- Xylitol in Preventing Dental Caries by Nicholas Fields and Tu Bui [View Image]
Nicholas Fields and Tu Bui
Problem: Dental caries is a common form of tooth infection among adults and children. The disease is easily transmissible, and therefore a great focus should be put on prevention to ensure healthy and proper oral hygiene for the population. Xylitol use has been proposed as one of the most effective preventive interventions against dental caries.
Methods: The literature review engaged different electronic databases such as PubMed, MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Library in evaluating the effectiveness of xylitol use in preventing dental caries in both children and adults. Articles used in the review were published between 2016 and 2021 to ensure the relevance of the research.
Significant findings: Many studies have revealed definitive evidence that xylitol is highly effective in preventing dental caries in both children and adults.
Conclusion: Conclusively, dental caries is a common form of tooth infection among adults and children. For this infection, prevention is essential, and one of the most effective strategies for prevention is the application and utilization of xylitol. A large number of studies have demonstrated that xylitol is highly effective in the prevention of dental caries among the population. However, further research should be conducted to develop proper guidelines on its application in preventative interventions.
- Can Botox be the cure for TMJ associated pain and dysfunction? by Haley Headley and Bella Pollard [View Image]
Haley Headley and Bella Pollard
Problem: Over 10 million Americans suffer from pain, headaches, and jaw dysfunction associated with temporomandibular joint disorders. Traditionally, when diagnosed, patients are given conservative treatment option recommendations such as an occlusal bite guard, stabilization splint, and over-the-counter pain medication, such as Ibuprofen. These conservative treatment options are meant for short term use. What is the long term answer to temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction? Surgical replacement of jaw joints with artificial implants has been considered; however, the effectiveness of this irreversible procedure is inconclusive and highly controversial. Botulinum toxin type A injections, or botox, offers an alternative treatment that could be more effective than conservative treatment options and less invasive than surgical replacement.
Methods: This review of literature utilized the PubMed Database to find relevant research studies and reviews to determine the efficacy of Botox treatment, more specifically botulinum toxin type A injections, in the treatment of temporomandibular joint dysfunction and disorders. Most of the studies rely on patient-reported outcomes based on pain reduction and/or improvement in function of the temporomandibular joint. Studies evaluating the potential side effects of Botox were completed by treating and observing mice. Studies and reviews included in this review of literature date no later than 2016.
Major Findings: Many studies have shown that botulinum toxin type A injections significantly reduce pain, tension-type headaches, and joint dysfunction associated with temporomandibular joint disorders.
Conclusions: There is significant evidence suggesting the effectiveness of botox treatment in individuals suffering with TMJ disorders. Although benefits of this form of treatment are evident in numerous studies, potential adverse effects must be determined and studied; the risks must be compared to the outcome. Furthermore, the beneficial side effects of botox can be transient, while the negative side effects can be long lasting. Manipulation of frequency and dose must be observed to confirm the potential of this therapy treatment in having a long lasting beneficial effect.
- The Effects of COVID-19-Related Stressors on Bruxism and Temporomandibular Disorders by Hagir A. Saleh and Samantha Smith [View Image]
Hagir A. Saleh and Samantha Smith
Problem: COVID-19 has proven to be a major public health emergency, with an array of physical and emotional complications. While COVID-19 has its own effects on the human body, anxiety induced by the pandemic has shown to take a toll on the human oral cavity by means of causing individuals to grind and clench their teeth due to anxiety/stress, potentially leading to temporomandibular disorders and orofacial pain.
Methods: A thorough review of literature was conducted by consulting credible studies published on online databases such as PubMed, Dentistry & Oral Sciences Source, Google Scholar, and Academic Search Complete. The studies examined were all conducted within the last five years (2016 and newer). Using key terms and phrases, a series of primary and secondary sources were analyzed in order to determine the effect of COVID-19 on bruxism and orofacial pain/temporomandibular disorders.
Major findings: Researchers have found a direct correlation between the increase of anxiety, stress, and fear during the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in bruxism and facial pain.
Conclusions: In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic may result in the accumulation of emotional stress, which may have a profound impact on many aspects of health, including oral health. The studies have found that psychological factors such as stress and anxiety, associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, may lead to a greater risk of developing or worsening bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorders, which in turn would lead to increased orofacial pain. It has been encouraged that dental staff should pay more attention to the spread of such orofacial disorders during the pandemic. They should become more acquainted with the diagnostic methods of such disorders, their treatment options, and techniques for reducing stress to reduce the spread of such oral complications.
