This Week in Perio
Nov. 7, 2012

HIV tests at the dentist office could reduce disease spread
Some dentists not only check your teeth, but also take a swab along your gum line to test for HIV. And a new way of offering the test may boost its acceptance in patient's eyes, dentists say. Dentists hope the practice can reduce the number of people who are infected with HIV and don't know it, and in turn, decrease disease spread. "Why not offer the testing at a dental clinic and be another portal of entry to the system," said Calix Ramos-Rodriguez, a dentist at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. "Because by doing so we can catch people that are HIV positive really early in the game; we can really save lives," Ramos-Rodriguez said.More

Doubts about link to strokes
Registered Dental Hygenist
The European Society of Cardiology, in examining the perio/cardio link concluded that even though there is a statistically significant epidemiological association between periodontal and cardiovascular disease, including strokes, there is no compelling evidence that periodontal intervention will influence cardiac health. They also emphasized that research should continue to clarify the role of various biologic factors in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease when periodontal disease is present. In addition, they stated a worthwhile goal should be to promote periodontal health to possibly improve cardiovascular health.More

More awareness needed on link between oral health and diabetes
Approximately one-third of United States residents are not aware there is a link between diabetes and oral health, reveals a survey conducted by Harris Interactive. According to the data, more than 50 percent of survey participants reported symptoms of gum disease; however, 67 percent did not discuss oral health with their doctor during their routine appointments.More

Tiny oral sensor may one day help dentists assess their patients' oral and overall health
Gold, silk and graphite may not be the first materials that come to mind when you think of cutting-edge technology. Put them together, though, and you have the basic components of a new ultra-thin, flexible oral sensor that can measure bacteria levels in the mouth. The device, attached temporarily to a tooth, could one day help dentists fine-tune treatments for patients with chronic periodontitis, for example, or even provide a window on a patient's overall health.More

Magnetic bead-based salivary peptidome profiling for periodontal-orthodontic treatment
7thSpace Interactive
Patients with periodontitis seek periodontal-orthodontic treatment to address certain functional and aesthetic problems. However, little is known of the effect of periodontitis on orthodontic treatment. Thus, researchers compared the differences in peptide mass fingerprints of orthodontic patients with and without periodontitis by MALDI-TOF MS using a magnetic bead-based peptidome analysis of saliva samples. In this way, they aimed to identify and explore a panel of differentially expressed specific peptides.More

American Diabetes Month raises awareness on oral health for Latinos
Fox News Latino
November marks American Diabetes Month, a perfect time to show off those pearly whites. According to the American Diabetes Association, there is "more bacteria in your mouth right now than there are people on Earth," raising a major health concern for those with the chronic disease impacting the amount of sugar in their blood. When germs settle into the gums, they can cause gum disease, which can ultimately resort to teeth loss. And for those with poor blood glucose levels, the chances of developing serious oral issues are more likely for those with diabetes than non-diabetics. Like any infection, gum disease could cause blood sugar to rise, making diabetes harder to control.More

Dentist visits encouraged for pregnant women
Seeing a dentist regularly is a good idea for everyone — especially for pregnant women. Gianna Marini is about a month away from having her first child. She doesn't neglect seeing her doctor or getting regular dental care. "I just think that your overall health starts with your oral health," Marini said. Doctors and dentists have not always taken advantage of that connection. "We've been trying to promote dental care in our pregnant patients," said Dr. Alice Chuang of University of North Carolina Obstetrics and Gynecology. "As an OB-GYN, it's definitely not a topic I was taught to frequently address with patients."More

Identification of essential genes of the periodontal pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis
7thSpace Interactive
Porphyromonas gingivalis is a Gram-negative anaerobic bacterium associated with periodontal disease onset and progression. Genetic tools for the manipulation of bacterial genomes allow for in-depth mechanistic studies of metabolism, physiology, interspecies and host-pathogen interactions. Analysis of the essential genes, protein-coding sequences necessary for survival of P. gingivalis by transposon mutagenesis has not previously been attempted due to the limitations of available transposon systems for the organism.More

New Jersey Society of Periodontists explains the periodontal disease connection
November is American Diabetes Month, and the New Jersey Society of Periodontists would like patients and caregivers alike to be aware of the link between periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory disease of the gums, and diabetes. "If you have diabetes, you are at higher risk for developing infections, including periodontal disease," explains Dr. Scott Zirkin, president of the NJSP. "These infections can impair the ability to process and/or utilize insulin, which may cause your diabetes to be more difficult to control and your infection to be more severe than a person with the disease." People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, most likely because they are more susceptible to contracting infections.More

Gum, candy and artificial saliva can help relieve dry mouth
Ask Doctor K via
Q: My mouth and throat are always parched, even though I'm constantly sipping water. It's very uncomfortable. I'd appreciate any advice you can offer.
A: Most of the time dry mouth, also called xerostomia, causes more discomfort than damage. But severe cases can cause complications. Dry mouth can rob you of your sense of taste and can make chewing slow and swallowing difficult. Also, since saliva is important for dental health, dry mouth can contribute to tooth decay and periodontal disease.More

America's shocking dental problem
Dental Health Magazine
The fact that dental care is unaffordable to most U.S. citizens is already a sort of a cliche. However, there are three shocking facts relating to the dental problem in the U.S., based on reports and statistics.More

Expert: Go green, but don't compromise patient safety
The trend of green practices is growing, but when it comes to infection control products, making patient safety a priority is important. That's according to Mary Govoni, RDH, MBA, who was speaking at a well-attended and highly interactive session at the recent ADA Annual Session in San Francisco. "Make sure that you don't make green decisions that may put your patients in jeopardy, because patient safety should come first," Govoni said. She started the session with a discussion about "carbon footprints" and what it means when a company claims to be carbon-neutral. (May require free registration to view article.)More

Do well by doing good
Periodontal infection, with or without inflammation, is associated with many systemic diseases including heart attack, stroke, stillbirth, preterm labor, high blood pressure, and more. Unfortunately, it is difficult for dental practices to eradicate these infections if insulin resistance is present. Insulin resistance raises blood sugar and, eventually, causes diabetes. Evidence suggests that, unless glucose metabolism is normalized, one can administer an expert therapy but not eliminate infection and inflammation. Obesity and pre-obesity are the main causes of most insulin resistance. In fact, they are the mother and father of many preventable systemic diseases.More