Posts Tagged ‘Oral Health’

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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Your Oral Health Affects Work Productivity

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

work productivity bad breath

Want to be better at your job? Fixing toothaches, gum inflammation and other problems could be the solution.

That’s because a healthy mouth is an important indicator of personal well-being, self-confidence and reduced distractions that allow employees to shovel out optimal work in the office. 

If you don’t think a mighty mouth matters, consider this: Americans lose more than 164 million work hours due to dental health problems, according to a recent Delta Dental Oral Health and Wellbeing Survey. What’s more, the survey indicated that about one in six people in the U.S. (16 percent) miss work because of oral health issues.

The survey also highlighted more than one-quarter of Americans say they have oral health issues that they’d like to address, but are often prevented by their inability to pay for the treatment.

According to a U.S. Surgeon General report, neglecting oral health can lead to needless pain and complications. The social and financial costs of poor oral health can substantially lower your quality of life. 

Often, rotting teeth bring along bad breath, which may not only affect your focus, but that of nearby co-workers. Tooth decay occurs when damaging bacteria combine with leftover food particles to form plaque, which wears away at the protective layer of teeth.  (more…)

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FIFA World Cup: Luis Suarez Sinks Teeth into Opponent

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

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In the 2014 World Cup, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez was hungry for more than a win.

The star forward bit the left shoulder of Italian opponent, Giorgio Chiellini, late in the team’s final group game on June 24.

Suarez, who earned a 10-match ban in 2013 for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and a seven-match ban in 2010 for biting a player in the Eredivisie, now has been barred from the rest of this year’s World Cup in Brazil and all football activities and stadiums for four months. As a result, he will miss Uruguay’s next nine internationals and be fined.

There’s little doubt that the player faces much controversy about his dental incident. In the picture at the dentist’s office that shows all of the things that ruin teeth – chewing on ice, gnawing on a pencil, biting fingernails – sinking chompers into an opponent during a soccer game could rank up there.

During the Uruguay-Italy game, the referee gave no card to Suarez, and Chiellini was livid. The Italian defenseman pulled down his jersey to show the teeth marks on his shoulder.

However, in the days following Uruguay’s 1-0 win against Italy and the FIFA’s verdict, Chiellini said the punishment was too harsh.

“I have always unequivocally considered the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time I believe the proposed formula is excessive,” Chiellini wrote on his blog. “I sincerely hope he will be allowed to stay close to his teammates during the games, because such a ban is really alienating for a player.” (more…)

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Definitive Guide: Quick answers to your oral health questions

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Quick answers oral health questions

In the last several years, there has been a heavy push underlining oral health’s role in systemic well-being. Since the mouth is the gateway to your body, it’s crucial to pay attention to the small daily steps we can take to keep those pearly whites clean and problem-free. To answer your burning questions, from getting rid of bad breath to removing tonsil stones, here are the solutions and oral health tips:

Where is my bad breath coming from?
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can come from a range of different sources. The main culprits are: food, poor oral hygiene habits, cavities, using tobacco or alcohol, tonsil stones and dry mouth. Most often, the mouth odor comes from what you eat and your dental hygiene habits. The anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria that live on the surface of the tongue and throat may derive from foods such as onions, garlic or peppers as well as other pungent foods.

It is likely that bad breath originates from plaque buildup that lingers on the teeth and gums. By failing to remove plaque through brushing, flossing and rinsing, your mouth turns into a habitable environment for the bacteria to grow and produce the foul smell.

Not filling cavities properly and skipping professional dental cleaning contributes to a rotten odor. What’s more, dentures should fit well to prevent bacteria from gathering in pockets.

Smoking or chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol dry out the mouth and cause unpleasant breath, so these habits should be avoided.

A lot of times, not drinking enough water or skipping meals can trigger halitosis. Make sure to gulp down plenty of H2O throughout the day. (more…)

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Athletes Upping Oral Health Game for Improved Performance

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

athletes oral health

After reports from the 2012 London Olympics showed dreadful oral health among athletes, many elite performers have started learning from their mistakes. 

Dentists say athletes stand a better chance of winning if they take care of their teeth, which makes sense, since oral health may reflect overall health.

At the 2012 Games, 55 percent of athletes recruited for dental examinations had cavities, 45 percent had dental erosion and a staggering 76 percent suffered from gingivitis. Nearly half of the participants had not seen a dentist within the previous year. With such a dismal oral health track record, roughly 4 out of 10 athletes said they were bothered by the condition of their mouths, many complaining that it had hindered their training and performance.

At this elite level of play, the margin between winning or losing is so minute that even a small improvement could mean standing on the podium versus going home empty-handed.

Earlier this year at the Sochi Winter Games, Olympians took the advice in stride. There were several dental clinics located in the Olympic Winter Games facilities, where about 600 athletes, officials and coaches visited for screenings, routine dental care – including cavity treatments – and emergency care.

“Maintaining good oral health and hygiene is a critical part of an athlete’s overall health regimen and, in turn, their effectiveness,” Dr. Tony Clough, a consultant during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, explained to the source. “Surprisingly, however, there are a lot of elite athletes that lack access to care and preventative products.”

Dentists point out that tooth pain can disrupt sleep and inflammation of the gums could impact the rest of the body, worsening performance. But it’s not unheard of for poor oral health to have larger effects. According to the National Institutes of Health, an unhealthy mouth is linked to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems.

Success story 
The boxing team from Great Britain has been improving their oral health as of late, with doctors and dentists looking after athletes’ teeth and gums. The boxers are now receiving regular dental checkups, and brushing and flossing regularly to fight off gingivitis and dental caries (cavities).

(more…)

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