- The Effect of Competitive Swimming on Oral Health Status by Laura Apsley and Alexandra Walter [View Image]
Laura Apsley and Alexandra Walter
Objectives/Aims: Competitive athletes are often considered to be susceptible to bodily injury. It is now being realized that competitive swimmers are also at risk, specifically in the unsuspected realm of the oral cavity. The purpose of our research is to examine the effect of competitive swimming on an athlete's oral health status.
Methods: Using sources found on Pubmed and Google Scholar, the data used for the correlation of swimming pools and generalized dental trauma are as follows: competitive swimmers and non- competitive swimmers were examined for specific variables such as decayed, missing, or restoratively involved teeth, plaque and gingival index, and the presence of enamel erosion, calculus, and stain. The groups evaluated were divided in terms of activity level involving chlorinated swimming pools.
Results: Three specific oral health effects will be explored throughout our research. The first oral health effect that will be analyzed is the incidence of chlorine induced calculus buildup exhibited in competitive swimmers. Another health effect that will be examined is the process of dental staining that swimmers can experience when in consistent contact with the pool. Lastly, we will explore erosion of enamel that can occur from the lower pH values of pool water. Through various studies, it has been determined that professional swimmers are likely to exhibit a higher prevalence of generalized erosion of dental enamel, generalized dental stain, and chlorine-induced calculus as opposed to individuals who don’t often swim within chlorinated water. This topic is of great importance as the chemical used to disinfect swimming pools causes evident physical and chemical dental trauma in not only professional swimmers, but also individuals who spend more than 6 hours per week in the pool performing vigorous physical exercise.
Conclusion: Oral health in competitive swimmers is a topic that affects many children and adults worldwide, indicating a large prevalence of dental trauma without obvious correlation to the swimming pool despite its significance.
- The Potential Effects of Hormonal Therapy and Stress on the Oral Health of the Transitioning Population by Elena G. Cantwell and Devon McClure [View Image]
The Potential Effects of Hormonal Therapy and Stress on the Oral Health of the Transitioning Population
Elena G. Cantwell and Devon McClure
Problem: In terms of healthcare, the transgender population is underserved. Unfortunately, these individuals often experience stress related to seeking preventative care and fear discrimination. These factors preventing them from seeking care, in addition to hormone therapy taken during the transition process, could have severe impacts on their dental health. The purpose of this study is to establish a link between the hormone therapy used during gender transitioning and the effect on oral health. While there is a correlation between hormone replacement therapy and clinical evidence that sex hormones can impact on periodontal tissues, few studies have linked this knowledge to the healthcare needs of the transitioning population.
Methods: Research was obtained from PubMed, the database of Dental and Oral Sciences Sources, Google Scholar, and LGBTQ+ databases. Recent studies and literature reviews were analyzed to determine if there was a correlation between hormone therapy and the health of the oral cavity. All sources found were published within five years.
Major Findings: Many studies have revealed that there is an effect on sex hormones on the oral cavity. If it can happen to those that are taking sex hormone then there has to be a correlation to those who are transitioning taking the same hormone. Few studies have been conducted proving this correlation; this topic deserves more research and investigation.
Conclusions: There is a clinical correlation between hormone replacement therapy and sex hormones and their effects on the oral cavity. Therefore, there is a possible correaltion to the transgender population that is taking hormones. As this population continues to grow, and more individuals identify as a part of the community, it is important to continue to research this topic.
- The Role of Dental Hygienist in HPV Prevention and Education in Parents of Adolescents by Kelsey Dore and Sari Sweet [View Image]
Kelsey Dore and Sari Sweet
Objectives/Aims: Today the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infects nearly 14 million people each year in the United States alone. HPV is responsible for several cancers, including oropharyngeal, which is currently on the rise. Each year an estimated 53,000 cases of oropharyngeal cancers are diagnosed, with 70% of the cases related to HPV. The significance of educating dental providers and patients of the correlations between HPV and oropharyngeal cancers involves increased prevention strategies in dental practices. The aim is to begin offering multi-level education to adolescents’ parent’s in routine dental care visits, in order to provide an innovative approach to reduce HPV-related cancers.
