Category Archives: Uncategorized

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


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.

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!

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!

Patient Appreciation Party- Come Celebrate

Patient Appreciation Party
Patient Appreciation Party

 

Join us Thursday, April 19th from 6pm- 8:30 for our annual Patient Appreciation Party!  This is a night to celebrate you and we have lots of fun things planned for you.  Bring a family member or friend and be eligible to spin our prize wheel-you know we always have good prizes!  We will also have Donnell back doing seated massage again to relax you.  Magic Mike will be back with his card tricks and magic- he is sure to bring you a laugh!  We will have plenty of lite bites and wine for everyone, so don’t miss the party of the year!

Please RSVP by April 16th to 703-548-8584- we look forward to seeing you!

HPV- Men and Oral Cancer- the link

This is a very informative article written by Marie McCullough of Philly News- we think it is well worth the read!

Five years ago, when actor Michael Douglas candidly revealed that his throat cancer was linked to having oral sex, two things happened.

He made headlines that mortified his family. And he helped publicize the fact that a pervasive, sexually transmitted virus called HPV was unleashing an epidemic of oral cancer among men.

Since then, scientists have made headway in figuring out why HPV, the human papillomavirus, has this glaring gender bias. Men are four times more likely than women to be diagnosed with oral cancer, a hard-to-detect, hard-to-treat disease that has overtaken cervical cancer as the most common HPV-related malignancy in the United States.

To be sure, changes in sexual norms over the last few generations have played a role in this alarming trend. But research increasingly shows the real problem is something men have practically no control over: their immune response.

Compared with women, men are more likely to get infected with HPV — including “high-risk” cancer-causing strains. They also are less able to wipe out infection on their own, and more likely to get reinfected. The reasons are unclear.

 

“There is good evidence that men acquire oral infections more readily than women, even if they have similar sex practices,” said Ashish A. Deshmukh, a University of Florida HPV researcher.  “And more than the acquisition, it’s the persistence of the virus. The clearance rate is not that fast in men.”

Michael Becker of Yardley has stepped up as the face of this immunological inequity. The 49-year-old former biotech executive is health-conscious, clean-living, happily married for 26 years – and battling terminal oropharyngeal cancer, the medical term for malignancies in parts of the mouth and throat.

He’s also battling the misconceptions and ignorance that keep too many parents from protecting their pubescent children — especially boys — against HPV-driven cancers. Two shots. That’s all it takes for the leading vaccine, Gardasil, to prevent most cervical cancers, less common genital malignancies, and the disease that is killing Becker.

“I can’t tell you how many emails I got from parents after the CBS segment,” he said, referring to a national television interview last month. “They said, ‘What do you mean this vaccine is for boys?’ and ‘What do you mean oral cancer incidence has eclipsed cervical cancer?’ ”

An inescapable virus

HPV is a family of more than 100 virus types that can live in the flat, thin cells on the surface of the skin, cervix, vagina, anus, vulva, penis, mouth, and throat.

The virus is spread through contact with infected skin, mucous membranes, and bodily fluids. Some types can be passed during intercourse or — as Douglas pointed out — oral sex.

While virtually all sexually active people will get infected at some point, the virus is usually wiped out by the immune system without so much as a symptom.

But not always.

In the cervix, persistent infection with high-risk HPV types can lead to precancerous changes that, left alone, slowly turn malignant. Fortunately, the Pap smear enables the detection and removal of abnormal cells before cancer develops. What’s more, age-related changes in cervical cells reduce the risk that HPV will take hold there as women get older.

No such screening test exists for oropharyngeal sites – the tongue, soft palate, tonsils, the throat behind the nasal cavity – and symptoms usually don’t appear until cancer is advanced. Becker, for example, had metastatic disease by the time he noticed a lump under his jaw line in late 2015.

Traditionally, smoking and heavy alcohol use are the big risk factors for oral cancer, but the non-HPV tumors linked to these bad habits have been declining in recent years.

