Periodontal disease has been found to be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. According to a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association of Cancer research, postmenopausal women with periodontal disease, were more likely to develop breast cancer than women without periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a dental disease characterized by red and bleeding gums and loss of the connective tissue and bone that support teeth. When periodontal disease progresses it results in tooth loss.
The study monitored 73,737 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. None of the patients previously had breast cancer. Periodontal disease was reported in 26% of the women. After a 6.7 year follow up, the risk of breast cancer was 14% higher in women who had periodontal disease. Among women who had quit smoking in the past 20 years and had periodontal disease, there was a 36% higher risk of breast cancer.
There are several suspected links between periodontal disease and breast cancer. As with diabetes and cardiovascular disease, there is a level of systemic inflammation from periodontal disease that can cause effects all over the body. Another possibility is that bacteria from the mouth enter the bloodstream and affect the breast tissue. More research is needed to determine the exact links, but this study further raises awareness to the importance of preventing and treating periodontal disease.
Bruxism is the grinding of teeth and/or clenching of the jaw. Bruxism is considered a parafunctional habit because it is not a normal healthy function. Prevalence of bruxism has been estimated to be up to 30% of the population. Some of the consequences of bruxism include excessive wear of teeth, sensitivity of teeth, damage to dental work, jaw pain, and headaches. Bruxism can occur during the day or while sleeping. Here is an interesting article relating bruxism to the stresses of living in New York City.
When patients tell us they have dental phobia, or fear of the dentist, there is often a dental event in their past that was traumatic. Perhaps as a child they had a scary needle encounter or a dentist who wasn't very kind. Some patients have such powerful memories that they can't even book an appointment without fear. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people have fear of the dentist. The good news is that there are ways to manage dental fear and anxiety. The first step is for patients to clearly communicate to the dental staff what it is they are afraid of. Is it the needle? The sound of the dental drill? The more detail the dental team has, the more effectively a plan of action can be made. We try to give patients as much control as possible. Whether that means raising their hand to signal a break is needed or holding onto a suction. Other techniques include:
The Los Angeles Times published an article recently about breaking common daily bad habits. One of the 4 tips was how to prevent harm caused by nail biting. Nail biting is one of the most common nervous habits and can be very difficult to quit. An old remedy is to paint a bitter coating on the nails. A weekly manicure can be a deterrent to nail biting for some people. In addition to nail biting, other teeth related habits include biting cheeks, pencils, or clenching and grinding. Anxiety can usually explain why people have any of these habits. Grinding and clenching sometimes increase when patients take SSRI medications, which are typically given for depression and ADHD.
Grinding, clenching, and biting can have long-term effects on the teeth including excessive wear, fractures, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems. As an alternative to chewing on objects, try chewing sugarless gum. For grinding, a dental appliance made by your dentist can be made that is worn at night to protect your teeth and TMJ.
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is the virus that causes cold sores around the mouth. It is present in more than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Most people catch the virus in childhood and then get recurrent exacerbations. Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is most often associated with genital infections.
"We really need to accelerate the development of vaccines against herpes simplex virus, and if a vaccine designed to prevent HSV-2 infection also prevented HSV-1, it would have far-reaching benefits," said Sami Gottlieb, a WHO medical officer.
In North American adults, the seroprevalence of HSV-1 is about 80%, while the seroprevalence for HSV-2 is about 20%. The primary infection of HSV-1 is usually in childhood and the oral findings can affect anywhere in the mouth or lips. The onset is sudden and there can be a fever and painful ulcers. The symptoms usually resolve within 14 days, but it is contagious in the meantime.
In recurrent herpes infections in the mouth, patients can often sense that an outbreak is about to occur. Sometimes they feel a buzz, tingle, or electric sensation. The recurrent outbreaks usually occur on the lips.
What are the treatments? Antiviral therapy helps symptoms if it is prescribed early. If patients present several days into the illness, antivirals will not help much with the symptoms but will help stop the spread of the virus.
The Wall Street Journal (10/19, Woo, Subscription Publication) reports that New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell is among the increasing number of adults seeking orthodontic treatments. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, more than 1.2 million adults received orthodontic treatment in 2012, up 39 percent from 1996, and compared to 4.65 million patients age 17 and younger who received treatment during the same year. The Journal points out that according to an American Dental Association survey of dental fees from 2013, adult braces generally cost from $4,800 to $7,135.
One thing that may go overlooked during the crazy first year of parenthood is the first dental visit. Getting off on the right foot with excellent dental care will help ensure a lifetime of oral health. So when should the first dentist appointment be for your baby? The answer is between 6 months and 1 year, or when the teeth first start to erupt. Believe it or not, a baby's primary teeth (baby teeth) are already present in the jaws at birth. The first teeth to erupt are the central incisors in the lower jaw at around 6 to 10 months. Next, the front four teeth of the upper jaw erupt, followed by the lateral incisors in the lower jaw. Of course, it is natural for there to be some variability.
