This Week in Perio
Oct. 19, 2011

What your dentist knows about your health
During your routine dental checkup, your dentist can uncover important clues about your overall health. If your tooth enamel is worn down, for example, that's a sign that you may be suffering from stress and grinding your teeth at night. Swollen and receding gums can be an early sign of diabetes, and sores in your mouth that don't heal can sometimes indicate oral cancer. A dentist or periodontist may be the first to notice these symptoms and can tell you which additional tests or treatments you may need. In some cases, they'll work closely with your primary care doctor to help manage your follow-up care.More

Study: Certain mouth bacteria signal pancreatic cancer
Particular types of mouth bacteria, some of which are found in gum disease, are associated with the development of pancreatic cancer, indicates a small study published online in the journal Gut. The finding opens up the possibility of curbing the progress of one of the most difficult cancers to treat, by altering the balance of bacteria, the authors say. Pancreatic cancer usually spreads very quickly, and only around 1 in 20 patients is still alive five years after diagnosis. The authors base their findings on an initial comparison of the bacteria found in the spit of 10 patients with pancreatic cancer, which had not yet spread, and 10 healthy people, matched for age and sex.More

The mouth/body connection: How periodontal disease can affect health
We already know there's a connection between the mind and the body, but until recently we had no idea there was also a connection between the mouth and the body. A spate of studies in the past few years have shown a strong connection between periodontal disease and a host of other diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and even some forms of cancer. Just like bacteria that invade the body through a cut or other break in the skin, germs can gain access to the bloodstream when they get far enough under the gums. "Periodontal disease causes pockets between the teeth and the gums, which are ideal breeding grounds for some nasty bacteria," explains New York City periodontist Nicholas Toscano, D.D.S., co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Implant and Advanced Clinical Dentistry.More

Your mouth is a window to your body's health
The Columbian
Have you heard that the eyes are the window to the soul? Well, the mouth can be regarded as a window to your overall health. Your mouth can show signs of nutritional deficiencies, illnesses and general infections. Also, a close examination can reveal signs of drug use, domestic physical abuse, harmful habits, addictions and general health status.More

Plaque, appendicitis bacterium linked to colon cancer
ABC News
A bacterium that causes appendicitis and gum disease has been detected in colon tumors, according to new research that suggests it may set the stage for colorectal cancer, the second-deadliest malignancy. Only lung cancer kills more people each year. If the finding can be validated by larger studies, fusobacterium might one day be used to prevent and screen for colorectal cancer, currently detectable through colonoscopy or tests for the presence of blood in the stool. Fuscobacterium also might play a role in determining the prognosis of colorectal cancers and shaping their treatment, according to two research teams independently reporting a relationship between the rod-shaped microbe and cancers of the lower digestive system.More

6 signs you need a new dentist
Woman's Day via Mother Nature News
Settling into the dentist's chair probably doesn't top anyone's list of favorite activities, but it's vital to maintaining good oral health. However, even though you may be diligent about ensuring your continued tooth and gum health, the same can't always be said about your dentist. Woman's Day spoke to dental experts to find out which warning signs might signal it's time to find a new oral healthcare provider.More

Massachusetts dentist chosen president-elect of the American Dental Association
Robert A. Faiella, D.M.D., M.M.SC., who practices periodontics in Osterville, Mass., recently was selected as president-elect of the American Dental Association. Faiella's election took place during a meeting of the ADA House of Delegates in Las Vegas. Faiella will assume the ADA presidency in October 2012, when he will lead the 156,000-member organization, America's leading advocate for oral health. Faiella has just completed a four-year term on the ADA Board as the trustee from the 1st District, which represents Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.More

Dental school clinics offer great savings
The Tennessean
If you could get your teeth cleaned and X-rayed for as little as $15, instead of paying anywhere from $100 to $250 for a basic cleaning and X-rays, would you do it? There's only one catch: The inexpensive cleanings are handled by dental hygiene school students, so it might take two, three or maybe even four appointments to get the job done, instead of one quick in-and-out appointment at a private clinic. Yes, these local dental hygiene school clinics — one at Tennessee State University and one at Remington College in Donelson — offer great savings on good quality basic dental care, but they can be time-consuming for sure.More

Eyesight, waistline and now my teeth are going
The Miami Herald
Ana Veciana-Suarez writes, "I've outlived my teeth. Seriously. In the past couple of years I've spent a lot of time staring at my dentist's ceiling, jaw agape, plastic tube sucking my mouth dry. I have an entire royal family in residence: a crown here, a crown there, crowns everywhere. How is this possible? I brush and floss, submit to annual exams and twice-yearly cleanings. But my pearly whites... well, like so much of me, they're not what they used to be. My latest foray into the world of cuspids and molars came when a friendly endodontist sliced open my gums, dug out a raging infection and sewed me up. The next morning I resembled Quasimodo's sister. The Hubby, who had some gum issues of his own earlier in the year, assured me it wasn't so, but after a good, long look in the mirror, I didn't believe him."More