For the second straight year, the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine is marking Veterans Day with free dental care for veterans and military personnel on Friday, Nov. 8.
As part of a veteran-outreach effort, the dental school will offer free dental exams, X-rays and cleaning. Additionally, patients may receive a $100 voucher toward future dental services if they sign up for a comprehensive treatment plan.
New research from the CWRU School of Dental Medicine has identified a new approach to learning about seniors' perception of their oral health. The research sought a correlation between seniors who value dental care and those who seek it out despite cost, transportation, and other common barriers. Researchers surveyed 198 residents age 62 and older from 16 senior housing facilities in the area. An illness perception questionnaire assessed their cognitive and emotional representation of their dental condition. Participants were also examined for missing teeth, cavities, and periodontal disease. The study was led by Dr. Suchitra Nelson, professor of community dentistry and assistant dean of clinical and translational research.
A professor in the Endodontics Department and Director of Undergraduate Endodontics at CWRU School of Dental Medicine and member of the American Association of Endodonists (AAE), Dr. Anita Aminoshariae has been selected by the American Dental Association (ADA) as their expert spokesperson on the topic of opioids in dentistry. Dr. Aminoshariae has previously been featured on an ABC Channel 5 news broadcast on the topic. Per that interview, over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and Tylenol, combined, can provide the same relief as an opioid. Opioids, according to Dr. Aminoshariae, should never be the first choice for dental pain medication.
The American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM) will be holding its fall meeting in the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion at the new Health Education Campus. The one-day dental continuing education opportunity will feature 12 of the most knowledgeable and innovative minds in the field of pain management, covering a variety of topics, from the use of stem cell therapy to the benefits of acupuncture for neck pain. A special presentation on oral pain and sleep disorders will be provided by CWRU School of Dental Medicine faculty member Andres Pinto DMD, MPH, MSCE, MBA, FDS RCSEd, FICD, who is also AAOM President-Elect.
The CWRU School of Dental Medicine's Lifelong Smiles van has been profiled on News Channel 5 for its partnership with adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes in the Hough neighborhood. Many seniors have barriers to transportation, barriers to care, or don't have insurance, but the van can come to them when they can't come to the clinic. The 38-foot-long RV is equipped with two full-service dental stations where students and faculty can conduct dental examinations and simple procedures like cleanings, fillings, and extractions. Patients may be referred back to the clinic building for more complex procedures.
The featured video is below, and the article in the CWRU Daily is available here.
Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) is a painful, complex condition associated with a chronic or recurring burning, scalding or tingling feeling in the mouth—sometimes accompanied by a metallic taste or dry mouth sensation. But because other conditions have similar symptoms, diagnosing BMS can be difficult, said Milda Chmieliauskaite, a researcher and assistant professor of oral and maxillofacial medicine at the dental school, whose research was recently published by Oral Diseases as part of the World Workshop on Oral Medicine VII.
“Often, these patients see several providers—taking up a lot of health-care resources—before they find out what’s going on.” That’s because many dentists and clinicians aren’t trained well on the topic, she said. The current method for making a diagnosis is ruling out other disorders. If a patient is misdiagnosed with burning mouth syndrome, but actually suffers from burning due to dry mouth, the patient will receive treatment for the wrong condition and the symptoms of burning will not improve.
The specific cause of BMS is uncertain, but some evidence shows that it may be related to nerve dysfunction. Sometimes, chewing gum or eating certain foods lessens pain symptoms. Best estimates are that between .1% and 4% of the population is affected by BMS.
Chmieliauskaite said BMS clinical trials need more rigorous standards. “We need a consensus for a single definition of BMS that includes specific inclusion and exclusion criteria,” she said. “This will help us in moving the field forward in understanding of the actual disease. And there’s still a lot more we need to study,” she said.