Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic say that menopausal women may need to see the dentist as many as four times a year to control dental plaque.
Leena Palomo, an assistant professor of periodontics, and Maria Clarinda Beunocamino-Francisco from the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at the clinic completed a comparison study of women on and off bone-strengthening bisphosphonate therapies for osteoporosis.
In the women they studied, they found a marked increase in dental plaque levels, which could endanger the jawbones of postmenopausal women. (Dental plaque is a biofilm that develops naturally on our teeth. If the plaque is left on teeth too long, it triggers gum disease.)
“Menopausal women at risk for osteoporosis also are at risk for periodontal disease, which affects bone that anchors teeth,” says Palomo. “To keep jawbones strong and healthy,” she added, “means getting rid of the dental plaque by seeing the dentist as many as four times a year for deep periodontal cleanings.”
Article by Jim Du Molin
Dental Practice Marketing & Mangement Blog
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) alter oral health and may contribute to gum disease, according to a study published in Bio on February 22. People who vaped e-cigarettes in the study had a less healthy oral microbiome than nonsmokers did -- but could still be healthier than cigarette smokers.
Researchers from New York University College of Dentistry studied 84 adults ages 30 and older across three groups: people who had never smoked, cigarette smokers, and e-cigarette users. The study demonstrated the long-term consequences of using e-cigarettes.
"To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study of oral health and e-cigarette use," stated lead author Deepak Saxena, PhD, a professor of molecular pathology, in a press release. "We are now beginning to understand how e-cigarettes and the chemicals they contain are changing the oral microbiome and disrupting the balance of bacteria."
Researchers have known about the oral and overall health consequences of traditional cigarettes for decades, but little is known about how e-cigarettes affect gum health. The authors conducted the study in the hope of learning more.
Using plaque samples from dental exams, they analyzed the bacteria present to assess gum diseases. Samples were taken six months apart to allow more time for disease progression. In total, 168 samples from 84 subjects were analyzed in the final study.
All participants had some gum disease at the start of the study. After six months, gum disease had worsened for some participants in each smoking status group.
E-cigarette users had a different oral microbiome than traditional cigarette smokers and nonsmokers, and their distinct microbiome had a strong correlation with some measures of gum disease. Both Fusobacterium and Bacteroidales, which are linked to gum disease, were more dominant in the mouths of e-cigarette users than the other two groups.
The bacterial composition for e-cigarette users was also much more similar to that of cigarette smokers than nonsmokers. E-cigarette and traditional cigarette users had higher levels of Selenomas, Leptotrichia, and Saccharibacteria than nonsmokers.
"Vaping appears to be driving unique patterns in bacteria and influencing the growth of some bacteria in a manner akin to cigarette smoking, but with its own profile and risks to oral health," stated Fangxi Xu, a junior research scientist in Saxena's lab and the study's co-first author.
More so, the use of e-cigarettes was tied to changes in the immune environment. People who vaped e-cigarettes had different levels of immune regulating cytokines.
In particular, e-cigarette users had higher levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a cytokine related to inflammation, and lower levels of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-1-beta, cytokines that tend to be reduced in people with untreated gum diseases. The findings suggest the oral bacteria in e-cigarette users may be actively suppressing the immune system, the authors noted.
The authors did not discuss limitations or next steps; however, they pointed to the lack of research on vaping's long-term effects on gum health, something they hoped future studies could look into.
"Unlike smoking, which has been studied extensively for decades, we know little about the health consequences of e-cigarette use and are just starting to understand how the unique microbiome promoted by vaping impacts oral health and disease," stated co-first author Scott Thomas, an assistant research scientist in Saxena's lab.
By Hannah Welk, DrBicuspid.com contributing writer
Practicing good oral hygiene does more than maintain a beautiful smile. Unhealthy gums can exacerbate health issues throughout the body through the oral-systemic link, explains Sam Low, DDS, MS, a past president of the American Academy of Periodontology, a specialty of dentistry that focuses on the supporting structures of teeth, like the gums. For example, research has shown a link between cardiovascular disease and periodontitis (gum disease).
"We never want to suggest that just because you have gum disease, you're going to have a heart attack," says Dr. Low, who is a spokesperson for Philips, a brand with a major oral-care catalog. "But what we have been able to establish is that the chronic inflammatory reactions that occur with gum disease parallel what you see in other major chronic inflammatory diseases, especially cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, recent data with Alzheimer's."
According to 2012 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 47 percent of adults age 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease. Gum disease, which can cause serious gum and jawbone damage, costs Americans $54 billion per year in lost wages. Severe gum disease is the sixth most prevalent disease in the world. Symptoms of gum disease, like swollen gums and painful chewing, are easy to miss or brush off, says Dr. Low. So getting your regular checkups is imperative, as gum disease can lead to other issues in the body.
Untreated infections from gum disease can cause blood sugar to rise, making it more difficult to manage diabetes. "I would imagine that there are patients that are having difficulty controlling their diabetes and have not put two and two together," says Dr. Low. Additionally, gum disease can worsen lung diseases by increasing inflammation and passing bacteria into already compromised lungs. "If the bacteria are in the mouth and you're breathing these bacteria 24 hours a day, then they're going into the lungs," he says. "We can show that relationship with the COVID-19 scenario." Research has shown that COVID-19 patients with oral health issues like painful or bleeding gums were more likely to die than those who did not.
