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Can Gum Disease Affect Ovulation?

According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “Women struggling to get pregnant need to take good care of their gums, a study has found. Bacteria that causes gum infections appears to have a role in making conception take longer”.  According to a recent study, “Women with bacteria that causes gum disease in their saliva, P. Gingivalis, took three times longer to get pregnant than women without. And women with the bug as well as symptoms of periodontitis - disease of the gum and underlying bone - took four times longer”. Researchers believe that infection in the gums and jawbone leads to further inflammation in the body. This inflammation may prevent ovulation or could stop the embryo implanting. Women struggling to get pregnant need to take good care of their gums, a study has found. Researchers think gum disease might be a warning sign of problems elsewhere in the body - particularly type two diabetes and heart disease”. Additionally, post-menopausal women are more likely to die early if they have gum disease according to this study.  Women who lose teeth after the menopause are at a higher risk of an early death, experts have warned. A major study suggests gum disease and tooth loss is a red flag for severe health problems. Study leader Dr Michael LaMonte, of the University at Buffalo in New York, said no matter the cause of the link, more intensive dental screening in old age could help nip problems in the bud. Other possible effects are inflammation interfering with hormone production, as well as contributing to endometriosis, a condition where tissue that normally grows inside the womb grows elsewhere in the body.  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. Thus, Dr. Johnson suggests that, “results encourage young women of fertile age to take care of their oral health and attend periodontal evaluations regularly”. How the study was carried out: Researchers at the University of Helsinki studied 256 healthy non-pregnant women aged between 19 and 42 who had stopped contraception and were trying to get pregnant. The health of their mouths and gums, as well as their reproductive organs, were examined.  Over 12 months they were observed as to whether they became pregnant or not.  Researchers believe gum infection leads to further inflammation that may prevent ovulation.   Key findings : Gingivalis Bacteria 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 research found women who either had P. Gingivalis in their saliva – or antibodies indicating they had been infected by P Gingivalis, were three times less likely to get pregnant, while those with the bacteria and signs of gum disease were four times less likely to get pregnant. The bacteria remained a factor even after other factors that have an effect on getting pregnant such as socioeconomic status, general health and smoking were considered. Original article:  www.dailymail.co.uk/health Artwork:  www.freepik.com  

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Pot Mouth? – Wellesley, Newton, MA

We recently had a college student return from college in Colorado who came to the office for a general visit.  Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners reports that, “Upon reviewing his medical history before a routine cleaning appointment, “John” admitted to “smoking a lot of pot” during his four years away.  There was a raised, white area along the cheek”.

Like Colorado, Massachusetts has recently adopted policies that allow for recreational use of Marijuana.  There are dispensaries being planned around the state and a likely increase in recreational use of Pot is certainly coming.

Ganja, Hash, Weed, Mary Jane are but a few of the more common names for cannabis which is a plant-derived drug.  Commonly abused, about 2.5% of the world’s population uses cannabis.  It can be used in several preparations, with dried leaves and flower (marijuana) that are smokes being the most common.  Other methods include smoking via water pipe or vaporizer, adding marijuana to food and consuming it, and using concentrated liquid forms.

Dry mouth is a common problem experienced for one to six hours after using cannabis, as well as an increased appetite.  Both lead to becoming more vulnerable to an oral attack from foods and sweet drinks.  Thermal injury to the tissues is seen in an additional effect by other opportunistic infectious agents.

And our college student?  Because it is virtually impossible to distinguish between these benign entities and carcinoma, biopsy is essential.  If dysplasia is demonstrated, consider such lesions premalignant. They have the propensity to transform into carcinoma in situ or invasive squamous cell carcinoma. Thus, such leukoplakic growths must be excised completely and the region observed closely for recurrence.  … a biopsy report of hyper-keratosis.

Lessen learned!

For other Blogs by Dr. Johnson, click here.  To contact the office or Dr. Johnson, click here.

Artwork: www.researchgate.net Original article:  Dr. Gerald Fine

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Earlier Death In Older Women Related to Gum Disease? -Wellesley, Newton, MA

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners found an article that resonates with his patient base which he wants to share:  Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that, “gum disease and tooth loss are connected to a higher risk of early death in women past the age of menopause.” Michael J. LaMonte, lead author of the study and a research associate professor at the University at Buffalo in New York, notes that the findings only suggest an association between oral health and premature death. CNN adds, “The research does not show gum disease or tooth loss cause early death.”   However, according to Dr. Johnson, “there are many published findings that correlate gum disease with many medical entities like cardiac issues, pancreatic cancer and poor diets”.

For the study, HealthDay (3/29/17, Preidt) reports that investigators “tracked data on more than 57,000 women aged 55 and older.” The researchers found that “a history of gum disease was associated with a 12 percent higher risk of death from any cause.” In addition, researchers found that loss of natural teeth was associated with “a 17 percent increased risk of death from any cause.”   Dr. Johnson recommends a 4x/year regimen with a talented hygienist for many of his periodontally compromised patients.  He adds, "it is clearly the best 'bang for your buck' in dentistry and can save you many thousands of dollars over one's lifetime".

MouthHealthy.org provides oral health information for adults over 40 and adults over 60.   MouthHealthy.org also provides additional information for patients on gum disease.

For additional blogs by Dr. Johnson or to contact him directly, visit: www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.com

Original article in CNN.com

Artwork: www.healthline.com

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Geriatric Dental Issues – Newton, Wellesley, MA

There’s a commonly understood recipe for living a healthy life as we get older, and it goes something like this: Exercise, eat healthy food in moderation, don’t smoke, get plenty of sleep, maintain a good social network and engage in mentally challenging activities.

