Posts Tagged ‘cavities’

Cancer Patients Need to Maintain Dental Health Prior to Therapy

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

cancer


After the recent deaths of many celebrities including Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, people are realizing that maintaining their health is more important than ever. People who have just learned that they have cancer may not be thinking about taking care of their oral hygiene, but this can have significant consequences. Cancer patients who do not discuss their sitaution with a dentist before starting chemotherapy or radiation may put the health of their teeth in jeopardy or delay their treatment.

 Dr. Mitchell Josephs, a dentist at Palm Beach Towers, tells people about to start chemotherapy that they should get a dental cleaning and X-ray to make sure that there are no abscesses. If there is an emergency extraction to remove an infected tooth, this could disrupt cancer treatment. Obviously, if you have to have emergency dental work done after you started cancer treatment, your healing ability is going to be reduced.

 Therapies can also weaken teeth and cause tooth decay. Chemotherapy and radiation can reduce the mouth’s ability to produce saliva temporarily. Saliva is what protects and coats the teeth so they are not damaged by acidic foods. If a person uses a custom fluoride tray to coat the teeth in a concentrated fluoride solution daily(ten minutes a day) while going through chemotherapy, their teeth are much less likely to be discolored and weakened.

 Decay is usually caused by a very dry mouth. Inflammation of the gums can also be caused by cancer treatment. Dentures that do not fit correctly can make the situation worse by possibly causing ulcerations. This problem can be fixed by getting new dentures or dental implants for replacing the teeth permanently.

 Mouth rinses can help reduce mucositis, which is the ulceration and inflammation of the mouth’s tissue. According to Dr. Daniel Spitz, when a patient goes through chemotherapy, any underlying dental problems will increase the likelihood of there being cavities, bone loss, and tooth loss. If the blood count gets low, bacterial infections can grow out of control.

Source: Palm Beach Daily News

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Fight Off Tooth Decay and Bad Breath with Magnolia Bark Extract

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The magnolia is one of the oldest flowering tree types in the world.  Magnolia bark contains polyphenols, which have been used for centuries by Chinese and Japanese medicine.  Now, the magnolia bark chemicals have been proven to get rid of bad breath.  Research printed in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that breath mints containing magnolia bark extract kill the majority of bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath within a half hour.  Magnolia bark extract significantly improves oral health around the world, and may be beneficial if used in chewing gum.

The mouth is an ideal environment for the bacteria that causes bad breath–especially four species of bacteria: Veilonella alcalescens, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Bacteroides melaninogenicus and Klebsiella pneumoniae.  These bacteria feed on food remains, dead cells, and other chemicals in the mouth, and in the process of their feeding, they release foul-smelling gases.  This putrefaction can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Regular chewing gum tends to only guard against these bacteria for a short period of time, and anti-bacterial products tend to have negative effects like tooth staining.  A team conducted a research project where they tested the power of a mint with and without the magnolia bark extract.  Without the extract, the mint destroyed just 3.6%  of the bacteria, and with the extract, 61% of the bacteria was killed. 

Furthermore, the extract has also been found to be useful for guarding against cavity-causing bacteria. 

Source: Softpedia

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