This Week in Perio
April 28, 2010

Genes may increase caries, periodontal disease risks
Caries seems to run in families, and some ethnic groups appear to suffer more from it than others. The same goes for periodontal disease. So along with questions about your patients' drug use and brushing habits, should you ask how many teeth their parents have? Not according to official guidelines for assessing patients' caries and periodontal disease risk factors. But the latest research, including a pair of studies published this month, suggests that genes could account for as much as half of an individual's propensity toward caries and periodontitis. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Tooth loss linked to memory decline
Breakthrough scientific research has strongly suggested there could be a link between having a low number of teeth and poor memory. The study, specifically related to memory decline, examined the participants from a series of cognitive assessments and their ability to recall words. The results showed that people with fewer teeth scored lower than those with more teeth in the first examination and declined far quicker after further testing in later years.More

Alcohol-based mouthwash and oral cancer -- too much confusion
If you are like me, you probably always and almost faithfully, include a bottle of mouthwash on your grocery list especially after watching and/or listening to the numerous commercials in the media that claim you will not only get long-lasting fresh breath but also freedom from plaque- and gingivitis-causing germs. However, many proprietary mouthwashes including my favorite brand contain alcohol (ethanol). Numerous research reports and newspaper articles suggest a possible link between their long-term use and oral cancer.More

FDA reviewing safety of chemical used in toothpaste
With new research indicating that triclosan -- a chemical found in toothpaste and many other consumer products -- may disrupt the endocrine system and create bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, the FDA now is looking at whether this substance is as safe as originally thought. The agency's decision to review triclosan comes after repeated requests by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Does green tea strengthen teeth?
A new study reveals that green tea contains antimicrobial molecules called catechins that may promote dental health. Researchers found that people ages 40 to 64 who drank one cup of green tea a day were less likely to lose teeth, reports The research, published in Preventive Medicine, suggests that drinking at least one cup of green tea a day increases the odds of keeping your teeth as you age.More

Candy-like tobacco products: Poisoning is not the only risk
U.S. News & World Report
Tobacco products that look and taste like candy, -- and have poisoned thousands of children who mistake them for sweet treats -- are just the latest in a long line of tobacco goods that appeal to children. The threat they pose to children is not only poisoning but also an increased risk of addiction. Smokeless tobacco products poisoned 1,768 children ages 6 and younger between 2006 and 2008, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported this month in Pediatrics.More

Waxman calls for baseball ban on smokeless tobacco
Bloomberg Businessweek
Major League Baseball should ban players from using smokeless tobacco in dugouts and on the field because of its health risks and influence on children, said Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. "Millions of young fans are exposed on a daily basis to the use of smokeless tobacco by their heroes," Waxman, a California Democrat, said recently at a hearing in Washington.More

Zimmer first-quarter earnings, sales rise
Zimmer Holdings Inc said April 22 its first-quarter earnings rose 1.6 percent on higher sales of its products for elective procedures such as hip and knee replacements and dental implants. The company also reaffirmed its 2010 outlook. Still, some investors were disappointed in the performance of the company's core knee and hip business, and its shares fell 2.1 percent in early trading.More

Oral, throat cancers can be silent killers
Dentistry IQ
This year, more than 35,000 people in the United States will receive a diagnose of oral or pharyngeal cancer, and according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, of those 35,000 nearly half will die within five years. In recognition of Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week, which takes place in mid-April, Dr. Steven Sobol, an otolaryngologist working out of the ENTA practice on the Decatur Memorial Hospital campus, addressed the topic.More

Your guide to gum disease symptoms, heart disease
Round Town News
Excellent oral hygiene could prevent heart attacks by stopping dangerous bacteria entering the bloodstream, a British study shows. The sheer number of bacteria that can live in an unhealthy mouth -- more than 700 strains -- increases the risk of heart disease, regardless of how fit a person is. Evidence is developing that links the oral bacteria of gum disease and chronic teeth infections to increased incidence of heart disease.More