HPV-related tumors, in contrast, have increased more than 300 percent over the last 20 years. The virus is now found in 70 percent of all new oral cancers.

About 13,200 new HPV oral cancers are diagnosed in U.S. men each year, compared with 3,200 in women, according to federal data. Treatment — surgery, chemotherapy, radiation — can have disfiguring, disabling side effects. About half of late-stage patients die within five years.

Natural defenses go awry

Oral HPV infection rates are skewed by gender, just like the resulting cancers. The latest national estimates of this disparity, published in October, come from Deshmukh and his University of Florida colleagues. They used a federal health survey that collected DNA specimens to estimate that 7.3 percent of men and 1.4 percent of women have oral infections with high-risk HPV types. That translates to 7 million men and 1.4 million women.

The chance of oral infection increases for women as well as men who have simultaneous genital HPV infections or a history of many sex partners, but male infection rates still far surpass female rates.

Patti Gravitt, an HPV researcher at George Washington University, believes these estimates are a bit oversimplified because women counted as uninfected may actually have undetectably low virus levels, or HPV may be hiding in a dormant state in their cells.

Still, Gravitt said the study is in line with others that suggest “men are more susceptible to HPV viral infection than women.”

In women, an HPV infection usually sets off the body’s defense mechanisms. The immune system makes antibodies that kill off the invader, then immune cells remain on guard, ready to attack if the virus reappears.

But in men, something goes awry. The HIM study — for HPV in Men — documented this by collecting genital, anal, and oral samples from 4,100 unvaccinated men in Florida, Mexico and Brazil between 2005 and 2009. The samples were tested for the presence of two high-risk HPV types and two that cause genital warts.

Among 384 men who developed infections during a 24-month period, only 8 percent produced antibodies. But this response rate varied depending on the site of infection; none of the small number of orally infected men produced antibodies.

Rather than putting the immune system on guard and protecting men from the virus, infection sharply increased the chance of getting infected again with the exact same HPV type. And many men who got reinfected were celibate at the time.

 

How could this be? Anna R. Giuliano, the researcher at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., who led the HIM study, said recurring infections may be due to reactivation of dormant virus, or to auto-inoculation – the man spreads infection from one part of his body to another. Or to something else entirely.

While the scientific understanding of this puzzle is evolving, one implication is clear. “HPV vaccination is the only reliable method to ensure immune protection against new HPV infections and subsequent disease in males,” Giuliano and her co-authors declared in a recent paper.

Becker hammers that message – when he is not being hammered by chemotherapy – using his self-published memoir and his blog. This week’s blog gave a shout-out to Sunday’s first-ever International HPV Awareness Day, declared by Giuliano and other members of the International Papillomavirus Society.

Christine Monahan for BioNJ

Michael Becker and his wife, Lorie, joined “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, a two-time cancer survivor, at a recent event.

 

Becker realizes that the novelty of the vaccine, the complexity of HPV, and its link to sex are obstacles to immunization. But he focuses on the life-saving aspect.

“Parents are being asked to vaccinate their 11-year-old child and they can’t imagine 30 or 40 years down the line, it will prevent cancer,” Becker said. “If you don’t know it’s connected to six cancers, you’re not going to care. So it really should be cast as an anti-cancer vaccine.”

Staff writer Marie McCullough with Philly News.com

Can I chew gum?

Many of our patients ask if they can chew gum and the answer is yes, as long as it is one with the ADA seal.  When you are short on time and can’t brush after a meal chewing gum can help to rid teeth of debris by increased salivary flow in the mouth.  There are 2 catches, it must be a sugar free gum that is ADA approved and we recommend chewing no longer than 20-30 minutes.  Why only 20-30 minutes you gum lovers ask- well many times the acting of chewing gum can make issues with TMJ flare up by the increased movement of your jaw.
A company earns the ADA Seal of Acceptance by producing scientific evidence that demonstrates the safety and efficacy of its product, which the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs carefully evaluates according to objective requirements- so chew away, sparingly!orbit