Articles, information and frequently asked questions about Preventive dentistry

Teens and Dental Opioids: A Guide for Parents

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Drug abuse is one of the priority concerns among parents in many regions of the world. Over the last few years, the number of teens using various drugs for non-drug purposes has increased tremendously. Although there is adequate drug education in schools, experts believe parents have an essential role to play in helping their children stay away from drugs.

Most doctors associate drug abuse with hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crystal meth. While these drugs still result in the worst cases of abuse, addiction, and overdose, other new dimensions continue to emerge. According to studies, prescription drugs are currently the leading cause of drug abuse and overdoses in the US. This is particularly common among high school teenagers with reports indicating that as many as 20% of high school seniors take prescription drugs with no underlying medical condition. 

Prescription drugs and abuse 

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Prescription drugs are a group of FDA-approved medicines. While prescriptions exist in almost all drug doses, most abuse cases stem from pain relievers. Opioids, in particular, are very effective in relieving pain. Opioid prescriptions come in various names including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Popular brand equivalents are oxycontin (oxy), Percocet and Vicodin. There are several other opioid painkillers on the market, some offering instant pain-relief while others promise to reduce the overall distress. 

Unfortunately, prescription drugs offer both desirable and undesirable symptoms. Like cocaine and heroin, opioids can result in feelings of euphoria and temporary “high.” This euphoric feeling is what most drug users chase, and it can quickly develop into a habit or addiction. Due to the habit-forming nature of prescription pain relievers, their use should remain under careful monitoring and control by doctors and parents alike. 

Dental opioids in teenage drug abuse

Dental opioids are popular prescription drugs among teenagers. Although most dentists believe it is unnecessary, teenagers and some adults use dental opioids for pain relief following dental procedures such as root canal. Doctors can prescribe pain relievers following surgery or accident. Whenever this is the case, it is essential to find out about the duration your child will have to take prescriptions. This can help prevent drug abuse and unnecessary use. However, a significant number of teenagers resort to using opioids and other potent pain relievers to deal with oral pain. 

The euphoria one gets from using opioids, and pain prescriptions are short-lived. As such, most teenagers end up using higher doses to achieve the initial “high.” It is common for teenage parties, especially seniors, to feature prescription pills for entertainment. Using drugs for non-medical purposes is the primary cause of overdoses as there is no more control of the dosage one takes. 

Preventing and managing dental opioids in teenagers

It is recommendable to find alternative pain-relief therapies that can avoid over-dependence on the prescriptions. According to the American Dental Association, regular dental procedures like removal of wisdom teeth do not require strong pain relievers. Studies have shown generic NSAIDs like ibuprofen to be sufficient in offering relief for mild pain. Nonetheless, there are rare cases of severe oral pain that may require stronger painkillers and opioids. It is essential to know your options and requirements.

According to experts, parents and teenagers should choose the most reputable doctors and facilities close to their residence. A simple search string like the best dentist near me can begin your quest for a competent dentist in your region. However, drug abuse prevention goes beyond choosing a credible, trustworthy doctor. Two best practices include:

  1. Have an open discussion with the doctor and your child
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Parents must learn to talk openly with their children about drug use and abuse, including the adverse effects of over-indulging in various substances. More importantly, you should talk frankly with the doctor to enable them to determine the best care for your child’s unique needs. Understanding what your kid is going through and communicating any information regarding opioids use is the best way to plan their medication. Teenagers and kids require awareness education to help them understand the importance of proper drug use, avoiding sharing medication, and prospects of using drugs for recreational purposes.

  1. Control the use of painkillers

When your doctor prescribes painkillers or opioids for pain relief, make sure you only purchase the exact dosage. If there are any leftovers, dispose of them properly. Proper control is crucial in preventing abuse and addiction. It is also essential to know all the options available for pain relief and choose the best drugs for your kid. Opioid painkillers can be useful in reducing dental pain. It is possible to use these options safely. However, both the doctor and parent must ensure effective control of choices and dosage.

