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Junk food, poor oral health increase risk of premature heart disease

Junk food, poor oral health increase risk of premature heart disease

Monday, November 19th, 2018

The association between poor oral health and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should make the reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks, an important health policy target, say experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Poor oral hygiene and excess sugar consumption can lead to periodontal disease where the supporting bone around the teeth is destroyed. It is thought that chronic infection from gum disease can trigger an inflammatory response that leads to heart disease through a process called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Despite convincing evidence linking poor oral health to premature heart disease, the most recent UK national guidance on the prevention of CVD at population level mentions the reduction of sugar only indirectly.

Dr Ahmed Rashid, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, who co-wrote the paper, said: “As well as having high levels of fats and salt, junk foods often contain a great deal of sugar and the effect this has on oral health may be an important additional mechanism by which junk food elevates risk of CVD.” He added: “Among different types of junk food, soft drinks have raised particular concerns and are the main source of free sugar for many individuals.”

The authors refer to the well-publicized New York ‘soda ban’ controversy which has brought the issue to the attention of many. Yet, they point out, in the UK fizzy drinks remain commonly available in public areas ranging from hospitals to schools. Dr Rashid said: “The UK population should be encouraged to reduce fizzy drink intake and improve oral hygiene. Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life.”

 

Src:A. Bains, M. A. Rashid. Junk food and heart disease: the missing tooth. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2013;


New research suggests children benefit from early dental visits

Monday, November 19th, 2018

It may benefit children to see a dentist before age 4, a study published in Pediatric Dentistry revealed.

The study, “Do Early Dental Visits Reduce Treatment and Treatment Costs for Children?” which appears in the November/December edition of the journal, offers evidence that early intervention efforts in oral health are both clinically effective and cost effective, according to researchers.

“The takeaway message is early intervention does work,” said Dr. Arthur J. Nowak, lead study author and a professor emeritus at the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Iowa.

Researchers examined a year’s worth of billing data for 42,532 children aged 0 to 7 from 20 corporate treatment centers serving children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. About 40 percent of those children were early starters, or had seen a dentist before age 4, while the rest were late starters, having seen a dentist for the first time at or after age 4.

The data showed that late starters had 3.58 more dental procedures done and spent $360 more during eight years of follow up than the early starters. when to first take one’s child to see a dentist,  the ADA recommends occur no later than a child’s first birthday — ideally within six months after the first tooth appears.

 

Src: http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2015/article/ADA-04-New-Research-Suggests-Children-Benefit-From-Early-Dental-Visits


Cavities are contagious, research shows

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay, is the single most common chronic childhood disease. In fact, it is an infectious disease. Mothers with cavities can transmit caries-producing oral bacteria to their babies when they clean pacifiers by sticking them in their own mouths or by sharing spoons.

According to Liliana Rozo, D.D.S., assistant profesor, University of Louisville School of Dentistry, tooth decay can have a detrimental effect on a child’s quality of life, performance in school and success in life. The disease can cause pain, inability to chew food well, embarrassment about discolored or damaged teeth, and distraction from play and learning.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) encourages parents to find a dental home for their baby as soon as the child’s first tooth erupts. Regular visits to a pediatric dentist will help parents become familiar with their child’s dental and oral health milestones. They’ll inform parents about teething, proper oral hygiene habits, normal tooth development, and trauma prevention. Nutritional counseling also will be a part of the discussion.

Often, Rozo said, parents do not make the connection between oral health and overall health, but they are related. The mouth is an open door for many microbial infections to enter the bloodstream. Poor oral health may be a risk factor for systemic disease. Oral health manifestations, such as bleeding or dry mouth can indicate the presence of a systemic disease or exacerbate the effects of an existing disease such as diabetes and heart disease.

So parents, too, should make their own oral health care a priority in order to help their children stay healthy, said Rozo, an AAPD board certified pediatric dentist.

 

Src: University of Louisville. “Cavities are contagious, research shows.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2014. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220112402.htm


Your Dental Health Care Team

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Each member of your dental health team plays an important role.

Dentist

As the leader of your oral health team, your dentist brings years of specialized education to understanding your oral health. Only dentists can examine your teeth, gums and mouth, and recognize any problems that could affect your overall health.

They have the training and skills to:

  • examine and diagnose your oral condition;
  • recommend and carry out treatment;
  • look for signs of oral cancer—and often be the first to spot them;
  • help you understand oral health care and its importance, helping you to keep your teeth healthy and comfortable for your entire lifetime;
  • inform you about postoperative care options; and
  • perform emergency or required procedures—and help you determine a long-term treatment plan that meets your needs and circumstances.

Dental Therapist

In some jurisdictions, dental therapists work with dentists to provide community-based preventive oral health programs. They also perform basic dental treatment and preventive services as well as providing patient assistance and referrals.

Dental Hygienist

The dental hygienist is registered and trained to clean your teeth and to help you develop a home-care routine tailored to your needs.

Regulations vary from province to province, but a dental hygienist’s work often includes:

  • taking x-rays;
  • taking dental impressions; and
  • cleaning, polishing and applying fluoride to your teeth.