Methods: A sequence of MeSH terms were used to search the literature which included “HPV prevention strategies”, “Dental hygienist” and “HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.” Results were refined to studies published within the last five years, excluding other countries outside the United States, and was centered to primary research sources.
Results: The Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been shown to increase the rates of several cancers outside the cervical region, including cancers of the oropharynx. Evidence based research has discovered HPV vaccines that protect against strains of cervical cancer are likely to have the same effect in preventing HPV infections in the oropharynx. Researching the current data from The American Dental Education Association and PubMed Database, studies suggest that dental providers often feel uncomfortable providing HPV prevention with patients due to barriers: age, sexual orientation, and patient reactions. Dental providers should strongly consider implementing HPV prevention behaviors in dental practices to include HPV education, recommending the vaccine and referring patients for the vaccination.
Conclusion: Compiling appropriate training along with refining dental providers self-efficacy to communicate HPV prevention strategies through continuing education. Along with expertise guided training in dental hygiene curricula could facilitate the process of reducing HPV-related cancers in the oral cavity.
- Probiotic Biotherapy: Discussing its Influential Role in Oral Health by Karla Florez and Claudette Sullano [View Image]
Karla Florez and Claudette Sullano
Introduction: Probiotics are widely known for their health promoting benefits, especially with its association to gastrointestinal health. For many years, most research has been focused on the prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal infections or diseases. However, recently probiotics has been a subject of investigation with its association to oral health. This review of literature is designed to analyze the effectiveness of using probiotics as a preventative and therapeutic method for oral infections/diseases such as periodontitis, dental caries, and the like.
Methods: Databases such as the PubMed, and Google Scholar were utilized to find current and relevant findings for this reviewed literature. Mendeley was utilized to gather and store findings. Following keyword search items include probiotics, oral health, periodontal diseases, periodontitis, dental caries, gingivitis, halitosis, Lactobacilli, and biotherapy. Articles were narrowed down to include studies published within the last 5 years.
Results: Short-term clinical studies suggest that the oral intake of probiotics show a strong inhibitory effect on the growth and biofilm formation of pathogenic strains, stimulate the immune function, and regulate the inflammatory response. Their repeated success in inhibiting harmful oral bacteria suggests that the use of probiotics holds a promising future in dentistry.
Conclusion: Although still in its initial stages, the use of probiotics is being established as a living biotherapeutic designed to restore normal oral microflora in the oral cavity. More long-term clinical trials are needed to fully understand their functioning and substantiate their role in oral health.
- Marijuana Legislation: Identifying the Impact on the Oral Healthcare Provider by Abby L. Geiser and Jessica Reid-Burrell [View Image]
Abby L. Geiser and Jessica Reid-Burrell
Objectives/Aims: Since the mid-2000s, the United States has seen a surge in legislation involving the legalization of marijuana, both recreationally and medicinally. The relaxed laws translated into an increase of marijuana consumption and thereby a potential increase in the number of patients a provider will see that are cannabis users. The purpose of this review is to illustrate how the providers begin to see pathologies related to cannabis use more frequently, and how they will need to be prepared for ways this can be addressed. Additionally, oral healthcare providers will face ethical dilemmas and legal challenges when treating patients and their ability to give informed consent.
Methods: Research reviewed in this paper was compiled from scholarly articles and peer-reviewed journals, including PubMed and CINAHL, published within the last five years. Studies were analyzed on the impact legalization and decriminalization laws have had on marijuana use. Additional research reviewed numerous pathologies related to marijuana use in the dental cavity.
Results: Based on current proposals, it is expected that 40 states will legalize marijuana by the end of 2020. Studies conducted in states such as Oregon, Colorado and Alaska have shown an increase in marijuana usage since legalization has occurred. Research reviewed showed multiple conditions related to marijuana use. Periodontitis, xerostomia, oral cancer, and staining are several of the associated pathologies.
Conclusion: Research suggests an anticipated increase of marijuana users in states that will soon pass legalization. Studies have also shown that there is a higher prevalence of pathologies of the oral cavity in cannabis users versus non cannabis users. The oral healthcare provider will treat more pathologies related to cannabis use and deal with the legal challenges presented to them surrounding informed consent.