Conclusion

No parent wishes to see their kid turn into an addict. There are various things that parents can do to help their teenage children understand the prospects of drug use and abuse. By having the right discussions at home, kids can grow up well-aware of the risks and characteristics of opioids and drug abuse, as well as how to find help. It is also essential to choose reputable clinics and medical facilities that are licensed to offer dental services in the area. Before accepting any opioids or prescriptions, make sure you discuss its usage, dosage, prospect side effects, effectiveness, active ingredients, classification, and any other vital information.  

Diabetes and teeth – what’s the link?

Diabetes has become a rapidly growing disease in recent times partly due to our poor lifestyle choices. This disease has many consequences in the body including on oral health. 

Poorly controlled diabetes may cause:

  • Increased oral infections because blood supply to the gums may be reduced if the blood vessels are compromised. High blood sugar levels over time will accelerate any gum disease you may have, and also compromise your immune system. This means that your body will not be able to fight off the infection easily. 

Fungal infections are also more common, in part due to the compromised immune system but also by the dry mouth that is often associated with diabetes. 

  • A dry mouth is a common symptom of diabetes. This lack of saliva production encourages bacterial growth that will increase tartar build-up and encourage gum disease. Over time and without the proper treatment, gum disease can progress to more severe periodontitis. This type of infection takes a long time to treat. In severe cases, it can cause tooth loss.
  • Bad breath (halitosis) may also be a symptom due to the dry mouth and gum infections. 

What can you do?

  • Controlling your blood sugar levels is key to great oral health if you have diabetes. Ensure you’re taking the correct medications and dosages that your doctor has prescribed and make regular doctor’s appointments to ensure the medication dosages don’t need to be adjusted. This will help you prevent all the possible complications of diabetes on your dental health, like gum disease.
  • Develop great daily oral hygiene habits. This includes:
  1. Brushing your teeth at least two times daily. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoridated toothpaste to gently brush your teeth in a circular motion. Fluoride will keep the teeth strong and protect against tooth decay. Prevent brushing too hard as this may cause irritated gums. If you have snacked on particularly sticky foods, clean your teeth immediately after, if possible. Some dentists advise using an electric toothbrush which does most of the brushing for you. Remember to change the brush head regularly to ensure your teeth are being cleaned properly.
  2. Use floss to clean food debris from the hard-to-reach areas. There are many commercially available products that can make flossing easy, like the waxed varieties and the various types of flossing devices.
  3.  Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and to clean your teeth professionally. Your dentist will be alerted to any dental problems before they become serious. 
  4. It is very important that your dentist knows you are a diabetic so that they can be on the lookout for any complications. Remind them at every visit of this. Be sure to mention any irregular symptoms that you may be experiencing like xerostomia (dry mouth), a tooth that may feel loose or any oral pain.  Your dentist needs to be aware of your diabetes because he may prescribe some medications that may interfere with your diabetic medications. 
  5. Examine your mouth regularly for signs of inflammation like redness, gums that are bleeding and swelling. Make a dental appointment if you notice any of this. 
  6. Eat a balanced and healthy diet as directed by your doctor or dietician. A good diet will help you to control your blood sugar levels together with your prescribed medicines. Cut out sugary snacks and carbonated drinks which will help control your blood sugar levels and prevent tooth decay. 

Ensure you adopt a healthy lifestyle which includes giving up smoking. Smoking increases the numerous problems of diabetes, like gingivitis. Seek advice on how to stop smoking if required.  

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I Can’t Stop Grinding My Teeth! What Should I Do?

Contrary to what we often see on TV, people don’t just grind their teeth when they’re feeling angry. In fact, regular teeth grinding is incredibly common. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is thought to affect as much as a third of the population. It usually occurs involuntarily and most often during sleep. Without treatment, it can cause ongoing health problems as well as lasting cosmetic damage to your teeth. 

What are the symptoms?

