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Archive for June, 2013
Kimberly Harms, DDS, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association, breaks down the source of this common nuisance.
A canker sore is a little ulcer in the protective lining of your mouth. Unlike cold sores, which are caused by the herpes virus, canker sores are not the result of viral or bacterial infections and are not contagious. They’re auto-immune, which means that your body is basically attacking itself.
Ulcer is a catch-all term for any hole in a bodily membrane. In the case of canker sores, the top layer of epithelial cells gets worn away, exposing the blood vessels and sensitive nerves underneath. Think of it like a blister with its outer dome dissolved.
Though they know the immune system is responsible for creating these sores, doctors don’t understand what starts the reaction in the first place. They have their suspects. Munching into a sharp tortilla chip, the edges of broken teeth, braces and hard toothbrush bristles (always buy soft!) can cut the inside of your mouth, becoming the site of a painful sore. Acidic, citrusy, and spicy foods might be triggers, and if you already have a sore, these foods can make it worse.
Theories suggest that canker sores might stem from allergic reactions to naturally-occurring oral bacteria, or sensitivity to the sulfate in toothpaste. Vitamin B12 deficiencies and gastrointestinal issues like Crohn’s and Celiac disease could also play a role. And then there’s stress, which might cause canker sores by compromising your immune system.
Canker sores are temporary and usually last a week or two. (If a sore sticks around longer than that, see a doctor; oral cancer looks similar.) Look for patterns — do you get canker sores after drinking lemonade or eating Indian food? — and try to cut out the trigger. Once you’ve got a sore, avoid hot, spicy or acidic foods, which can irritate it further and hurt like heck. Rinsing with warm salt water helps reduce swelling and promotes healing. In the meantime you can get an over-the-counter topical numbing agent at your drugstore to ease the pain.
National Smile Month is the UK’s largest oral health campaign. This year it kicks off on 20 May and finishes on 20 June. Right at the heart of it you’ll find three key messages that can go a long way to improving oral health. They are:
Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste.
Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
Visit the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend
Sounds simple? You’d think so, but there’s evidence to suggest not everyone keeps to these three most basic of messages. National Smile Month is a great opportunity for those who don’t to take stock of their oral health habits, and a great opportunity for those who do to pass the message onto others.
Organized by the British Dental Health Foundation, National Smile Month was established in 1976. Now into its 37th year, the campaign has helped to change the oral health landscape of the UK.
The proportion of the population with no natural teeth in England, Northern Ireland and Wales has fallen to just six per cent in 2009. In 1978, the figure was as high as 37 per cent in Wales.
The majority of adults (71 per cent) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are now free of visible dental decay on the surfaces of their teeth.
In 2009, two thirds (66.6 per cent) of children aged 12 were found to be free of visible dental decay. In 1973, this figure was less than 10 per cent.
It’s not all smiles, however. Research has shown oral health problems persist, with many people overlooking the value of good oral health.
More than a third of adults are likely to delay dental treatment due to cost
More than half of the UK workforce isn’t allowed to take paid leave off work to visit their dentist
60 per cent of people aged 65 and over regret not looking after their teeth earlier in life.
In 2013 National Smile Month has once again teamed up with three giants of oral healthcare to deliver a campaign to remember. We are delighted to stand alongside Wrigley, Oral-B and Listerine who are helping to make everyone smile in 2013 with their generous charitable support. Getting involved in the campaign couldn’t be simpler – submit your interest in taking part and we’ll send you lots of great information, including five free smileys on a first-come first-serve basis!
If your child needs a cleaning or to see the dentist before school in August, please make your appointments now. We want to ensure a time that works for you and is such that your child need not miss any school. Call 937-427-1749
The March 28 episode of “The Dr. Oz Show” contained a segment that portrayed dental amalgam, or silver-colored fillings, as a health risk.
The American Dental Association wants you to know that not one credible scientific study supports the claims made on the show. The show also ignored that major U.S. and international health and scientific organizations, including the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and the ADA, all agree that, based on extensive scientific evidence, dental amalgam is safe and effective for patients.
Dental amalgam is one of several safe and effective choices available to dental patients. It is a durable, cost-effective, long-lasting filling material, making it appropriate for restoring back teeth, and more affordable than gold or tooth-colored fillings made of composite resins.
Ultimately, the best dental filling is no dental filling. Prevention is the best medicine. You can dramatically decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases simply by brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste; flossing daily; eating a balanced diet; and visiting the dentist regularly.
For more information on dental amalgam, please read the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs statement. The Mayo Clinic, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Alzheimer’s Association have previously posted public statements about the safety of amalgam based on scientific evidence.
A study published in Cancer, the peer-viewed journal of the American Cancer Society, found that people diagnosed with meningioma, a generally non-cancerous tumor, are more likely to report that they’ve received certain types of dental X-rays in the past.
There are several important things to understand about this study:
This finding doesn’t mean that dental X-rays cause these tumors; much more research is needed.
The results rely on the individuals’ memories of having dental X-rays taken years earlier. The ability to recall information is often imperfect. Therefore, the results of studies that use this design can be unreliable because they are affected by what scientists call “recall bias.”
The study acknowledges that some of the subjects received dental X-rays decades ago when radiation exposure was greater. Radiation doses were higher in the past due to the use of old X-ray technology and slower speed film.
The American Dental Association’s long-standing position is that dentists should order dental X-rays for patients only when necessary for diagnosis and treatment. Since 1989, the ADA has published recommendations to help dentists ensure that radiation exposure is as low as reasonably achievable. As precautions against radiation, ADA encourages the use of abdominal shielding (e.g., protective aprons) and thyroid collars on all patients. In addition, the ADA recommends that dentists use E or F speed film, the two fastest film speeds available, or a digital X -ray.
Dental X-rays are a valuable part of detecting oral health problems at an early stage. Many oral diseases can’t be detected with a physical examination alone. Dental X-rays help provide information about a patient’s oral health such as early-stage cavities, gum diseases, infections and some types of tumors. How often dental X-rays should be taken depends on the patient’s oral health condition, age, risk for disease and any signs and symptoms of oral disease that the patient might be experiencing. If you have concerns the ADA encourages you to talk to your dentist, but eliminating X-rays altogether could be detrimental to your oral health.