- The Ethics of Using a Live Patient for Dental Board Exams by Aaliyah Gibbs and Ashley Christ [View Image]
Aaliyah Gibbs and Ashley Christ
Objective: This study will discuss the various viewpoints regarding the ethics of using a live patient for board examination in dentistry. It will expand upon the inconsistency of the exam to include the compromised patient care, dishonorable delay in care needed so students can perform care during boards, the dignity of both the student and the patient that is paid to agree to be subject to such procedures, and the potential and irreversible harm caused to these patients. The research in this paper will explore various options for obtaining a license for clinical boards in dentistry and dental hygiene in place of using a live patient.
Methods: Throughout the project we plan to review literature from various sources to collect research within the last five years supporting the elimination of using a live patient for dentistry board exams. Research will be from primary and secondary sources. After successfully collecting research that supports our objective, we will devise a lesson plan that outlines a provision to care regarding dentistry’s clinical boards examinations.
Results: The results of this study will highlight the current compromised patient care in dentistry’s clinical boards setting and identify an alternative method to the current clinical boards exam that holds participants to the same level of competency, while sustaining ethical patient care.
Conclusion: Despite the current ADHA and ADA guidelines, dentistry’s clinical board exam is not ethically beneficial to a patient’s well being and ongoing health. Through research we aim to identify sources that establish facts which support the elimination of live patient use in a clinical board exam.
- Teledentistry: An Innovative Workforce Model for Dental Hygienists by Kayla T. Khau and Hannah H. Nguyen [View Image]
Kayla T. Khau and Hannah H. Nguyen
Objective/Aims: This review of literature seeks to explore teledentistry as an alternative dental hygiene workforce model that places a dental hygienist in the role of the mid-level practitioner as part of a digitally-connected oral healthcare team. It will also emphasize the innovative methods of teledentistry giving better health care delivery to diverse populations.
Methods: The review of literature analyzed the conclusions and discussions of primary and secondary scholarly articles from PubMed, Google Scholar, Embase, and CINAHL. Specific key terms included teledentistry, telehealth, teleconsultation, dental hygiene, dentistry, workforce model, health care delivery. Articles included in this review were published within the five last years.
Results: Multiple scholarly articles were compiled together to emphasize the importance of technology-centered dental health care for patients who were unable to travel long distances to retrieve the care they were seeking, Key limitations the research often indicated include geographic, socioeconomic barriers or distance.
Conclusion: The teledentistry-assisted model presents one way to answer the call to expand overall access to oral healthcare. The comparison of articles supported the efficiency and cost-effectiveness method of teledentistry in comparison to face to face consultations. Teledentistry is especially beneficial to addressing the access to care issue particularly populations in rural areas and even penitentiary institutions.
- Lead X-Ray Vests: Pros and Cons in Dental Radiography and Patient Education on Radiographic Technology by Kayla D. Oakley and Emily Deker [View Image]
Lead X-Ray Vests: Pros and Cons in Dental Radiography and Patient Education on Radiographic Technology
Kayla D. Oakley and Emily Deker
Problem: There is a greater need to emphasize and educate patients and providers about radiologic advancements and patient exposure. The tradition of placing lead x-ray vests on patients for all radiographs is no longer a necessity. Without the explanation of why lead aprons are no longer needed, unnecessary steps for the provider and potential harm to the patient could be caused.
Methods: This review of literature was assembled by analyzing data from primary and secondary sources through online databases. The most recent research on the risks and benefits of the use of lead x-ray vests towards patients in the dental office was examined. Articles included in this review were published within the last five years.
Major Findings: Studies show the use of lead x-ray vests is widely obsolete with most new types of radiographic technology.
Conclusions: Collimation and new digital radiographic devices have dramatically decreased patient radiation exposure by limiting the beam to a confined space on the patient's oral cavity. There is also a risk that vests may pose a lead exposure hazard if not taken care of properly. The general patient population is widely unaware of these advancements in x-ray technology and of the ineffectiveness of lead aprons.
- To Repair or Replace: That Is The Restorative Question by Juhstin M. Brown and Clement S. Augustus [View Image]
Juhstin M. Brown and Clement S. Augustus
Objective/Aims: During dental visits, patients spend the majority of their time with their dental hygienist. At these recall appointments the patient’s face-to-face time with the dentist may be short. At this part of the appointment the dentist may diagnose the need for restorative treatment for the patient. Part of the hygienist’s responsibility is to explain treatment options for teeth with restorative needs. The purpose of this review of literature is to provide both options for restoration of dentition to a functional/aesthetic state.
