UW School of Dentistry

Faculty has flurry of journal publications

In the space of about one week at the end of February, School of Dentistry faculty members published several  studies in major journals.

A study of dentin hypersensitivity, or sensitive teeth, appears in the March issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association and has been featured on websites including HealthDay, WebMD and  U.S. News & World Report. It was also reported on KPCC Southern California Public Radio.

The study found that one in eight people has overly sensitive teeth, and that the condition was most common among women under 65 and people who had receding gums or used at-home tooth whitening treatments.

Dean Joel Berg was principal investigator for the study, which was conducted through the Northwest PRECEDENT practice-based research network. Collaborators included Dr. Joana Cunha-Cruz and Dr. Lisa Heaton of Oral Health Sciences; Dr. John Wataha of Restorative Dentistry; Marilynn Rothen, lead regional coordinator for Northwest PRECEDENT; and Dr. Martin Sobieraj.

Dr. Heaton and Dr. Susan Coldwell  of Oral Health Sciences also collaborated with Dr. Ashley Barlow, director of GlaxoSmithKline’s Medical Division in China, on a study published last week in the Winter 2013 issue of the Journal of Orofacial Pain. Their work focused on developing magnitude scales of pain related to dentin hypersensitivity.

Several researchers also collaborated on another study appearing in the March issue of JADA, this one titled “Unmet dental need in community-dwelling adults with mental illness: Results from the 2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.” The study in JADA found that people with mental illness  experience more dental disease than do others, and it also strongly suggested that current use of dental services does not fully address the dental needs of these patients.

Dr. Heaton was principal investigator, and collaborators included Dr. Peter Milgrom, Dr. David Grembowski and Dr. Lloyd Mancl of Oral Health Sciences and Dr. Jason Armfield of the University of Adelaide, a former member of Oral Health Sciences.

Finally, Dr. Rebecca Slayton, who began as Chair of Pediatric Dentistry on March 1, collaborated with Dr. Kenneth Norwood of the University of Virginia on a report for the American Academy of Pediatrics concerning children with developmental disabilities. The report, published in the Feb. 25 issue of the journal Pediatrics, found that such children’s oral health needs often go unmet because of a lack of knowledge among dentists and pediatricians.  It urged pediatricians to encourage first-birthday dental visits for these children and recommended other action steps.