This Week in Perio
Aug. 11, 2010

Can gum disease lead to Alzheimer's? Study says it just might
CBS News
If you needed another reason to brush and floss, maybe this will help. Researchers at New York University have found that gum disease may increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer's disease. This NYU study provides fresh evidence that gum inflammation is associated with inflammation in the brain. The research team, led by Dr. Angela Kamer, assistant professor of periodontology and implant dentistry, studied 20 years of data from Denmark that support the hypothesis of a link between periodontal disease and Alzheimer's.More

For most, implants beat dentures, but at a price
The New York Times
Mark Panko still gets riled when he recalls the two years he suffered with traditional dentures. "They fell out when I talked," Panko, 56, a small-business owner in Woodridge, Ill., recalled. "I couldn't taste my food — in fact, I could hardly chew. It was the most miserable time of my entire life." Panko, who lost his teeth in his early 50s because of a hereditary form of periodontal disease, eventually replaced his dentures with something better: dental implants."More

Dr. Louis Malcmacher: Don't cross-contaminate me
Dental Economics
Since I began practicing, the discipline that has affected dentistry the most is infection control. We have made significant advancements in technology, but infection control has changed the way that we practice on a fundamental level. In dental school, we wore gloves only for particularly bloody extractions. Even then, some instructors made fun of those who wore gloves. We washed our hands before and between patients, which was considered proper infection control. Although we used autoclaves for instruments, nearly everything else was simply wiped with a moist alcohol gauze pad.More


Doctors: Gum disease a silent killer
The Times of India
Called the silent killer, gum diseases have a direct correlation with diabetes as those with good gums have better blood sugar levels than those who have bad ones. This is especially true among adults within the age group of 40 to 70 years. Doctors say the fast-deteriorating lifestyle is another cause of worry as it leads to gum infections. "I've come across patients with long-standing low grade fever, the origin of which remains unknown," says Nitin Jain, a professor of Dentistry and Central Council and member of All India Dental Association. "After exhausting all tests to diagnose it, doctors later determine that the cause is infected gums."More

Dr. Jerome Blum: Americans shouldn't brush off proper dental care
The Patriot-News
What is the most common chronic childhood illness is in America today? Most people answer asthma. Wrong. It's tooth decay, an illness that is five times more common than asthma. Today, more than a fourth of all children from ages 2 to 5 and half of those ages 12 to 15 are affected by tooth decay, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a dentist, you would expect me to advocate for dental health, but this is a cause that goes beyond dentists' offices. More and more scientific evidence is emerging that confirms how vital dental health is to overall childhood wellness.More

Negotiating your productivity target: The new payment structures
American Medical News
The days when hospitals or health systems paid physicians a straight salary may be coming to an end. As medical institutions aim to make physicians become more productive or reach certain benchmarks of quality or patient satisfaction, new payment structures have come into play. "The flat salary contracts that we have seen in the past are now very rare," said Cheryl Waltko, vice president of Equation Consulting in Nashville, Tenn. "There may still be some out there, but it may just be that they have not been revised yet."More

Did VA mishandle equipment sterilization breach?
Four of the more than 1,800 U.S. veterans who were potentially exposed to infectious diseases at a St. Louis Veterans Affairs dental clinic now have tested positive for hepatitis, and lawmakers are questioning the agency's handling of the matter. In June the VA sent letters to 1,812 patients who underwent dental procedures at the John Cochran St. Louis VA Medical Center between February 2009 and March 2010, advising them that they may have been exposed to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV while at the clinic. (May require free registration to view article.)More