Many people who suffer from bruxism don’t realise it As it usually happens at night, sufferers might simply dismiss their symptoms as something else entirely. The symptoms of bruxism are numerous. Some range from relatively minor short term symptoms, to long term symptoms that can affect your everyday life. Common symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Gum inflammation
  • Muscle pain
  • Excessive teeth wear
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder)
  • Tooth fracture
  • Gum recession
  • Earache
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain

These symptoms are often found in other common disorders, making it easy to overlook teeth grinding as the potential root of the problem. Your dentist should be able to spot evidence of bruxism, such as changes in your teeth or excessive wear. During your next dental appointment, tell your dentist if you are having any symptoms and ask them to check whether bruxism could be the cause.  

What causes bruxism?

Bruxism can often be associated with stress or anxiety disorders. In fact, nearly 70 percent of cases are reported to be due to stress or anxiety. A study of shift workers found that those who reported suffering work related stress were more likely to suffer from nighttime teeth grinding. Ignoring stress therefore can have long term effects on your teeth. The National Sleep Foundation recommends regular exercise to help alleviate stress, taking a relaxing bath before sleep or other stress reducing activities. If feelings of stress or anxiety are severe or last longer than a few days, you should seek help from a professional. 

While bruxism can affect your sleep, conversely, sleep disorders can cause bruxism. Sleep disorders, particularly those that include periods of disturbed sleep, can cause teeth grinding or clenching to occur. An example of this is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, which involves short periods during sleep where the sufferer stops breathing temporarily. Sleep talking, sleep paralysis and sleep hallucinations also contribute to teeth grinding. Other physical conditions can exacerbate teeth grinding, such as Parkinson’s disease, which causes involuntary tremors. 

Finally, certain lifestyle elements can have an impact on teeth grinding. Smokers, for example, are more likely to suffer from bruxism. People who drink more than six cups of coffee a day or who regularly consume alcohol, too are susceptible. Regular drug users are also likely to suffer, particularly those who take methamphetamines, ecstasy or even certain antidepressant medications. 

What can I do to stop?

If teeth grinding has you concerned, the good news is there are things you can do. First, try actions that will alleviate stress such as exercise, deep breathing, engaging in relaxing hobbies and other self care activities If you think you are suffering from severe stress or anxiety, go to your doctor to discuss your options. 

The next step is to visit your dentist. While unfortunately there is no cure for bruxism, there is a wide variety of treatment options that can help. The most common treatment is occlusal splints. These splints act as mouthguards you can wear at night, keeping your teeth separate and protecting them against grinding. You can have splints made specially for your mouth, so that you don’t experience discomfort when wearing them. Mandibular advancement devices, which are often used to prevent snoring, can also help. 

Some people find hypnosis and other similar treatments such as meditation and psychoanalysis helpful. Studies have shown positive outcomes when bruxism sufferers underwent hypnosis treatments to stop teeth grinding. 

If crooked or misaligned teeth are causing your teeth grinding, your dentist might suggest braces to help correct the alignment of your teeth. Other treatments might include equilibration, which involves reshaping the surface of your teeth, or cosmetic treatments such as dental crowns, bridges or veneers

What can I do to fix teeth damaged by teeth grinding?

For teeth that have been worn down or damaged by incessant clenching or grinding, there are solutions to help restore their look, feel and function. Treatment can also work to prevent any more wear or damage, as well as helping to reduce sensitivity. 

If your teeth are severely damaged or worn down by grinding, you might consider crowns or veneers to help strengthen your teeth and improve their overall look and feel. Alternatively, composite bonding has become more advanced in recent years and is a popular method for restoring teeth. Composite is a tooth coloured material which is bonded to the tooth’s surface, protecting it and giving a natural appearance. These treatments can help patients who suffer from bruxism to regain confidence in their smiles.  

Teeth grinding doesn’t have to cause you pain. Speak to your dentist today about treatment options. 

Is It True That Women Are at More Risk of TMJ Pain Than Men?

More than 10 million people in the US suffer from temporomandibular joint or TMJ pain of varying intensities. 90% of those who see a TMJ specialist to seek treatment for extremely severe symptoms are women in their childbearing years. In this article, we will explore why women are more prone to TMJ pain as compared to men. 

