A five-minute oral cancer screening can save your life
Dr. Paul Hanna
Headaches, Sore Jaw, And Fractured Teeth May Be Signs Of Bruxism.
USA Today (4/7, Bowerman) reported that waking up with headaches or a sore jaw, or finding fractures in teeth could be a sign of bruxism. Bruxism may be attributed to stress, anxiety, and sleeping disorders, according to American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Maria Lopez Howell. A recent study in The Journal of the American Dental Association also suggests that teeth grinding is associated with alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco use. Dr. Howell advises seeing a dentist to discuss possible solutions, which may include using a mouthguard at night to protect teeth. “Bruxism is a condition that needs to be treated by a dentist with a night guard or splint,” she said. “This actually involves the joint; we are protecting the joint and the teeth, and it needs to be done with experience and knowledge of that whole chewing complex.”
It is always IMPORTANT to come in and see ME for your CLEANINGS 2 times a year!!!!
Every visit I make sure I check your mouth (gums, lips, tongue…etc) for oral cancer! Catch it early!
READ THE MESSAGE BELOW FROM THE ADA:
FROM THE ADA
April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
Oral cavity and oropharynx cancers account for 2.9 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States and 1.6 percent of cancer deaths. The American Dental Association recognizes that early oral cancer diagnoses have the potential to significantly impact treatment decisions and outcomes. The ADA also supports routine visual and tactile examinations, particularly for patients who are at risk, including those who use tobacco or who are heavy consumers of alcohol.
Take time this month to review statistics, find a protocol for oral cancer examinations and educate your patients about their risk factors and signs and symptoms to watch for.
Professional resources can be found on ADA.org. Patient resources on oral cancer, risk factors and the association with HPV can be found on MouthHealthy.org.
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Dentistry in the News
Pictures Show How Sugary Drinks Can Damage Teeth.
The Daily Mail (3/6, Hodgekiss) shares several images showing how sugary drinks may damage teeth. A dentist at the San Diego Dental Studio set up the experiment, which involved placing one tooth in “a bottle of a popular energy drink, another into cola, a third in diet cola and the fourth into water as the control.” The images show the teeth placed in the colas experienced staining after two weeks, while the enamel on the one placed in the energy drink was “literally crumbling.”
Meanwhile, the Sacramento (CA) Bee (3/7, Brott) carries an “Ask Mr. Dad” column, which responds to a reader’s question about whether caffeine is unhealthy for children. The response states that caffeine is “a problem for kids” for several reasons, including that caffeinated items, such as soda, are often acidic, which “can increase the risk of developing cavities.” In addition, “coffee drinks may also stain teeth.”
For additional information about the impact of sugary drinks on dental health, read the ADA Health Literacy in Dentistry Essay Contest winner’s article, “The Truth About Sugary Drinks and Your Smile.”
CLICK ON THESE LINKS FOR MORE!!!!!
MouthHealthy.org provides additional information for patients on nutrition and dental health.
Rising Use Of Charcoal In Personal Care Products Leads To Warnings From Health Officials.
On its website and in a broadcast, KFVS-TV Cape Girardeau, MO (2/14, Murphy, Trowbridge) reported on the growing popularity of activated charcoal in personal care products, including some that say the black powder can whiten teeth. KFVS noted that “activated charcoal has been used in emergency rooms for years to absorb poison in the stomach or in case of overdoses,” and medical professionals and health experts are cautioning against using activated charcoal for other purposes. For dental health, KFVS reported a dentist recommends brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits.
MouthHealthy.org provides additional information on teeth whitening. In addition, several whitening toothpastes have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Charcoal teeth whitening products do not have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Old Toothbrushes Among Items To “Toss Immediately.”
In a consumer-focused article, Realtor (2/3, Evans) includes old toothbrushes among several bathroom items to “toss immediately” for “the sake of space, your health, and your sanity.” The article states that for those who have been using the same toothbrush for more than three or four months “that’s too long,” according to the American Dental Association. In addition, toothbrushes should be replaced sooner if bristles are “bent or frayed,” since they do not clean teeth as well. The article also encourages people to dispose of old makeup; expired sunscreen; hotel toiletries; almost empty shampoo bottles; unused beauty products and gifts; old razors; and expired medications, encouraging people to follow the FDA’s guidelines for safely disposing unused medication.
MouthHealthy.org and the Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provide additional information on toothbrush care for patients and for dental professionals. In addition, the ADA provides a list of toothbrushes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Managing your diabetes may improve your oral health
People with diabetes face a greater risk of gum problems. The best way to protect against gum disease is to keep good control over your blood sugar. People who don’t control their blood sugar will get gum disease more often. And they get it more severely.
