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Mojdeh Dehghan, DDS, of the UTHSC College of Dentistry Honored by American Association of Women Dentists


Receives Grant to Test Newly Developed Mouthwash to Prevent Dental Erosion in Women with Eating Disorders

Mojdeh Dehghan
Mojdeh Dehghan

Mojdeh Dehghan, DDS, assistant professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry in the College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, was honored by the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) with the 2014 Proctor and Gamble/Gillette Hayden Memorial Foundation Research Award. This award is accompanied by a grant designed to support innovative scientific discoveries that will advance new concepts in women’s oral health research and encourage the study of gender differences in oral health care delivery and its practice.

Dr. Dehghan and her colleagues have developed a mouthwash that will prevent dental erosion in patients with eating disorders. The aim of the study is to determine its effectiveness.

She will make a presentation about her research at the AAWD national meeting’s award ceremony in Washington, D.C., in the fall. The title of her project is “A Neutralizing Mouthwash to Minimize and Prevent Tooth Erosion in Patients with Eating Disorders.”

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 20 million women in the United States suffer from eating disorders such as bulimia at some point during their lifetime. These women can show accelerated rates of tooth erosion, Dr. Dehghan said.

“As a practicing dentist for the past 22 years, I have treated many patients with eating disorders, acid reflux and other systemic diseases suffering from advanced erosion resulting in destruction of tooth structure, and in some cases requiring full mouth rehabilitation to restore their teeth to optimal form and function,” she said. “Dental erosion due to stomach acid exposure is the most frequent oral manifestation of bulimia nervosa and is caused by chronic regurgitation.”

She called the number of women with eating disorders “underrepresented, underdiagnosed and undertreated.” Some are as young as 10 or 11 years old, she said.

“Patients suffering from conditions such as acid reflux or eating disorders are in need of an agent that can prevent tooth surface loss from stomach acid exposure and is affordable and easy to use.”

In addition to those with eating disorders, other groups that stand to benefit from the mouthwash are pregnant women with morning sickness and those undergoing chemotherapy.

Dr. Dehghan is the principal investigator for the AAWD research award. Her co-investigators are Daranee Versluis, DDS, PhD, associate professor, restorative dentistry; and Janet Harrison, DDS, professor and chair, restorative dentistry. Her consultants are Nancy Johnson, EdD, LPC/MHSP; Antheunis Versluis, PhD, professor, bioscience research; and Franklin Garcia-Godoy, DDS, MS, PhD, PhD, professor and senior executive associate dean for research in the College of Dentistry.