This Week in Perio
June. 22, 2011

Researchers: Healing times for dental implants could be cut
The technology used to replace lost teeth with titanium dental implants could be improved. By studying the surface structure of dental implants not only at micro level but also at nano level, researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have come up with a method that could shorten the healing time for patients. "Increasing the active surface at nano level and changing the conductivity of the implant allows us to affect the body's own biomechanics and speed up the healing of the implant," says Johanna Löberg at the University of Gothenburg's Department of Chemistry. "This would reduce the discomfort for patients and makes for a better quality of life during the healing process."More

Austin, Texas, doctor: Good dental care might prevent heart attack
Austin American-Statesman
How are your teeth connected to your heart? Dr. Stanley Wang, a lawyer, cardiologist and partner at Austin Heart, has been connecting the dots for some time between good dental hygiene and cardiovascular health. He spoke recently to the Capital Area Dental Society about the latest research on the subject and how he believes dentists can help their patients live longer, healthier lives. "The key word is inflammation," Wang said. He said that research to date indicates that gum disease, cavities and even bacteria from the teeth can activate the immune system, causing chemicals to get into the bloodstream and injure the blood vessels. Theoretically, the damaged blood vessels become blocked, and a person can suffer a heart attack, he said.More

Gum disease prevention
Gum disease is a bigger problem then people give it credit for. Dr. Chris Johnson tells us the ways to tell if your mouth is indeed infected, as well as the best ways to prevent it, or even stop it from worsening. The name of the game is flossing. That little trick our dentists have been telling us for years is in fact the best way to help your gums stay happy and healthy.More

Dr. Lee Sheldon: Develop a full oral care plan for your mouth
Florida Today
There is no shortage of new, innovative, dental techniques to enhance your dental experience, your ability to chew and your smile. But today, let's get back to basics and talk about what you should look for in a dental examination. We grew up understanding if there was a cavity, it needed to be fixed. This is single-tooth dentistry. As we've grown older, we may have lost teeth, crowned teeth, broken teeth, had gum disease, gum recession. Changes in tooth relationships occur as a result. It's for those reasons our dental examinations should be more detailed. A full oral care plan should be developed even if it may be months or years before you complete the plan. A good plan can save money and help preserve your dental health.More

New graphic cigarette warnings unveiled
The Washington Post
The federal government has unveiled nine graphic images that will be required on all cigarette packs and advertising as part of a powerful new warning strategy. The images include a picture of a man smoking through a tracheotomy hole in his throat, a horribly diseased lung, mottled teeth and gums, a man breathing with an oxygen mask and a man's body with a large scar running down the chest. They will be accompanied by messages such as, "Warning: Cigarettes are addictive," "Warning: Cigarettes cause cancer" and "Warning: Smoking can kill you."More

State Sen. Chris Rector: Study of Mainers' dental needs will help a lot
The Portland Press Herald
Passage earlier this month of a proposal that I sponsored, L.D. 1105, "Resolve, To Study Oral Health Care in Maine and Make Recommendations Regarding How To Address Maine's Oral Health Care Needs," is a very small step forward to help Maine face a very big challenge. Access to oral health care has an extraordinary impact on the overall health of an individual. It is indisputable that oral health directly affects physical health. Numerous diseases such as incidence of diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease are directly linked to gum disease. Just as importantly, self-esteem, cognitive development and economic performance can also be affected by oral health. Children miss school, adults miss work, nutrition is affected, and health suffers. Lack of good oral health is a major problem faced not only by Maine, but the nation.More

High-dose statins may increase diabetes risk
The strongest doses of cholesterol-lowering statin medications prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients with cardiovascular disease, but they may also modestly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study shows. The study, a reanalysis of five clinical trials representing nearly 33,000 patients, found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increased slightly in patients who were on the most aggressive statin regimens compared to those on less powerful statin doses. For every 498 patients who took high-dose statins for one year, there was one extra case of diabetes. At the same time, however, the medications prevented one cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke for every 155 people who took them.More

Oral health changes in puberty
Dr. Julio Hernandez writes, "Puberty brings a new set of challenges to oral health especially for girls. The surge of hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone, cause a change in the bacterial flora found in the oral environment. The most common changes found are an increase in gum inflammation. This will cause gums to become tender and sometimes bleed. A child's oral hygiene during this time is important in order to keep the gums from overgrowing and causing infection. Starting your children on a routine of proper oral hygiene early is important. Your dentist and hygienist can help train your children, with the proper tools, on how to effectively clean their mouths. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day are important. The use of an electric toothbrush also may help children reach areas they could not with a manual brush."More

Researchers discover gene that controls inflammation in obese
Medical Daily
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have discovered a genetic factor that can regulate obesity-induced inflammation that contributes to chronic health problems. If they learn to control levels of the factor in defense cells called macrophages, "We have a shot at a novel treatment for obesity and its complications, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer," said Dr. Mukesh K. Jain, Ellery Sedgwick Jr. Chair, director of the Case Cardiovascular Research Institute, professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and chief research officer of the Harrington-McLaughlin Heart & Vascular Institute at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and senior author of the new study.More

Why disparities in dental care persist for African-Americans even when they have insurance coverage
African-Americans receive poorer dental care than white Americans, even when they have some dental insurance coverage. To better understand why this is so, researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the College of Dental Medicine surveyed African-American adults with recent oral health symptoms, including toothaches and gum disease. Their findings provide insights into why disparities persist even among those with dental insurance and suggest strategies to removing barriers to dental care. The findings are published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Public Health. The study is a qualitative survey of 118 men and women intercepted on the street in Central Harlem. Although the majority of adults in the study reported at least some type of dental insurance coverage, this was largely limited to Medicaid rather than private coverage or other types of dental insurance.More