Periodontal Pathogen May Interfere With Conception

A common periodontal pathogen may delay conception in young women, according to a study carried out at the University of Helsinki and published in the Journal of Oral Microbiology. Previous studies have shown that periodontal diseases may be a risk for general health, but no data on the influence of periodontal bacteria on conception or becoming pregnant have been available.

The study population comprised 256 healthy nonpregnant women who had discontinued contraception in order to become pregnant. Clinical oral and gynecological examinations were performed. Detection of major periodontal pathogens in saliva and analysis of serum and saliva antibodies against major periodontal pathogens as well as a vaginal swab for the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis at baseline were carried out. Subjects were followed-up to establish whether they did or did not become pregnant during the observation period of 12 months.

Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacterium associated with periodontal diseases, was significantly more frequently detected in the saliva among women who did not become pregnant during the one-year follow-up period than among those who did. The levels of salivary and serum antibodies against this pathogen were also significantly higher in women who did not become pregnant.

Statistical analysis showed that the finding was independent of other risk factors contributing to conception, such as age, current smoking, socioeconomic status, bacterial vaginosis, previous deliveries or clinical periodontal disease.

Women who had P. gingivalis in the saliva and higher saliva or serum antibody concentrations against this bacterium had a threefold hazard for not becoming pregnant compared to their counterparts. Increased hazard was nearly fourfold if more than one of these qualities and clinical signs of periodontitis were present.

“Our study does not answer the question on possible reasons for infertility, but it shows that periodontal bacteria may have a systemic effect even in lower amounts and even before clear clinical signs of gum disease can be seen,” said periodontist and researcher Susanna Paju, DDS, PhD, of the University of Helsinki. “More studies are needed to explain the mechanisms behind this association.”

Learn more about this study at the Journal of Oral Microbiology (2017); doi. org/10.1080/20002297.2017.1330644.

Published by CDA Journal, Vol 45, N°9. September 2017.


Study: Gum Disease Associated With Increased Cancer Risk In Postmenopausal Women


HealthDay (8/1, Reinberg) reports that gum disease is associated with “an increased risk of several types of cancer in postmenopausal women, even in women who never smoked,” according to a new study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The article reports that the investigators found gum disease was “tied to a 14 percent higher risk of developing any type of cancer,” although “the greatest risk was for esophageal cancer, which was more than three times more likely in older women who had gum disease than those who didn’t.” The findings showed gum disease was also associated with a higher risk of developing breast cancer, gallbladder cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma.

SheetsPacquetteWuOffice-0834-2868158592-O.jpgThe New York Daily News (8/1, Dziemianowicz) reports that for the study, University of Buffalo researchers used “data on 65,000 postmenopausal subjects between the ages of 54 and 86 enrolled in the ongoing Women’s Health Initiative.” Lead author and epidemiology professor Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, said, “Our study was sufficiently large and detailed enough to examine not just overall risk of cancer among older women with periodontal disease, but also to provide useful information on a number of cancer-specific sites.”
Reuters (8/1, Rapaport) reports that the study had several limitations, including that it was not “a controlled experiment designed to prove how or if poor oral health causes cancer,” and it also “relied on women to accurately recall and report their periodontal disease.” provides additional information on gum disease.

Re-posted by ADA Morning Huddle: Dentistry in the News; August 2017.

Teeth Tell Story of Humans’ Relationship With Sun

The story of humanity’s vital — and fragile — relationship with the sun has been locked inside our teeth for hundreds of thousands of years. A new method is starting to tease out answers to questions of evolution and migration, using clues hidden just under the enamel.

A group of McMaster University researchers reveals the potential of the method in a paper in Current Anthropology. In 2016, the researchers first established that dentine carries a permanent record of vitamin D deficiency, which is also called rickets. During periods of severe deficiency, new layers of dentine cannot mineralize, leaving microscopic markers scientists can read like rings of a tree.

Those markers can tell the story of human adaptation as early man moved from
equatorial Africa into lower-light regions and may explain changes in skin pigmentation
to metabolize more sunlight or how indoor living has damaged human health. Until now, there has been no reliable way to measure vitamin D deficiency over time. As the authors show with examples from ancient and modern teeth, the method is valuable for understanding a health condition that today affects more than 1 billion people.

“This is exciting because we now have a proven resource that could finally bring
definitive answers to fundamental questions about the early movements and conditions
of human populations and new information about the importance of vitamin D for
modern populations,” said Megan Brickley, PhD, a McMaster anthropologist and lead author of the paper.

Learn more about this study at Current Anthropology (2017); doi: 10.1086/691683.

Published by CDA Journal, Vol 45, N°7. July 2017.

Perio Treatment Aids Heart Health in People With Diabetes

A new study published recently in the journal Internal Medicine examined the effects of periodontal interventions on cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with periodontitis and type 2 diabetes and found that some therapeutic treatments may reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications.

Researchers from Hungkuang University in Taiwan conducted a retrospective study of more than 15,000 patients to determine if undergoing subgingival curettage or flap operations influenced the occurrence of cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction, heart failure and stroke, in patients with periodontitis and type 2 diabetes. They found that advanced periodontal therapy lowers the rate of CVD, especially myocardial infarction and heart failure. “Dental management has a beneficial effect on the health of patients with type 2 diabetes,” said lead author Chiung-Huei Peng, DDS, PhD.

