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Do I have to stop chewing gum?

We have many patients ask if they have to stop chewing gum. If you can’t quite give up your love for bubble gum here are some things to keep in mind. And, as always, if you suffer from TMJ issues we never recommend gum chewing as it inflames your jaw muscles.

Which gums should I choose?The best place to start is with whether or not the gum you want has sugar. If it does, it will do more harm than good to your teeth. There are not exceptions. If it is sugar free, the next thing you should look for is the American Dental Association seal of approval. Products only get this seal after they undergo a basic level of scientific scrutiny, so as a consumer you can be sure that your gum does not contain anything that will harm your teeth. However, there are several areas, such as remineralization or the neutralization of acids, for which gum can earn the seal for, so if you are worried about on specific area then you should do a little more research into your chosen brand to see exactly why it earned the ADA seal of approval.

The good effects

When you chew you mouth naturally produces saliva, which is one of the most important factors in keeping your teeth healthy. Saliva is the body’s way of naturally controlling bacteria that are growing on your teeth, and the more of it you have the better off you will be.

Gum has also been shown to trap a small, but significant, number of bacteria as it comes in contact with your teeth. This means that when you spit-out your gum, it will be taking several million bacteria along for the rid.

So chewing can replace brushing and flossing?

Unfortunately, chewing gum alone is not nearly enough to protect your teeth, even if you pick sugar free gum. You still need to brush at least two times a day and make sure to floss at least once. However, popping a piece of dental gum after a meal is a great way to help clean up any of those leftover bits of food that like to hang around and cause trouble.

Gum Disease and Diabetes

A recent study suggests “treating chronic gum inflammation might help people with diabetes control their disease.” The study of 264 people with type 2 diabetes and periodontitis found that “over the course of a year, patients who got intensive periodontal treatment from dentists saw improvements not just in their blood glucose levels but in the health of their kidneys and blood vessels, too.” Study leader Dr. Francesco D’Aiuto said, “While more research is needed to explore the exact mechanisms” by which treating periodontitis can help people with diabetes, “a reduction of systemic inflammation…is the most plausible link.” The findings were published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

As always, we firmly believe that oral health is systematic to the rest of your health. For those of you with diabetes we would love to discuss further with you how we can help you maintain great oral health. Call our office now to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mullaney.

Tennis Pro Nicole Gibbs Oral Cancer Diagnosis

Just this week it was announced that US Tennis Pro Nicole Gibbs was diagnosed with Oral Cancer in a salivary gland. Nicole admitted that this grow had been on the roof of her mouth for many years and she didn’t think anything of it until her Dentist ordered a biopsy and it came back malignant. Oral Cancer is one of those cancers that is not discussed very often but the statistics of those being diagnosed each year continues to rise. Our team checks at each visit for anything suspicious and yearly we conduct a more in-depth Oral Cancer screening with our Velscope machine. The Velscope emits a light that can show anything suspicious under the skin. If we see anything the next step would be to biopsy the area. In our practice we have diagnosed oral cancer. This yearly check is painless and can be so helpful in early detection. This is so important to us! If you ever have any questions about a lump, bump or sore give us a call and we would be happy to schedule you for this Oral Cancer Screening!

Oral Cancer on the rise in the US- Are you being screened?

 

velscope%20cartoonAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) are usually caused by tobacco and alcohol, but recent studies show that about 72 percent of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV.

“There has been significant change in the last decade. The HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer has reached epidemic proportions,” Stenson warns.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 45,780 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer of the oral cavity and oropharynx in 2015.

If this trend continues, the number of cases of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer will surpass the number of cervical cancer cases.

Early detection is key

The HPV vaccine currently in use has been shown to decrease the incidence of cervical infections and cancer associated with the virus. While the same result is anticipated for HPV-associated head and neck cancer, the impact of vaccines on incidence of persistent oral HPV infection and/or HPV associated oropharyngeal cancer has not yet been investigated. Still, head and neck surgeons, medical oncologists and other researchers strongly advocate vaccination of both girls and boys to help prevent all HPV-associated cancers.

“For all individuals, the key is in early detection, as with any cancer,” Stenson observes.

In addition to being vaccinated, Stenson stresses the importance of regular visits to the dentist. “Dentists play a key role in detecting oral cancer,” she says. “You might not see a primary care physician even once a year, but most people see their dentist twice a year. Having regular dental visits can  help catch cancers early to help ensure the best outcome.”

The American Dental Association states that 60 percent of the U.S. population sees a dentist every year.

Oral cancer warning signs

The Oral Cancer Foundation presumes that cancer screenings of the existing patient population would yield tens of thousands of opportunities to catch oral cancer in its early stages.

Possible warning signs of oral cancer may include difficulty swallowing, pain when chewing, a white patch anywhere on the inside of your mouth, a lump or sore in the mouth or on the lip that does not heal. If you notice any of these symptoms, ask your dentist or doctor about it.

