This Week in Perio
Jun. 6, 2012

Gum disease now associated with women's hormones
A review of women's health studies by Charlene Krejci, associate clinical professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, has shown a link between women's health issues and gum disease. Across the ages, hormonal changes take place during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Krejci found female hormones that fluctuate throughout women's lives can change conditions in the mouth that allow bacteria to grow, enter the blood, and exacerbate certain health issues like bone loss, fetal death and pre-term births.More

CDC: US oral health improvements mixed
A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention once again is putting the country's oral health disparities in the spotlight. The report, issued May 31 by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, found that while the presence of tooth decay has declined over the last two decades, more than 1 in every 5 Americans still suffers from untreated caries. The report used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for 2005-2008 to assess the prevalence of untreated caries, existing dental restorations, dental sealants, and edentulism in the U.S. by age, race/ethnicity, and poverty level. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Suicide rates among oral cancer patients on the rise
Suicide rates among patients with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer have increased significantly over the past three decades, particularly among male patients during the first year after diagnosis. As many as half of patients with head and neck cancer suffer from depression, among the highest of all oncology patients. However, despite documented high rates of depression and suicide among patients with head and neck cancer, studies examining suicide and other noncancer-related deaths in patients with OC/OP have not been published. (May require free registration to view article.)More

NYUCD receives grant to identify biomarkers for the progression of periodontal disease
New York University College of Dentistry has been selected as one of five institutions that are sharing a $20.7 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to the Forsyth Institute to find new ways to diagnose and fight periodontal disease. As the recipient of a $1.8 million subcontract, the NYU College of Dentistry will screen research subjects and collect biological samples that will contribute to the overall project, "Biomarkers of Periodontal Disease Progression."More

Ignoring gingivitis is folly: Health issues associated with disease can become chronic, lifelong
Postmedia News via The Vancouver Sun
If you can't afford the basic tools to prevent gingivitis, you are likely to be among the 1 in 2 Canadians who has it. Vancouver resident Eileen Kirby knows this from experience. She has endured issues with inflamed gums and sensitive teeth for more than 35 years. "I started having problems back in my 20s and I'm 60 now," says Kirby, a volunteer at a dental clinic in Vancouver. "I did brush my teeth, but in those days when you were on welfare, they wouldn't send you to the dentist unless you had to have a tooth pulled. Things had to get pretty bad before they'd do anything. And when you haven't got any money, you don't get a new toothbrush as often as you're supposed to and you even have to budget the amount of toothpaste you use. That's why I brushed no more than once a day."More

8 ways to beat bad breath
Women's Health
Smelly breath can embarrass anyone. Here's how to get rid of it.More

New ultrasound toothbrush could revolutionize oral hygiene
Fox News
More than 75 percent of American adults have some form of gum disease — but the condition is completely preventable. Peer Blumenschein, CEO of Emmi-Tech Inc., recently spoke with Fox News Health about a new technology that is changing the way we brush our teeth: the Emmi-Dent Ultrasonic Toothbrush. "[It's] a new device in the United States," Blumenschein said, "... and it's the first toothbrush which runs 100 percent on ultrasound, so the ultrasound cleans. You do not have to brush — so it's a 'no brushing' toothbrush." The toothbrush, modeled after the average dental teeth cleaning, uses devices with ultrasonic power to break down tartar. But unlike conventional cleanings, the Emmi-Dent brush utilizes microwaves with significantly less power.More

Are you getting 'long in the tooth' or long in the tooth?
Tijana writes, "We have all heard of the phrase 'getting long in the tooth.' We use it when talking about horses and humans. They say you can tell a horse's age by looking at their teeth. While we could probably say the same about humans, I hope that as people become more educated about their oral health and overall health, they will be able to defy this logic and keep their teeth in great shape well into their old age. In any case, people often say they are 'getting long in the tooth' to mean they are growing older."More

Dental price clubs: Should you bite?
Ben Popken writes, "There's really no such thing as dental insurance. With traditional health coverage, individuals bet they won't end up paying more in premiums than they get back. The insurer, on the other hand, bets that a policyholder won't have a catastrophe. Dental is different. For starters, the annual maximum payouts are low: $1,000 to $2,000. That means with pricey procedures, such as root canals or tooth extractions, one quickly ends up paying out of pocket. The actual risk the companies take on is pretty minimal, experts said. Even though regular checkups are fully covered, not everyone goes twice a year as recommended. Dental benefits providers pocket those unused dollars."More

Study: No clinical advantage of lasers for perio maintenance
Do soft-tissue lasers add clinical value to the treatment of periodontal disease beyond what can be achieved using only scaling and root planing? The literature so far is mixed, but a new study to be presented at the upcoming International Association for Dental Research meeting has found that the use of a Nd:YAG laser does not provide a significant advantage during a periodontal maintenance care program. The Nd:YAG lasers have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for soft-tissue treatment. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Traditional dentistry wary of dental therapists
Los Angeles Times
Dental therapists are expected to fill a gap in care, with nearly 17 million children in the U.S. lacking coverage. But the American Dental Association argues that therapists aren't adequately trained to perform major work.More

Postnasal drip not usually related to bad breath
Chicago Tribune
Q: I've had a case of chronic postnasal drip for many years and as a result have very bad breath. Are the two related and if so, how? What can be done to treat bad breath due to postnasal drip?
A: Postnasal drip usually isn't related to bad breath. Instead, bad breath most often results from the breakdown of food in your mouth, bacteria in the tissues of your mouth or tonsils, dental problems, dry mouth or, rarely, an underlying disease. It is possible that your bad breath could be a result of a sinus problem, such as an infection. But in that case, you'd likely be experiencing symptoms in addition to postnasal drip. To determine what's causing your bad breath and what can be done, your situation needs more evaluation.More