Methods: Studies pertaining to the topic were searched using PubMed database. Keywords used in the search were amalgam, composite, restoration, replace, repair, and contraindications.
Results: Of the references received multiple outcomes has been recorded. Research shows that when it comes to composite restorations generally doctors will replace them in order to get an accurate color shade to match the patient’s teeth. In regards to posterior teeth there are multiple risk factors for repairing amalgam such as endodontic involvement and denture care.
Conclusion: Due to the positive results of both repairing and replacing restorations, it ultimately comes down to a patient to patient basis. Practitioners must also take into consideration risk factors that the patient may present with, cost association/coverage, and patient preference. It is responsibility of the dental hygienist to inform patients of these variables regarding their restorative treatments so they may make an informed decision.
- Oil Pulling: Fact or Fad? by Cassandra N. Cooper [View Image]
Cassandra N. Cooper
Problem: There is a greater need in today’s world for better oral care across all populations. In developing countries, the tradition of oil pulling has provided an affordable and accessible alternative to antimicrobial rinse agents. Western society has taken note of this and oil pulling has emerged as the latest oral hygiene fad.
Methods: This review of literature used the following databases: PubMed, CINAHL and Google Scholar to identify relevant research articles. Search terms included oil pulling, coconut oil, sesame seed oil, oil swishing, oral health, periodontitis, gingivitis, and bacterial adherence. The studies reviewed used previously validated data collection methods to report their results. Articles included in this review had to be published after 2015.
Major findings: Many studies have shown oil pulling to be comparable to chlorhexidine in antimicrobial properties and even reduce plaque adherence.
Conclusions: Oil pulling shows to be an additional method for improving oral hygiene by reducing bacterial counts, plaque adherence, malodor and aid in enhancing overall gingival health. Although there have been promising outcomes there needs to be larger scale, long term studies to definitively prove the benefits of oil pulling in the oral cavity. Additionally, these studies need to include subjects from varied geographic locations and cultures worldwide.
- Analysis of Wind Instruments on Orofacial Anatomy: A Review of Literature by Regina M. Dixon and Samantha Chavez [View Image]
Regina M. Dixon and Samantha Chavez
The focus of this review of literature is on orofacial anatomy and their association with the longevity of wind instrument use. The importance of how playing wind instruments creates a disadvantage for the oral cavity and therapeutic approaches to decrease the adverse effects. Using the university’s library database and PubMed, the authors performed a thorough search on the literature of our topic. Specific key terms such as wind instrumentalists, oral health, orofacial anatomy, and therapy were used to conduct our search. The searched was limited to the English language and within five years of publications. The findings acknowledged pathologically infectious microorganisms can proliferate in the mouthpiece of wind instruments, leading to diseases. The major orofacial anatomy affected by consistent use of musical instruments include salivary glands, the temporomandibular joint, and the dentition. Excessive pressure was a key factor in inflammation and damage to the hard and soft orofacial tissues. Furthermore, the reviewed literature revealed embouchure is vital to understanding a musicians oral health necessities. Developments in dentistry have been able to establish treatment in many cases for prosthodontic care and treatment plans for others wind instrumentalists so they have a chance to continue their passion with comfort and health.
- The Effect of Artificial Sweeteners in Chewing Gum, Helpful or Harmful? by Taylor Rue and Emily Liebe [View Image]
Taylor Rue and Emily Liebe
Objective/Aims: This review of literature was designed to analyze the effects of artificial sweeteners in chewing gum in the oral cavity. The intent was to recognize which formulations of artificial sweeteners in chewing gum lead to beneficial outcomes in the oral cavity and which formulations lead to harmful effects.
Methods: The review of literature analyzed the conclusions of primary and secondary resources accumulated from PubMed. Multiple scholarly studies were filtered based upon meta-analysis, cross-sectional, and cohort studies. The following key terms were used: artificial sweetener, chewing gum, plaque, saliva, microbes, and oral health. A summative report was created based upon the relevant findings. Articles selected were published after 2014.
Results: The studies collected were assessed using a measure of saliva and plaque pH, salivary function, caries occurrence, remineralization, and oral flora. Xylitol made the most beneficial impact on the oral cavity. Research indicates artificial sweeteners have shown an immense advantage over conventional sugar in chewing gum, and its resulting effects on hard tissue.