In some jurisdictions, the dental hygienist may also be allowed to perform a basic exam.

Dental Assistant

This is the team member who prepares you for treatment, sterilizes instruments, assists your dentist and helps keep your mouth dry during procedures. In some jurisdictions, a dental assistant may also take x-rays and dental impressions, and polish and apply fluoride to your teeth.

Receptionists and Business Staff

Receptionists maintain the dental team’s schedules and allow the office to run smoothly. The receptionist is usually your first point of contact and may often provide you with general information about your appointment and billing.

https://www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/talk/team.asp


The dangers of gum disease

Monday, November 19th, 2018

When you want to highlight your smile, perhaps you whiten your teeth or choose a flattering shade of lipstick. But what about the health of your gums? After all, inflammation of gum tissue is far from attractive. Even in the early stages of gum disease—which is caused by plaque deposits that aren’t removed with proper oral hygiene—you may have bad breath, your teeth may appear to be unnaturally long due to receding gums, and your gums may bleed or look red, puffy and shiny instead of pink, firm and stippled (which means they should look textured with tiny bumps).

“Gum disease is very common,” says Dr. Sayed Mirbod, a periodontist in Halifax and president of the Canadian Academy of Periodontology. “It has become the main reason patients lose their teeth, surpassing cavities and the fracture of root canal–treated teeth.” Today’s advanced dental care is helping us to keep our nat­ural teeth in good condition for longer—but poor gum health can still be our dental downfall. And that’s not all: Gum inflammation is also associated with cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled diabetes, lung disease, pneumonia, rheumatoid arthritis and, in women who are pregnant, preterm and low-birthweight babies. Researchers are still looking at some of these causal relationships, but the links are there.

Fully one third of Canadians age 20 or over have early-stage gum disease, which is called gingivitis. Another fifth have perio­dontitis (moderate to severe gum disease). The prevalence goes up with age, though even children can have what’s called aggressive periodontitis; about 70 percent of Canadians will eventually have some degree of gum disease in their lifetime.

Unless you know what symptoms to look for, gum disease can be silent for several years in its early stages. Yet that is when it’s most reversible. As untreated gingivitis gets worse—progressing to perio­dontitis and infecting the bone and tissues holding your teeth in place—you can experience bleeding, pain, loose teeth and gaps between your teeth. Chewing becomes difficult and tooth loss is possible. Once gum disease progresses from gingivitis to this more advanced periodontal disease, it is no longer reversible. At this point, tooth loss is unavoidable, and lifelong maintenance in a dental care office will be required.

 

Src:  www.besthealthmag.ca


Fluoride and Your Child

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water (both fresh and salt) and various foods. It has a positive effect on oral health by making teeth more resistant to decay. Fluoride can also prevent or even reverse tooth decay that has started.

Fluorides are used by communities as a public health measure to adjust the concentration of fluoride in drinking water to an optimum level (community water fluoridation); by individuals in the form of toothpastes, rinses, lozenges, chewable tablets, drops; and by the dental profession in the professional application of gels, foams and varnishes.

The availability of fluorides from a variety of sources must be taken into account before embarking on a specific course of fluoride delivery. This is particularly important for children under the age of 6, where exposure to more fluoride than is required to simply prevent dental caries can cause dental fluorosis. Provided that the total daily intake of fluoride is carefully monitored, fluoride is considered to be a most important health measure in maintaining oral health.

Your dentist is able to assess your child’s risk of developing tooth decay and advise you of an appropriate level of fluoride protection.

 

Src: www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/cfyt/dental_care_children/fluoride.asp


Is it better to floss before or after brushing my teeth?

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Great question. Alas, surprisingly few studies address it directly. Based on existing evidence, flossing first isn’t necessarily better for oral health than the other way around.

Still, dentists have opinions on the matter. Dr. Edmond R. Hewlett, a spokesman for the American Dental Association and a professor of restorative dentistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, recommends flossing first. His rationale? Get the unpleasant task out of the way to avoid the temptation to not do it. “Let’s face human nature, if you’re going to skip one, which one will you skip?” he said.

By contrast, Dr. Philippe Hujoel, a professor of oral health sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, advises his patients to brush with a fluoride toothpaste, then floss. That way your mouth will be awash with fluoride as you are maneuvering the floss, he said.

However, it turns out flossing is not a proven way to prevent cavities, even though some dentists and hygienists suggest it is.

Rather, flossing’s main benefit is stanching bloody gums and reducing the gum inflammation known as gingivitis.

“Gingivitis is the first step in losing your teeth,” Dr. Hewlett said. “The nice thing about catching inflammation when gums are bleeding is you can reverse it then, if that’s all that’s going on.” (Teeth brushing and flossing aren’t adequate to treat more advanced inflammation.)

A 2012 review of 12 randomized controlled trials found that people who brushed and flossed regularly had less gum bleeding than the brush-only camp, though the authors cautioned the quality of the evidence was “very low.”