Why Women Are at More Risk?

Men and women have different natural levels of hormones, which essentially function as chemical messengers within the body. They have different hormones or different levels of similar hormones. If there are any hormonal changes or if they fluctuate above or below their normal level, there will be some side effects. 

The hormone variations can be observed in people of different ages. However, the women who usually are at the highest risk of TMJ pain are those of childbearing age. This is because they have more pronounced fluctuations in their levels of estrogen and progesterone. 

Stress is another factor that leads to TMJ pain. Women experience stress more physically than men. They are most likely to clench the jaw or grind the teeth. Moreover, stress negatively impacts the hormones and cause an imbalance. This can lead to TMJ pain or worsen the existing TMJ condition.

Women who suffer from nutritional deficiencies can also be at risk of TMJ disorder. 

Do Hormones Affect TMJ?

The exact link between TMJ and hormones is unknown but there are studies done in this area. Researchers have found that women who take estrogen supplements or use certain forms of birth control are at increased risk of developing TMD disorder. 

However, if the level of natural estrogen is high, it lessens the pain associated with the disorder. 

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

These are some of the signs you must look out for:

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Pain while chewing food
  • Radiating pain in the face
  • Stiff neck or neck pain
  • Earaches
  • Inability to open the jaw wide 
  • Popping of the jaw
  • Muscle spasms

How to Relieve TMJ Pain?

Perform a simple self-assessment to become aware of your jaw function. You should be able to fit in at least 3 fingers between your front teeth when opening widely, and chew and swallow without difficulty. You should also be able to move your lower jaw side to side, without any pain. If you hear any joint noise or any sudden changes to the bite, it may be a sign of some issue in the joint. These may lead to TMJ disorder if you do not seek any treatment.

If you experience any of the TMJ symptoms, apply moist heat to the jaw, eat a soft diet or take over-the-counter medication. 

TMJ treatment also includes orthodontic treatment which make changes to the jaw and teeth. The dentists may grind the teeth down, use splints that move the jaw to a different position or opt for surgery. 

Passive jaw stretching, yoga or special jaw and TMJ relaxation exercises can also help in relieving some pain. 

Do not wait until the pain becomes unbearable to visit your TMJ specialist.  

Author Bio: Shen Chao is part of Dr. Joshua Hong’s Smile Clinic. While working for the Smile Clinic, he’s gained first hand experiences into the questions and concerns that dental patients have. He has been writing to inform people about various dental topics to help his readers improve their oral health. When he’s not working, you can find him on a hiking trail with his dog or having a Sunday cook-out with friends.

6 Top Foods To Avoid If You Have Sensitive Teeth

It is relatively common to have sensitive teeth. If you experience any kind of pain or discomfort when eating or drinking hot or cold liquids or foods that are acidic, sticky or sugary, then you have sensitive teeth.

While it is not unusual to experience some discomfort while drinking very hot or very cold beverages, there are a number of other foods you should avoid to reduce the amount of pain you experience. They include the following:

Foods To Avoid

  1. Ice Cream – Ice cream packs a double whammy of sorts as it is not only cold, but it contains sugar. So as tasty a treat as ice cream can be, it is not so much of a treat for your teeth.
  2. Tomatoes – Although tomatoes are a great source of vitamins they are also very acidic. If you have sensitive teeth you may have to find another way to source your vitamin C as the acidic properties in tomatoes extends to tomato sauce, raw tomatoes and even ketchup for some individuals.
  3. Citrus Fruit – Fruit like lemons, limes, grapefruit and pineapples are all acidic which can make your teeth more sensitive by eating away at the enamel that protects the outer surface of each tooth. Avoid not
    just the raw fruit but the juices made from them as well.
  4. Sticky Sweets – They may taste delicious but gummy bears, licorice, toffee and caramel are bad for your teeth. Not only because they contain high concentrations of sugar, either. When any sticky candy adheres to the surface of your teeth they can stimulate the nerves in the dentine – a softer compound than the enamel on your teeth – which has microscopic holes that can expose nerves. This can create pain in your teeth.
  5. Hot Coffee or Tea – Not only will hot beverages cause pain if you have sensitive teeth, but by adding sugar to your coffee or tea it will compound the problem. You can still enjoy your morning jolt by adding some milk. Milk will not only reduce the temperature, it also reduces the level of acidity making coffee or tea better for your teeth than drinking it black.
  6. Fizzy drinks (soda) – Soda pop is a refreshing drink on a hot day however, if you have sensitive teeth you are actually causing more harm than good. Soda is considered one of the worst beverages to consume if you have sensitive teeth because it contains both acidic and sugary ingredients. So, in a way, you are drinking something that has twice the power to create pain than most other items on this list

