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Researchers Address Women’s Oral Health Issues

PITTSBURGH, July 19, 2001 — Over the past 10 years there has been a growing awareness about women’s health needs as well as the relationship between oral health and general health; sparking an interest in women’s oral health issues. These issues are examined in depth in the July edition of the Dental Clinics of North America, edited by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine .

“Up until this point, most of the popular literature has ignored the topic of women’s oral health. In this issue of Dental Clinics, we have created a reference for dentists and physicians. The information included will hopefully raise awareness of the oral health care issues specific to women, contributing to better care and overall health in our patients,” said Deborah Studen-Pavlovich, D.M.D., associate professor of pediatric dentistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and guest editor of the book.

“There are a variety of factors that specifically affect women, which range from hormonal changes to social issues,” said Dennis N. Ranalli, D.D.S., M.D.S., professor and chair, department of pediatric dentistry and senior associate dean at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and co-guest editor. “We address this range of topics creating a foundation for future research.”

Topics covered in the Dental Clinics of North America: Women’s Oral Health include:

Evolution of Women’s Oral Health

Dr. Studen-Pavlovich and Dr. Ranalli chronicle the development of women’s oral health throughout the women’s health movement and examine the needs for and potential areas of future progress.

Genetic Influences in Women’s Oral Health

Sandi Verbin, M.S., M.D., F.A.A.P, Prince William Hospital, Manassas, Va., examines genetic disorders relevant to women’s oral health in relation to environmental stimuli.

Maternal Oral Health

Women experience many changes during pregnancy, these changes can also affect fetal oral health. Paul S. Casamassimo, D.D.S., M.S., Ohio State University College of Dentistry, discusses how to improve fetal and maternal oral health.

Psychosocial Issues in Women’s Oral Health

Diana M. Gardiner, Ph.D., and Ariel J. Raigrodski, D.M.D., M.S., Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, report on evidence that shows that the causal factors and consequences of oral disease may, in addition to being physical, be social and psychological.

Eating Disorders in Women’s Oral Health

Dr. Studen-Pavlovich and Margaret A. Elliot, D.D.S., M.P.H., University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, discuss the oral health implications of eating disorders.

Women’s Oral Health Across the Lifespan

Nina Markovic, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, explains how physiological, reproductive and environmental factors affect women and their oral health.

Oral Health Issues for Women Athletes

Dr. Ranalli and Leslie A. Rye, M.S.T., D.D.S., address the emerging issue of sports-related oral injuries related to trauma, oral piercings, smokeless tobacco and performance-enhancing drugs.

Gender Differences in Special Needs Populations

Charlotte M. Connick, R.D.H., M.S., Louisiana State University School of Dentistry; Peter J. Fos, D.D.S., M.P.H., Ph.D., Tulane University; and Robert E. Barsley, D.D.S., J.D., Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, present a study and research design intended to gather information on the oral health care needs of people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities.

Esthetic Facial Surgery for Women

Peter N. Demas, D.M.D., M.D., F.A.C.S, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and Thomas W. Braun, D.M.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and School of Medicine, review the facial surgical procedures that are used to enhance appearance for personal and professional reasons.

Maintaining Women’s Oral Health

Ann L. McCann, R.D.H., M.S., Baylor College of Dentistry, The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, and Leslie Bonci, M.P.H., R.D., University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, present strategies for promoting oral health.

Women’s Health and Oral Health Implications of the Curriculum Study

Susan F. Silverton, M.D., Ph.D., University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dentistry, examines dental and medical school curriculum changes aimed at lowering barriers to care experienced by women.

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