Through the Taiwan National Health Insurance program, researchers considered data for adults with the diagnoses of type 2 diabetes in 1999 through 2001 and periodontitis who had not been previously diagnosed with CVD and had outpatient periodontal treatment in the three years following the diabetes diagnosis. They assigned participants to an advanced or nonadvanced periodontal treatment group based on the most severe periodontal treatment they had undergone. Subgingival curettage and fl ap operations were defined as advanced periodontal treatments, resulting in 3,039 patients in the advanced treatment group. All patients were followed until the onset of CVD or Dec. 31, 2011.

After adjusting for confounding variables, the researchers found that undergoing advanced periodontal treatment versus nonadvanced treatment did not significantly affect the incidence of CVD. However, the incidences of myocardial infarction and heart failure, which are major components of CVD, were each significantly lower in the advanced treatment group compared with the nonadvanced treatment group. The incidence of stroke was not affected.

“Our analysis revealed that advanced periodontal treatment effectively alleviated the incidence of myocardial infarction and heart failure (the latter to a greater extent), whereas it had no significant effect on stroke,” the authors wrote. “These results indicate there might be some discrepancies between the pathogenesis of stroke and periodontitis associated coronary artery disease.”

Learn more about this study in Internal Medicine 56 (9), 1015-1021 (2017).

Published by CDA Journal, Vol 45, N°7. July 2017.

FDI makes global periodontal health a priority over the next three years

FDI is increasing global awareness of periodontal health over the next three years through its Global Periodontal Health Project (GPHP). Proposed in 2015, the implementation of the GPHP was set in motion this this year to prioritize periodontal health at a national level through health promotion and disease prevention, and to integrate oral and periodontal health into policies addressing noncommunicable diseases.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease including gingivitis and periodontitis is a plaque biofilm-induced inflammatory condition affecting tooth-supporting tissues and bone, and it is among humanity’s most common diseases affecting up to 90% of the adult population worldwide.

Periodontal disease is also closely associated with noncommunicable diseases as they share common risk factors (unhealthy diet, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption). It represents a major global oral disease burden with significant social, economic and health-system impacts.

The roadmap to achieving global periodontal health

Periodontal health is essential to general health and key to securing a person’s quality of life and well-being through their life course. It is imperative that governments engage with Chief Dental Officers and Ministries of Health when developing national disease action plans to ensure an ‘oral health in all’ policy approach.

The GPHP seeks to reduce the burden of periodontal disease by raising awareness of its impact and engaging the public, oral health and other health professionals, educators, and policymakers in promoting periodontal health. Over the course of three years (2017–2019), the project is set to deliver a global awareness campaign (including specialized toolkits for target audiences), a white paper, a policy statement, and symposiums at the FDI World Dental Congress. It is a multi-partner project supported by EMS, GSK and P&G.

Continue reading:

Published by FDI World Dental Federation News on July 5, 2017.


Periodontal Bacteria May Delay Conception In Women, Study Suggests.

The Daily Mail (6/13) reports that a new study has found women with Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacterium associated with periodontal diseases, “take three times longer to get pregnant,” and those with P. gingivalis and signs of periodontitis “take four times longer.”

In a release on EurekAlert (6/11), periodontist and researcher Dr. Susanna Paju, of the University of Helsinki, said, “Our study does not answer the question on possible reasons for infertility but it shows that periodontal bacteria may have a systemic effect even in lower amounts, and even before clear clinical signs of gum disease can be seen.” Dr. Paju added, “More studies are needed to explain the mechanisms behind this association.” also provides information on gum disease.

Published by ADA Morning Huddle: Dentistry in the News; June 14, 2017.

Genetic Defects in Tooth Enamel Can Lead to Cavities


Published by CDA Journal: Vol 45, N°4:

Research from the University of Zurich have pinpointed a gene complex that is responsible for the formation of tooth enamel. according to a study published in the weekly journal Science Signaling in February.

Two teams from the Centre of Dental Medicine and the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences used mice with varying mutations of the enamel proteins involved in the so-Wnt signaling pathway. Thanks to this transmission route, human and animal cells respond to external signals and specifically activate selected genes in the cell nucleus. The signaling pathway is essential for embryonal development and plays a pivotal role in development of cancer or physical malformations.

“All mice with mutations in these proteins exhibit teeth with enamel defects,” said Pierfrancesco Pagella, co-author of the study. “Therefore, we demonstrated that there is a direct link between mutations in these proteins and the development of tooth enamel defects.”

The teams discovered that three particular proteins involved in the Wnt signaling pathway aren’t just involved in the development of severe illnesses, but also in the qualitative refinement of highly developed tissue. “If the signal transmission isn’t working properly, the structure of the tooth enamel can change,” said co-author Claudio Cantù.

The hardness and composition of the tooth enamel can affect the progression of cavities. Research revealed that tooth decay isn’t just linked to bacteria, but also the tooth’s resistance, said Thimios Mitsiadis, professor of oral biology at the Center of Dental Medicine. Bacteria and their toxic products can easily penetrate enamel with a less stable structure, which leads to carious lesions even if oral hygiene is maintained, according to the study.

Understanding the molecular-biological connections of tooth enamel development and the impact of mutations that lead to enamel defects opens up new possibilities for the prevention of cavities. “New products that hinder the progress of tooth cavities in the event of defective tooth enamel will enable us to improve the dental health of patients considerably,” Mitsiadis said.

Learn more about this study in Science Signaling 10 (465) (2017).

Published by Journal of California Dental Association (CDA), Volume 45, N°4. April 2017.