What Causes Sensitivity In Teeth

The layer of enamel on the outer surface of your teeth protects them from all kinds of threats.

Even though you should always brush at least twice a day and floss often, if your teeth didn’t have that enamel, plaque would be able to attack teeth directly. The same thing could be said about staining that takes place over time. It is the outer layer of enamel that discolours and protects the tooth from further damage.

For individuals who have sensitive teeth the main reason for this is that there is an issue with the tooth enamel on their teeth. Often they have a thinner layer or in some cases the enamel has been worn off or removed due to an accident or trauma to the tooth or mouth. When the enamel is thin or not present, temperature, acidic and sugary elements of food and drinks can be felt. The pain that comes from these food items is the nerves within the tooth reacting to exposure.

What To Do If You Have Sensitive Tooth Pain

Aside from avoiding the foods on this list, it would be wise to schedule a visit with your dentist to determine the extent of the issue. If your sensitivity is more serious in nature, you may require a procedure to correct the problem. Your dental professional will be able to determine what course of action is required following a thorough examination.

How To Avoid Tooth Pain

Practicing good oral hygiene is your best option. Not only will it keep your smile bright and healthy, you can avoid costly visits to the dentist by taking good care of your teeth between dental visits. It can also help to avoid costly and invasive procedures like false teeth options later in life.

This means using a soft bristle toothbrush, toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth and by brushing at least twice a day and flossing on a regular basis. Try not to eat too much acidic or sweet foods and beverages which can aggravate sensitive teeth and damage them even further.

By avoiding certain foods, like those mentioned above, and by maintaining a thorough oral hygiene procedure, you will have the best chance of keeping your perfect smile for years to come.

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Tooth Enamel Erosion-Causes, Prevention And Treatment

Dental erosion or sometimes called acid erosion is the loss of the surface of teeth. It is identified as the irreversible loss of tooth structure due to chemical dissolution by acids without any involvement of bacteria Dental erosion is the most common oral disease of children ages 5-17. The critical pH of dental enamel is estimated at 5.5 and normally is kept in balance by saliva. The saliva contains buffers to neutralize acids and also contributes phosphate and calcium ions to aid in remineralization.

Causes of Dental Erosion

Dental erosion results from the introduction of gastric acids into the oral cavity. As the frequency of these acids increase and overcome the buffering ability of the saliva, the acids start damaging the surface of the teeth. Dental erosion can be caused by several things even by the things in your stomach. Some of the main reasons for dental erosion are given below.

Gastroesophageal reflux

The regurgitation of stomach acids after meals and especially after overeating is considered normal. The salivation and swallowing are reduced during the sleep time and that is when these gastric acids are most harmful.

Chronic Alcoholism

According to a study, 49.4% of the alcoholics were found to show signs of erosion. Alcoholism with a prevalence of around 10% can result in dental erosion due to frequent vomiting and increased regurgitation.

Bulimia

Bulimia is an eating disorder which results in intentional vomiting as a means to maintain the desired weight. It is more common in western industrialized nations with a prevalence of approximately 5% in 18-35 years old females. Dental erosion is reported in the 90% of the people suffering from bulimia disorder.

Pregnancy

The intra-abdominal pressure increases during the pregnancy which results in an increase in reflux. Dental erosion in pregnant women is rare unless the vomiting is chronic.

