RE-POST FROM ADA MORNING HUDDLE:
The Washington Post (10/1, Levingston) reported that researchers are finding potential links “between gum or periodontal disease” and several different types of health problems. Although “experts are far from understanding what these links might mean,” the “links between gum disease and diabetes, at-risk pregnancy, heart disease and stroke have been so consistent that some insurers offer extra preventive periodontal care at little or no cost to people with those conditions.” The article pointed out that according to the CDC “nearly half of all Americans age 30 and older have some form of gum disease; in people 65 and older, 70 percent have some degree of periodontal disease.” The article noted, “Signs of gum disease include bleeding, red or swollen gums; areas where the gum seems separated from the teeth; bad breath; and loose teeth, which can cause changes in your bite, according to the American Dental Association.”
MouthHealthy.org also provides information for patients gum disease, heart disease and oral health, and diabetes and oral health.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a package of five bills that are the most significant set of tobacco restrictions in years. Brown signed:
■ SB 5 X2 by Sen. Mark Leno classifies e-cigarettes as tobacco products. This will make them subject to smoke-free laws, age restrictions and other rules governing tobacco products.
■ SB 7 X2 by Sen. Ed Hernandez and Assemblymember Jim Wood, DDS, raises the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.
■ AB 7 X2 by Assembly member Mark Stone closes loopholes in the state’s smoke-free workplace laws.
■ AB 9 X2 by Assembly members Tony Thurmond and Adrin Nazarian requires all schools to be tobacco-free.
■ AB 11 X2 by Assembly member Nazarian establishes a tobacco licensing fee program under the state Board of Equalization.
“These bills are the most significant set of tobacco restrictions in years and we thank the governor and Legislature for taking this historic step,” CDA President Ken Wallis, DDS, said.” “Dentists see the devastating effects of tobacco use every day and we are very pleased that California has taken bold steps to protect our residents from these deadly products.”
California becomes the second state, after Hawaii, to raise the smoking age to 21. More than 100 cities, including San Francisco, have also passed this policy. The state also joins a growing number of states regulating e-cigarettes like tobacco products in order to combat the exploding use of e-cigarettes by teens.
Published by CDA JOURNAL, VOL 4 4 , Nº 7, JULY 2016
For the first time, researchers have identifi ed a reliable marker (PDGFRβ) to detect carcinoma-associated fi broblasts (CAFs) — which are cells within the tumor that encourage growth and metastasis — in oral cancer tissues, according to new research. With this discovery, anti-PDGFRβ treatment could soon be combined with existing tumor treatments to provide a more effective cancer therapy.
For more, see the research published in the journal PLOS ONE, April 29, 2016.
Hepatitis C Is Top Infectious Disease Killer in U.S.
Deaths associated with hepatitis C reached an all-time high of 19,659 in 2014, according to new surveillance data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). And, a second CDC study showed that annual hepatitis C-related mortality in 2013 surpassed the total combined number of deaths from 60 other infectious diseases reported to the CDC, including HIV, pneumococcal disease and tuberculosis. The greatest hepatitis C burden falls on baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — many of whom have unknowingly been living with the infection for many years.
The surveillance data also point to a new wave of hepatitis C infections among people who inject drugs. Acute cases of hepatitis C infection have more than doubled since 2010, increasing to 2,194 reported cases in 2014. The new cases were predominantly among young, white individuals with a history of injection drug use, living in rural and suburban areas of the Midwest and Eastern United States. “Because hepatitis C often has few noticeable symptoms, the number of new cases is likely much higher than what is reported. Due to limited screening and underreporting, we estimate the number of new infections is closer to 30,000 per year,” said John W. Ward, MD, director of CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis, in a news release. “We must act now to diagnose and treat hidden infections before they become deadly and to prevent new infections.” California Dental Association (CDA) Journal, vol 22, issue Nº7, pp. 407. July 2016.
See more published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 62, issue 10, pp. 1287-1288.
In a “Dear Colleagues” letter published in the ADA News (7/5), ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays writes that this month’s Journal of the American Dental Association “revisits dentistry’s role in preventing opioid abuse.” Summerhays calls on “dentists everywhere to take several specific steps to help prevent opioid pain medications from being inadvertently misused and abused.” She encourages dentists to register for the next ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program webinar “on model opioid prescribing in the context of modern drug-seeking behaviour.” Dentists should also use their state’s prescription drug monitoring program and review materials provided by the ADA, including the “ADA Practical Guide to Substance Use Disorders and Safe Prescribing.” Patients should also be advised to “sign the Medicine Abuse Project pledge to safeguard their medicines” and visit MouthHealthy.org/meds to learn about the dangers of opioid abuse. According to Summerhays, “the ADA will continue raising professional awareness about” opioid abuse “and offering resources to help prevent it.”