Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Morning Drill: December 20, 2011

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Good Morning!

On to today's dentistry and health headlines:

Lack of dental care costing Australia $1.3B annually

Millions of Australians are financially locked out of the country's dental health system, undermining their ability to gain and keep employment and costing the economy more than $1 billion annually, according to a report released December 8 by the advocacy group Brotherhood of St. Laurence.

The Brotherhood of St. Laurence was established in the 1930s to eliminate poverty in Australia.

The report analyzed existing data to estimate the disease burden of untreated dental conditions and the resulting economic burden. The report's authors, Jeff Richardson, PhD, a professor of economics and the foundation director of the Centre for Health Economics at Monash University and Bronwyn Richardson from Campbell Research and Consulting, found that the direct and indirect costs to the economy are significant.

Dentist who helped pimps wants to work again

Onetime Chicago dentist Gary Kimmel went to prison in 2009 after he admitted he aided pimps in a prostitution trafficking ring.

The aid included providing space in Marina Towers for paid sex acts to happen, buying luxury cars for pimps in his name and keeping his office open late to fix the teeth of battered prostitutes.

In one case, Kimmel fixed a prostitute’s teeth for free in exchange for her performing sex acts for his friend, according to prosecutors.

That was back when Kimmel, affectionately referred to as “Doc” by those who know him, ran a popular and successful dental practice at 233 E. Erie.

In an emergency bid at the time of his indictment, the state stripped Kimmel of his ability to practice dentistry. He was sentenced to 37 months in 2009.

Now, Kimmel is already out of prison.

And despite his felony conviction, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned he is ready to practice dentistry again — and eligible to renew his license.

In early December in federal court, Judge Blanche Manning granted an early end to his court supervision, shaving off one year. That cleared the first major legal hurdle to restoring his license.

“We hope to have him back working as a dentist in no time,” his lawyer, Joseph Lopez said.

Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation Reduces Fracture Risk

Combined supplementation with vitamin D and calcium can reduce the risk for fracture, according to the findings of a meta-analysis.

Mei Chung, PhD, MPH, from Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues published their findings in the December 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The authors mention that active forms of vitamin D participate in a number of biological processes in addition to their indirect effects on bone mineralization. "For example, as recently noted, 1,25-(OH)2D inhibits parathyroid hormone secretion and promotes insulin secretion, inhibits adaptive immunity and promotes innate immunity, and inhibits proliferation and stimulates differentiation of cells," the authors write. "These functions suggest a possible role of vitamin D in cancer prevention."

Oral Bacteria Enables Breaking Bond On Blood Vessels to Allow Invaders in

A common oral bacteria, Fusobacterium nucleatum, acts like a key to open a door in human blood vessels and leads the way for it and other bacteria like Escherichia coli to invade the body through the blood and make people sick, according to dental researchers at Case Western Reserve University.

Yiping Han, professor of periodontics at the Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine, made the discovery in her continued work with the Fusobacterium nucleatum bacterium, one of the most prevalent of the more than 700 bacteria in the mouth.

She found the gram-negative anaerobe has a novel adhesin or bonding agent she's named FadA that triggers a cascade of signals that break the junctures in an interlocking sheath of endothelial cells on blood vessel's surface just enough to allow F. nucleatum and other bacteria into the blood.

A description of bond-breaking process was described in the Molecular Microbiology article, "Fusobacterium nucleatum adhesin FadA binds vascular endothelial cadherin and alters endothelial integrity."

Enjoy your morning!

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