Dr. Anita Aminoshariae
Dr. Anita Aminoshariae Featured on ABC News Cleveland

Dr. Anita Aminoshariae of the Endodontics Department was featured on ABC News 5 on their January 31st broadcast. Dr. Aminoshariae discussed opioid pain relief and her opinion that dentists should never consider opioids their first choice in pain management, when over-the-counter drugs can be just as effective with fewer side effects. According to the ADA, dentists have been writing fewer opioid prescriptions over the 5-year period since 2012, but there is more that can be done.

Hand holding a cigarette
Dental Research Shows That Smoking Weakens Immune Systems

As if lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease weren’t enough, there’s more bad news for cigarette smokers. CWRU SODM researchers have found that smoking also weakens the ability for the dental pulp in teeth to fight illness and disease.

“That might explain why smokers have poorer endodontic outcomes and delayed healing than non-smokers,” said Anita Aminoshariae, associate professor of endodontics and director of predoctoral endodontics.

Thirty-two smokers and 37 nonsmokers with endodontic pulpitis—more commonly known as dental-tissue inflammation—were included in the study. One interesting find, Aminoshariae noted, was that for two patients who quit smoking, those defenses returned. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Endodontics (PDF).

imberly Garland, Delta Dental, and Dr. Kenneth Chance, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine
Delta Dental Makes $1 million gift to Fund New Equipment

A new $1 million gift from the Delta Dental Foundation will help furnish Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Medicine with an array of new equipment to better serve patients. The Delta Dental Foundation investment marks a long-term partnership in the future of academic dentistry at CWRU.

“This gift is a part of our long-standing partnership with the Delta Dental Foundation,” said Dean Kenneth Chance. “We know that this is going to get lots of equipment into the hands of our students, who will make a big difference in our community.”

Dr. Pushpa Pandiyan
Study: Antibiotics Destroy Immune Cells and Worsen Oral Infection

New research shows that the body’s own microbes are effective in maintaining immune cells and killing certain oral infections. A team of Case Western Reserve University researchers found that antibiotics actually kill the  “good” bacteria keeping infection and inflammation at bay.

Pushpa Pandiyan, an assistant professor of biological sciences in the School of Dental Medicine, led a team of researchers to examine “resident” bacteria, their fatty acids and their effect on certain types of white blood cells that combat infections in the mouth. They found that those natural defenses were very effective in reducing infection and unwanted inflammation—and antibiotics can prevent such natural defenses.

Their work was recently published in Frontiers in Microbiology. She was joined in the study by dental school research staff Natarajan Bhaskaran, Cheriese Quigley, and Elizabeth Schneider, and students Clarissa Paw and Shivani Butala.

Dr. J. Martin Palomo
7% of Children in Orthodontic Care at "High Risk" for Sleep Disorders

A child who is restless, hyperactive, and can’t concentrate could have a problem rooted in a source parents might not suspect: a sleep disorder. That’s according to a new study by researchers at the School of Dental Medicine, who found that about 7 percent of children between ages 9 and 17 in orthodontic care were at high risk for sleep-disordered breathing.

It’s higher than the researchers expected, said J. Martin Palomo, a professor in the Department of Orthodontics and senior author of the study. Palomo hopes the study will help educate both the public and orthodontists. He also believes, based on published reports, that many children with sleep disorders are misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)—given that the symptoms of both are strikingly similar. “I think it’s important to rule out sleep disorders before a patient is medicated for ADHD,” he said.

The article grew out of the master’s in dentistry thesis of Ashok Rohra Jr., who worked under Palomo’s direction. Three other faculty members from the dental school and School of Medicine also were co-authors.