Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Study: Drinking Coffee May Reduce Your Risk Of Oral Cancer

Although this idea is still being researched and is yet to be confirmed, the study is appearing to be promising.

A brief on oral cancer:

People who use tobacco or alcohol are naturally at a higher risk of developing oral/pharyngeal or mouth cancer.  People who have HPV (human papillomavirus) are also at a high risk as recent studies have shown. Oral cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages due to the fact that the symptoms can easily be mistaken as something else.  Common symptoms include mouth sores that don't seem to heal, or pain that will not go away.

Where coffee comes in:

There have been many studies over the years linking coffee to a reduced risk of mouth cancer.  The study which brings us here today actually began in 1982.  Nearly 1 million people took part, submitting their health and lifestyle information, including their tea and coffee intake.  When the study began, all participants were cancer free.  After nearly 30 years of monitoring and follow up, the results of the study were astonishing.  Out of the near million people who participated, 868 people died from oral/pharyngeal or mouth cancer.  When the relation to these deaths with coffee and tea consumption was analyzed, it was found that participants who reported drinking 4 or more cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 49% reduced risk of death from oral cancer than those who reported drinking less or only having an occasional cup.  Gender, alcohol and tobacco were not a factor.  The link to decaffeinated coffee was insignificant and the link to tea drinkers was non-existent.

What that means now:

While we would all love to believe that coffee is the cure for oral cancer, unfortunately, more research needs to be done.  There are many factors that would need to be considered before they can determine coffee as a guaranteed treatment.  There are also many other types of cancers, this study only focused on one.  So, for now, myself and my fellow coffee drinkers can simply feel a little bit better about our consumption.  As more research and studies unfold, however, I imagine we can expect to see a breakthrough on this idea soon.

Until then, Cheers to coffee!

This information was gathered from an online article.  To read the original article in full, please click HERE.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

How well do you know your doctor?

I was reading a news article the other day about a dentist in Texas who allegedly, while under the influence of alcohol, botched a surgical procedure on a woman.  Lawsuits are pending.

This is incredibly disturbing when you think about how many people get treatment every day from doctors they know nothing about.  How many times have you picked a random doctor off of your insurance list?  I know I have done it, figuring that if my insurance lists them, they must be good enough.  They have a degree and a license to practice so it must be safe. And for some, it might be, but unfortunately, it is still an incredible risk to take.

Most people aren't even aware that you CAN research any doctor with a license.  Information such as where they went to school, when they graduated, complaints, infractions, etc. can be obtained for the general public.  It's as simple as a Google.com search for your local dental or medical board.

Such a simple step could have changed everything for that poor woman.

When it comes to your health, you can never be too careful!  Whatever you do, whether it be dentist, doctors or surgeons, ALWAYS KNOW who is working on you!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dental Sealants 101


What is a dental sealant?
A dental sealant is a thin, white, plastic coating used on the surfaces of your teeth (molars specifically) to help prevent tooth decay.  The procedure is painless and only takes a few minutes.  

How do they work?
Just how it sounds!  The sealant is applied to the molar surface which allows a light, but powerful protective coating to seal in the tiny cracks and crevices that could potentially trap food and bacteria, which could lead to tooth decay and other long-term problems.

When should I consider getting  them?
Most dentists suggest applying sealants as an extra measure in preventive care early on as your adult teeth grow in.  Because most tooth decay in teens and children are found in this area, the earlier you get them, the better.

Do all teeth need sealants?
No, just molars.  Molars are far more vulnerable to tooth decay because they are designed for chewing.  The rest of your teeth are shaped and designed for their specific purpose and sealants just simply aren’t needed.

How long do they last?
The average life of a sealant is anywhere between 5-10 years.  Over time, they can wear down or chip, at which point, they should be reapplied.

Does this mean I won’t get cavities at all?
Definitely not.   While they do offer a strong layer of protection, they are not designed to replace your daily dental maintenance.  They protect, they do not prevent.  Maintaining healthy dental habits will better allow the sealant to do what it is supposed to.

Does my regular dentist do them?
Yes, a general dentist should be able to do it, or the hygienist.  A specialist is not necessary.

Are they covered by insurance?
Because it is considered a preventive procedure, most insurances and dental plans cover sealants at 100%.  Obviously this will vary, so be sure to check with your provider beforehand.  

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Dental Myths - Fact or Fiction?

Myth: White teeth are healthier teeth?
Fact: White teeth my look prettier, but teeth are not meant to be pure white. Brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste, flossing and avoiding food/drinks that will stain your teeth will help you keep your teeth white as possible.

