Charcoal Kinds of Toothpaste ‘Don’t Whiten Teeth’

By: BBC News

⚠️ Charcoal-based toothpaste, which claims to whiten teeth, is a “marketing gimmick” which could increase the risk of tooth decay and staining, says a review in the British Dental Journal.

The charcoal products, which are increasingly popular, often contain no fluoride to help protect the teeth. And there is no scientific evidence to back up the claims they make, the authors say. Also, excessive brushing with them can do more harm than good. Instead, they advise people to go to their dentist for advice on bleaching, or whitening, their teeth. The Oral Surgery DC Team

And they say it is better to stick to using a regular fluoride-based toothpaste.

Charcoal was first used for oral hygiene purposes in ancient Greece, as a way of removing stains from teeth and disguising unpleasant odours from diseased gums.

Celebrity effect

Dr Joseph Greenwall-Cohen, co-author of the study from the University of Manchester Dental School, said “more and more shops are selling charcoal-based toothpastes and powders”, including Superdrug, Boots and Tesco, after celebrities had started talking about using them.

But he said the claims they made had been found to be unproven by a 2017 US review of 50 products.

Some said they were “anti-bacterial” or “anti-fungal”, that they helped with “tooth whitening” and would “reduce tooth decay”.

The review said people were brushing regularly with the charcoal-based products in the hope that they would offer “a low cost, quick-fix, tooth-whitening option”.

But too much brushing could lead to tooth wear and more sensitive teeth and, with few of the products containing fluoride or making the ingredient inactive, any protection from tooth decay was limited, it said.

‘Don’t believe the hype’

“When used too often in people with fillings, it can get into them and become difficult to get out,” Dr Greenwall-Cohen said.

“Charcoal particles can also get caught up in the gums and irritate them.”

He said charcoal toothpastes and powders were more abrasive than regular toothpastes, potentially posing a risk to the enamel and gums.

The charcoal contained in today’s toothpastes is usually a fine powder form of treated charcoal, the review says.

Charcoal can be made from materials including nutshells, coconut husks, bamboo and peat, and possibly wood and coal.

Prof Damien Walmsley, from the British Dental Association, said: “Charcoal-based kinds of toothpaste offer no silver bullets for anyone seeking a perfect smile, and come with real risks attached.

“So don’t believe the hype. Anyone concerned about staining or discolored teeth that can’t be shifted by a change in diet, or improvements to their oral hygiene, should see their dentist.”

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-48216116

Thrush — the White Stuff Growing in Your Mouth (and How to Get Rid of it)

By: Cleveland Clinic

👅 What’s that white stuff on your tongue? And why does your mouth feel “funny” — maybe a little bit like sandpaper? Well, you may have a case of thrush.

Learn the symptoms, treatments, and steps to prevent the growth of thrush in your tongue via Cleveland Clinic. The Oral Surgery DC Team

Thrush can strike anyone, but some people are far more vulnerable: “We usually see thrush in children whose immune systems are developing, or older adults, whose immune systems are starting to fail,” says otolaryngologist Tony Reisman, MD. “People who have conditions that affect the immune system are also more susceptible.”

Do I have thrush?

It can be challenging to know if your mouth woes are related to the Candida fungus that causes thrush. Common signs include:

  • A white, cottage cheese-like coating.
  • Redness, burning or soreness.
  • A change in the ability to taste.
  • Cracking of the tongue or corners of the lips.
  • A dry, cotton- or sandpaper-like feeling.

Is thrush treatment necessary?

“You may not even need a diagnosis because thrush often goes away on its own once you stop whatever caused the problem,” says Dr. Reisman. “For example, if antibiotics led to thrush, just waiting a few weeks may give the body time to return to a natural yeast balance.”

Dr. Reisman recommends using good oral hygiene for three to four weeks to see if thrush resolves on its own.

When oral thrush just won’t go away

Well, it’s been a few weeks. You’ve been dutifully rinsing your mouth twice a day. But the white stuff is still there. It’s time to call your primary care provider.

