This Week in Perio
Mar. 27, 2013

New nanomedicine resolves inflammation, promotes tissue healing
A multicenter team of researchers, including scientists at Columbia University Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has developed biodegradable nanoparticles that are capable of delivering inflammation-resolving drugs to sites of tissue injury. The nanoparticles, which were successfully tested in mice, have potential for the treatment of a wide array of diseases characterized by excessive inflammation, such as atherosclerosis. The study was published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.More

Teeth loss linked to heart attacks, diabetes and high cholesterol 'because it causes inflammation in the bloodstream'
Mail Online
In the first study of its type, Swedish researchers looked at patients with chronic coronary heart disease taking part in a drugs trial and examined their dental health. At the start of the study, 15,828 study participants from 39 countries reported their remaining number of teeth, classified as: none, 1-14, 15-19, 20-25 or 26-32, and frequency of gum bleeds: never/rarely, sometimes, often or always. Around 40 percent of patients had fewer than 15 teeth and 16 percent had no teeth, while 1 in 4 reported gum bleeds. For every fall in the number of teeth recorded, the study found increasing levels of an enzyme that increases inflammation and promotes hardening of the arteries.More

Study: Water fluoridation good for adults as well as children
The U.S. has seen both a steady expansion and elimination of water fluoridation in recent years as budget priorities shift and power changes hands among those with differing philosophical perspectives on the role of government. Inevitably, decision-makers and their constituents must consider evidence of the effectiveness of fluoridated water in improving oral health and claims of its detrimental impact on overall health. A similar debate exists in Australia, where some water suppliers have implemented fluoridation in recent years and others ponder whether to move forward with it. Now a group of researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry and the University of Adelaide have entered the debate with a new study on the effectiveness of water fluoridation. (May require free registration to view article.)More

The importance of flossing
The Washington Times
Everyone is aware that brushing your teeth is important to maintain oral health, and this should be done at least twice a day, with a soft bristle toothbrush. However, what many people do not include in their oral hygiene routine is flossing. Using dental floss can have extremely beneficial effects, which you may not be aware of, and many people do not floss their teeth often, or even at all. Flossing often is thought to simply remove food particles from between the teeth, but it actually does much more than this. In fact, it helps to remove plaque from between the teeth and under the gums, and also reduces the thin layer of bacteria that constantly is developing on the surface of the teeth.More

Inflammatory foods: 9 of the worst picks for inflammation
The Huffington Post
While it doesn't exactly make you feel warm and fuzzy, inflammation is the body's healthy response to injury and infection, a way of defending ourselves by sending immune cells and key nutrients to the areas that need them most. How do those fighter cells get there? Via increased blood flow, which in turn creates the redness, warmth, swelling and pain you likely associate with the word "inflammation." Say you cut your finger, and notice it turns a little red. "That's inflammation," says Dee Sandquist, RD, CDE, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson. "It helps to heal your finger." But a small red cut that heals over time is different from a state of chronic inflammation.More

Woman's tea addiction leads to loss of teeth
HealthDay News via WebMD
A case study reported in the March 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine shows how habitually drinking an extreme form of highly concentrated tea over almost 20 years created a hard-to-diagnose case of severe bone damage in a 47-year-old woman. Worried that she had cancer, the patient told her primary-care doctor in Lansing that she was concerned about bone pain she had been having in her lower back, arms, legs and hips for five years. She also had had all her teeth extracted due to brittleness. Her X-rays showed her bones were unusually dense, but there was no sign of disease. The fluoride level in her blood was also high.More

New implant system uses exact copy of original dentition
A new dental implant system from Natural Dental Implants has the technology to apply an intuitive concept: replacing a tooth with an implant that is an exact replica of the extracted one. The company recently launched the Replicate Non-Surgical Tooth Replacement System in the European Union and is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make it available in the U.S. Designed for use in typical implant cases receiving treatment from both specialists and general dentists, the Replicate system is intended to be a fully customized replacement for a natural tooth placed immediately after extraction, according to the company. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Teledentistry could (video-) feed mouths in need
Pulse+IT Magazine
If you think it's difficult trying to get a home visit from a GP, imagine how hard it is to have a mobile dental surgery come to your house. The small number and reach of these services has led to recent trials into teledentistry by the University of Melbourne's Institute for a Broadband-Enabled Society (IBES). Aged care residents are one group of the population vulnerable to inadequate dental care. As oral hygiene has improved in the general population, the number of people entering aged care who still have some or all of their teeth has grown, increasing the requirements on age care providers to arrange for dental care.More

Fewer adults visiting the dentist
American Dental Association
The numbers speak for themselves, and they can't hide what's really going on in dentistry. Staff from the American Dental Association Health Policy Resources Center has translated some complicated analyses from a number of different data sources into a few basic facts.More

Underlying mechanisms behind chronic inflammation-associated diseases revealed
Inflammatory response plays a major role in both health protection and disease generation. While the symptoms of disease-related inflammatory response have been know, scientists have not understood the mechanisms that underlie it.More

Human microbe study yields periodontitis insights
R&D Magazine
Microbes from the human mouth are telling Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists something about periodontitis and more after they cracked the genetic code of bacteria linked to the condition.More

Benefits of good oral hygiene
Pharmacy Times
Maintaining good oral health is essential to maintaining good overall health. The goal of proper oral hygiene is to remove or prevent formation and buildup of plaque and tartar, to prevent dental caries and periodontal disease, and to decrease the incidence of halitosis. Results of patient surveys demonstrate that many are unaware of the importance of practicing good oral hygiene and its connection to overall health.More

Experts: Use of smokeless tobacco growing among teens who mistakenly think it's a safer alternative to cigarettes
The Patriot-News
While teenagers across the nation have heard and embraced the "no smoking" message — smoking among teens has fallen more than 45 percent since 1997 — they don't seem to equate the dangers of nicotine and other toxins with smokeless tobacco. About 20 percent of teenage boys and 2 percent of teenage girls use smokeless tobacco, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.More

15 tips on how to maintain successful relationships with your dental patients
Many dental professionals feel treatment presentations require them to be the main presenters of information and often "spew" their knowledge to patients who don't understand dental jargon. They then wonder why there is too much unplanned treatment in the files. We teach our clients to use the 80/20 rule — that means speaking 20 percent of the time. Most of that 20 percent should be open-ended questions to help lead the patient to make their own buying decisions. People like to make their own choices, and letting them do it with your information helps them feel invested in your treatment plan.More

Doctors and their online reputation
The New York Times
While most doctors have come to terms with the fact that their patients routinely go online for information about what ails them, they remain uneasy about a more recent trend: The Internet is quickly becoming the resource of choice for patients to connect with, learn more about and even rate their doctors. And while many have used Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or online medical community sites like Sermo to engage with friends and colleagues, few have communicated with patients as, well, doctors. Most abstain for one simple reason: They aren't sure how to be a doctor online.More

Economics push Massachusetts to restore Medicaid dental benefits
Adult Medicaid dental benefits can serve as economic indicators. When times get tough, they often end up on state government chopping blocks. This certainly has been true in recent years as states across the U.S. have struggled with the lingering effects of the recession. Even Massachusetts, known for its once-generous adult plan, sharply pared back benefits in 2010, eliminating restorative endodontic and periodontic services and coverage for crowns and dentures. But oral health advocates, consumers, and the state dental society fought back. (May require free registration to view article.)More