This Week in Perio
Aug. 14, 2013

Gum sleuths find sick mouths play role in deadly diseases
Bacteria-laden mouths and bleeding gums are giving medical researchers plenty to think about. Turns out gum disease is associated with a greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and even pregnancy complications. And a study released recently found evidence that bacteria linked to gingivitis traveled to brains afflicted by Alzheimer's disease, hinting at a role in dementia.More

6 ways to protect your gums
Men's Journal
Back when we were kids, dentists loved to scare us with horrific photos of bloody, red gums and rotten teeth. Terrified that our mouths would end up like that, we'd brush and floss twice a day without Mom making us, at least for a few days after each checkup. But as adults, far too few of us follow doctor's orders, meaning those nasty photos may not be so far from reality. Almost half of Americans age 30 and up have periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Men account for 56 percent of those cases.More

Gum disease causes and risk factors
Dental Health Magazine
Gum disease is caused by the heavy and consistent buildup of plaque and tartar. However, there are plenty of other factors which can play an important role in the development of gum disease. Know about these, and safeguard your oral health.More

Study: Perio disease affects quality of life
Peridontal disease can significantly impact a person's overall quality of life, according to a new study published in the Journal of Periodontology. A team of Swedish researchers performed clinical and radiographic exam on 443 individuals. In addition, all study participants assessed their oral health-related quality of life using the Swedish short-form version of the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14). (May require free registration to view article.)More

Little proof gum disease causes Alzheimer's
NHS Choices
The news that gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer's disease is being widely reported, with headlines such as "Gum disease can lead to dementia" in The Sun and "Brushing your teeth reduces risk of dementia" in the Daily Mirror. While there are many good reasons to brush and floss your teeth regularly, the science behind these stories is not as conclusive as the headlines suggest.More

Dentist who used copyright to silence her patients is on the run
Ars Technica
A lawsuit regarding a dentist and her ticked-off patient was meant to be a test of a controversial copyright contract created by Medical Justice. Just a day after the lawsuit was filed, though, Medical Justice backed down, saying it was "retiring" that contract. Now, more than a year after the lawsuit was filed, the case against Dr. Stacy Makhnevich seems to have turned into a case about a fugitive dentist. Makhnevich is nowhere to be found, won't defend the lawsuit and her lawyers have asked to withdraw from the case.More

How 2 men changed dentistry forever
It's funny how the universe aligns itself — theories and people — and then pings them off one another with galactic precision. In 1890, two such events had a profound effect on the future of dental science. First, 37-year-old Dr. Willoughby D. Miller theorized the chemoparasitic theory of caries. That same year, 21-year-old Alfred C. Fones graduated from the New York College of Dentistry with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Over the next several years, the contributions of both men would change dentistry forever. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Experts: Dental care safe for pregnant women
HealthDay News
Dental cleanings and X-rays are safe for pregnant women, a U.S. obstetrician/gynecologist group says. The group also advised OB-GYNs to perform routine dental health assessments at women's first prenatal visit and to encourage their patients to see a dentist during pregnancy.More

Study: Single men, smokers at higher risk for oral HPV
Although it is rare for men to contract oral oncologic human papillomavirus infections, single men and smokers face higher risks of developing HPV-driven oropharyngeal cancer, according to a new study in Lancet. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Study: Vaccine protects against oral HPV16/18 infection
The human papillomavirus vaccine affords strong protection against oral HPV16/18 infections, according to a new study in PLOS One. The findings suggest the vaccine may reduce the risk of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers, in particular HPV16, the type most commonly associated with this cancer. (May require free registration to view article.)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

'Blue Jasmine' joins long list of movies and TV shows portraying dentists as jerks (and worse)
New York Daily News
Critics are drooling over "Blue Jasmine," but the new Woody Allen film is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of New York dentists. The root of the issue: Yet another unflattering depiction of tooth docs. It's the latest in a series of such portraits by Hollywood, which midtown dentist Lawrence Spindel admits he finds "difficult." "It's unfair," he adds, "and a little hurtful." But predictable.More

Stem cells found in gum tissue can fight inflammatory disease
Health Canal
Stem cells found in mouth tissue can not only become other types of cells but can also relieve inflammatory disease, according to a new Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC study in the Journal of Dental Research. The cells featured in the study are gingival mesenchymal stem cells, which are found in the gingiva, or gum tissue, within the mouth. GMSC, like other stem cells, have the ability to develop into different types of cells and can affect the immune system.More

Dental software contract negotiations: How to do it right
Michael Uretz writes, "Not long ago I was hired by a three-provider medical practice to help them negotiate their electronic health record and practice management system contract. I can still hear the tone of the software vendor CEO as he told me that he would love to accommodate us, but he would need to pay his attorney to modify the contract and he couldn't afford to do that for a small, three-provider deal. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Sheri's Solutions: The 8 o'clock patient
It is 8 a.m. on a typical weekday. You have been in the office since 7:15, checking charts, having your team meeting, getting your "game" day planned. So where is your confirmed 8:00 patient? (May require free registration to view article.)More