Gum Disease Risk Analyzed Via Genetic Test

Genetic test for gum disease risk: research studyWhat if a person’s genes could be used to predict their risk for gum disease? A new study at the University of Michigan will examine just that issue.

Genetic testing will be done on some 4,000 patients, and the data will be correlated with levels of tooth loss and periodontal disease.

Genetics has been shown to play a role in gingivitis. It is thought that certain gene variants can cause proteins to be overexpressed, leading soft tissue to detach from bone, and correlating with periodontal problems like bleeding gums, periodontitis, and eventual loss of teeth.

Read more: Genetic test to help predict gum disease

Gum Disease Rates Far Higher Than Previously Estimated

Periodontal disease in the USAGum disease in the US may be as much as 50% more common than previously thought, according to new research from the CDC and American Academy of Periodontology (AAP).

A pilot study of 450 American adults found significantly higher levels of periodontal disease than expected.

Previous estimates of periodontitis in the US relied on partial-mouth examinations. When full-mouth periodontal exams were conducted instead, researchers discovered significantly more perio disease, leading them to suspect that previous estimates may have underestimated the population’s level of gum disease by up to 50%.

Read more: Gum Disease Found to be Significant Public Health Concern

Menopausal Patients Linked to Increased Risk for Gum Disease

menopause and gum diseeaseCase 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.”

Do you find that your menopausal patients have more problems with dental plaque than their younger counterparts? What do you recommend to your female patients over 50?

For more on this subject, visit Science Daily.

Science Doesn’t Support Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Science Doesn't Support Link Between Gum Disease and Heart DiseaseThe American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs agrees with the conclusions of a recent report that current scientific evidence does not establish a direct cause and effect relationship between gum disease and heart disease or stroke.

Additionally, the evidence does not establish that gum disease increases the rate of heart disease or stroke.

The report, which examined 537 peer-reviewed studies on the subject, was published this month in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.

Although there is a body of research showing that gum disease is associated with several health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes; just because two conditions are associated with each other does not mean that one causes the other. Both heart disease and gum disease share common risk factors, such as smoking and diabetes, which play a role in the development of both diseases.

The American Heart Association (AHA) report acknowledges the value of good oral hygiene to maintain good overall health but noted that current scientific data do not indicate whether regular brushing and flossing or treatment of gum disease can decrease the incidence of atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing of the arteries that can lead to cause heart attacks and strokes.

The ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs, which is made up of ADA member dentists who are scientific experts, appointed a representative to the American Heart Association expert committee that developed the report. The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs then reviewed the report and agreed with its conclusions.

As a science-based organization, the ADA supports research on the risk, prevention, management and treatment of oral diseases, as well as research that helps clarify relationships that may exist between oral health conditions and systemic diseases. The ADA encourages patients to talk to their dentists about the role that good oral health plays in their overall health.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth and is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.To avoid gum disease and maintain good oral health (including prevention of tooth decay or cavities), the ADA recommends the following to dental patients:

  • Brush teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
  • Eat a balanced diet, limit between-meal snacks.
  • Visit a dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.

What are your thoughts on the recent reports that gum disease is related to heart disease?  Have you noticed this with your dental patients?

SOURCE: AHA statement: No causative link found between periodontal disease and heart disease. For more information about the ADA, visit the Association’s website at www.ada.org

Science Friday: Dental Plaque Bacteria May Trigger Endocarditis

Science Friday: Dental Plaque Bacteria May Trigger EndocarditisIn the future dentists could be the first defence in the prevention of endocarditis.

The UK Society for General Microbiology is reporting that oral bacteria that escape into the bloodstream are able to cause blood clots and trigger life-threatening endocarditis.

Further research could lead to new drugs to tackle infective heart disease, according to the scientists who presented their work at the Society for General Microbiology’s Spring Conference in Dublin this week.

Streptococcus gordonii is a normal inhabitant of the mouth and contributes to plaque that forms on the surface of teeth. If these bacteria enter into the blood stream through bleeding gums they can start to wreak havoc by masquerading as human proteins.

Researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and the University of Bristol have discovered that S. gordonii is able to produce a molecule on its surface that lets it mimic the human protein fibrinogen – a blood-clotting factor.

This activates the platelets, causing them to clump inside blood vessels. These unwanted blood clots encase the bacteria, protecting them from the immune system and from antibiotics that might be used to treat infection. Platelet clumping can lead to growths on the heart valves (endocarditis), or inflammation of blood vessels that can block the blood supply to the heart or brain.

Dr Helen Petersen who is presenting the work said that better understanding of the relationship between bacteria and platelets could ultimately lead to new treatments for infective endocarditis. “In the development of infective endocarditis, a crucial step is the bacteria sticking to the heart valve and then activating platelets to form a clot. We are now looking at the mechanism behind this sequence of events in the hope that we can develop new drugs which are needed to prevent blood clots and also infective endocarditis,” she said.

Infective endocarditis is treated with surgery or by strong antibiotics – which is becoming more difficult with growing antibiotic resistance.

“About 30% of people with infective endocarditis die and most will require surgery for replacement of the infected heart valve with a metal or animal valve,” said Dr Petersen. “Our team has now identified the critical components of the S. gordonii molecule that mimics fibrinogen, so we are getting closer to being able to design new compounds to inhibit it. This would prevent the stimulation of unwanted blood clots,” said Dr Steve Kerrigan from the RCSI.

The team are also looking more widely at other dental plaque bacteria that may have similar effects to S. gordonii. “We are also trying to determine how widespread this phenomenon is by studying other bacteria related to S. gordonii. What our work clearly shows is how important it is to keep your mouth healthy with regular dental care as in brushing and flossing, to keep these bacteria in check,” stressed Dr Petersen.

For more on this finding see: Dental Plaque Bacteria May Trigger Blood Clots

Disclaimer

© 2017, The Wealthy Dentist - Dental Marketing - All Rights Reserved - Dental Website Marketing Site Map

The Wealthy Dentist® - Contact by email - Privacy Policy

P.O. Box 1220, Tiburon, CA 94920

The material on this website is offered in conjunction with MasterPlan Alliance.

Copyright 2017 Du Molin & Du Molin, Inc. All rights reserved. If you would like to use material from this site, our reports, articles, training programs
or tutorials for use in any printed or electronic media, please ask permission first by email.