This Week in Perio
Oct. 5, 2011

The link between periodontal disease and upper respiratory diseases
Inside Dentistry
A recent study by Sharma and Shamsuddin published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Periodontology suggests a possible link between upper respiratory diseases — including pneumonia, acute bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — and periodontal disease. Typically occurring when bacteria are inhaled into the lungs, the bacteria that cause periodontal disease also can be inhaled into the respiratory tract and increase the risk of infection. The study examined 200 people, 100 who had been hospitalized with a respiratory infection, and 100 who were healthy. The study results demonstrated that those who were part of the healthy group had better periodontal health, while the periodontal health of those with respiratory illnesses was worse.More

Dental implants: Creating myriad health-restoring opportunities
Los Altos Town Crier
Dr. Ken Schweifler writes, "If you're old enough to remember dental treatment prior to the invention and implementation of dental anesthesia in the 1950s, you will be able to relate to my sentiment that nothing up to that point had such a profoundly positive influence on the field. The ability to block nerve sensation transformed the way we practice, enabling the performance of even the most complex procedures in a pain-free, anxiety-free environment. Perhaps nothing has revolutionized the field of dentistry since as much as dental implants. In the past, when a single tooth was lost, a typical option would be a fixed bridge. Such treatment relies on the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth, often requiring aggressive reduction of healthy teeth that wouldn't otherwise need to be restored for their own structural benefit."More

Dr. Eric Shapira: Take care of your teeth and good health follows
Half Moon Bay Review
Aging for all of us brings on change. Change is constant. Some of those changes create weaknesses in the function of our bodies' ability to fight infection. Therefore, it is so very important to maintain good oral health care as we age and develop good habits from an early age. Speaking of habits: Did you ever see a baby elephant tethered to a pole in the ground with a chain, rocking back and forth, to and fro? The elephant could not pull up that stake for anything. Now flash forward and see that older elephant tethered to that same, now small, stake in the ground. The elephant moves back and forth, to and fro "knowing" that he cannot lift out that stake. But we all know that he or she can. It's a matter of mindset. It is habit!More

How inflammation affects your health
My Health News Daily
Inflammation seems to be one of the hottest health topics today. And for good reason, too, because the condition appears to be at the root of a variety of diseases. Information regarding its health effects keeps coming fast and furiously from a variety of sources. So what does this mean for you?More

Priority health: Link between gum disease and heart disease
Central Florida News 13
Today's question asks, "What's the link between gum disease and heart disease, and if you already have periodontal disease what do you do?" As it turns out, this link has been discussed and studied for decades. There are many possible links, of which the primary one is inflammation that can be caused by chronic infections. The response is chronic inflammation. This increases everywhere in the body, and leads to weakening the immune system. Another link is bacteria. The bacteria in the gums are very virulent and are able to live in areas where oxygen flow is low. These types of bacteria produce toxins that further breakdown the immune system.More

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute: Promoting better information, decisions, health
The New England Journal of Medicine
Within the 2,000 pages of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a short section authorizing the creation of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a research organization dedicated to the support and promotion of comparative clinical effectiveness research. The establishment of PCORI represents the culmination of longstanding interest in comparative effectiveness research, a lengthy legislative gestation, and compromise among varied congressional perspectives and priorities. PCORI responds to a widespread concern that, in many cases, patients and their healthcare providers, families and caregivers do not have the information they need to make choices aligned with their desired health outcomes.More

Pennsylvania teen pulls own teeth; father pleads guilty to child endangerment
CBS News/The Associated Press
A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment after his teenage son tried to pull out his own teeth — with pliers — because he hadn't been taken to a dentist. The Express-Times of Easton reports that 40-year-old Francisco Torres told a Northampton County judge he "procrastinated" about getting the boy dental care.More

Study: Effect of a periodontal intervention on cardiovascular risk markers in indigenous Australians with periodontal disease
Indigenous Australians experience an overwhelming burden of chronic disease, including cardiovascular diseases. Periodontal disease is also widespread, and may contribute to the risk of cardiovascular diseases via pathogenic inflammatory pathways. This study will assess measures of vascular health and inflammation in indigenous Australian adults with periodontal disease, and determine if intensive periodontal therapy improves these measures over a 12-month follow-up. The aims of the study are: to determine whether there is a dose response relationship between extent and severity of periodontal disease and measures of vascular health and inflammation among Indigenous Australian adults with moderate to severe periodontal disease; and to determine the effects of periodontal treatment on changes in measures of vascular health and inflammation in a cohort of indigenous Australians.More

Does your toothbrush have dust on it?
Joplin Independent
Jack L. Kennedy writes, "Passion and knowledge are important tools for any communicator. They are just as valuable for dentists who write books on gum disease as they are for great novelists. Dr. Dan Sindelar certainly believes in his topic, and in attempting to save the lives of others. That is obvious in every line of his tome, 'Refresh Life: Oral Health is the Missing Piece,' adding years to your life, and improving your overall well-being. Simply put, Sindelar firmly believes that America's oral health is decaying."More

How to know if wisdom teeth really need to be removed
The Huffington Post
Dr. Ruben Cohen writes, "There is ongoing debate regarding the need to extract wisdom teeth. Numerous scientific publications have aimed to clarify when it is medically appropriate to extract wisdom teeth, while many non-surgeons and patients have argued that there are too many unnecessary extractions. A recent article in The New York Times again raised the question of the value of wisdom teeth extraction. The author provided no clinical information about her daughter's case but used it as an example of yet another patient who was misled into thinking that 'her wisdom teeth had to come out, ASAP.'"More

Philips' air flossing device targets noncompliant patients
Flossing never has been a popular activity, and while some patients may floss regularly to preserve that healthy smile, most are just not motivated. At the California Dental Association fall session in San Francisco, Philips showcased a new flossing device that does away with string and gives dental practitioners a unique option for wooing noncompliant patients. Launched earlier this year as part of the company's Sonicare product line, the AirFloss uses compressed air to accelerate microdroplets of water or mouthwash to disrupt and remove plaque in between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach. The AirFloss can clean the entire mouth in 60 seconds, according to the company. (May require free registration to view article.)More