All posts by Kathleen Mullaney

HPV and Oral Cancer

FDA Approves HPV Vaccine For Men And Women Aged 27 To 45.

The New York Times (10/5, Grady, Hoffman) reported that the Food and Drug Administration has approved the HPV vaccine “for men and women from 27 to 45-years-old.” The article noted that the vaccine “had been previously approved for minors and people up to age 26.” The HPV vaccine “works against the human papillomavirus, HPV, which can also cause genital warts and cancers” including “tumors affecting part of the throat – called oropharyngeal cancers” which are on the rise.

CNN (10/5, Lamotte) reported that Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said, “HPV vaccination prior to becoming infected with the HPV types covered by the vaccine has the potential to prevent more than 90 percent of these cancers, or 31,200 cases every year, from ever developing.”

The Washington Post (10/5, McGinley) reported that the approval “represents an important opportunity to help prevent HPV-related diseases and cancers in a broader age range,” said Dr. Marks.

 

HPV is linked to Oral Cancer and oral cancer is on the rise in the US- we complete a visual inspection for oral cancer at each visit and once a year we use our Velscope machine for a more in depth screening.  This screening is quick and painless!

Consuming Sugary Drinks May Increase Risk For Alzheimer’s Disease, Research Suggests


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Newsweek (7/24, Gander) reports that new research suggests “drinking sugary soda could raise the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.” The article reports that “scientists at Columbia University of New York studied rates of Alzheimer’s disease in older people and found a link between sugary drinks and the neurodegenerative condition,” although “more research is needed to prove whether Alzheimer’s is caused by these drinks.” The findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2018.

Another drink wreaking havoc on teeth is sparkling water like LaCroix.  We are finding higher incidents of cavities in adults who sip these drinks all day.  We would love to discuss your daily soda/sparkling water habits to make sure you don’t get into any trouble- ask us at your next visit and lets discuss!

Diabetes, oral cancer and women

Diabetes-

A new study found that there is an  increased risk of cancer for women with diabetes vs men.

Previous research identified the link between diabetes and cancer risk, but this study looked at whether that risk differs between men and women.

The takeaway: Among people with diabetes, women have a 6 percent higher risk of cancer than men, the researchers said.

And based on the researchers’ analysis of data from 47 studies, diabetics of both sexes are at greater risk of cancer than people without diabetes.

For women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the cancer risk is 27 percent higher compared to other women. And men with diabetes have a 19 percent higher cancer risk than men who don’t have the blood sugar disease, the findings showed.

The researchers also examined specific types of cancer in people with diabetes and found that, compared to men, women have a 15 percent higher risk of leukemia, a 14 percent higher risk of stomach cancer, a 13 percent higher risk of oral cancer, and an 11 percent higher risk of kidney cancer.

But women have a 12 percent lower risk than men for liver cancer, according to the report.

“Further studies are needed to clarify the mechanisms underlying the sex differences in the diabetes-cancer association,” the study authors concluded.

The report, from Toshiaki Ohkuma of the University of New South Wales in Australia and colleagues at the University of Oxford in England, was published July 19 in the journal Diabetologia.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.7 million deaths in 2015. About one in four women and one in three men will develop cancer during their lifetime, the study authors noted in a journal news release.

(excerpts from Health Day July 20, 2018)

Why we don’t use silver fillings


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Since amalgam(silver colored) fillings are not bonded to your teeth, they do not strengthen teeth which have been weakened from the cavity and associated loss of healthy tooth structure. A tooth restored with amalgam does not reinforce your teeth and it is common to see cracks and ultimately fractures of your teeth caused by the way the tooth is wedged with a metal filling between its cusp tips. Also, amalgam fillings require additional removal of healthy tooth structure in order to fit the minimum criteria of depth and size for the amalgam material to perform satisfactorily.

As composites have evolved, they have become the restoration of choice for fillings. In our office, we only use composite restorations for fillings because we can perform a better, more conservative, safer, and more cosmetically pleasing treatment. If placed properly, a composite filling can last longer than amalgam fillings and accomplish conservative treatments not possible with amalgam fillings. Composite fillings only replace the portions of your teeth that have been damaged and no additional reduction of healthy areas of your teeth is required. Additionally, composite restorations are bonded to your teeth. When properly placed with maximum bond strength, the composite restoration can strengthen the weakened tooth.  If you have questions or concerns about your old amalgam filling we would be happy to answer them at your next appointment! Call us NOW to schedule.

Sunflower Seeds and the All Star Game

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It’s All Star Game Time!

The All Star Game will bring out some of the best baseball players to the mound, and I bet you will see lots chewing on sunflower seeds- that can’t be bad right? Wrong! the seed itself is not bad for your choppers—it’s the hull that’s the problem.  With a hard outer shell you are biting through this shell to get to the small hull and that’s where the damage can happen. You can crack a tooth on these shells so best to opt for the hulled seeds to keep yourself from needing any emergency dental work while the all star game is going on!

Better for you Popsicles!

Who doesn’t love popsicles in the summer!  Instead of sticking to the sugar-laden store-bought kind, make your own with yogurt. Dairy can increase pH levels and prevent cavities. All you need is a blender, some yogurt, fruit and ice pop molds to stick in the freezer.  Keep your teeth safer with this recipe and with anything moderation, brushing and flossing are still the key!

