Archive for the ‘oral hygiene’ Category

CDC Study: Children’s Smiles Healthier than Ever submitted

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

iStock_000008922315SmallParents now have another reason to be proud of their kids. According to a new study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the oral health of children has improved as the number of preventative dentist visits increased over the last decade. 

The research was led by Dr. Mahua Mandal of the College of Dental Medicine and Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York, who compared dental results of American children in 2003 with those from the years 2011 and 2012. While individual studies have been previously carried out, this is the first data to systematically examine kids’ oral health outcomes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“Oral health represents the largest unmet health care need for children, and geographic variations in children’s receipt of oral health services have been noted,” Mandal explained to Daily RX.

This data was collected via telephone surveys conducted by the CDC, accounting for a total of 187,065 children. In the study, the parents were asked whether or not their children had visited a dentist in the past year for preventive care, such as check-ups and dental cleanings. They also categorized the condition of their kids’ teeth as either excellent, very good, fair or poor.

The results are in
Mandal and colleagues discovered that the rate of children who were reported to have excellent or very good oral health increased from 68 percent in 2003 to 72 percent in 2011/2012. Meanwhile, the amount of preventive dental visits rose from 72 percent in 2003 to 77 percent in 2011/2012. In 26 states, the prevalence of youngsters with excellent or very good oral health status jumped, with Utah climbing 10 percent within the decade – the most of any state. Missouri showed the least significant improvement. Unsurprisingly, the most substantial advances were seen among children with health insurance and household incomes above the federal poverty line.

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Don’t Get Stressed Out, Your Oral Hygiene will Thank You

Friday, September 13th, 2013

iStock_000008179465MediumOral hygiene is important, but experts say you shouldn’t stress about it! Going to the dentist can cause anxiety and stress for many people, but it’s still incredibly important to get a cleaning twice a year. At the same rate, research has shown the correlation between oral hygiene and good heart health. So whether you’re stressing out at the office, or get anxious just thinking about going to the dentist, take a deep breath and realize it could be affecting both the wellbeing of your mouth and your entire body.

Chill out in the chair
No one likes going to the doctor or dentist, but you’ll probably feel much better after you leave. Most people have negative thoughts toward the industry; however, technological advancements are making the experience much more enjoyable. From personal televisions at every chair to procedures that cause less pain, cavity treatments aren’t a big, bad scary thing anymore. However, preventing them can ease even more anxiety.

By regularly going to the dentist, you can decrease your chances of needing cavity treatments altogether because the hygienist will scrape away built up plaque and tartar that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, these trips can keep your heart in better condition.

“The relationship between oral health and systemic health is becoming a growing concern of the general public,” Dentist Jack Elder said. “But dentistry can make a major contribution if the right dentist is chosen.”

Research has found gum disease to show the biggest link to heart disease compared with other oral health ailments. Otherwise called periodontal disease, inflammation of the gums is caused by the overall unhealthiness of the mouth. It all depends on what you eat, your daily oral hygiene routine and the regularity that you visit the dentist.

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Caregiver’s Guide to Seniors’ Oral Health

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Looking AheadIssues with the teeth and gums are often a sign of a larger problem in the body. Whether it shows a poor diet, diabetes or cardiovascular disease, the condition of the mouth is not something to put on the back burner. Research has shown that gum disease left untreated can exacerbate these and other chronic health conditions, and affect one’s overall wellbeing. While sometimes an individual’s poor oral health may be obvious, other times it may only be recognizable by an expert. The mouth is especially important to take note of in seniors or other individuals with serious health conditions.

Regular check-ups with dentists, including cavity treatments, cleanings and X-rays, can help people avoid serious ailments in the mouth. No matter the age, it is important to visit the dentist twice a year for cleanings so that built up dental plaque, which leads to tartar, is cleared away, and any tooth decay is taken care of before it becomes too serious. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford cavity treatments when they are necessary. While it is still very important to make sure that tooth decay is taken care of appropriately, caregivers can learn preventative measures to ensure that these issues are avoided and the oral cavity is clean and fresh.

Check for training sessions
Groups in specific areas may take action to educate the community on proper senior oral health training techniques. For example, the University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies and Delaware Division of Public Health will hold training sessions in June for caregivers who are required to maintain someone else’s oral health. This session teaches individuals about daily mouth care, preventative practices, the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth and main causes of oral health problems. Consider researching your area to find a similar informational meeting where you can learn more.

Maintain communication
If you are the caregiver for another person, it is important to make sure you are aware of any aches and pains they have in the mouth. Senior oral health may be hard to maintain, but overlooking a sharp or chronic pain in a tooth or the gums can lead to further issues. Pain is often the sign of tooth decay, meaning there is a high level of bacteria in the mouth which can travel through the bloodstream. This is especially important if bleeding in the gums is noticed, because this is a sign of gum disease and can lead to heart disease.

