Gingivectomy and Osseous resection case

Patient Presentation

BEFORE

  • 24 year old Hispanic female
  • Dental student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
  • No medications, no known drug allergies
  • Medical history non-contributory
  • Chief complaint of “I don’t like my gummy smile”

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Should You Get Screened for Oral Cancer?

About 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed this year with oral cancer, a form of head and neck cancer found inside the mouth, including on the tongue, floor of the mouth, and cheeks. Oral cancer can be deadly; historically, the cure rates for oral cancers diagnosed in advanced stages have been very low. That’s why finding them early is so important…Read more

Periodontal disease could decrease kidney function in African-Americans

PHILADELPHIA, USA: New research has shown that African-Americans who suffer from the severe form of periodontal disease have a more than fourfold risk of developing chronic kidney disease than those without severe periodontal disease. In the U.S. alone, 1 in 2 adults aged 30 and over have periodontal disease, with African-Americans being disproportionally affected……..Read More

Saliva test in dental setting could help diagnose deadly diseases

LOS ANGELES, USA: Salivary fluid has become an emerging medium for the detection of oral and systemic diseases, as well as for health surveillance in recent years. Now, a study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), has shown that a simple saliva test conducted in the dental practice could be capable of diagnosing serious illnesses such as diabetes and cancer at an early stage

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‘Floss or die’: Alarmist, yes, but also true

Montreal Gazette – ‘Floss or die’: Alarmist, yes, but also true

By Chemistry professor Joe Schwarcz, Freelance February 26, 2011

The headline that appeared roughly 20 years ago in a number of newspapers, including The Gazette, was short and powerful. “Floss or Die!” Here we go again, I remember thinking, more inane fear mongering.

Well, as it turns out, the headline may have been over the top, but we now know that there is a significant connection between poor oral health and heart disease. And it all has to do with bacteria. Our mouth is teeming with them, over 600 varieties. Tiny creatures, over a hundred million of them can be found in every millilitre of saliva.

The Dutch gentleman scientist Antony van Leeuwenhoek first glimpsed bacteria way back in the late 1600s. While he did not invent the microscope, his lens grinding skill allowed him to construct an instrument that magnified over 200 times, far greater than any previous microscope. Leeuwenhoek had an innate curiosity that led him to examine almost anything that could be placed under his lens. And so it was that he discovered bacteria, first by examining the plaque between his own teeth.

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Health Risks Related to Periodontal Diseases

Numerous scientific journals have published reports examining the link between gum disease and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and pre-term deliveries in pregnant women.

Diabetes

A link has been proven between control of blood sugar (glycemic control) in diabetics and periodontal disease. Patients who have gum disease have worse control over their diabetes then those with healthy gums. The reverse is also true, patients with diabetes are more apt to have periodontal disease, and it is often more severe.

Cardiovascular Disease

While not proven absolutely, numerous studies have shown a strong link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. Elevated levels of the certain proteins (C-reactive protein, fibronectin) have been identified in the blood of patients with both periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. It is thought that the chronic inflammation seen with gum disease causes these proteins to be released into the bloodstream, leading to a similar situation to that seen in cardiovascular disease. Also, certain bacteria found only in the mouth that are seen at higher levels in patients with gum disease, have also been identified in atherosclerotic plaques, hardened deposits which form in blood vessels and lead to heart attacks and strokes. Periodontal bacteria are thus “found at the scene of the crime”, lending even more evidence to the association between gum and cardiovascular disease.

Pre-Term Births

A link has also been seen between women who have periodontal disease and are pregnant and delivering pre-term, low birth weight babies. Studies have shown that certain bacteria found in high numbers in the mouths of patients with periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream and actually cause premature contractions of the uterus. Pre-term birth can be a very serious problem and women thinking of conceiving are strongly urged to treat any gum disease first. It is also important to maintain good oral hygiene and visit a dentist or periodontist regularly during pregnancy to control inflammation of the gums as best as possible.