Archive for the ‘gum disease’ Category

Girl Does Ice Bucket Challenge After Getting Wisdom Teeth Out

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

wisdom teeth ice bucket

The commitment to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) launched into wheezy new heights this week as a young girl completed the Ice Bucket Challenge while still on anesthesia.

Meghan Waterman had her wisdom teeth removed one hour before she decided to dump water on herself to help raise awareness of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, as part of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. 

The procedure to remove wisdom teeth is meant to improve a patient’s oral health, as it helps prevent bacterial infections that could cause bad breath and gum disease. Even with a swollen, bleeding mouth, Waterman apparently wanted to help others before she finished helping herself. 

Waterman was nominated by her friends the day earlier, and after the tooth extraction, she found herself alone in the kitchen chatting online with a friend who reminded her about the nomination. 

Hazy from anaesthesia, Waterman slurred through her speech and in the midst of voicing her nervousness that her mom would come home, she ended up pouring the ice water onto her chest.

“This is for the people l hope I can help out,” Waterman said in the video, which garnered nearly 3 million views since it was posted on August 21. She said she barely remembers making the video.

The viral Internet trend of dumping a bucket of ice water on your head – or body – and nominating friends has gained popularity across the country, raising almost $80 million for the ALS Association in less than a month. 

Among other issues, those with ALS deal with oral health problems since their muscles lose the ability to help them perform even routine activities such as brushing and flossing teeth.

Though unintentionally, Waterman helped spotlight the disease as well as dental health priorities. 

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Oral health worsens during hospital stays, suggests new study

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

oral health hospital stay

Oral health deteriorates during periods of hospitalization, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Researchers examined the oral health of 162 patients on arrival and two weeks later, discovering a rise in gum disease and levels of plaque. The bacteria in plaque wears down healthy gum tissue and may cause infections. In these cases, bad breath may be a red flag of underlying symptoms like gingivitis.

When bed-ridden, taking care of one’s teeth and gums may get placed on the back burner. But the main problem, researchers identified, is that many facilities have no policies in place for routine oral health practices, and no members of the health care teams assess patients’ oral health conditions during the hospitalization. Besides watching out for gum disease symptoms, those who are sick, have the flu or a cold may come down with post nasal drip, where mucus runs down the back of the throat instead of through the nose. Post nasal drip is especially common when patients’ sinuses are congested.

Dr. Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, believes the study points to a need for brushing and flossing practices to become a greater priority during hospital stays.

“In a challenging hospital environment it may be inevitable that oral care is seen as a low priority, but it is clear that more needs to be done,” Carter explained. He also mentioned that family members, friends and other loved ones who visit the hospital may be able to help with that difference.

“There are guidelines for the provision of oral care in hospital settings, but as the research points out, there is limited detail for carers,” the doctor pointed out. “The help of close family and friends during hospital stays can make a difference to this aspect of their care and well-being and more should be done to encourage their involvement.”

Visitors could bring the patient’s toothbrush, a pack of floss, alcohol-free mouthwash rinse and any other items necessary for oral hygiene.

Hospital food upgrade? Diet plays another key role in both systemic and oral health, yet traditional hospital food falls far below desired fare. The food and drink you put into your mouth provides energy, but it also affects your teeth and gums – the body’s gateway. (more…)

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6 Health Benefits of Straight Teeth

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

 

857_1123A picture-perfect smile offers an obvious aesthetic appeal, but straight teeth are also more conducive to a cleaner mouth – meaning less bad breath, for one thing. Check out the following health benefits of having straight teeth:

1. Easier to clean
When teeth overlap, there are more hard-to-reach places where dental plaque and food debris can get trapped. Think about a white picket fence. If some of the wooden boards become worn down to the point of toppling over each other, chances are the paint will start to peel between the stacked spots.

Put another way, if teeth are crooked, “there are places the bristles of the toothbrush cannot reach, and plaque and tartar accumulates,” Dr. Kenn Kakosian, an oral surgeon in New York, told the Epoch Times. “People with straight teeth are able to keep them clean without extra effort.”