Beverages

Most of the soft drinks and fruit juices have low pH level and any beverage with a low pH volume is a risk for erosion. A number of latest studies indicate that dietary acids are a major contributor to dental erosion. Soft drinks double the risk of erosion.

Industrial and Occupational Risks

Airborne industrial acids and chemicals have been implicated in dental erosion among the factory workers, particularly in fertilizer or battery plants. Swimmers have also reported erosion due to low pH of swimming water.

Prevention and Reduction

Dental erosion is irreversible. Once it has ruined your teeth, they are ruined forever unless you get synthetic ones. The more focus here should be on preventing and reducing dental erosion. A lot of studies shows that milk and yoghurt help in the prevention of erosion. Flouride may contribute to demineralize the tooth enamel. Dental erosion can damage your teeth permanently and this damage is not reversible. So, be careful with all the low pH beverages and acids. If you see any sign on erosion please contact the author of this post at Thordent.

Cavities are Depravities: 5 Common Dental Issues in Children

The health, safety, and nutrition are the most important factors to consider in a child. The significant increase in the number of children in today’s fast-paced world makes the health and safety of the children rapidly growing. The more healthy the child is, more opportunities will come to his way and more likely to become productive adults in the future.

However, there is always a hindrance in keeping children healthy. The best example of that is their oral health. In today’s generation, children are always prone to so many diseases, causing them to suffer in many ways. Here are some dental issues that children encounter.

Tooth Decay and Cavities

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental issues in children causing a hole in the teeth to occur. What causes tooth decay and cavities to appear is having poor oral hygiene. For instance, they are not brushing their teeth regularly causing plaque to form. Excessive eating of sweets, drinking sodas, and other sugar-related foods can increase the risk of a tooth cavity.

Lot’s of advice about preventing tooth decay in milk teeth can be found here.

Signs of Having Tooth Decay and Cavities

There are four symptoms of tooth decay and cavities. If your children happen to experience these, you are likely advised to visit your dentist as long as possible.

  • Pain. Pain is inevitable if you are not paying attention to your oral health. A toothache is the usual cavity symptom.
  • Usually called as a hole. We can’t see pits and these pits are only visible using dental x-rays.
  • It increases the sensitivity and pain when biting down and points out cavities.
  • Pus. Tooth abscess causes the pus to build up.



Gum Diseases

It takes a great deal of time and how well you care for your teeth to prevent dental issues. Our mouth is full of bacteria and other particles that continuously form a colorless plaque on teeth. Gum diseases appear when plaque and tartar or calculus builds up close to the gum and at the base of the teeth which makes it look red and swollen.

Gum diseases are a serious problem and if not treated earlier, it will lead to damaged bones and a loose tooth. The most common symptoms of gum diseases are having a bad breath that won’t quickly go away, red and swollen gums as mentioned above, and bleeding gums.

Sensitive Teeth

People often say sensitive teeth is an issue for older people, but children also suffer from sensitivity because their enamels are more slender than most adults. Most children are unaware of their doings which affects their dental health. Some examples are;

  • Eating acidic food.
  • Putting too much force when brushing.
  • Grinding teeth.
  • Using tooth whitening toothpaste to children.
  • Having gum diseases.

Loose and Damaged Teeth

A strong tooth is an example of a healthy lifestyle. Teeth are powerful when it comes to chewing and biting, but with extra strains and stresses that they have to experience, they can break or crack. The primary cause of these breaks is eating something hard and untreated cavities.

Thumb Sucking

Parents are especially concerned when it comes to the health of their children. They take a good look at the habit and behavior their children are doing. Such practices include thumb sucking which have a negative effect on their oral health and the pressure and sucking motion applied will make changes to the teeth and mouth.

Some of the children may find it hard to stop doing thumb sucking. However, they will figure it out on their own when the behavior is no longer acceptable because of the situation or any peer pressure.

