This Week in Perio
Nov. 9, 2011

Obesity link to periodontitis
Medical News Today
In a study titled "MicroRNA Modulation in Obesity and Periodontitis," lead author Romina Perri, University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, Oral Health Institute, conducted a pilot investigation to determine whether obesity or periodontal disease modified microRNA expression and whether there was any potential interaction between obesity and periodontitis that could involve microRNA modulation. This study is published in the Journal of Dental Research, the official publication of the International and American Associations for Dental Research. In this investigation, total RNA was extracted from gingival biopsy samples collected from 20 patients in 4 groups.More

Dental benefits of sugar-free foods debated
Nursing Times
"Sugar-free gum, sweets and soft drinks, marketed as healthy alternatives to sugary products, can damage teeth, cause gastric problems and are unlikely to promote weight loss," The Guardian has reported. The news is based on a review of the oral health effects of sugar-free products, and in particular, a group of sweeteners called polyols that are often added to sweets, drinks and chewing gum. It is already well known that dental cavities can be formed when bacteria convert sugars in food into acid, which breaks down tooth enamel. However, in this new study, researchers looked for evidence on whether foods containing certain sugar substitutes were beneficial for dental health.More

Fruit/vegetable supplement helps fight periodontitis
A diet supplemented with a combination of fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrates may help combat chronic periodontal disease when combined with conventional dental therapy, according to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology. The results of a preliminary randomized controlled study conducted at the University of Birmingham showed that taking a daily dose of capsules containing concentrated phytonutrients improved clinical outcomes for patients with chronic periodontitis in the two months following nonsurgical periodontal therapy, with additional beneficial changes recorded at five and eight months after therapy. The study is the first of its kind to report the impact of giving periodontitis patients such a supplement during standard mechanical therapy, according to the study authors.More

Dental needs unmet in Native Americans
MedPage Today (subscription)
Among the myriad health problems faced by many Native Americans is poor oral health, a study has found. Overall, 90 percent of residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota had at least one decayed tooth, according to Terry Batliner, DDS, and colleagues from the University of Colorado in Denver. Among 135 adults examined, 97 percent had one or more decayed teeth, as did 84 percent of 157 children, the researchers noted in a report from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation presented at the National Congress of American Indians in Portland, Ore. Little is known about the contemporary oral health of Native Americans, with the last report on their dental health needs having been published more than a decade ago.More

Dentists bring care to nursing homes
The News & Advance
Patrick Britton-Harr lived in the Lynchburg, Va., when he attended Central Virginia Community College for a year, during which he also coached basketball at James River Day School. Now Britton-Harr, as president and chief executive officer of Senior Dental Services, is bringing his business to Lynchburg as he opens his first Virginia branch in the city this week. Senior Dental Services is a one-year-old company created to fill a need at nursing homes due to a new federal mandate requiring annual dental screenings and routine access to dental services. Britton-Harr said they serve 25 different facilities in Virginia and have signed contracts to service four more. And they do it at the nursing facility. "All of our equipment is portable," Britton-Harr said.More

Healthy living: Tooth sensitivity
VideoBrief Fran Gensicki has suffered with painful tooth sensitivity since high school when her braces came off. "Cold air in the winter. If I walk in the morning and breathing in hurts. Cold water," said Gensicki. Pain can sometimes be from sweets even warm fluids. When the gums recede, often the root of the tooth is exposed causing pain. Grinding your teeth can contribute to the problem as well as a cracked or decayed tooth, acidic foods don't help. Gensicki said, "Anything that has a lot of acids in it. Some juices, soda's citrus products, orange juice, grapefruit juice a big one." Brushing your teeth to hard will affect the gums. More

Worried about your teeth post-Halloween? Here's the down-low on oral health
With Halloween comes fear, mainly of cavities and weight gain. But if you're not careful, you could end up with a real horror show on your hands: gum disease. It's something that is surprisingly easy to develop, even if you're a devoted gym rat and eat a totally clean, low-sugar diet. E, a successful executive in Toronto who prides herself on her pristine physical health, told us that she visited her dentist only to get shocking feedback from her hygienist: that while she appeared to take great care of her health, her oral health was in shambles, and would require serious attention to get back on track. She's been able to repair the damage done from forgetting to floss, but often, the outcome isn't so pretty.More

Dental visit can reveal warning signs of diabetes
Delta Dental of New Jersey via
Dr. Andrew Greenberger, periodontist and participating Delta Dental dentist, says you may not think twice about your teeth as a health indicator, but they could reveal clues that you're at risk for serious disease. Chances are you know someone with diabetes with nearly 26 million Americans suffering from the disease. Luckily, we have a built-in system in our body to warn us if we're at risk. In fact, it's right in our mouths. Did you know that your dentist can look in your mouth and see evidence of more than 120 diseases? Often, these are early signs or symptoms of serious health problems elsewhere in our bodies, like diabetes.More