Yet, according to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist  and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “there’s another, largely overlooked, ingredient: oral health care”. Because our bodies become more vulnerable as we age, decay, infections and bacteria that occur in teeth, gums and mouth can grow into serious problems that impact overall health. Plus, there are issues seniors have that exacerbate problems and inhibit a senior’s ability to brush, floss or visit the dentist. Medications can create dry mouth. Arthritis limits dexterity and creates transportation and mobility issues. And a lack of dental insurance can halt regular dentist visits.

“Many of older adults are getting used to living in pain,” says Johnson. “They have active infections that have been going on for five, 10, 15 years. Poor oral hygiene is particularly harmful to seniors”.

Poor oral hygiene can increase risks for diabetes, pneumonia, infections elsewhere in the body and strokes, he says. Also, mouth cancers — which can be discovered through regular dental checkups — can go undetected. Many seniors wish they had access to better dental care. But often, after retirement, they lose dental insurance and can’t afford new coverage. Medicare, for instance, doesn’t cover most dental work. In 2012, a survey indicated that being able to afford dental care was the No. 1 health issue for seniors, even more than general medical care (38 percent to 30 percent).

Among the primary oral-health issues older men and women face are:

Dry mouth: Having a drier mouth can be part of the aging & geriatric  process. But older people tend to be on more medications, and hundreds of those medications inhibit production of saliva, which protects against tooth decay and controls bacteria. “That creates an environment that is very acidic, because the saliva is not there anymore,” says Johnson, “That leads to more tooth decay, gum disease and an increase in bacteria”. Some studies have shown gum disease can lead to heart disease. And an increase in bacteria has been linked to a higher risk of pneumonia (with bacteria breathed into the lungs) and diabetes. It’s important for seniors to drink more water to battle dry mouth. Also, seniors should provide their dentist a list of medications they are taking.

Oral cancer: Rates increase with age, so if seniors skip regular dental checkups, they run the risk of cancers going undetected early. And even seniors who have no natural teeth and use a full set of dentures should continue regular checkups for mouth cancer.

Caregivers: it’s important for the people who care for seniors to help them with brushing and flossing, and to make certain they see a dentist regularly.  “Very often, I have a family member telling me, ‘My mom or dad was scrupulous with their health and took excellent care of their teeth, and now they’re in horrible condition,’” says Johson. “A lot of decay, a lot of periodontal illness because they just lost the capacity to take care of themselves. It takes some active intervention on the part of their families or others.”

"The importance of education can’t be overstated. The baby boomers’ tsunami wave is coming,” says Johnson. “This is a problem that is upon us, whether we want it or not. We have to continue improving the educational process to avoid potential problems.”

The Centers for Disease Control offers a checklist for seniors to maintain good oral health that includes: • Drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste to protect against tooth decay. • Brush and floss regularly to reduce dental plaque and prevent periodontal disease. • See your dentist regularly, even if you wear dentures and have no natural teeth. • Avoid tobacco and limit alcohol to lower risk of oral and throat cancers. • Caregivers should provide daily oral hygiene for seniors unable to take care of themselves. • If medications produce a dry mouth, ask your doctor if there are alternate medications that can be substituted. If not, drink plenty of water or chew sugarless gum to keep your mouth moist.

For additional information on this topic visit the American Dental Association: www.mouthhealthy.org/en/adults-over-60.  For additional blogs by Dr. Johnson or to contact the office, visit: www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.com

Original article: San Diego Union-Tribune Artwork: yourdentalpartners.com

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Dental Implants (Knock Offs & Their Risk) – Wellesley, Newton, MA

Squeezed between billboards promoting “Free Donuts” and “855-Car-Hit-U”,  I recently spotted an ad for $400 dental implants.  Radio also has numerous promotions for “teeth-in-a-day”. According to Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, “This makes for a market that creates confusion for the public. There really is a huge difference between quality and cheap”!

There are dozens of dental implant companies that sell implants in the USA. However many of these companies are copies or “clones” of other successful implants.  Since these smaller companies do very little research or development, they are usually 1-2 generations of implant design behind the major companies.  In the many implant complication cases referred to us, we have seen a higher rate of problems in the “clone” implants…even though they look very similar to the major implant brands.

An additional concern is that as smaller implant companies come and go there is a risk of not being able to get parts compatible with these numerous implants to make the crowns or bridges that attach to them.  I would not put a clone implant into a family member’s mouth (not even my mother-in-law!). Innovative companies that approach implant dentistry responsibly with research and education provide quality and service are doing very well, while implant companies that compete only on price are not a good fit for any practice.

Would you want a discounted hip or knee implant? How would you feel if your dentist was charging you the regular price and giving you a cheap implant knockoff?  Do you even ask or know? The consumer needs to know that all implants are not created equal, and they should ask what brand is being used at a particular office.

Here are some implant companies that Dr. Johnson has worked with over his 29 years of clinical practice and have a good track record and lots of data: Biomet 3i, Zimmer Dental, Straumann, Keystone,  Astratech and Nobel Biocare.

  For more information on Dr. Johnson, click here To arrange a consultation or contact the office, click here For additional blogs by Dr. Johnson, click here

Original publication by Dr. Mitchell Josephs on LinkedIn Artwork: www.oralanswers.com

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