Saturday, August 11, 2018
02 Aug 2018 Dentistry Today
Tobacco remains a leading cause of oral cancer. But the market is evolving with increased usage of non-cigarette tobacco products, which often are touted as safer alternatives, and the dual use of multiple product types. So, researchers at the University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry and School of Medicine are evaluating exposure to known carcinogens according to recent use of different tobacco product types, alone or in combination.
The researchers analyzed data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health, which includes a sample of adults in the United States who provided urine specimens for analysis of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) N’-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), a known oral and esophageal carcinogen, 4-(methynitrosamino)-1-(3)-pyridyle-1-butanol (NNAL), a metabolite of lung carcinogen (NNK), and total nicotine equivalents.
Participants were categorized according to the use of combustible, which includes cigarettes, cigars, water pipes, pipes, blunts or marijuana-containing cigars, and smokeless, which includes moist snuff, chewing tobacco and snus, e-cigarettes, and nicotine replacement products. For each product, recent use was defined as within the previous three days, and non-use was defined as none within 30 days.
All tobacco use categories demonstrated elevated nicotine and TSNA concentrations relative to non-users. TSNA exposures were highest among smokeless tobacco users, whether used alone or together with other product types. Exclusive e-cigarette users were exposed to lower NNN and NNAL levels than other product users despite comparable nicotine exposure. However, most e-cigarette users concurrently used combustible tobacco resulting in TSNA exposure similar to exclusive cigarette smokers.
According to the researchers, most non-cigarette tobacco users in vast numbers are exposed to carcinogen levels comparable to or exceeding exposure among exclusive cigarette smokers, levels that are likely to place users at substantial risk. The researchers presented their study, “Nicotine and Carcinogen Exposure by Tobacco Product Type and Dual Use,” at last week’s 96th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research in London.
Saturday, June 2, 2018
Oral health: A window to your overall health
Your oral health is more important than you might realize. Get the facts about how the health of your mouth, teeth and gums can affect your general health.By Mayo Clinic Staff
Did you know that your oral health offers clues about your overall health — or that problems in your mouth can affect the rest of your body? Protect yourself by learning more about the connection between your oral health and overall health.
What's the connection between oral health and overall health?
Like many areas of the body, your mouth is teeming with bacteria — most of them harmless. Normally the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing, can keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
In addition, certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can reduce saliva flow. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.
Studies also suggest that oral bacteria and the inflammation associated with periodontitis — a severe form of gum disease — might play a role in some diseases. In addition, certain diseases, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can lower the body's resistance to infection, making oral health problems more severe.
What conditions may be linked to oral health?
Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
- Endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart.
- Cardiovascular disease. Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
- Pregnancy and birth. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:
- Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, and that regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control.
- HIV/AIDS. Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
- Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis — which causes bones to become weak and brittle — might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
- Alzheimer's disease. Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer's disease progresses.
Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, head and neck cancers, and Sjogren's syndrome — an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth.
Because of these potential links, tell your dentist if you're taking any medications or have had any changes in your overall health — especially if you've had any recent illnesses or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes.
How can I protect my oral health?
To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene every day. For example:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily.
- Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks.
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed.
- Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.
- Avoid tobacco use.
Also, contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
FROM THE WEBMD ARCHIVES
No one likes to hear it, but it's worse not to know it: You have bad breath.
Bad breath (also known as halitosis or malodor) can be embarrassing and tough on those around you. Some people don't realize their breath could peel paint because people are afraid to tell them.
"Certainly bad breath can ruin relationships," John Woodall, DDS, a dentist with Woodall and McNeill in Raleigh, N.C., tells WebMD.
Fortunately, this problem is often easy to fix. What helps: Good oral hygiene, regular visits to your dentist, and ruling out any underlying conditions or other factors (such as some medications, diets, and foods) that could make your breath less than pleasant.
Do You Have Bad Breath?
Bad breath is often caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation and gives off noxious odors or gases that smell like sulfur -- or worse.
Everybody has nasty breath at some point, like when you get out of bed in the morning.