"It wasn't a surprise to us because if you're aware of COVID, no one actually dies from the virus, you die from the body's reaction to the virus," says Dr. Low. COVID-19 can start a cytokine storm in the body, which is when the immune system overacts and floods your bloodstream with cytokines, which are inflammatory proteins that can kill tissue and damage organs. "And that generally destroys the lung material to where it's not receptive to the intake of oxygen. That is exactly the way perio works. Perio is not about bacteria. Perio is about a patient's susceptibility to overreacting to the bacteria."
Dr. Low shares this information not to scare you into the dentist's chair. "We don't want people to have to be motivated to come see us because they may die," he says. But if you are already dealing with or are predisposed to other health issues, staying on top of oral health should be among your priorities. "If you're susceptible already to a complicated pregnancy, if you're already hypertensive, if you already have stints, if you already have a familiar history of cardiovascular disease, if you're a diabetic and you're uncontrolled and you are also genetically susceptible to perio, then one creates almost a synergistic effect to make it worse."
The most important thing you can do is visit a dentist every six months for a checkup and when you see a dentist, you should tell them about your medical history. While there is some collaboration between dentists and physicians (many cardiologists require a clearance from a dentist before performing heart surgery), Dr. Low hopes to see it continue to increase. "You are starting to see, and I think COVID started this, more and more, there are folks starting to talk about putting dental clinics in medical clinics, putting medical clinics in dental clinics."
Additionally, Dr. Low says it's important to stay on top of your at-home oral care. "It would be extremely naive to think that what we do in a dental office is enough. The bacteria will come back very quickly because the mouth is just a great vessel to grow those bacteria," he says. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day, preferably, with an electric toothbrush. "I don't want to belittle our manual toothbrushing, but my goodness, this morning, you did not get up and make a call on a rotary or push-button phone?" And be sure to floss. "Periodontal disease is not on the out and in of teeth, it's in between teeth." Keep in mind that good oral health has implications far beyond the mouth and that staying on top of it can help you live a longer, happier life.
EXPERTS REFERENCED: Sam Low, DDS, MS, Periodontist
Article by Kara Jillian Brown・Well + Good | July 26, 2021
By Lauren Kent, CNN
Thu July 8, 2021
Maintaining good oral health habits, such as brushing and flossing, may help prevent cognitive impairment and dementia.
(CNN)Flossing your teeth isn't just important for keeping your dentist happy -- it may also protect against cognitive decline.
Good oral health habits like brushing and flossing may prevent cognitive impairment and dementia, according to a new analysis led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing.
"Given the staggering number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and dementia each year, and the opportunity to improve oral health across the life span, it's important to gain a deeper understanding of the connection between poor oral health and cognitive decline," said Bei Wu, a professor in global health at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and the senior study author, in a statement.Researchers analyzed 14 studies on tooth loss and cognitive impairment conducted over an extended period of time, which involved a total of 34,074 adults and 4,689 cases of people with diminished cognitive function.The results showed that adults with more tooth loss had a 1.48 times higher risk of cognitive impairment and 1.28 times higher risk of dementia, even when other factors were controlled.And with each additional missing tooth, the risk of cognitive impairment grows, according to the analysis published in JAMDA: The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
Lisa, one of Dr. Nordland's staff members, shows how to use yarn for flossing.
Adults who experienced tooth loss were more likely to have cognitive decline if they did not have dentures, the new research also revealed.
"We need to think about increasing awareness of the importance of oral health, and we also need to think about preventive treatment and dentures," Wu told CNN.
Dentures are important because they allow patients to maintain a healthy diet, as well as provide "the confidence to smile naturally," according to Dr. James Wilson, president of the American Academy of Periodontology, who was not affiliated with the study.
"Being able to eat a normal diet is extremely important to a person's physical health," Wilson said via email. "The positive self-image that dentures provide a patient works to improve their mental health as well."
Article from Dentistry Today
June 3, 2021
Poor oral hygiene has a negative impact on athletic training and performance, according to Sunstar, which notes that maintaining a healthy mouth should be an essential part of athletes’ training programs and has partnered with the FDI World Dental Federation to launch Sports Dentistry Guidelines.
In a study of 302 athletes, 40% said they were bothered by their oral health, while 28% reported an impact on their quality of life, and 18% reported an effect on their training and performance. Also, 55% of the athletes had cavities, 45% had dental erosion, and 76% had periodontal disease.
Athletes are at high risk of developing oral diseases for several reasons, Sunstar said. For example, they require a lot of calories, which often are consumed via sugary protein sports bars. Also, athletes consumer a lot of sports drinks, which are mostly acidic and have high sugar content. Training leads to increased mouth breathing and reduced saliva flow, causing dry mouth and creating ideal conditions for bacteria to grow as well.
Sports-related stress is another risk factor that can cause gum disease, tooth erosion, cavities, and teeth grinding. In aquatic sports, low pH in swimming pool water can cause tooth erosion.
Just as athletics can impact oral health, oral health can impact athletic performance, Sunstar said. Poor oral health overall affects quality of life and well-being, which are key for optimal athletic performance, the company said.