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Teen Habits and their Effect on Oral Hygiene

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

1184390_72579423Parents strive to teach their children good habits at a young age with the hope that they will continue a healthy lifestyle into adulthood. But once kids hit their teenage years, rebellion takes over and those productive manners may go out the window. Keeping up with good oral health habits as an adolescent can ensure that the gums, teeth and mouth are in top condition for a lifetime. Here are a few things to consider in order to maintain those pearly whites and fresh breath:

Gum

For many teenagers, chewing gum is routine. From the classroom to going out with friends, teenagers have a strange tendency to always be chomping down. While some gum can actually improve breath and help avoid dry mouth, typical packs from the super market are loaded with sugar. Instead of picking up a stick of gum with a layer of “fruit,” try sugarless gum made with the natural sweetener xylitol after meals. Consider having this all-natural gum around the house so your teenager won’t be tempted to pick up a sugar-loaded pack.

Piercings

Body piercings have become much more acceptable in modern society, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences that come along with them. Tongue and lip piercings can cause teeth to chip and gums to recede. In addition, these piercings can be prone to infection, which causes bad breath and creates other issues throughout the entire mouth. Encourage children to avoid this type of body art.

Soda/sports drinks

Teenagers can sometimes down soda like it is water! There are countless harmful side effects to drinking these carbonated beverages, and they can wreak havoc on the entire mouth. Not only is one can filled with 38 grams of sugar or more, its sticky, syrupy texture lingers on the teeth, gums and tongue for much too long. Drinking just one bottle of soda pop a day can increase the amount of anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, cause bad breath, promote tooth decay and dry out the mouth. Unfortunately, sports drinks are not much better. Kids who play sports in school tend to carry along one of these beverages after or during a meet or game, but they are often loaded with a similar amount of sugar as soda. Instead, encourage teenagers to drink plenty of water, or even coconut water. Coconut water is all-natural and rehydrates better than typical sports drinks.

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Better your health by combating dry mouth

Friday, January 18th, 2013

dry mouth and stressHaving a good night’s sleep is pertinent for a healthy mind and body, but there are some issues that keep us up at night. Do you ever have to get up in the middle of the night to get some water? Suffering from dry mouth can cause pain and discomfort throughout the night and during the day, and it can also be a sign of other illnesses.

During sleep, the body is able to restore itself, but if you are waking up in the middle of the night to drink water, this restoration is being interrupted and can cause you to be groggy throughout the day. This can hinder work, weight loss, and increase stress and the probability of sickness. All because of your dry mouth symptoms!

What are the symptoms?

Although “dry mouth” is pretty straightforward, there are other symptoms that you may have as well. You may also have trouble swallowing, chewing and speaking without taking a sip of water. Other people may have cracked and sore skin inside the mouth, and you may have a sandpaper-like tongue.

What is causing it?

There are many reasons why you may be having dry mouth, some that are easily preventable and others are a larger issue that should be taken seriously. If you feel like you’re suffering from post nasal drip, this could be directly related to dry mouth. With this illnesses, the mucus becomes thick, which can sometimes make it challenging to breathe through the mouth.

“The sensation of post-nasal drip is not usually caused by an increased amount of mucus coming from your nose or sinuses,” Dr. Robert Dolan told EverydayHealth. “It is more likely to be caused by the mucus becoming too thick or by irritation of your throat. In my experience, the three most common causes are allergy, gastric reflux, and medications that cause dryness.”

Preventing post nasal drip entirely depends on where it is coming from. Oral medications and natural nasal sprays can combat this issue if it doesn’t stem from a larger illness.

What to change?

Are you a smoker? Do you eat unhealthy foods? Do you commonly drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages? These are all causes of dry mouth! Without having to change much of your lifestyle to combat bad breath, you can try to cut back on the amount of unhealthy things you intake. If you’re a smoker or an avid coffee drinker, make sure that you drink a glass of water afterwards to moisturize the mouth. Drinking a substantial amount of water each day will help eliminate dry mouth. Increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet can help dramatically as well. Because these items have a large amount of water in them, and vitamins and minerals, they keep the mouth healthy.

What does dry mouth lead to?

Dry mouth can lead to various other oral health issues such as tooth decay, bad breath, a lack of taste and mouth sores. Since the bacteria in our mouths have no chance to get flushed down by saliva – which is what normally happens – it just stays in our mouths and causes these issues. Mouth sores are more common because when there is no protective layer of moisture, there is a much higher risk of cuts and infections.

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