Your provider will want to look at your mouth to rule out other causes, including:

  • Burning mouth syndrome (a burning sensation in the mouth that has no obvious cause).
  • Geographic tongue (harmless patches on the top and sides of the tongue with no known cause).
  • Precancerous or cancerous lesions.

If it is thrush, your provider will likely order an antifungal rinse. You’ll swish, swish, swish for 10 to 14 days, which will help the body regain the natural yeast balance.

But if your symptoms still don’t improve, or you have recurrent episodes of thrush, visit an ear, nose and throat specialist (otolaryngologist) to discuss the diagnosis and treatment.

Prevent thrush from creating chaos in your mouth

People who are prone to thrush — whether from dentures, immune system-suppressing drugs or a condition such as HIV — can take steps to avoid it (because you can’t be on an antifungal medication forever).

Dr. Reisman recommends these behaviors to prevent thrush:

  • See the dentist: Practice good oral hygiene, including professional dental cleaning twice a year.
  • Rinse: If you need steroid inhalers, make sure to rinse your mouth after using them.
  • Drink water: Keep yourself hydrated so your mouth doesn’t get dry.
  • Watch your sugar: Limit the sugary foods yeast feeds on, and maintain good blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes.
  • Quit smoking: No explanation needed!

Source: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/thrush-the-white-stuff-growing-in-your-mouth-and-how-to-get-rid-of-it/

Oral cancer: What you can do to help end this disease

By: American Dental Association, ASDA

🦷 The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 53,000 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancer in 2019, and the American Dental Association is working to provide members with resources that can help them do their part to fight and end this disease.

While April marks Oral Cancer Awareness Month, every day presents an opportunity to make a difference. Discover the ways you can do to end this disease via the American Student Dental Association. The Oral Surgery DC Team

The association published its clinical practice guideline on evaluation for oral cancer in 2017. It offers guidance for dentists on how to check for lesions, how to identify potentially malignant disorders and how to proceed in relevant clinical scenarios. The guideline points out that even though a variety of adjunct tools are marketed to dentists to enhance pick up of lesions, because there isn’t evidence demonstrating that they improve screening, they aren’t recommended. And for situations where a lesion is observed, the guideline provides clinical pathways for follow up.

In addition to the guideline, the ADA has produced a chairside guide to walk you through the guideline’s recommendations, along with an instructional video that shows how to perform each step of a conventional visual and tactile exam on a patient. You also can watch a brief video on the ADA’s YouTube page that highlights how to check patients for oral cancer.

Given the current increase in HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer, the most effective thing dentists can do to prevent oropharyngeal cancer is to encourage appropriately aged individuals to receive the HPV vaccine. Learn more about the ADA’s HPV vaccine policy at ADA.org, and check out this video from an ADA dentist who has a personal connection to the disease she hopes to one day defeat.

Source: https://www.asdablog.com/oral-cancer-what-you-can-do-to-help-end-this-disease/

Brushing and Flossing Could Reduce Your Risk of This Cancer

By: Lara DeSanto, HealthCentral

Do you know that improper dental care and hygiene can increase your risk of developing liver cancer?

📊 People with poor oral health, including painful or bleeding gums, loose teeth, or mouth ulcers, maybe a whopping 75% more likely to get liver cancer, according to a study of 469,000 people in the U.K. The findings likely apply to people in the U.S. as well, where liver cancer rates are on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Learn the risks via HealthCentral! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Brushing and flossing your teeth is tied to far more than just impressing your dentist—in fact, showing your gums and teeth some TLC could reduce your risk of several chronic diseases, like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. And recent research shows that it may significantly reduce your risk of liver cancer, too.

People with poor oral health—including painful or bleeding gums, loose teeth, or mouth ulcers—may be a whopping 75% more likely to get liver cancer, according to a study of 469,000 people in the U.K. The findings likely apply to people in the U.S. as well, where liver cancer rates are on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The research, published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal, originally set out to discover whether there was a link between mouth health and digestive cancers like those of the colon and rectum. While no link was found there, a substantial link was found for liver cancer and oral health conditions.

