For Health Professionals

Professional Education

NASHP Webinar: Oral Health—Evidence and Strategies to Improve Care and Reduce Costs

Oral health is linked to overall health, and mounting evidence suggests that addressing oral health can improve patient care, improve population health, and reduce costs. In this webinar, a leading researcher will share findings from a study of private insurance claims linking treatment of gum disease with significantly lower costs for individuals with diabetes and other chronic conditions. You will also hear about a program under way at Hennepin Health in Minnesota to connect patients with regular dental care and prevent costly visits to hospital emergency departments. And NASHP will provide an overview of a new brief and online toolkit that explore these topics and draw out lessons for state policymakers. Read More »

Professional Journal Articles

Oral Infections and Cardiovascular Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease. Research has found that there is an association between cardiovascular disease and periodontitis. A recent report in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism highlights the association between oral infections and cardiovascular disease. Karim El Kholu, Robert J. Genco, Thomas E. Van Dyke. Published April 2015 Read More »

Professional Journal Articles

Cystic Fibrosis Research

Cystic fibrosis, a condition where the lungs become overwhelmed with thickened mucus and causes difficulty breathing and increased incidence of respiratory infection, may now be easier to treat. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have designed “mini-lungs,” which mimic the behavior and function of lungs. By using a fluorescent dye containing chloride, the mini-lungs were tested to see if the chloride would pass through and change the fluorescence (in other words, stop the buildup of mucus). This technique allows researchers to test the mini-lungs with potential new drugs to treat this disease.  Read More »

Professional Journal Articles

Study: Older Adults With Fluoridated Water Keep Teeth Longer

An Irish study has found that community water fluoridation helps adults over 50 retain their natural teeth. The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging and researchers from of Trinity College Dublin involved 5,000 older adults 50 + and found “those who lived in areas with fluoridated water were more likely to report having all their teeth.”  Read More »

Professional Education

Why Older Adults?

Everyday in the US 10,000 older adults reach the age of 65. 70% of older adults do not have dental coverage. Can you be the dentist who helps them?  Read More »

Professional Journal Articles

Geriatric Oral Health and Pneumonia Risk

Aspiration Pneumonia- the most common infection of seniors residing in nursing homes, is often overlooked. Researcher Margaret Terpenning of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor looks at this issue in greater detail. From her research, there is a correlation between dental hygienic factors and pneumonia. Poor oral hygiene stems from a variety of local and systemic illnesses, including local abscess formation, rapid spread of infection through facial planes, and infective endocarditis. The risk of aspiration pneumonia is greatest when periodontal disease, dental caries, and poor oral hygiene occur in addition to swallowing disease, feeding problems, and poor functional status. Terpenning argues that there is a crucial need for intervention. Because aspiration pneumonia is a very costly illness for older patients in nursing homes, she argues that simple procedures, such as having designated personnel perform oral care, teaching the residents how to be compliant with their oral health care, and the choice of oral health care itself is vital for nursing home residents to prevent illnesses such as this.  Read More »

Professional Journal Articles

Link Between Hair Disorders and Susceptibility to Dental Caries

Did you know that hair and teeth share similar developmental mechanisms? Although the hair shaft is essentially made of keratin filaments while tooth enamel is primarily composed of enamel proteins, researchers from the International & American Associations for Dental Research have found a link between hair disorders and dental caries. Functional impact of hair keratin mutations on the structural and mechanical properties of tooth enamel was assessed on extracted teeth using transmission and scanning electron microscopy, micro-computed tomography and micro-hardness testing. According to the study, the researchers determined that epithelial hair keratins are very important to tooth enamel and damaged keratins can increase the risk for dental defects and caries.  Read More »

Professional Journal Articles

Brain Mechanisms and Dental Pain Relief

Michael L. Meier of the International & American Associations for Dental Research recently conducted a study to investigate brain activity and the functional connectivity patterns when subjects are influenced by local anesthesia. Read More »

Other Resources

Dental Assistants Appreciation Week

Dental Assistants Appreciation Week March 2-7, 2015. Dentists from around the world will celebrate by honoring their dental assistants for the variety of duties they perform and helping them provide patients with quality dental care. This year's theme, "Dental Assisting: Embracing the Changes of the Profession," acknowledges the growing importance of dentistry's role in overall health and the responsibilities of dental assistants. Read More »