This Week in Perio
Jul. 31, 2013

Gum disease may lead to cancer
Bacterial infections may play a role in triggering pancreatic cancer, according to recent research. A growing number of studies suggest a role for infections — primarily of the stomach and gums — in pancreatic cancer. The disease is a particularly deadly cancer, which the American Cancer Society estimates will kill nearly 38,500 Americans in 2013.More

Bacteria in brains suggest Alzheimer's-gum disease link
Bacteria linked to gum disease traveled to the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, suggesting that dental hygiene plays a role in the development of the memory-robbing illness, British researchers said.More

Research into special degradable particles to reduce tooth decay could bring toothache relief to millions
Medical News Today
Researchers have developed new degradable particles, about the same size as small holes in teeth, which are designed to enter these holes and physically block and repair decayed teeth. These particles are special glasses and can be incorporated into toothpaste and will dissolve in the mouth releasing calcium and phosphate that form tooth mineral. This reduces tooth pain, cuts back on the incidences of tooth decay and repairs teeth.More

Gingival stem cells can be used in tissue regeneration
Gingivae represent a unique soft tissue that serves as a biological barrier to cover the oral cavity side of the maxilla and mandible. Recently, the gingivae were identified as containing mesenchymal stem cells (GMSCs). However, it is unknown whether the GMSCs are derived from cranial neural crest cells or the mesoderm.More

Periodontal abscess, endodontic abscess or a combination: How to decipher
Surgical Restorative
The relationship between periodontal disease and pulpal infection occurs primarily by the intimate anatomic and vascular interactions between the pulp and the periodontium. As such, when we as dentists see these periapical lesions affecting the periodontium and the apical tissue, proper diagnosis and treatment is of utmost importance if we are to give the affected tooth a hopeful prognosis.More

University of Buffalo receives $1.2 million grant to train future oral health researchers
UB Reporter
The Department of Oral Biology in the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Buffalo has been awarded a National Institutes of Health Training Grant to allow doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows to engage in critical oral health research in areas such as salivary gland physiology and oral infectious diseases. The National Research Service Award Institutional Research Training Grant will provide $1.2 million from July 2013 through June 2018.More

Dental patients get $35 million over unneeded root canals
The Seattle Times
A judge awarded a total $35 million to 29 former patients of a retired Shoreline, Wash., dentist who is accused of performing thousands of unnecessary root canals. The judge found Dr. Henri Duyzend was negligent, failed to obtain informed consent from patients, committed fraud and violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act. The verdict is believed to be one of the largest in state history for dental negligence.More

Texas dentist takes action against critical Yelp comments
The lawyer for a Texas dentist sent a letter threatening criminal charges to an ex-patient after she posted a negative review on Yelp. But Texas has repealed its criminal libel law, and the state has one of the strongest laws protecting individuals' rights to comment about issues of public interest, an attorney for the ex-patient noted. The situation arose when a former patient of San Antonio pediatric dentist Dr. William Coppola posted a negative review on Yelp after she brought her child into the dental office in January of this year. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Can mouth bacteria affect the heart?
Some studies show that people with gum disease are more likely have heart disease than those with healthy gums. Researchers aren't sure why that is; gum disease isn't proven to cause other diseases. But it makes sense to take care of your mouth like you do the rest of your body.More

5 important steps dental patients can take to protect themselves from infection
NAPSI via Imperial Valley News
Recent news reports about unsafe practices at a number of U.S. dental offices have raised concerns about dental infection control procedures and caused patients to question the safety of the dental offices they visit. A sterile environment is essential for a safe visit to the dentist and there are important safeguards that patients can take to minimize the risk of getting an infection during dental treatment, according to Noel Brandon-Kelsch, a registered dental hygienist and the infection control columnist for RDH magazine.More

Should dentists give flu vaccine?
Reading Eagle Press
Currently in Pennsylvania the law allows a person with a dental license to treat, operate on or prescribe for any disease, pain or injury of the human teeth, jaws or associated structures. That's the legal definition, and fit doesn't appear to include administering vaccinations for influenza or other diseases.More

Tips to treat patients with dental phobia and help them overcome dental anxiety
Dental Health Magazine
First of all, consider not treating patients with acute sense of dental phobia, if you are certain treating very nervous patients is not for you. The following is a list of ideas that might help you find the right approach to providing treatment to patients with dental anxiety.More

Troubleshooter: Should our office adopt an alternative work schedule?
Q: I'm starting to hear of dental practices turning to their staff and asking them to vote to implement a schedule of four- to 10-hour days (alternative work schedules). Our office is in the dark as to why, how it works, and whether it is beneficial to employees? Are those offices that are on this schedule satisfied with the outcome?More

Women: Poor sleep, inflammation and heart disease
The Huffington Post
Getting enough sleep on a regular basis is one important way to protect the health of your heart. A new study suggests that for women who already have heart disease, poor sleep may be particularly dangerous to their heart health.More

10 steps to keep your teeth and gums health; 1 may surprise you
If you want to keep a healthy smile and avoid the high cost of dental procedures, the following are 10 ways to avoid rotten teeth from cavities, tooth loss from gum disease and other dental problems. One way to keep your teeth and gums healthy might surprise you. It is so important, yet something very few people do.More

4 ways to handle the inevitable negative review
The Huffington Post
Jay Gierak writes, "My dentist once had a customer slander him on Yelp in an effort to get out of a bill. He asked if I could help, hoping I might know someone at Yelp fix the problem. The review persisted online for years, as did my dentist's pleas for help."More

Dental coverage in the US continues to lag behind
Dental Tribune
A survey of 1,000 adults has found that nearly half of the U.S. population (148 million) lacks dental insurance. Of the participants, 56 percent sought no preventative care and 18 percent have not been to the dentist in the last 10 years. Cost was one of the top reasons preventing them from consulting a dental healthcare professional.More

ADA: Senate report underscores need for major action
The ADA has responded to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance's report on large dental practices, noting that it is discouraging that profits are being put before patients and "particularly disturbing" that children were involved. However, the broad brush with which the practice model in question was painted with is "equally disturbing," according to the ADA, adding that the "actual offenders" should be implicated, not the model itself. (May require free registration to view article.)More