Dear DrBicuspid Member,
Before I dive into the news this week, I want to highlight a great opportunity for you to recognize outstanding people, products, and events in dentistry -- the 2021 Cuspies awards.
The Cuspies are DrBicuspid's annual awards program. We've revamped the entire process for 2021, including creating new categories that recognize training programs, scientific discoveries, and news events.
Your nominations directly affect who makes the semifinalist round. But don't delay! The nomination survey form closes tomorrow.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled newsletter.
Top story for the week
Our top story of the week detailed a potential side effect of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. A case report described the development of oral shingles that may be linked to the vaccine.
A handful of patients developed the viral infection herpes zoster after receiving the vaccine. Dentists should be aware of reactivation of the varicella zoster virus in the trigeminal ganglia and spinal dorsal root ganglia, which may be misdiagnosed as an inflamed or sore mouth or isolated oral herpes.
Gingival overgrowth linked to hypertension medication
The COVID-19 vaccine story wasn't the only one on oral side effects that caught the attention of DrBicuspid.com readers this week. A second, well-read case report on the site detailed a man with gingival overgrowth linked to his use of a common medication for high blood pressure.
Due to a lapse in dental insurance, the man's care was delayed, and he now plans to have all his teeth extracted. Dental professionals can help prevent similar outcomes by educating patients about the possible side effects of calcium channel blockers and the importance of oral hygiene.
Hygienist rebuffs dental lobbyist
A few weeks ago we ran a Kaiser Health News article on dental practice laws through the lens of a legislative battle in Illinois. In the article, a lobbyist for the Illinois State Dental Society said it would be dangerous for hygienists to treat nursing home residents because "I just don't feel anybody with a two-year associate's degree is medically qualified to correct your health." Ouch.
Suzanne Newkirk, RDH, wrote a scathing Second Opinion piece in response to the lobbyist's statement. In her column, she argued that allowing public health dental hygienists in Illinois to provide preventive services without an initial dental exam could increase oral healthcare for the state's underserved populations, including people in prisons and nursing homes.
If you're interested in more stories about organized dentistry, Associate Editor Melissa Busch spoke with Dr. Cesar Sabates, the 158th president of the ADA. Sabates outlined his list of priorities for the organization, including showcasing the benefits of ADA membership and improving diversity and inclusion in the organization.
Free app for periodontal staging and grading
Last but not least, you don't want to miss the latest Technology Focus feature on MyPerioHealth, a new, free app from OraPharma that takes the guesswork out of periodontal staging and grading. The app is based on the American Academy of Periodontology staging and grading guidelines. It streamlines the evaluation process and automatically outputs a patient's exact periodontitis stage and grade.
We're looking for more digital dentistry technology to feature in future Technology Focus episodes. If you have an app or device that you can't live without in your practice, please reach out. I'd love to share it with the DrBicuspid.com audience.