Dental problems. Out of Sight, Out of Mind?


Not every oral health problem is visible or results in pain or discomfort. Just because you don’t see a dramatic change with your teeth or gums or feel pain, it doesn’t mean your oral health is in ideal shape.

Again, only your dentist has the expertise to determine this, and only regular appointments with your dentist can keep your mouth in the best shape possible.

HEALTHY GUMS AND A HEALTHY HEART: THE PERIO-CARDIO CONNECTION


Cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of men and women in the United States, is a major public health issue contributing to 2,400 deaths each day. Periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys bone and gum tissues that support the teeth affects nearly 75 percent of Americans and is the major cause of adult tooth loss. And while the prevalence rates of these disease states seems grim, research suggests that managing one disease may reduce the risk for the other.

A consensus paper on the relationship between heart disease and gum disease was published concurrently in the online versions of two leading publications, the American Journal of Cardiology (AJC), a publication circulated to 30,000 cardiologists, and the Journal of Periodontology (JOP), the official publication of the American Academy or Periodontology (AAP). Developed in concert by cardiologists, the physicians specialized in treating diseases of the heart, and periodontists, the dentists with advanced training in the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease, the paper contains clinical recommendations for both medical and dental professionals to use in managing patients living with, or who are at risk for, either disease. As a result of the paper, cardiologists may now examine a patient’s mouth, and periodontists may begin asking questions about heart health and family history of heart disease.

The clinical recommendations were developed at a meeting held earlier this year of top opinion-leaders in both cardiology and periodontology. In addition to the clinical recommendations, the consensus paper summarizes the scientific evidence that links periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease and explains the underlying biologic and inflammatory mechanisms that may be the basis for the connection.

According to Kenneth Kornman, DDS, PhD, Editor of the Journal of Periodontology and a co-author of the consensus report, the cooperation between the cardiology and periodontal communities is an important first step in helping patients reduce their risk of these associated diseases. “Inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease, and periodontal disease may increase the inflammation level throughout the body. Since several studies have shown that patients with periodontal disease have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, we felt it was important to develop clinical recommendations for our respective specialties. Therefore, you will now see cardiologists and periodontists joining forces to help our patients.”

For patients, this may mean receiving some unconventional advice from their periodontist or cardiologist. The clinical recommendations outlined in the consensus paper advise that periodontists not only inform their patients of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with periodontal disease, but also assess their risk for future cardiovascular disease and guide them to be evaluated for the major risk factors. The paper also recommends that physicians managing patients with cardiovascular disease evaluate the mouth for the basic signs of periodontal disease such as significant tooth loss, visual signs of oral inflammation, and receding gums.

While additional research will help identify the precise relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, recent emphasis has been placed on the role of inflammation – the body’s reaction to fight off infection, guard against injury or shield against irritation. While inflammation initially intends to have a protective effect, untreated chronic inflammation can lead to dysfunction of the affected tissues, and therefore to more severe health complications.

“Both periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are inflammatory diseases, and inflammation is the common mechanism that connects them,” says Dr. David Cochran, DDS, PhD, President of the AAP and Chair of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “The clinical recommendations included in the consensus paper will help periodontists and cardiologists control the inflammatory burden in the body as a result of gum disease or heart disease, thereby helping to reduce further disease progression, and ultimately to improve our patients’ overall health. That is our common goal.”

Healthy Gums and a Healthy Heart: The Perio-Cardio Connection


Cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of men and women in the United States, is a major public health issue contributing to 2,400 deaths each day. Periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys bone and gum tissues that support the teeth affects nearly 75 percent of Americans and is the major cause of adult tooth loss. And while the prevalence rates of these disease states seems grim, research suggests that managing one disease may reduce the risk for the other.

A consensus paper on the relationship between heart disease and gum disease was published concurrently in the online versions of two leading publications, the American Journal of Cardiology (AJC), a publication circulated to 30,000 cardiologists, and the Journal of Periodontology (JOP), the official publication of the American Academy or Periodontology (AAP). Developed in concert by cardiologists, the physicians specialized in treating diseases of the heart, and periodontists, the dentists with advanced training in the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease, the paper contains clinical recommendations for both medical and dental professionals to use in managing patients living with, or who are at risk for, either disease. As a result of the paper, cardiologists may now examine a patient’s mouth, and periodontists may begin asking questions about heart health and family history of heart disease.

The clinical recommendations were developed at a meeting held earlier this year of top opinion-leaders in both cardiology and periodontology. In addition to the clinical recommendations, the consensus paper summarizes the scientific evidence that links periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease and explains the underlying biologic and inflammatory mechanisms that may be the basis for the connection.

According to Kenneth Kornman, DDS, PhD, Editor of the Journal of Periodontology and a co-author of the consensus report, the cooperation between the cardiology and periodontal communities is an important first step in helping patients reduce their risk of these associated diseases. “Inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease, and periodontal disease may increase the inflammation level throughout the body. Since several studies have shown that patients with periodontal disease have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, we felt it was important to develop clinical recommendations for our respective specialties. Therefore, you will now see cardiologists and periodontists joining forces to help our patients.”

For patients, this may mean receiving some unconventional advice from their periodontist or cardiologist. The clinical recommendations outlined in the consensus paper advise that periodontists not only inform their patients of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with periodontal disease, but also assess their risk for future cardiovascular disease and guide them to be evaluated for the major risk factors. The paper also recommends that physicians managing patients with cardiovascular disease evaluate the mouth for the basic signs of periodontal disease such as significant tooth loss, visual signs of oral inflammation, and receding gums.