Takeaway

There’s always a relationship between children’s oral health and overall health. Children should practice good oral hygiene to avoid any complications.  Doing a regular checkup to a dentist is a must in doing this. Children who invest time in their oral health is also investing in their future.

Dedication in promoting oral health makes a big difference not just for children but to every individual with a different age range. Self-care and proper attitude when it comes to our health are important too. Everyone should also learn what cavity is, what causes cavity and its impact on our selves. So, start protecting and guiding your oral health now.

LanceAuthor’s bio

Lance Stan is a freelance writer and a health enthusiast who loves to create and writes ideas concerning dental and overall health.

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Mouth cancer – Symptoms and Causes

Cancer is the uncontrollable multiplication of harmful cells that attack cause damage surrounding body tissue. Mouth cancer looks simply like a growth or a persistent sore in your mouth. Unless it is diagnosed early and treated correctly, oral cancer can become a threat to life.

Symptoms

The commonest symptoms of mouth cancer could be one or more of the following.

  • Swellings or thickening of flesh, or lumps, especially those which are painless and persistent ones
  • Crusts, rough spots or eroded patches anywhere on the gums, lips, or within your mouth
  • The appearance of velvety patches in the mouth which could be white or red (or speckled).
  • Bleeding within the mouth for no apparent reason.
  • Unexplained sensory abnormality (pain or tenderness, numbness or reduced sensitivity in any part of the, face, neck, or mouth.
  • Sores in the mouth or in the face and neck that start bleeding easily and last for over two weeks
  • A chronic sore throat or a feeling in the throat as if something may be stuck in the throat
  • Some difficulty in swallowing, speaking, chewing, or in moving your tongue or the jaw.
  • Chronic hoarseness or a change in your voice.
  • Frequent pain in the ear.
  • A changed bite (how the upper and lower teeth fit together).
  • A noticeable loss in body weight.




What Can Cause Mouth Cancer?

As advised by the American Cancer Society, American males are twice as likely to get mouth cancer as females. Further, males older than 50 stand the highest risk. It has been estimated that more than forty thousand persons in the United States were diagnosed with mouth cancer in the year 2014.

Prominent factors linked with oral cancer are:

  • Smoking – tobacco smoking in any form e.g., cigarette, pipe or cigar, can increase your risk of oral cancel six times over nonsmokers with similar general health.
  • Smokeless tobacco – snuff, or dip, or those who chew tobacco, or its derivatives, stand 50 times greater risk of developing oral cancers.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol drinkers are nearly six times as likely to develop mouth cancer as non-drinkers.  
  • Genetic Tendencies – People with the incidence of cancer in the family are at a greater risk.
  • Exposure to sun – Excessive exposure to the sun, especially at a young age, can cause cancers.
  • HPV (Human papillomavirus) – Some strains of HPV are associated with OSCC (Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

What Should One Do?

If you observe any one or more of the symptoms discussed above, do not delay contacting your dentist. One of the most effective protection against oral cancer is optimal hygiene maintenance and regular checkup visits to your dentist. During each checkup visit, your dentist will perform oral cancer screening so that any malignancy can be detected and treated in a timely manner. Remember, oral cancer can be easily treated if it is diagnosed in early stages. Visit your dentist immediately if you feel any lump or swelling which is not going away.

 

Kelloggs to reduce the amount of sugar in their cereal

sugar

As pressure mounts for people to cut down on the amount of sugar they have in their diet it comes as welcome news to hear that Kellogg’s are doing their part. Since the beginning of this year Coco Pops have contained 14% less sugar, other items in the branding range such as Frosties have also had a 30% reduction in the sugar content. The Original Wheats range continues to have no added sugar.

More information about sugary cereals and naming and shaming those with the highest sugar content is here.

Why is cutting down sugar so important?

Public Health England has challenged businesses to cut sugar by 20% by 2020, this could lead to 200,000 tons of sugar being removed from the UK market. The problem with added sugar is that it contributes to a number of diseases, most notably tooth decay and diabetes.

What is the link between sugar and tooth decay?