2 containers (6 oz each) Yoplait® Original yogurt French vanilla
2 cups cut-up fresh fruit such as blueberries, bananas, cherries, grapes, papaya, peaches, oranges or raspberries
1 tablespoon honey
  • In blender, place all ingredients. Cover; blend until smooth.
  • Divide mixture among 6 (5-oz) paper cups. Cover cups with foil; insert craft stick into center of each pop. (Or fill ice pop molds according to manufacturer’s directions.) Freeze about 6 hours or until frozen. Enjoypopsicles

 

Tooth errosion and GERD

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Stomach acid—with a pH that’s lower than vinegar—that regurgitates into the esophagus and mouth can dissolve tooth enamel and create erosive lesions near the back of the mouth. While many people with GERD recognize it by the uncomfortable heartburn symptoms, some patients only experience GERD while they sleep and may not know they have it. Some patients complain of not sleeping well but do not even realize they are suffering from GERD.  Sometimes while doing your dental exam we see an increased loss of tooth enamel on your back teeth that is unexplained and we may advise you to check with your Doctor to be tested for GERD. Your Docor will prescribe a medication that will help inhibit the production of acid, which will in turn help with your GERD and help to save the enamel on your teeth.  If you have concerns about GERD and the condition of your teeth ask us at your next visit.

Could chewing gum help dectect infections in implants?

gumThe newest addition to your dentist’s grab bag of goodies might soon be gum. European scientists describe the development of a chewing gum that detects oral infections Tuesday in Nature Communications. The tech could prove particularly useful for diseases that present with minimal to no symptoms.
“It’s a great screening tool to help people test their health status easily,” Lorenz Meinel, a pharmacist at the University of Würzburg in Germany and senior author of the study, said.
From cavities to gingivitis, oral infections are widespread — 15 to 20 percent of middle-aged adults have gum disease — especially for people with dental implants. Dental implants stabilize crowns, dentures and bridges. While useful for the 30 percent of people over age 65 without teeth, the implants can become infected with bacteria and cause peri-implant disease. Constant prescription of antibiotics could be used for treatment, but Meinel said the tactic is impractical because peri-implant disease develops over a long timeframe (5 to 10 years). So he pivoted to the underlying problem. People do not often sense pain with dental implants, so infected gums go unnoticed. Meinel needed an alternative way to get patients to sense their illness. Luckily, a mouth comes with one of the best detectors on the planet: the tongue.

The tongue is highly sensitive to taste, and a vigilant monitor of your mouth’s chemistry. With this in mind, Meinel and his team designed a disease-sensing gum that capitalized on taste as its readout.
The taste alarm in the gum is a compound called denatonium — the most bitter substance known. As an evolutionary signpost for poisons, people are particularly sensitive to bitterness. The denatonium is diluted in the gum, but is still awfully bitter, Meinel said.
The researchers attached this denatonium to a biological tripwire — a molecule that gets chopped up by enzymes in the saliva of patients with peri-implant disease.
In healthy saliva, the biological sensor and denatonium are tasteless and do not dissolve. But, if peri-implant disease enzymes are present in the saliva, they chew away the sensor and expose the denatonium and bitter flavor.
To test its effectiveness, Meinel and his team mixed their sensor with saliva from people with peri-implant disease or saliva from asymptomatic patients with at least one dental implant. After only five minutes, peri-implant disease saliva released nearly three times more bitter compound than spit from healthy subjects did.
The researchers tested the bitterness of their chewing gum to see how folks might tolerate the taste. Rather than submit patients to a gross tasting excursion, the team measured the bitterness released by their chewing gum with an electronic tongue. This instrument senses sour, salty, umami and bitter flavors with electronic taste buds and measures the intensity of those flavors too. The researchers found the bitterness released by their chewing gum sensor was less than half (40 percent) that of denatonium alone.
Meinel and his team plan to try the gum in real people soon, but in the meantime, they are working on gum-based sensors for other infections, including ones to distinguish strep throat from sore throats caused by the flu.

 

Sparkling Water Not So Sparkling For Your Teeth!

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We are seeing an increase in adults with cavities forming over a short period of time and many are drinking more sparkling water.  Sparkling water is made by adding carbon dioxide gas to flat water.  This process produces carbonic acid, which is the same stuff found in soda, minus the sugar.  When your teeth are exposed to high amounts of acid, it eats away at enamel and cavities begin to form.  Add more citric flavoring and this adds another layer to the problem.  If you drink these sparkling waters frequently, we suggest rinsing with water after drinking and brushing as well.  If you are concerned about this and have more questions please ask us at your next visit! Now accepting new patients, call now for your appointment. 703-548-8584

Is your highschooler Juuling?

Juul

 

Believe me it is hard to keep up with all the things our kids face on a daily basis!  The other day I was reading one of my dental journals and they were discussing “Juuling”- I had no idea what this was and was surprised to learn it is a new form of vaping.  The problem with “Juuling” is that it typically has twice the amount of nicotine than similar devices.

  • Studies indicate that nicotine does cause recession of the gums. Because it reduces that blood flow that passes through the veins, nicotine helps to deprive the gums of crucial nutrients and oxygen necessary for optimal health. Over time, that can cause gum tissue to wither and die.
  • There is also evidence that nicotine can be a contributing factor in conditions like periodontitis and gingivitis..
  • Dentists have also complained that nicotine delivery via vaping may be masking many of the symptoms that they would otherwise use to identify the presence of gum disease in their patients. That’s due to that reduced flow of blood and the fact that gum disease’s most obvious symptom is the increased presence of blood in the gums. By suppressing that symptom, some patients may not get the early detection they need.
  • Nicotine has also been identified as a muscle stimulant, which can cause teeth grinders to intensify that harmful activity.
  • Although not necessarily relevant to oral hygiene, smoking is obviously related to coughing, known as smokers cough.

Studies are also showing that “Juuling” is more addictive when started at an early age.  We suggest talking to your kids about this new trend and we would be happy to address any concerns you may have- just give us a call!