DrBicuspid.com Hygiene Insider

Dear Hygiene Insider,

Recent literature has shown that dental offices can play an important role in screening for various medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

Now it seems testing for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) could be added to the list. And dental hygienists may be called upon to perform the testing, according to a study in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene.

Read more in this latest Hygiene Community Insider Exclusive.

In a related feature, a handful of U.S. states still do not allow dental hygienists to administer local anesthesia. But the landscape is slowly shifting, according to Tricia Osuna, RDH, who gave a talk on the subject at the recent Pacific Dental Conference.

Meanwhile, educating teens with diabetes about oral hygiene can go a long way toward improving their overall health, according to a study presented at the recent International Association for Dental Research (IADR) meeting.

In other news from the IADR meeting, sugar-free lollipops containing glycyrrhizol A successfully beat back the prominent oral pathogens Streptococcus mutans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Prevotella intermedia in a study by researchers from the University of Iowa.

And a secondary analysis of a three-year clinical trial comparing the caries-prevention effects of daily doses of xylitol lozenges to placebo lozenges revealed that xylitol has more robust caries-prevention abilities than the primary analysis suggested.

Elsewhere in the Hygiene Community, patients who undergo dental scaling at least once a year have a lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation, the most common type of sustained cardiac dysrhythmia, according to a study in the International Journal of Cardiology.

Finally, thousands of Oklahoma dental patients may have been exposed to hepatitis and HIV in a Tulsa oral surgeon's practice where state investigators found several infection-control violations, including rusty instruments and lax sterilization procedures. And the cost of blood tests for these patients is already nearing $700,000 and will likely go much higher, according to news reports.

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