We all have bacteria in our mouth, this is quite normal, as these bacteria digests their food they excrete acid and it is this acid which attacks the enamel. As the enamel attack progresses decay can set in which can ultimately lead to tooth loss if left to progress unchecked. The bacteria feed excitedly on sugar and so reducing the amount of sugar reduces the amount of acid these bacteria excrete.



Read more about why sugar is so bad for your teeth.

At the moment the 20% reduction challenge by Public Health England is voluntary however a Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), otherwise known as ‘sugar tax’  is set to begin from April 2018.

Questions about the sugar tax?

Will the price of soft drinks go up?

Not necessarily, says the government website. If producers can find ways to reduce the amount of sugar in their drinks then the amount of tax they pay will go down, possibly even to nothing at all. There is also no requirement to pass on this tax to consumers.

What drinks will have the sugar tax?

Any drinks which have added sugar and sugar content over 5g/100ml will incur a tax. The tax is banded and will increase with more sugar, currently this will increase at 8g/100ml. Any drink which does not contain added sugar will not be taxed such as fruit drinks.

As you can see, the government is doing its part to reduce sugar, producers are doing their part… You doing yours also?

Image source: freedigitalphotos.net

New statistics show that fewer than one in 20 people visit their dentist.

Millions of Brits are only cleaning three quarters of their teeth, a study has found.

Despite the average adult spending the recommended two minutes cleaning their teeth, almost half admit they are often missing out at least a quarter of their pearly whites.

One in twenty even admitted to only getting the brush on half of their teeth – leaving the other half covered in the day’s acid, plaque and debris.

It also emerged less than half (48 per cent) of people see their dentist at least twice a year, with more than one in ten only making an appointment when they have a problem.

A shocking one in twenty NEVER see their dentist.



The study was commissioned by a consortium of dentists behind Brushlink, the first smartphone ‘tooth brushing tracker’ which coaches people on how to clean their teeth and gives them a score out of 100.

Dr Dev Patel, founder of Brushlink said: “As a practising dentist, I have always been shocked by the lack of feedback between patient and dentist.

“We have always had to rely on what we see inside the mouth every six months rather than having any reliable data about how people are brushing.

“I invented Brushlink to plug this gap by providing coaching to patients but also accurate monitoring of everything they are doing with their toothbrush between dentist visits.”

The study of more than 2,000 adults found the younger generation are most likely to miss teeth when brushing, with just three in ten 18-34-year-olds saying they cover all of them.

But this rises to 55 per cent of the over 55s.

It also emerged more than six in ten adults have never been shown how to brush their teeth properly.

And just one in ten parents supervise their children brushing their teeth twice a day.

Almost a fifth of mums and dads admitted their kids occasionally lie about brushing their teeth by pretending to have done it when they haven’t.

Another 12 per cent even said their children have tricked them into thinking they have cleaned their teeth by doing things such as wetting the brush head to make it look like it has been used.

Thorough tooth brushing is recognised as the foundation of good oral health regimes, and an effective way to avoid tooth decay and gum disease.

But almost a quarter of adults say someone in their household has had dental problems which they believe could have been prevented by better brushing.

Each week, more than 1 million patients in the UK use NHS dental services – many of them seeking treatment for dental disease, the consequences of which costs the NHS a huge £3.4bn a year.

Professor Elizabeth Kay MBE, Foundation Dean Peninsula Dental School, Oral Health Topic Expert for NICE and a Brushlink Scientific Committee member, added: “This survey has revealed some intriguing insights into our oral health regimes and patients’ relationships with the dental health professionals who care for them.

“There is no substitute for good tooth brushing practices when it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth, yet it would appear from the survey that there is a lot more that we can all do to achieve this effectively.

“The fact that this survey is in association with the launch of a new dental care product – and one which I think is the most amazing oral health product that I have seen in a long time – should encourage people to takes its findings seriously, as it has been commissioned by a group of dentists who are passionate about improving the oral health of the nation.”

Article Source: Mat Mccabe at  https://www.newsanyway.com/2017/11/10/shocking-one-twenty-never-see-dentist/