Myth: Baby Toothpaste is better for young children?
Fact: Some baby toothpaste does not have enough fluoride in them to prevent tooth decay.

Myth: Only sugar in sweets are bad for my teeth?
Fact: Yes sugar in the sweets are bad for your teeth and over all health but dried fruits, juices, honey have all natural sugars that can cause tooth decay a well. Limit your intake of foods with sugar and brush your teeth twice a day.

Myth: There's no need to brush baby teeth?
Fact: Even though the child will lose these teeth, they still need to be brushes. This will also help establish good habits.

Myth: Bad breath is only caused by not brushing your teeth?
Fact:  Most cases of halitosis (bad breath) are caused by bad oral hygiene.

If you have any dental questions or concerns ask your dentist!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What To Do If A Tooth Is Knocked Out

It doesn't take much to knock out an adult tooth.  Even the slightest bump can dislodge a healthy tooth. The first thing to know if this happens is that you should ALWAYS consult with a dentist as soon as the accident happens! In the event that a dentist is not readily available, such as a weekend or holiday, make a trip to the ER! Many people, especially adults will wait till the next day or later thinking that the tooth can be restored as long as they have it.  Not true!  There is a very small window of time for a tooth to be successfully replanted, whether in a child's or an adult mouth, and even then there is a risk of rejection. (Note: Baby teeth are generally not replanted.)

Here are some suggestions to help preserve a tooth while on the way to a dentist (again, directly after the accident happens!) 
     1. If you can find the tooth, make sure it is intact and rinse it with milk or saline. Do not use water!
     2. Do not scrub or touch the root of the tooth.  Just immerse it in milk to clean it.
     2. Make sure it is free of debris and try to place the tooth back in the mouth. 
     3. If this cannot be done, put the tooth in a few tablespoons of milk and head directly to a dentist or the ER

There are many success stories about replanted teeth.  One should always try to preserve the tooth...especially in a child or young adult, as implants and bridges are not always desirable or even possible in their developing mouths. 

Keep Smiling! 


        

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Caring For Childrens Teeth

From brushing their first tooth to their first dental appointment, here is how to take care of your children's teeth.

  • It's never to early to start brushing, brush your baby's gum with a soft toothbrush.
  • As soon as their first tooth appears start brushing it with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Children under the age of three should only have a smear of toothpaste on their toothbrush. Children between the ages three and six should get a pea sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Brush your children's teeth for at least two minutes, two times a day.
  • Children between the ages seven and eight should be brushing their teeth on their own with supervision.
  • Make sure your child does not eat or shallow the toothpaste
Making sure they brush properly:

  • Gide your child's had to show them the correct movement.
  • Use a mirror to show them where they are brushing.
  • Set a timer, so they know how long to brush.

Take you child to thee dentist when they are young, this is so they become comfortable at the dentist. This will also help detect any problems at an early stage.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fear Of The Dentisit?

Dentophobia, also known as fear of the dentist. Did you know one in four people fear going to the dentist?

Having a fear of the dentist can mean different thing to different people. Maybe it's the thought that it will hurt, the sounds, the smell, or even previous bad experiences.

If you are anxious about seeing the dentist here are 8 tips to ease your dental fear:

  1. Find a dentist that you feel comfortable with. Ask a friend or a family member for recommendations.
  2. Once you found your dentist, call and make an appointment to walk through the office, meet the staff and get a feel of the environment.
  3. Pick an early morning time, less time to think about the visit.
  4. Take a friend or family member with you.
  5. First appointments are usually check ups.
  6. Agree with a sign, so the dentist knows when you need a break.
  7. Start with simple procedures and work your way up to more difficult procedures.
  8. Take your ipod with you to drown out the noise.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Tips For Healthy Teeth

Key to having a great smile is taking care of your teeth and general health.

You can achieve a great smile by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and going to your regular check-ups. But did you know a unhealthy diet, smoking and drinking have the same effect on your dental health as it does on your general health?

A healthy diet:
Did you know, what you eat and drink can cause tooth decay? This is why a healthy diet is important to your teeth. A healthy diet contains fruits and veggies, small amount of starchy foods, protein and some dairy foods.

Sugar:
Do you drink and eat sugary things all day long? This can lead to tooth decay. Try and limit the amount of sugar you eat and drink per day to help prevent tooth decay.

Alcohol:
Alcohol erodes the enamel on your teeth which can lead to tooth decay. Heavy drinking can also lead to mouth cancer.

Smoking:
Smoking turns your teeth yellow, causes bad breath, increases your risk of gum disease, breathing problems and mouth cancer. This is preventing you from a healthy smile! Giving up smoking will make you feel and look better.

Here are some tips to achieve a healthy smile!