It is very important to establish a dental home for your child. Your dentist will provide instruction on oral hygiene and will acquire an assessment on the risks for childhood cavities. It's also very important to identify problems with tooth eruption and jaw growth early on.
Dry mouth is a common complaint among seniors. Dry mouth is especially common for those on several medications. Having a dry mouth not only makes chewing and speaking more difficult, but it increases the risk for tooth decay. The American Dental Association (ADA) has several recommendations:
Your dentist may recommend a fluoride supplement to protect against tooth decay. Prescription medication to increase salivary flow is also a possibility.
Source: US News
Where did our tooth enamel originate from? Scientists now believe tooth enamel, the hard white structure that makes up the outer surface of teeth, comes from the scales of ancient fish that lived more than 400 million years ago.
Enamel is the hardest substance in the body. Dentin is the tooth structure underneath the enamel that is similar in composition to bone. Interestingly, enamel was coated on the scales of two primitive bony fish from the Silurian Period. The enamel was probably used as a protective tissue. These primitive fish did not have enamel on their teeth so it was not until later on this trait was expressed.
Coffee is certainly a controversial beverage. There seems to be evidence that coffee can lower risk of stroke, improve diabetes, and lower stress. A study by the Journal of Conservative Dentistry showed that people who drink coffee have a lower prevalence of cavities than those who do not. However, these coffee drinkers drank the coffee black. When sugar and other additives are added to the coffee, the prevalence of cavities goes up.
What makes coffee a cavity fighter? Perhaps it is the antibacterial properties against the bacteria that cause cavities. Little is known at this point, but as long as the coffee is without milk and sugar it may actually fight decay!
Doctors in Miami, FL have used a tooth to restore sight to a blind woman. The procedure is officially called modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis (MOOKP), and it's the first time this procedure has ever been accomplished in the U.S. Dr. Yoh Sawatari extracted one of the patient's teeth and prepared an implant of her own dental tissue for her eye. By using her natural tissue there is less chance of an immune reaction. Doctors used part of the cheek to recreate the tissue around the pupil. The tooth had a hole drilled through it to support a prosthetic lens.
OOKP is more common in Europe than it is in America. Nevertheless this is a fascinating story!
Dental implants are currently the best option for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants integrate (fuse) with bone due to the titanium structure. Unlike complete dentures or a removable partial denture, dental implants allow for prosthetic teeth that are extremely stable even when chewing sticky and hard foods.
When can patients get dental implants? In some situations, such as after the extraction of a tooth near the front of the mouth, an implant can be placed immediately after extraction. In other situations, such as in a molar or when there is an infection in the bone, the bone must heal for weeks to months prior to implant placement.
Dental implants can be used to replace 1 tooth or to replace all teeth. Some patients may prefer one dental implant for each crown. In other situations, 2-4 implants per arch can be used to support an entire denture or bridge. An implant over-denture is a conventional denture that has been modified to attach firmly into 2-4 implants. Another fantastic option for patients is a hybrid denture, which is a beautiful looking prosthesis which is fixed to 4 implants. This treatment option is also known as "All-on-four."
Patients who already have dentures can have unbelievable success and comfort after implants that attach to the denture. Patients with a mission tooth in an aesthetic area can greatly benefit from a single implant. For more information, schedule a consult appointment with Dr. Pearl to review all of your treatment options.
From Yahoo! News- First off, why do teeth stain? The color of teeth darkens with age, from food and drinks such as coffee and tea, and from cavities. In-office and take-home teeth whitening are designed to work against stain caused by age and diet. The 2 types of whiteners are surface whiteners and bleaches. Surface whiteners include whitening toothpaste or gum. These products use abrasives on the teeth to remove stain.
Bleaches are the preferred method for whitening and should be administered under a dentist's care. Bleaching products can be offered in one dose at the dentist office or several doses at home. Many over the counter products work very well, but they are lower doses of bleach than offered in the dental office.
You should definitely talk to your dentist if you are interested in whitening because whitening may not be recommended due to tooth sensitivity, cavities, or your dentist may simply recommend a whitening product you did not know about. Remember to limit your intake of drinks that stain teeth after whitening to prolong your beautiful results.
University of Florida College of Dentistry researchers are creating a sports mouth guard that could revolutionize sports. Sensors in the mouth guard can measure heart rate, saliva, and body temperature. The mouth guard also has gyroscopes to measure collisions. Data can be read on the athlete's smart phone. The researchers hope to have a version to show at next year's Consumer Electronics Show.
A recent CBS online article highlighted 8 tips for a healthy transition back to school. One of the tips was to get a dental check-up. "According to the CDC, tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions among children and results in a staggering number of missed school days. Good oral hygiene is an important part a child's overall health." For most children we recommend 2 check-ups per year at our office. August is a great time to make an appointment for a check-up before the busy school year starts up again. In addition, keep in mind we make custom mouthguards for athletic use.
