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Although dental students are well aware that a proper oral care routine is key to a healthy mouth, hands-on instruction is usually absent from the curricula. The iTOP—short for individually trained oral prophylaxis—prevention programme fills this gap, teaching students perfect oral hygiene skills and how to instruct patients and motivate them to sustain lifelong oral health. Dental Tribune International spoke to Dr Tihana Divnic-Resnik, a senior lecturer and co-ordinator at the University of Sydney. She has introduced iTOP at the university's Dental School to benefit her students, as well as their future patients.
Cancer treatment, by definition, is highly cytotoxic: radiotherapy and chemotherapy cause death of or damage to cells of the oral cavity, and the side effects vary from patient to patient. In a free webinar on Friday, 4 September, researcher and dental surgeon Dr Juliana Schussel, who is also an adjunct professor in the graduate dentistry programme at the Universidade Federal do Paraná in Curitiba in Brazil, will be teaching dental professionals how to prevent and treat cancer complications before, during and after treatment. A special focus will be placed on oral mucositis, as well as medication- and radiation-related osteonecrosis of the jaws.
The iTOP—which stands for individually trained oral prophylaxis—training programme is for dental professionals who want to set up patients for a lifetime of oral health. In an iTOP session, dental professionals learn about the correct tools and techniques for perfect brushing and oral care through hands-on practice so that they can teach patients in turn. Dentist and iTOP trainer Dr Franka Baranović Huber explained how practical brushing skills are still lacking among dentists and how exactly patients can benefit from iTOP.
Periodontal disease and diabetes share some life-style risk factors, like smoking, and there is a two-way relationship: patients with uncontrolled diabetes have a 3-fold higher risk to develop advanced periodontitis, while untreated periodontitis further dysregulates glycemic balance.
In patients with type 2 diabetes an inflammatory process is present. This inflammation is due to a pathological activation of the innate immune system, caused by metabolic stress and is partly governed by IL-1 signaling. We identified the role of IL-1β and insulin in the regulation of metabolism and immunity in response to food intake. Yet, as it becomes chronic, activation of auto-inflammatory processes may then become deleterious.
Despite all efforts of dental professionals the prevalence and incidence of total edentulism is still increasing on a global scale. Second observation from a recent meta review in JDR (2020) was that total tooth loss is decreasing in low-income countries while, on the other hand, it is increasing in upper- or middle-income countries. Is periodontal disease the main responsible for this evolution?