This Week in Perio
Dec. 12, 2012

Chronic dry mouth can bring cavities, gum disease, greater health threats
We all get that dry feeling in the mouth once in a while. But for some, it could be more than just an inconvenience. It's believed 44 million Americans suffer from the problem. Emergency room nurse Lauren Geeter is always on the move, but a side effect of her acid reflux medication made constant water breaks a part of her routine. "I knew my mouth was dry, but I guess I always had dry mouth and never really thought of it as anything," said Geeter. Her dry mouth resulted in a mouth full of cavities.More

Research suggests a new strategy to prevent or halt periodontal disease
University of Pennsylvania via Medical Xpress
Periodontitis, a form of chronic gum disease that affects nearly half of the U.S. adult population, results when the bacterial community in the mouth becomes unbalanced, leading to inflammation and eventually bone loss. In its most severe form, which affects 8.5 percent of U.S. adults, periodontitis can impact systemic health. By blocking a molecular receptor that bacteria normally target to cause the disease, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have now demonstrated an ability in a mouse model to both prevent periodontitis from developing and halt the progression of the disease after it already has developed.More

Periodontitis linked to obstructive sleep apnea
A new study in Journal of Periodontal Research found people with periodontitis tend to have obstructive sleep apnea, a condition which if left untreated can lead to or worsen heart disease, including heart arrhythmias, heart failure, high blood pressure, and stroke. W. H. Seo at Department of Pediatrics, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Ansan, Korea and colleagues conducted the study and found in a small study population, 46.6 percent suffer obstructive sleep apnea, compared to 60 percent among those who has periodontitis.More

Brushing, flossing critical for healthy mouth
Coldwater Daily Reporter via DentistryIQ
Q: As I age, what can I do to keep my mouth healthy?
A: Your mouth is not exempt from the effects of aging. Older people suffer higher rates of gum disease, dental decay, mouth infections and tooth loss. Fortunately, you can keep your mouth looking and feeling younger than its years by practicing good oral hygiene. Let's consider what happens in your mouth as you age. Your teeth are amazingly strong, but a lifetime of crunching, gnawing and grinding wears away the outer layer of enamel, as does exposure to acidic foods. Weakened enamel can set the stage for cavities. Cavities can lead to infections of the root of a tooth, requiring a root canal procedure. They also can weaken teeth, causing them to crack.More

Protect your gums, protect your health
To Your Health
Most people tend to worry about their health by looking at some of their major organs when undergoing a physical. What most people tend to miss to get a good indicator of their health is their mouth. Your gums and dental health can tell you a lot about your overall health if you look into the numerous cautionary signs. Red, swollen and often bleeding gums can indicate that there is something going on within your body you might not be aware of. Often these can be signs of much serious illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.More

Oral diseases: Recognizing and preventing
Dental Health Magazine
A lot of us don't think about our teeth until they start to hurt when we're eating or it's time visit the dentist for a scheduled appointment. Beware though, because neglecting your teeth can lead to serious problems, including gum disease, diseases of the teeth and even other serious health problems not specifically related to your teeth. More

Important dental tips for RA patients
Everyday Health
Having rheumatoid arthritis can put you at greater risk for gum disease and other oral health problems. But there are dental care steps you can take to protect your teeth and gums.More

Huge Colorado racial gap in dental coverage as more lose access
The Denver Post
The number of Coloradans without dental insurance jumped by 17 percent — 300,000 people — over two years and widened a troubling ethnic gap, with more than half of Latinos reporting no coverage, according to a broad study by the Colorado Trust. Those using dental care in a given year also fell, even among those who had insurance, because of high co-pays and a lack of dental providers willing to give low-cost care, the study showed. The bad numbers take on added urgency as the state has declared oral care one of the top 10 "winnable" battles in public health, and as researchers find closer ties between oral and more general medical problems.More

Predicting material fatigue
R&D Magazine
"The alteration of the luminescent characteristics of defined semiconductor microstructures under load — as we could show for zinc oxide tetrapods — might be also interesting for many other phosphor material systems. We expect further developments in this emerging field on 'self-reporting materials,'" explains Professor Cordt Zollfranck of Technical University Munich. Composite polymer materials are used in diverse fields from dental implants to spacecrafts.More

Law firm recruits ex-dentist as negligence cases increase
Northcliffe Media Limited via DentistryIQ
A Bath, U.K., law firm has taken on a former dentist after seeing a 200 percent rise in inquiries relating to sub-standard dental treatment. Dr. Chris Evans, who worked as a dentist for 14 years before qualifying as a solicitor, has joined Withy King, which is now getting more than 50 approaches a month from dental patients who have experienced problems as a result of diagnostic failings or poor management of their condition. Compensation for dental negligence is also rising and a recent claim handled by Withy King was settled for £60,000 ($96,258). More

Keeping teeth healthy can be a challenge with age
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Annie Lindsay writes, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth! Really? That's it? Two? What about 32? I prefer all my teeth. Is that too much to ask? Oral diseases and conditions are common among older adults for several reasons. Some grew up without the benefit of community water fluoridation and other fluoride products. Many older Americans do not have dental insurance, or their benefits were lost when they retired. Even Medicare, which provides health insurance for people older than 65, was not designed to provide routine dental care."More

Health tips: 20 healthy habits to adopt before you turn 20
The Huffington Post
Tip No. 10: Floss regularly. Sure, you brush your teeth when you wake up and before bed, but do you take the time to floss? We know your dentist always bugs you about flossing, but it's for good reason. Taking just one or two minutes every night to floss can make a huge difference in your oral health down the road — it enhances the positive effects of brushing your teeth, and prevents gum diseases like gingivitis.More

Dental implants a superior but pricy alternative
The Prince Albert Daily Herald
Since he began practicing dentistry in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, in 1990, Dr. Robin Slowenko has become a firm advocate of dental implants. "One of the things with dental implants is that satisfaction of our patients just seems to be much higher than for a lot of the traditional procedures that we do in dentistry," Slowenko said. "Because of that, it is something that we really take pride in and actually enjoy doing, and we also want to make sure that other people know that these treatment options are available."More