Category Archives: Alexandria Dentist

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!

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


amalgamandcomposite

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.

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

gerd

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.

 

Ovi’s Missing Tooth – the story of a Guard!

Ovi teeth

LET’S GO CAPS!!  Another playoff season is upon us in the DC area as the Cap’s battle for the Stanley Cup.  Alex Ovechkin lost his front tooth to a high stick he took in a game against the Atlanta Thrashers in 2007- hopefully no teeth will be lost in this series with any players.  How do these guys protect their teeth, with a sports guard!  Now these guards can’t prevent all accidents but it is the best way to try and keep your teeth safe while playing sports.  Another type of guard that people don’t give much though to is a night guard.  So many of us in the area have stressful jobs, horrible commutes etc and were does this stress come out- night time grinding of your teeth.  Most people don’t even know they are grinding at night, some people have symptoms of jaw pain or headaches when they wake up in the morning but don’t really know why.  We can see many signs of grinding when you come in for your visits.  A guard made specifically for night time grinding is a must if you want to save your teeth from this wear, just like athletes use them to save their teeth from sports accidents.  We would be happy to review the benefits of our guard at your next visit!  Call us NOW for an appointment- 703-548-8584- you will be glad you did and so will your teeth!

Diabetes and Your Smile

 

Blood sugar monitor for someone with diabetes

By Laura Martin, Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine

Did you know that 29.1 million people living in the United States have diabetes? That’s 9.3% of the population. Approximately 1.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year—and 8.1 million people living with diabetes don’t even know they have it.

Diabetes affects your body’s ability to process sugar. All food you eat is turned to sugar and used for energy. In Type I diabetes, the body doesn’t make enough insulin, a hormone that carries sugar from your blood to the cells that need it for energy. In Type II diabetes, the body stops responding to insulin. Both cases result in high blood sugar levels, which can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body.

So what does this have to do with that smile of yours — and how can you protect it? First, it’s important to understand the signs of diabetes and the roles they play in your mouth.

The Symptoms of Untreated Diabetes

The warning signs of diabetes affect every part of your body. After a blood test, you may be told by a doctor that you have high blood sugar. You may feel excessively thirsty or have to urinate a lot. Weight loss and fatigue are other common symptoms. Diabetes can also cause you to lose consciousness if your blood sugar falls too low.

If diabetes is left untreated, it can take a toll on your mouth as well. Here’s how:

  • You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. (Dry mouth is also caused by certain medications.)
  • Because saliva protects your teeth, you’re also at a higher risk of cavities.
  • Gums may become inflamed and bleed often (gingivitis).
  • You may have problems tasting food.
  • You may experience delayed wound healing.
  • You may be susceptible to infections inside of your mouth.
  • For children with diabetes, teeth may erupt at an age earlier than is typical.

Why People with Diabetes Are More Prone to Gum Disease

All people have more tiny bacteria living in their mouth now than there are people on this planet. If they make their home in your gums, you can end up with periodontal disease. This chronic, inflammatory disease can destroy your gums, all the tissues holding your teeth and even your bones.

Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes, affecting nearly 22% of those diagnosed. Especially with increasing age, poor blood sugar control increases the risk for gum problems.  In fact, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum problems because of poor blood sugar control. As with all infections, serious gum disease may cause blood sugar to rise. This makes diabetes harder to control because you are more susceptible to infections and are less able to fight the bacteria invading the gums.

How Your Dentist Can Help You Fight Diabetes

Regular dental visits are important. Research suggests that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing the progression of the disease. Practicing good oral hygiene and having professional deep cleanings done by your dentist can help to lower your HbA1c. (This is a lab test that shows your average level of blood sugar over the previous three months. It indicates how well you are controlling your diabetes.)

Your Diabetes Dental Health Action Plan

Teamwork involving self-care and professional care from your dentist will be beneficial in keeping your healthy smile as well as potentially slowing progression of diabetes. Here are five oral health-related things you can do to for optimal wellness:

Download this helpful infographic to learn more:

 

This article is reposted from the ADA

2016 Patient Appreciation Party

May 5th was our 2nd Annual Patient Appreciation Party.  This evening is for our patients, a way of saying thank you for your continued support and referrals to our office.  This year we offered our patients mini-massages from Dr. Ginger Lowe and  health assessments from Ellen Reilly of Sport and Health.   Our patients were treated to catering from Bittersweet Café and fabulous wine.  Door prizes include a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card, $150.00 Bottle of Italian Wine and a $600 In-Office Whitening, each guest also left with a SWAG full of goodies to include a pocket mirror, emergency cell phone charger, a full size tube of Flouridex Toothpaste ,event only saving coupons, and a coupon for Duchess M Boutique.  We had so much fun and we look forward to next year’s  event!

Here are a few photos from the evening!

_DSC6284_DSC6179_DSC6306_DSC6151_DSC6188_DSC6211

Whoops, I got off track….

Busy Woman

The kids summer camps, your nephew’s wedding, the roof that was leaking…it happens to us all at one point and time, too many things going on and we skip dental visits.  Now is the perfect time to get back on track with your dental visits!

People who stay on track with their cleanings are more likely to have less work that needs to be done and small cavities are detected before they get too large.

What happens when you miss cleanings?

Tartar develops at the gumline of your teeth and builds up until it is professionally cleaned.

Usually everyone should be seen every 3 to 6 months depending on how many restorations they have or how fast they build tartar.

If either are a concern, then you are more than likely a candidate for a 3 month cleaning.

What do you do in the mean time to keep teeth clean?

The best toothbrush on the market right now is a Sonicare toothbrush.  This electric toothbrush rotates in ways that a manual toothbrush can not and gets under the gums at angles that we usually can not.  We carry Sonicare in our office and we would love to show you how great it is at your next visit!

Flossing is extremely important in between cleanings as well.

So yes, we all get busy, but it’s never too late to get back on track!  Call us now to schedule your next cleaning!