Conclusion: The relationship between artificial sweeteners and oral health supports different advantageous outcomes in the oral cavity. In conclusion, although studies using artificial sweeteners can show benefits to the oral cavity, the dose of artificial sweetener required to yield these results are often not found in chewing gum.
- Puberty: Is Your Gingiva Having Mood Swings? by Gabrielle R. Salvatore and Kendall A. Connerley [View Image]
Gabrielle R. Salvatore and Kendall A. Connerley
Objectives/aim: The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects on the different pathological changes in the oral cavity due to puberty, in both males and females. Hormonal changes caused by menstrual cycles, ovulation, the use contraceptives, and increased testosterone and estrogen levels.
Methods: This topic will be analyzed by thoroughly reviewing research on articles that relate to the oral health of individuals specifically between the ages of 12-18 years old.
Results: Research presents significant evidence that supports changes occurring in the oral cavity during an individual’s stage of puberty. These stages include ovulation, pre-menstruation, menstruation and males transitioning through puberty. During the puberty stage adolescents are more prone to have increased gingival crevicular fluid (GCF), gingival index, and bleeding on probing while research has shown no significant findings on plaque indexes or probing depths. Changes occurring during the menstrual cycle tend to influence the periodontium and induce inflammatory conditions as well. While the periodontium and inflammatory cytokines play a major role in the effects during puberty, changes in diet during this phase can increase the risk of developing caries as well.
Conclusion: When adolescents are transitioning into adulthood, there are multiple changes their body goes through. During the literature review, many changes happen during puberty significantly affecting the oral cavity were discovered. These changes have both positive and negative effects. Variations in hormone levels and diet greatly influence the health of the oral cavity and can be a deciding factor on development or severity of oral disease.
- Electronic nicotine delivery systems: vaping away gum tissue by Christina Tulloch and Denise Thieleman [View Image]
Christina Tulloch and Denise Thieleman
Objective: Conventional cigarettes have shown severe toxicity on immune cells and wound healing in the periodontium, but little is known about the comparative effects of vaping or electronic cigarettes. In a substantial shift away from conventional cigarettes, vaping and e-cigarette sales have increased nearly 600% since 2017. If current conventional cigarette users are to transition to a less detrimental alternative, the evidence must demonstrate if electronic nicotine delivery systems can be deemed safer than conventional options.
Methods: By compiling data from the PubMed database, the most recent perspectives on new smoking methods and effects of usage on periodontal tissues were examined. The authors input various combinations of MeSH terms “electronic nicotine delivery system,” “periodontal,” “gingival” and “electronic cigarette.” Search results were filtered to only include studies within the last seven years, included all countries, and selective preference was given to primary research sources.
Results: Electronic nicotine delivery systems have been shown to contribute to several pathophysiological effects including oxidative and carbonyl stress, inflammatory dysfunction, presence of apoptotic necrotic epithelial cells, and impaired fibroblastic activity. Evidence-based research has shown the use of electronic nicotine devices lead to changes in cellular activity which manifests as a strong risk factor for periodontal disease and fibrosis of the oral submucosa. The primary outcome measure of the health of the periodontium was indicated mainly by bleeding on probing, attachment loss and presence of inflammatory cells present.
Conclusion: Electronic nicotine delivery systems are still being studied and studies are difficult to complete due to participants partaking in multiple forms of smoking. Although individuals transitioning from conventional to newer electronic nicotine delivery devices perceive making a healthy switch, scientific evidence indicates the risk of periodontal damage and disease are significant.
- Consideration for care for your patient with cerebral palsy by Katlin R. Cannon, Melissa Stowe, and Brooke Ryan [View Image]
Katlin R. Cannon, Melissa Stowe, and Brooke Ryan
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a common developmental neurological disorder affecting about 2-3 children out of 1,000. CP is the result of infant brain damage or abnormal development resulting in impaired muscle control, coordination, tone, reflex, posture, and balance. These patients are unable to control motor movements of their muscles of mastication and facial expression, causing excessive drooling, clenching, bruxism, and other oral health-related issues. This lack of motor control affects their ability to swallow and often limits these patients to a liquid diet. This can lead to vitamin deficiencies and result in further developmental problems. As an example, a deficiency in vitamin D may lead to osteoporosis, which manifests in the oral cavity as periodontal disease.