That same report, in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, found only “very unreliable” evidence that flossing might reduce plaque at one and three months. And no studies reported on the effectiveness of flossing combined with teeth brushing for cavity prevention.

“Self-flossing clinical trials have failed to show a benefit in the reduction of dental decay,” said Dr. Hujoel, a periodontist.

There are practical reasons to floss, of course. It can dislodge raspberry seeds and other food debris you may or may not be able to feel, for example, and some overachievers prefer to attend meetings without spinach in their teeth.

As for technique, the American Dental Association recommends guiding the floss along the curve of the gum line at the base of each tooth, in addition to flossing up and down between teeth.

It could be that amateurs just don’t know how to floss correctly, because there is some evidence that professional flossing can reduce cavities in children who have had minimal exposure to fluoride.

One systematic review of six trials  found that when professionals flossed the teeth of those children on school days for 1.7 years, there was a 40 percent reduction in the risk of cavities.

That may be good news for the children and spouses of dental hygienists. But for the rest of us who don’t have a professional at home to floss for us, we can choose whether we floss before or after brushing our teeth.

 

Src: By CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS the new york times


Dental Emergencies

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Here are some common dental emergencies and how to handle them.

Toothache

First call your dentist. Explain your symptoms and ask to be seen as soon as possible. Then ease the pain. Take an over-the-counter pain medicine that works for you, but do not put the pills on your sore tooth. Hold an ice pack against your face at the spot of the sore tooth.

Do not put a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or any other source of heat on your jaw. Heat will make things worse instead of better.

Chipped or broken tooth

Broken teeth can almost always be saved. Call your dentist and explain what happened. He or she will see you right away. If it’s a small break, your dentist may use a white filling to fix the tooth. If the break is serious, a root canal may be needed. Your tooth may also need a crown (also called a cap).

Knocked out tooth

If the knocked-out tooth is an adult (or permanent) tooth, your dentist may be able to put it back. You must act quickly. If the tooth is put back in place within 10 minutes, it has a fair chance of taking root again. After 2 hours, the chances are poor.

If the tooth looks clean, put it back in its place (its socket). If this is not possible, or if there’s a chance that the tooth might be swallowed, put it in a container of cold milk. Go to your dentist, or to the nearest dentist, right away. If you get help within ten minutes, there is a fair chance that the tooth will take root again.

Badly bitten lip or tongue

If there is bleeding, press down on the part of the mouth that is bleeding. Use a clean cloth to do this. If the lip is swollen, use an ice pack to keep the swelling down. If the bleeding does not stop, go to Emergency at a hospital right away.

Something stuck between teeth

First, try using dental floss, very gently and carefully, to remove the object. Never poke between your teeth with a pin or similar sharp, pointy object; it can cut your gums or scratch the tooth surface. If you can’t get the object out, see your dentist.

Lost filling

Put a piece of softened sugarless chewing gum in the spot where the filling was lost. This will protect the area for a short period of time. See a dentist as soon as possible.

 

Src: www.cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/talk/complications/emergencies

Nutrition tips for your Oral Health during Pregnancy

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Did you know that a baby’s teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth months of pregnancy? That’s why making smart food choices now can help set your child up to be Mouth Healthy for Life. During your pregnancy a sufficient quantity of nutrients—especially vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous—are needed.

  • Eat a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits; vegetables; whole-grain products such as cereals, breads or crackers; and dairy products like milk, cheese, cottage cheese or unsweetened yogurt.
  • Eat fewer foods high in sugar, including candy, cookies, cake, and dried fruit; and drink fewer beverages high in sugar, including juice, fruit-flavored drinks, or soft drinks.
  • For snacks, choose foods low in sugar such as fruits, vegetables, cheese and unsweetened yogurt.
  • Read food labels so you can choose foods lower in sugar.
  • If you have trouble with nausea, try eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day.
  • Drink water or milk instead of juice, fruit-flavored drinks or soft drinks.
  • Drink water throughout the day, especially between meals and snacks. Drink fluoridated water (via a community fluoridated water source) or if you prefer bottled water, drink water that contains fluoride.
  • To reduce the risk of birth defects, get 600 micrograms of folic acid each day throughout your pregnancy. Take a dietary supplement of folic acid and eat foods high in folate and foods fortified with folic acids, including:
    • Asparagus, broccoli and leafy green vegetables such as lettuce and spinach
    • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
    • Papaya, tomato juice, oranges or orange juice, strawberries, cantaloupe and bananas
    • Grain products fortified with folic acid (breads, cereals, cornmeal, flour, pasta, white rice.)

Cavity Prevention and cheese

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Cavity Prevention is one of the most important benefit of cheese:

Cheese is extremely high in its calcium content. This is the most important thing when it comes to strong teeth. In addition, cheese has a very low content of Lactose. Lactose is a substance that comes from food and can harm teeth (The older the cheese, the lower the Lactose levels). Eating certain varieties of cheese such as aged Cheddar, Swiss, Blue, Monterey Jack, Brie, Gouda, and processed American cheese immediately after a meal or as a snack has been proven to prevent tooth decay.


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