Treatment includes surgery for early or low-volume late stage lesions and radiation or chemoradiation for more advanced cancers.

“There is much that can be done for those who are diagnosed with head and neck cancer.  Since early detection and treatment is critical, it’s important to see your dentist regularly and to promptly see a medical professional if there are any warnings signs,” Stenson advises.

We screen all of our patients yearly with the Velscope as well as visual exams at each visit- call us today to schedule your appointment.

Help us help some furbabies!

During the month of April we will be collecting items for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. This great local rescue finds homes for dogs and cats rescued from low-income, rural animal shelters or whose owners can no longer care for them. We will be collecting the following items at our office- please feel free to drop by any donation during our business hours.

Dog Leashes Bath & Beach Towels Cat Litter

Martingale Style Collars High Quality Dog & Cat Food

Laundry and Dish Soap Paper Towels

White Copy Paper #10 Envelopes Postage Stamps

Gas Station Gift Cards Target & WalMart Gift Cards

Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Does Not Prevent Cavities, Study Finds.

 

The AP (8/7, Donn) reported that although the ability of fluoride to help prevent cavities “has been widely accepted for decades,” the “internet is dotted with claims” that “fluoride-free toothpaste also prevents cavities.” However, a recent review published in the journal Gerodontology found that oral hygiene efforts without fluoride do not reduce cavity rates. ADA spokesperson Dr. Matthew Messina said, “The study is important,” adding, “The study is supporting what we’ve been contending for a long time.” The article notes that “the ADA recommends using fluoride toothpastes.” Combining fluoride dental products with fluoridated water offers additional protection, added a professor at New York University.

We suggest Fluoridex toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride as well as sensitivity relief.  We would be happy to discuss the benefits of this toothpaste with you at your next visit!

Yes, you need to floss!

Flossing helps to remove food particles and bacteria from between your teeth and along your gumline. When this bacteria builds up, it forms plaque, a sticky, colorless film that can threaten your oral health by contributing to tooth decay and ginigivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which can then evolve into periodontitis, the full-blown form of this health condition. “Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around your teeth, which will progress to periodontitis, which is inflammation of the gums in combination with bone loss. When left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.

 Bleeding gums, a high rate of cavities, bone loss, and bad breath” are prevalent in people who don’t make flossing a habit.

Here are tips for flossing more effectively:

    • When using traditional floss instead of another type of interdental cleaner, use a long piece around 18 inches so there’s enough clean floss to get in between all your teeth.
    • Tie the floss around your middle finger on both hands and pinch it with your thumbs.
    • Keep the distance between your two hands small and go between each tooth in your mouth. Do this gently to avoid harming your gums.
    • To clean both teeth, make a C shape, hugging one tooth and sliding up and down, then make a C shape around the adjacent tooth and repeat the motion. Don’t forget the back sides of your last teeth!
  • Consider using a mouthwash, such as Therasol, after flossing to rinse your mouth and remove as much bad bacteria as possible.

The bottom line: When combined with brushing your teeth, flossing every day is a great way to keep your mouth healthy.

Is Vaping safer than Smoking?

Vaping

E-cigarettes emerged around 2004-2005 and have become increasingly popular as the “Healthier” alternative to smoking.  Although initial studies showed vaping had far less impact on health compared to smoking things are changing now as there is more long term studies coming out to the contrary.

In 2015, a letter from the New England Journal of Medicine expressed concern over formaldehyde, a toxic compound found in the vapors produced by e-cigarettes. While researchers are still studying its link to cancer, formaldehyde is known to cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.

Irfan Rahman, professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester, led the first study to examine the impact of e-cigarettes on oral health.

“We showed that when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases,” he said.

This year, he was one of the authors of a studythat examined artificial flavors for inducing tissue damage and having a toxic effect on white blood cells, with the worst impact coming from cinnamon, vanilla, and buttery flavored e-juices. There are around 250 harmful chemicals found in traditional cigarettes while the number is significantly reduced in vaping. But the presence of nicotine still poses a threat (particularly risk of heart disease) in its concentrated, e-liquid form.

Another study using mice showed secondhand e-cigarette smoke could compromise the immune system. Thomas Sussan, lead author and an assistant scientist at the Bloomberg School, explained how the exposure to e-cigarette vapor “was followed by a bacterial or viral infection, the harmful effects of e-cigarette exposure became even more pronounced. The e-cigarette exposure inhibited the ability of mice to clear the bacteria from their lungs, and the viral infection led to increased weight loss and death indicative of an impaired immune response.”

In our office we believe more long term studies will show that vaping is not good for your oral care and can cause many problems down the road.

I need a crown and I don’t mean the rhinestone type!


crown

So you have been told you need a crown and you are not even sure what that means- here is a brief description of a crown.

“A crown, sometimes known as dental cap, is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth. ”

Crowns are nothing to be scared of, we make the procedure painless with proper numbing techniques and walking you through each step.  If you have been told you need a crown call us today for your consultation.

crwon gold