Even into adulthood, these individuals are often reliant on the care of others. It becomes the caregiver’s responsibility to ensure the individual with cerebral palsy is receiving consistent and effective oral hygiene, and to monitor the oral tissues for signs of disease or injury. The researchers reviewed primary and secondary literature published after 2014 on the subjects of cerebral palsy, general health considerations, and oral care. The aim of this investigation focuses on unique issues faced by patients with cerebral palsy, and how to effectively educate caregivers on risks and proper techniques for providing oral hygiene to these individuals.
- Got Caries? Breast milk and Early Childhood Caries? by Megan L. Dean, Rebecca Fields, and Hannah Fritz [View Image]
Megan L. Dean, Rebecca Fields, and Hannah Fritz
Objective: To provide an analysis of the association between the longevity of breastfeeding and development of ECC. Determine the optimal time frame in which mothers should cease breastfeeding to reduce ECC development. Methods: Dr. Brickhouse, PubMed, Google Scholar and other scholarly databases were utilized to find current scientific evidence on the effects of breast milk on ECC. Relevant articles were summarized to write a review of literature. 16 articles published from 2015 to the present date were reviewed and cited. Results: From the studies, there is strong evidence to support breastfeeding beyond 12 months of age increases the prevalence of ECC. Furthermore, increased frequency and duration of breastfeeding leads to higher incidence of ECC. Conclusion: Findings indicate dental health care providers should recommend either ceasing breastfeeding at 12 months of age or provide ECC prevention education to caregivers. Further research is required to minimize data discrepancies between US and international countries.
- Would You Recognize Lupus? by Sydney C. Smith, Maegan Simms, and Barbara Brown [View Image]
Sydney C. Smith, Maegan Simms, and Barbara Brown
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, or SLE, is a chronic autoimmune disease which significantly affects various organs of the body and the oral cavity. According to various studies, SLE can cause an increased risk of periodontitis, fungal infections, and dental caries within the oral cavity. Periodontitis is an inflammatory condition mediated by an infectious etiology which affects the supporting tissues of the periodontium and alveolar bone. With SLE being an inflammatory condition as well, recent studies have emerged hypothesizing the possible association between SLE and periodontitis. Other effects on the oral cavity such as fungal infections including lichen planus and angular cheilitis are occasionally seen in patients with lupus. Furthermore, SLE has been shown to increase the prevalence of dental caries due to decreased salivary flow and pH, and subsequent changes in the oral flora. On a systemic level, internal inflammation of SLE could lead to several other problems within the body and certain medications patients take for SLE treatment can cause cutaneous lesions. Therefore, as clinicians, it is imperative to adequately review patient medical histories as well as perform intraoral and extraoral examinations in order to fully understand the possible contraindications between dental treatment and SLE. The purpose of this literature review is to inform clinicians on the oral and systemic aspects of SLE and how evidence-based decision making may impact dental treatment planning in order to provide patients with the best quality of care.
- Aloe vera: A Multipurpose Healer and Bacterial Eradicator by Mary X. Tran, Leira N. Jimenez, and Linda K. Blackburn [View Image]
Mary X. Tran, Leira N. Jimenez, and Linda K. Blackburn
The Aloe vera plant is a succulent known for its rich content in vitamins and minerals, thus gaining popularity over the years in healthcare products. With advancements in alternative medicine, it has been recently found useful in dentistry due to properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial actions that contribute to wound healing. The purpose of this study was to examine and discover how Aloe vera can be used as an alternative therapy in the dental field. The PubMed, Google Scholar and Dentistry & Oral Sciences (DOSS) databases were utilized to find current scientific evidence on the effects of Aloe vera. Relevant articles were summarized to write a review of findings. In this study, 21 articles published from 2015 to present were reviewed. From the studies, there is strong evidence to support that Aloe vera exhibits beneficial effects in prevention of carious lesions, non-surgical scaling and root planing in patients with chronic periodontitis, and oral wounds. Furthermore, it is cost effective and easily accessible. This review’s findings indicate that dental health care providers could recommend Aloe vera as a preventive and an alternative treatment option to improve patients’ oral health status.
Student scholarship from the Dental Hygiene Program, Virginia Commonwealth University.
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