How gum disease develops
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that hold the teeth in place. It’s also called periodontal disease. Plaque is a film of germs that builds up and hardens under the gums. This causes the gums to become inflamed. The infection may lead to the loss of bone around the teeth and to tooth loss.
Warning signs of gum disease
Visit your dentist if you have any of the following warning signs:
Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
Red, swollen or tender gums
Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
Pus between the teeth and gums
Permanent teeth that are loose or moving away from each other
Changes in the way your teeth fit when you bite
Changes in the fit of partial dentures
Remember: There are often no warning signs of early gum disease. Symptoms such as pain and loose teeth do not happen until the late stages. So be sure to have regular checkups. Don’t wait for something to hurt before you go to the dentist.
Treating gum disease
Dentists treat gum disease with scaling and root planing. This removes the hard plaque, even below the gum line. Gum surgery may be needed if gum disease is far along. Treatment will only be successful if you brush and floss regularly to keep the plaque from building up again.
Other mouth problems diabetics can have
If you have diabetes, you are more prone to fungal infections, such as thrush. Fungus thrives on the high sugar levels in saliva. Medicine can treat thrush. But good diabetic control, not smoking and cleaning dentures every day can prevent thrush.
If your diabetes is not under tight control, you will heal more slowly. You also increase your chance of infection. Increase your chances for a better recovery. Keep your blood glucose under control before, during and after any scheduled dental procedure.
Diabetes is one of the illnesses that can cause dry mouth. You need enough saliva to wash away food and neutralize the acids produced by plaque. Your dentist can suggest ways to restore moisture and protect your teeth.
Taking care of your teeth and gums
You can take important steps at home to keep your mouth healthy:
Brush your teeth for about two minutes each time you brush. This helps to make sure you’re cleaning all your teeth.
Brush at least twice a day.
Use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
Floss once a day. Flossing cleans away plaque and bits of food from between your teeth and below the gum line. It gets to places your brush can’t reach.
Ask your dentist if you should have a fluoride rinse to help prevent decay.
If you wear dentures, clean them every day. Be sure to remove stains and plaque that may build up and irritate your gums. Take your dentures out when you sleep to help your gums stay healthy.
Diabetes can affect your dental treatment, as well as the health of your mouth. Work with your dentist on a treatment plan to meet your needs:
Visit your dentist regularly.
Tell your dentist you have diabetes.
Let the dentist know if you have problems with infection or trouble keeping your blood glucose under control.
Eat before you see your dentist. The best time for dental work is when your blood glucose level is on the high side and your insulin action is low.
Take your normal medicines before your dental visit. (Unless your dentist or doctor tells you differently.)
Follow your normal meal plan after dental work. If you can’t chew well, plan ahead to make sure you meet your nutritional needs.
If your blood glucose is poorly controlled and you are scheduled to have dental surgery, let your dentist know. Ask if your surgery needs to be postponed.
To Your Health
These oral bacteria are linked to an increased chance of getting pancreatic cancer
By Laurie McGinley
New research shows that two species of oral bacteria linked to periodontal disease are associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
NEW ORLEANS — Researchers have known for years that poor oral health, including bleeding gums and lots of missing teeth, is associated with a higher risk of getting pancreatic cancer. Now they are finding that certain bacteria linked to that periodontal disease may be behind the connection.
Research released Tuesday showed that two species of bacteria with impossibly long names, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, were associated with a sharply increased risk of getting pancreatic cancer. The data showed that carrying both bacteria was linked to a 50 percent increased likelihood of contracting the cancer, said Jiyoung Ahn, associate director of population sciences at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center.
The data doesn’t show a cause-and-effect relationship between the bacteria and pancreatic cancer, but it is a first step “in understanding a potential new risk factor,” Ahn said. The research was released at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting here in the form of an abstract.
Ahn acknowledged that scientists don’t yet know the answer to the big question: If those bacteria are culprits, how, exactly, do they contribute to an increased likelihood of pancreatic cancer? “We don’t yet know how oral bacteria affect the pancreas,” she said.
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Chris Mason, a geneticist at Weill Cornell Medicine, who wasn’t involved in the study, agreed that the next step is trying to figure out the mechanism for how oral bacteria might damage the pancreas. Still, he said, the new data, “has important implications for understanding the genesis of cancer and the interaction between human cells and other microbial or viral organisms in or around us.”
To do the study, Ahn and her colleagues analyzed oral-wash samples collected over several years as part of two large cancer prevention and screening studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society. Those studies enrolled healthy people and then followed them over years for a variety of outcomes, including the development of cancer. Using genomic technologies, Ahn and her fellow researchers generated profiles of each bacterial species present in the samples.
Ahn said about 1.5 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and that only 5 percent will live for five years or more. If scientists can figure out the role of oral bacteria, she said, it could point to new ways to screen for and possibly prevent the cancer.