This Week in Perio
Aug. 31, 2011

Study data points to periodontal disease as psoriasis risk factor
Analyses of prospectively collected data from the Nurses' Health Study suggest periodontal disease may be a risk factor for psoriasis, reported Sarah Nakib, M.D., M.P.H., at the 2011 meeting of the Society for Investigative Dermatology. Nakib is a resident, department of dermatology and internal medicine, University of Minnesota. She worked on the study under the mentorship of Abrar A. Qureshi, M.D., M.P.H., Channing Laboratory, Harvard Medical School. Nakib, Qureshi, Jiali Han, Ph.D., and members of their lab investigated an association between PD and the development of psoriasis using self-reported dental history information collected in questionnaires administered to participants in the longitudinal NHS between 1992 and 2000. Self-reported data on periodontal bone loss available from more than 60,000 women was used as a proxy for diagnosis of PD and represented the primary exposure analyzed as a risk factor for psoriasis.More

Good oral hygiene may add years to your life
The Peninsula
Registered nurse Sonya Schneider-Ghaddar writes, "My dentist always says to brush your teeth twice a day and remember to floss. Even my 4-year-old can easily quote his words back to me. But I never stopped to think about why it is so important. Actually, we don't have to look far to find several studies to back up that advice. The studies validate these standard recommendations and they outline the reasons why we should follow them. According to Dr. Michael Roizen in his book, 'The Real Age Makeover,' 'Flossing alone can add 6.4 years to your life.'"More

Dental care polishes much more than teeth
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Dental visits can detect more than cavities. Dentists check for a host of health conditions when patients come in for regular visits, which is why skipping or nixing visits can be disastrous. "Your mouth is an indicator of general health," said Dr. Alex Abernathy of Lakeland Dental Care in Jackson, Miss., who has practiced dentistry for 33 years. "I've probably saved two peoples' lives." Once, a patient's bone had a certain pattern indicating a problem. He referred her to an oral surgeon, who removed part of her cancerous jaw. "Untreated, it would have metastasized," he said. About 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.More

Report: Three-quarters of those who have lost jobs, health insurance skip needed health care
Nearly three-quarters of people who lost their health insurance when they lost their jobs over the last two years said that they skipped needed health care or did not fill prescriptions because of cost, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. The same proportion also is struggling with medical bills or medical debt, compared to about half who lost jobs but not their health insurance. Six in 10 working Americans rely on health insurance obtained through their employer, and when an estimated 15 million working-age adults lost their jobs and their employer-based insurance between 2008 and 2010, 9 million became uninsured.More

A dental hygienist's perspective of AAP's Comprehensive Periodontal Therapy document
The July issue of the Journal of Periodontology contained a detailed statement from the American Academy of Periodontology on comprehensive periodontal therapy. The Comprehensive Periodontal Therapy Statement provides a detailed overview of the following elements, which the AAP believes constitute efficient and effective periodontal treatment. This statement is intended to serve as a clinical road map for any dental professional who supervises, administers, teaches or regulates the provision of periodontal therapy. This includes dental hygienists who are generally on the front lines of treatment and patient education.More

In pain, mom-to-be found only dentist wait list
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
When Michelle Hamberlin learned she was pregnant in April, it gave her one more reason to seek treatment for a broken, abscessed tooth and swollen gum. Dental infections during pregnancy can pose a risk to both mother and baby, experts say. But for Hamberlin, 21, deciding to see a dentist was one thing. Finding one was another. "I called everyone listed in the book," said Hamberlin, one of more than 4,700 pregnant women in Milwaukee County in July eligible for dental coverage through BadgerCare Plus, the state's Medicaid program for pregnant women and families. "They had a three-month waiting list, or their numbers were disconnected, or they said they weren't taking my insurance."More

Health policy and the dental implant practitioner
Dental Tribune International
In 2007, when the American Heart Association changed the recommendations for antibiotic prophylaxis for routine dental care in patients with valvular heart disease, some dentists scoffed, others rejoiced. The policy change was the first of its kind since the organization began recommending prophylaxis for routine dental procedures 50 years earlier. Considering the fact that an estimated 2 percent of the U.S. population carries the diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse, a relatively benign heart-valve disorder that had, until 2007, required administration of antibiotics in advance of any dental procedure (including routine cleaning), this was indeed a noteworthy change.More

What a custom app could mean for your practice
The Yellow Pages, radio, television, mass mailings. These are but a few of the ways dentists typically get the word out about their practices. But how effective are these marketing methods? It's easy to spend thousands of dollars on advertising, only to come up way short on the ROI. Often, it is little more than an expensive roll of the dice. When telephone was a monopoly, the Yellow Pages were the only game in town. Now, Internet advertising is the standard. These days Facebook is the norm, and to not have a website is unthinkable. Yet many professionals are missing out on the single most important revolution since the Internet. While we have been staring at our office and home computers, smartphones and mobile computer devices quietly have conquered the market.More

University of New England to open dental school in 2013
The Portland Press Herald
The University of New England is moving forward with plans to open what would be northern New England's only college of dental medicine in the fall of 2013. UNE announced that it has been awarded $3.5 million from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention for its proposed Portland-based dental school and teaching clinic. The funding was authorized by Maine voters last November as part of a $5 million bond to increase access to dental care in Maine. UNE, which already had been working to develop the school, submitted the only application for the funds. The state funding, along with a $2.3 million commitment from Northeast Delta Dental, will be used to help startup costs associated with opening the College of Dental Medicine in fall 2013.More