Not sure if your breath is bad? The best way to find out is to ask a trusted friend or your significant other, "'Does my breath smell?' Because it's really hard to tell on your own," Tina Frangella, DDS, a dentist with Frangella Dental in New York, tells WebMD.
There's another way to know. It may seem a bit gross, but look at and smell your dental floss after you use it.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are no statistics on what percentage of the population has bad breath. That's because studies usually rely on someone reporting whether or not they think they have bad breath and may not be accurate.But studies show that about 80% of bad breath comes from an oral source. For instance, cavities or gum disease can lead to bad breath, as can tonsils that have trapped food particles; Cracked fillings, and less-than-clean dentures.Several internal medical conditions also can cause your breath to go downhill fast. They include diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis. You'll want to see your doctor to rule out things like acid reflux, postnasal drip, and other causes of chronic dRY mOUTH (xerostomia).Woodall recalls a 30-year-old patient who had chronic bad breath, though her teeth were "immaculate" and her tongue was very clean. Her doctor tested her for acid Rreflux and other stomach conditions, "gave her some medicine, and her bad breath went away," Woodall says.
See Your Dentist, Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums
Nixed medical causes for your bad breath? Keep your scheduled dental appointments.
"You really want to see your dentist every six months or at least yearly," Frangella says.
Good oral hygiene also is key to fighting bad breath. Ideally, you should brush and floss after every meal to help reduce the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. While a regular toothbrush works just as well if you use it as recommended, Frangella recommends using an electric toothbrush, for two reasons.
"First, because many electric toothbrushes have timers on them and the majority of people do not brush their teeth for the right length of time. And secondly, because electric toothbrushes distribute a uniform motion, which I find helps remove plaque more efficiently than when my patients use manual toothbrushes."
Some mouthwashes or mouth rinses can help prevent cavities and reduce bacteria-causing plaque and fight bad breath. Stick to an antiseptic or antibacterial rinse that kills bacteria, rather than a cosmetic rinse that just focuses on freshening the breath.
Watch What You Eat
What you eat affects what you exhale. That's because as food is digested, it's absorbed into your bloodstream and then is expelled by your lungs when you breathe.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet and regular meals. Certain diets -- such as extreme fasting and very low-carb diets -- can give you bad-smelling breath.
Consider snacking on raw carrots, celery, or apple slices. "It's good to have a nice watery vegetable in there - something like celery - that will help clear your mouth of debris," Frangella says.
Avoid breath busters such as garlic, onions, and some other spicy foods. Chronic garlic users cannot only have chronic bad breath, they also often have body odor, Woodall says.
Six More Ways to Fix Bad Breath
Here are a half dozen more ways to banish bad breath - hopefully for good.
- Stay hydrated. If you can't brush your teeth after a meal, drinking a lot of water can help speed up the process of cleaning harmful bacteria and debris from between your teeth. Drinking milk can even help deodorize some offensive breath odors, Frangella says. Avoid sugary drinks.
- Don't drink too much coffee. It may be tasty, but coffee is a tough smell to get off the back of your tongue. Consider switching to an herbal or green tea, Frangella says.
- Don't smoke or use other tobacco products. Cigarettes, pipes, and snuff can foul your breath. "Smoking can give people horrible breath," Woodall says. "And some people carry this stuff worse than others."
- Cut back on alcohol. Alcohol can lead to a dry mouth. Too much beer, wine, and hard liquor can make your breath reek for up to eight to 10 hours after you finish drinking, Woodall says.
- Chew sugarless gum. Doing so 20 minutes after a meal can help with saliva flow. Gum that's 100% xylitol-sweetened can help reduce cavities, but it's also "kind of cooling and gives you really nice fresh breath," Frangella says.
- Be careful with breath mints. Sugar-free mints are OK for a quick fix but only mask the offensive smell and don't do anything to remove harmful bad bacteria. Tempted to pick up a sugary mint as you leave your favorite restaurant? Don't. The sugar will only sit on your teeth and make the problem worse, Frangella says.