While additional research will help identify the precise relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, recent emphasis has been placed on the role of inflammation – the body’s reaction to fight off infection, guard against injury or shield against irritation. While inflammation initially intends to have a protective effect, untreated chronic inflammation can lead to dysfunction of the affected tissues, and therefore to more severe health complications.

“Both periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are inflammatory diseases, and inflammation is the common mechanism that connects them,” says Dr. David Cochran, DDS, PhD, President of the AAP and Chair of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “The clinical recommendations included in the consensus paper will help periodontists and cardiologists control the inflammatory burden in the body as a result of gum disease or heart disease, thereby helping to reduce further disease progression, and ultimately to improve our patients’ overall health. That is our common goal.”

Importance of Nutrition for Your Oral Health


Proper nutrition acts as an effective way to ensure optimal health and prevent the occurrence of disease. Moreover, receiving adequate nutrients from a variety of healthful foods and beverages can positively impact dental health. Certain foods with poor nutritional composition can increase the incidence of tooth decay and other detrimental dental conditions, leading to the need for treatments such as root canal therapy or dental implants. Additionally, combinations of certain food substances can elevate the risk for cavities.

Current research suggests that antioxidants are often found in foods like fruits, beans, and vegetables—may positively affect immunity and increase the body’s agency to fight infection and inflammation, which aids in protecting an individual’s teeth and gums. Certain foods have even been demonstrated to have a significant consequence on the mouth’s ability to manage decay-causing bacteria.

Calcium operates as one of the best nutrients for oral health. Items such as milk, yogurt, and fortified juice assist in promoting healthy teeth and bones, which diminish the risk for tooth loss. For individuals who dislike dairy products, adding powdered milk to cooked dishes can confer the same benefits. In particular, cheese releases a burst of calcium. This calcium can attach itself to an individual’s teeth, immediately assisting in remineralization of tooth enamel.

Fruits and vegetables—specifically ones that are crisp such as apples, carrots, and celery—aid dental health by removing plaque from teeth and freshening breath. Furthermore, antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C help fortify gums and other oral tissues from harmful bacterial infections. Research points to a link between fresh cranberries and their ability to hinder oral bacteria from forming damaging plaque.

Folic acid, a member of the vitamin B group, stands as an excellent choice to promote dental health due to its ability to support cell growth throughout the body. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale should be eaten regularly. Additionally, brewer’s yeast operates as a substance rich in folic acid.

Cavity-causing agents feast on the sugars found in foods such as soda, candy, cookies, and pastries. These agents transform the sugar into acid, which bombards tooth enamel and results in tooth decay. Acidic foods—like citrus fruits, juices, pickles, sour candies, and wine—can erode tooth enamel to become overly sensitive and discolored.

The timing of meals can also affect oral health. Foods that require a lengthy chewing time, or that are held in the mouth such as hard candies and cough drops can significantly damage teeth as sugar is held against teeth for a long time.

Many health professionals discourage snacking on sugary, starchy, and acidic foods throughout the day. Ideally, individuals should avoid these foods to preserve optimal oral health. However, if an individual wishes to enjoy an occasional treat, it is recommended these sub-prime foods be consumed during a meal to minimize contact between acid and an individual’s teeth. Additionally, the body fashions extra saliva to digest bigger meals; thus, harmful bacteria are washed away before they can negatively impact teeth.

Paul J Ganjian

Email: pganjian@bxdental.con

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Study shows intellectual capacity and dental disease


In a study of 4,732 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), researchers have found that people with such disorders are more likely to have poor oral hygiene, periodontal disease and untreated dental caries than members of the general population. Owing to behavioral difficulties associated with IDDs, the researchers believe that treatment may be deferred more often, which makes people with IDDs probably more prone to dental diseases.

Pesticide Spraying Notification to Reduce Mosquito Activity in Staten Island


Pesticide Application by Trucks is Scheduled for 2012.
Parts of the following neighborhoods:
Annadale, Bay Terrace, Dongan Hills, Eltingville, Grasmere, Grant City, Great Kills, Midland Beach, New Dorp, New Dorp Beach, Oakwood, Oakwood Beach, Old Town, and South Beach
Parts of the following zip codes:
10304, 10305, 10306, 10308, 10312
Due to rising West Nile virus and adult mosquito activities, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will spray pesticide from trucks in the above-listed towns.

The City will use a very low rate of Anvil 10 + 10 containing pyrethroid, phenothrin and synergist piperonyl butoxide for its adult mosquito control efforts. Thorough environmental review and epidemiologic analyses conducted subsequent to spray events have shown that the public in general is not expected to experience symptoms given the low level of exposure that may occur during the spraying events. Some individuals, however, may be particularly sensitive to ingredients in the pesticides and may experience adverse reactions. Such individuals could experience transient effects, such as skin, eye and mucous membrane irritation, as well as exacerbation of chronic conditions such as asthma or other respiratory conditions. The NYC
DOHMH advises persons to stay indoors during the ground spraying of pesticides.

ALS & Lou Gehric’s Disease


“People have wondered if the immune system plays a role in neurological diseases like ALS,” said Howard Weiner, MD, director of the BWH Multiple Sclerosis Program and senior study author. “The immune system is complicated, and previous immunotherapy trials have not been successful. But now we know what is wrong in the blood, and this opens up new therapeutic targets for ALS and perhaps other diseases in the near future.”