Western Kentucky nursing home contracted a potentially life-threatening gum infection because the staff never realized the person wore dentures and hadn't removed them for six months, according to a state citation. Some officials said the incident is reflective of a longstanding problem in many nursing homes: The staff tends to ignore the oral health of residents. But a House Health and Welfare committee unanimously passed a bill introduced by a Lexington lawmaker that would require the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to collaborate with the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville schools of dentistry to implement a pilot program to improve daily access to oral health care for nursing home residents. The bill now goes to the full House for a vote.More

North Dakota State University team wins competition for dental implant design
The Jamestown Sun
Bison Micro-Venture, a team of 15 North Dakota State University students, won first place and $5,000 for their novel dental implant in the Innovation Challenge '12 competition on Jan. 26. The team is developing a porous ceramic dental implant for people who cannot use traditional titanium implants. Because the implant is made from a type of inexpensive ceramic that has bonelike properties, it has the potential to reduce rejection rates, help patients heal faster, be more cost-effective and change using titanium as the standard material in dental implants and other biomedical devices.More

Letters: Preventing and treating dental disease in children
The New York Times
Fern Ingber writes, "The New York Times article 'Young and in surgery for a mouthful of cavities' clearly indicates the need to engage families and communities in positive oral health activities. It is tragic that millions of children suffer from pain and embarrassment of preventable pediatric dental disease." Michael Mashni writes, "Your article illuminated the increase in preschoolers with extensive dental decay needing general anesthesia for humane completion of dental work. This is now frequently taking place, safely and comfortably, in the child's own dentist's office, made possible by a highly trained dentist-anesthesiologist."More