2. Less bad breath
Because aligned teeth are easier to clean, there are fewer places to harbor anaerobic bacteria, resulting in less bad breath. 
Anaerobic bacteria, which do not require oxygen to survive, are most commonly found in the intestines, but when they inhabit the throat and mouth their ability to consume vast amounts of protein from food and excrete foul-smelling sulfur compounds can trigger a bout of halitosis. In short, straighter teeth can serve as one step closer to avoiding chronic halitosis.

With that being said, you don’t need perfectly square teeth to avoid stinky breath. Flossing becomes more important for people with a crooked smile – to get between the overlapped teeth – so be sure to floss at least once a day. Using TheraBreath alcohol-free mouthwash is another tally in the win column.

3. Fewer toothaches
Americans lose more than 164 million work hours because of dental health problems, according to a Delta Dental Oral Health and Wellbeing Survey. That’s a whole lot of swollen gums and teeth that are causing pain. Being clean has its perks, and avoiding cavity treatments thanks to bacteria-free teeth is one of them.
(more…)

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Scared of Receding Gums? Here’s What You Should Know

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

scared receding gums

Worried that your gum line is gradually eroding? There are ways to help.

Gum recession, where the margin of gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, is a fairly common dental problem. Most people don’t realize they have it because it occurs over a long period of time. However, when gums pull back and expose more of the tooth, pockets start to form between the teeth and the gum line. This makes it easy for disease-causing bacteria to accumulate.

Causes of gum recession
The first way to take action is to know what triggers gums recession.

Periodontal diseases: Periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis (early stage gum disease) and periodontitis (late stage gum disease) are the main causes of gum recession. These bacterial gum infections destroy tissue and supporting bones that hold your teeth in place.

Aggressive tooth brushing: People who hold their brushes too firmly and scrub too hard or the wrong way may cause tooth enamel to wear away and gums to recede. It’s also important to replace toothbrushes or tooth heads for electric toothbrushes every two to three months, since bacteria can start to gather on bristles.

Inadequate dental care: Not visiting the dentist enough combined with insufficient brushing and flossing fosters plaque buildup, which turns into tartar, the hard substance that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.

Genes: Due to genetic factors, some people are more susceptible to gum disease. Research suggests that 30 percent of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, no matter how well they care for their teeth.

Tobacco products: Cigarettes, cigars, chew and other tobacco products are a big culprit of gum disease, since the chemicals create sticky plaque that damages teeth. In addition, it may cause dry mouth, tooth decay and smoker’s breath.

Hormonal changes: Varying hormone levels associated with life events such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy or menopause can make gums more sensitive and vulnerable to gum recession. (more…)

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National Smile Week: How a Healthy Smile is a Natural Drug

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

national smile week

In the height of summer, there are plenty of things to grin about. Add National Smile Week to the list and you have fresh reason to flash your pearly whites. National Smile Week takes place during the second week of August, seeking to promote dental health and the maintenance of a bright, healthy smile. 

Beyond making you look more attractive, a smile – and what’s going on in the mouth behind it – plays a large role in the overall health of your body. While some believe “the eyes are the window to the soul,” the mouth is no doubt the gateway to the body. 

Drop diabetes risks
Scientists point out that maintaining a healthy grin can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, among other problems. Few people realize that diabetes and oral health are inextricably linked, even though a recent study shows diabetes now affects at least 
1 in 10 Americans. The connection all starts with sugar. Sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and the standout side effect when the body fails to produce insulin properly. As a result of insulin resistance, blood glucose (sugar) cannot be kept at normal levels, which can reach the gums and teeth and leave them vulnerable to cavities, gum disease and more. But proper brushing habits can significantly lower this problem. 

Releases feel-good chemicals
Smiling has also been known to release endorphins, serotonin and natural pain killers, according to a study conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation. While we know that joy is the source of smile, the smile can also be the source of joy. Our emotions are reinforced and even driven by their corresponding facial expressions, so even a simple grin during National Smile Week could lift your mood. Surely, smiling is a natural drug. 

When we grin from ear-to-ear, it increases happiness both in yourself and those around you. Brain activity has been shown to reach the same level of stimulation when people smiled as eating multiple chocolate bars.  (more…)

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