Treating Gum Disease in Australians Leads to Better Vascular Health

According to a new study in the journal of Hypertension, a single session of gum treatment in Aboriginal Australians can lead to a significant decline in the thickening of the wall of the carotid artery a year later. The thickness of the wall of the arteries is a risk factor for heart disease. Aboriginal Australians are generally thought to have poorer oral health and higher rates of cardiovascular disease when compared to other Australian groups. The researchers say that the effect is comparable to a 30% fall in low density lipoprotein cholesterol which is known as bad cholesterol and associated with a decreased risk of heart disease. The researchers also note that such an effect is equivalent to reversing four years of aging or 25 mm Hg lower systolic blood pressure. Periodontal or gum disease is an inflammatory disease which affects the soft and hard structures supporting the teeth and leading them to become swollen and red. In more advanced forms of periodontal disease the gum tissue can be destroyed and the gums pull away from the teeth. Even more troubling is that bone can be lost and teeth may fall out. Cardiovascular disease also known as atherosclerosis is the most […]

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A Study of Outcomes Related to Wisdom Teeth Removal

An interesting article titled “A Prospective Study of Clinical Outcomes Related to Third Molar Removal or Retention,” appears in the American Journal of Public Health (April 2014, Vol 104, No. 4) written by Greg J. Huang and et al. The article is a companion article to another also on wisdom teeth in the April 2014 issue of the journal. I discussed the companion article last week in the blog post http://blog.teethremoval.com/practice-based-wisdom-teeth-removal-study/. The article opens by mentioning the controversy surrounding the removal of wisdom teeth. On one side some have advocated for wisdom teeth to be removed to prevent future pathology and minimize risks, others have advocated for wisdom teeth to be removed to prevent lower incisor crowding, and others have argued for wisdom teeth to be removed to prevent periodontal pathology. On the other side some have advocated for wisdom teeth to be retained to avoid complications that can result, with some being lasting and permanent. This study set out to better explore long term outcomes of retaining or removing wisdom teeth by following up with patients over a period of two years. The methods used for the subjects in the study were the same as in the previous companion […]

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Practice Based Wisdom Teeth Removal Study

An interesting article titled “Recommendations for Third Molar Removal: A Practice-Based Cohort Study,” appears in the April 2014, issue of the American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 104, No. 4, pp. 728-734), by Joana Cunha-Cruz and et. al. In the article a dental practice based research network Northwest Practice-based REsearch Collaborative in Evidence-based DENTistry (PRECEDENT) is used. A total of 50 general dentists enrolled patients from May 2009 to September 2010.  In the study a total of 797 patients who had wisdom teeth (third molar) recommendations from their general dentist were used who were aged 16 to 22. However, the patients were asked to take a survey every 8 months and then a clinical visit 24 months later.  From this sample of 797 patients only 516 completed at least one follow up questionnaire. In the study the general dentists reported that their philosophy for wisdom teeth management fell into 3 categories: 1) in most cases, for preventive reasons (22%), 2) if they were asymptomatic but had poor eruption path or insufficient space (72%), 3) only if pathology or symptoms were present (6%). A total of 1683 wisdom teeth were recommended for extraction from 469 patients. The main reasons for recommending wisdom […]

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Bringing Rapid HIV Testing to Dentistry

An interesting study has been performed by the University of Sydney in 2014, looking at the possibility of using rapid HIV testing before dental surgery. The study assessed 521 Sydney based dental patients and their willingness to undergo rapid HIV testing in dental settings, their preference for HIV testing type, and their willingness to pay for the HIV test. More than 80% of the patients in the study were found to be willing to undergo rapid HIV testing before a dental procedure. The technology behind a rapid HIV test has been around for more than a decade but it not currently available in dental settings. The test can be done as a finger prick or a saliva swab. The results of the HIV test can be determined within 20 minutes. The Australian Federal government announced in July 2014, that they would no longer prevent the manufacture and sale of oral home-testing kits for HIV.  In the study, 76% preferred an oral saliva swab, 15% preferred a pin prick test, and 8% preferred a traditional blood test that draws blood through a needle. The researchers further believe that around 45% of dentists are prepared to perform HIV testing in their clinic. […]

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Migraine Sufferers that are Old could have Silent Brain Injury

An interesting study appears in the May 2014 issue of Stroke titled “Migraine, White Matter Hyperintensities, and Subclinical Brain Infarction in a Diverse Community: The Northern Manhattan Study,” written by Teshamae Monteith and et. al exploring migraine headaches. The article finds that older migraine sufferers are more likely to have silent brain injury. The study found that people who have a history of migraine headache had a double the chance likelihood of having ischemic silent brain infarction compared to those who did not suffer from migraine headache. A silent brain infarction is a type of brain injury that is mostly likely caused when a blood clot interrupts blow flow to brain tissue. These type of injuries occur without any symptoms and is believed to play a role in future strokes. The risk of this occurring is considered small; however, those with migraine risk factors may want to be extra careful and should consider lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. Researchers from the Northern Manhattan Study, a collaborative investigation between the University of Miami and Columbia University, studied an ethnic group of older adults (average age 71 and 41% men) in New York. A […]

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