The Government's plan to switch its Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination from "Cervarix" to Gardasil" from Sep. 2012, has been welcomed by the British Dental Health Foundation. The leading oral health charity believes that the novel vaccine will deliver increased health benefits and prevent genital warts. In 2010, 75, 000 individuals were diagnosed with genital warts, according to the Health Protection Agency. Already, the vaccination program helps save the lives of approximately 400 individuals with cervical cancer each year. In recent years HPV has been increasingly associated to the increase in mouth cancer cases and neck, genital warts, anal and penile cancers. Last week after following advice from experts in the U.S., the British Dental Health Foundation called for the vaccination program to be extended to boys.
An important new study from the Laboratory for Developmental Genetics at USC has confirmed cytomegalovirus (CMV) as a cause of the most common salivary gland cancers. CMV joins a group of fewer than 10 identified oncoviruses - cancer-causing viruses - including HPV. The findings, published online in the journal Experimental and Molecular Pathology over the weekend, are the latest in a series of studies by USC researchers that together demonstrate CMV's role as an oncovirus, a virus that can either trigger cancer in healthy cells or exploit mutant cell weaknesses to enhance tumor formation. Lead author Michael Melnick, professor of developmental genetics in the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC and Co-Director of the Laboratory for Developmental Genetics, said the conclusion that CMV is an oncovirus came after rigorous study of both human salivary gland tumors and salivary glands of postnatal mice.
Two new studies give further insights into the links between mouth hygiene, gum disease and cardiovascular events. Researchers in Taiwan find that dental patients who had their teeth cleaned and scaled professionally had reduced risks of heart attack and stroke, while researchers in Sweden find that the type of periodontal or gum disease may predict degree of risks for heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Both studies are presented this week at the American Heart Association's (AHA's) Scientific Sessions 2011, which are running from 12-16 November, in Orlando, Florida. Abstracts of their reports are available to view online in the AHA journal Circulation. In their nationwide, population-based study, Drs Emily (Zu-Yin) Chen and Hsin-Bang Leu from the Cardiology department at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, examined data on over 51, 000 adults who had received at least one full or partial tooth scaling from a dentist or dental hygienist, and a similar number of matched controls who had never had their teeth professionally cleaned.
Professional tooth scaling was associated with fewer heart attacks and strokes in a study (Abstract 17704) from Taiwan presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011. Among more than 100, 000 people, those who had their teeth scraped and cleaned (tooth scaling) by a dentist or dental hygienist had a 24 percent lower risk of heart attack and 13 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who had never had a dental cleaning. The participants were followed for an average of seven years. Scientists considered tooth scaling frequent if it occurred at least twice or more in two years; occasional tooth scaling was once or less in two years. The study included more than 51, 000 adults who had received at least one full or partial tooth scaling and a similar number of people matched with gender and health conditions who had no tooth scaling.
Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researchers found the human body is better at fighting gum disease when fat cells, which trigger inflammation, disappear. Findings come from a pilot study of 31 obese people with gum disease. Half of the group with an average body mass index (BMI) of 39 had gastric bypass surgery and had fat cells from the abdomen removed. That half fared better than a control group of obese people with a BMI of 35 who also were treated for gum disease but did not have the gastric bypass surgery or fat removed. What intrigued the researchers is that the majority of those who underwent surgery had a drop in their glucose levels after the procedure, a result that bodes well for overweight people predisposed to diabetes and insulin-related problems.