About 80% of American adults have some form of gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis). Let's review the more serious disease, periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a disease of the gums and bone around teeth. When plaque accumulates along the gum line, the gums get inflamed and red. This is called gingivitis. If the plaque does not get removed, the condition can progress to periodontitis.
Plaque and calculus (hardened plaque) harbor bacteria that result in inflammation and destruction of the bone and tissues that attach to teeth. If the disease progresses enough the teeth will have no support and become mobile or fall out.
Periodontal disease is associated with higher inflammation levels all over the body. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are especially related to periodontitis.
We use scaling and root planing (deep clean), lasers, medications, and surgery to treat periodontitis. Most importantly, patients must maintain excellent home care and visit us for your periodic cleanings.
This information was provided in part by the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Gary Pearl is an Academy of General Dentistry Master.
Italian scientists have discovered that ancient humans were performing dentistry 14,000 years ago, 5,000 years earlier than originally thought. It is believed the early dentists used sharpened flint to remove cavities. Quite surprisingly, it was known even thousands of years ago the importance of treating an infected tooth!
From The Telegraph
If you ever meet a dentist who says all wisdom teeth must be extracted, proceed cautiously! Let's review situations in which third molars (wisdom teeth) should be extracted.
First, some background information. The average age for completion of eruption of wisdom teeth is 20 years, but eruption can continue to age 25 years in some patients. When the wisdom teeth in the lower jaw are forming they are laying horizontally and as the jaw grows the teeth naturally become upright. Failure of the tooth to rotate upward is the most common cause of impaction. The next most common cause is if the front to back space in the jaw is inadequate for the size of the tooth. Some males who are growing into their early 20's may have teeth that upright at age 25. Early removal of wisdom teeth reduces postoperative complications and allows for the best healing. Young patients recover faster and with less pain. So, what are some situations in which wisdom teeth should be removed?
Wisdom teeth that are causing pain or difficulty cleaning surely need a thorough examination. While there are good reasons for the removal of some wisdom teeth, remember, many patients can keep all 32 of their teeth. Talk to your dentist about the condition and development of your wisdom teeth. The best x-ray to view the status of all 4 wisdom teeth is the panorex.
Bad breath (halitosis) is experienced by up to 20% of the population. While bad breath can be caused by a systemic condition, this post will focus on intraoral causes. The tongue, especially the back of the tongue, is the most common location for mouth related halitosis. Bacteria on the tongue produce compounds with a foul odor. A periodontal infection or abscess can also be a cause for bad breath. Some tips to prevent bad breath include, brushing and flossing after every meal, brushing the tongue, rinsing with mouth wash, drinking water to keep the mouth moist, chewing sugarless gum, and maintaining a proper diet to naturally debride the tongue.
A new survey from Delta Dental shows that about 43% of pregnant women in the US aren't visiting the dentist. Pregnant women should visit the dentist for routine examinations, cleanings, and for any pain or changes in the mouth. Hormone changes during pregnancy can result in swollen or painful gums that can bleed. Special attention should be paid to brushing and flossing to help prevent inflammation of the gums. A dental infection should be treated ASAP and not delayed until after childbirth because the infection can be harmful to the baby. Infection treatment will be beneficial to mom and the baby even if X-rays are needed. However, routine X-rays should be delayed until after pregnancy.
The New York Times "Ask Well" section discussed the order of brushing and flossing. Some dentists recommend flossing first because it is less enjoyable and more likely to be skipped. However, if you brush first, floss can guide the fluoride in toothpaste between your teeth. Flossing is important because it removes debris the brush bristles cannot reach- between teeth and under gums. Removing the debris prevents inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). Patients who floss have less gum bleeding on brushing and flossing. As for technique, the American Dental Association recommends guiding the floss along the curve of the gum line at the base of each tooth and up and down between teeth.
HealthDay reported that research published in Dentistry shows that treating gum disease may help reduce symptoms of prostate inflammation. Prostatitis can make urination difficult and mimic symptoms of an enlarged prostate. The link between periodontitis and prostatitis is the increased level of systemic inflammation in periodontal disease. Men who received treatment for gum disease had improved prostate symptoms (21 out of 27). There are also associations between gum disease and premature births, cardiovascular disease, and lung disease.
CNBC posted a press release describing how the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists believes the dental office is a logical place to be screened for diabetes. Patients tend to visit their dentist more often than their physician so getting screened for diabetes at the dental office is innovative and convenient. The main goal is prevention. There are 29 million Americans with diabetes, of whom 8.1 million are undiagnosed. While diabetes screening in the dental office is not currently mainstream, it may soon become part of the comprehensive care provided by the inter-professional healthcare team of the 21st century.