But why does poor mouth health set you up for greater risk of liver cancer? Right now, it’s unclear, according to the study authors—but it may be related to the role of oral and gut bacteria in disease development.

“The liver contributes to the elimination of bacteria from the human body,” says lead study author Haydée WT Jordão, Ph.D., from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast. “When the liver is affected by diseases, such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or cancer, its function will decline and bacteria will survive for longer and therefore have the potential to cause more harm.” Another possibility is that people with poor mouth health change their diet to accommodate loose teeth and other issues—for example, eating only softer and possibly less nutritious foods—which could contribute to cancer development.

More studies are needed to better understand the connection, researchers say. Until then? Take steps to reduce your other risk factors for liver cancer, like minimizing alcohol consumption—and tend to those teeth!

4 Steps to a Healthier Mouth

You already know that you’re supposed to brush your teeth twice a day. Here’s what else you can do to take care of your mouth and reduce your risk of liver cancer—not to mention other diseases, according to the Oral Health Foundation:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day. Experts recommend brushing right before you go to bed and at least one other time during the day. Use a fluoride toothpaste, which helps protect your teeth from decay, and spit after brushing instead of rinsing so that the fluoride can stay on your teeth and work its magic longer. Look for a toothbrush with a small- to a medium-sized brush head and with soft to medium bristles. You can also go for an electric toothbrush, which can often be better at cleaning your teeth with less movement needed on your end.
  2. Floss daily. Floss at least once a day with a gentle rocking motion between the teeth. At the gum line, curve the floss into a C-shape around each tooth and gently scrape up the side of the tooth. Don’t forget the back of the last tooth!
  3. Go to the dentist. When was the last time you went in for a dental cleaning and checkup? Going to the dentist is important because if the plaque on your teeth hardens into tartar, it can no longer be removed by simple brushing—only a dental hygienist can help you remove it during cleaning. If you let tartar continue to build up, it can lead to inflammation, pain and gum disease.
  4. Eat well. Try to avoid consuming sugary foods and drinks frequently throughout the day. These are the foods that cause the bacteria in plaque to produce harmful acids that can eat away at your tooth enamel. And that’s when cavities form. The longer these sugar acids remain on your teeth, the more time they have to do their damage. If you just need an occasional sweet, make sure you brush your teeth (or drink a glass of water) immediately afterward to help cancel out some of the acids right away.

Source: https://www.healthcentral.com/article/mouth-health-liver-cancer-risk


Do You Know The Importance Of Family Dental Care?

By: Longevity

Most of us are well-versed with the fact that dental care is important. But why exactly it is so important, is something which a majority of us are unaware of. Oral health is related to the overall health in more ways than we can imagine.

Longevity explains the importance of dental care for every member of your family, right from toddlers to seniors. Let’s take a look! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Toddlers

  • The first baby teeth generally appear between the time periods of 6 to 10 months. In some toddlers, these can appear as early as at 3 months, while in some they can arrive as late as at 12 months. By the time the child turns 3, all the primary teeth have erupted.
  • This phase of the eruption of teeth may result in a tender and irritable gums. Try soothing the gums by rubbing them with a clean finger or frozen teething ring.
  • Some toddlers may develop a habit of thumb sucking, which is normal. However, this habit can cause problems in the development of jaw and mouth and even teeth positioning. Sucking on pacifiers for extended periods of time can also disrupt jaw development and may result in protruded teeth. One of the best solutions to help your child get rid of thumb sucking is adapting positive reinforcement.
  • This is also an important phase to get your child started on brushing. A pea-sized amount of a toothpaste containing fluoride should be used. Make sure that your child doesn’t swallow it.

Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and gentle stroke s to brush the inside surfaces first where most of the plaque most.

Children

  • Primary teeth are important for chewing and learning to talk. They also play a vital role in determining proper alignment and spacing of the permanent teeth.
  • The enamel on the teeth of children, though fully formed, is still porous and inadequately mineralized. The jaw is growing significantly to make space for more teeth.
  • At this stage, the diet of your child is very important apart from a proper oral care routine. The quantity of sugar and the frequency of its consumption should be monitored strictly. Limit the amount of sweets between meals and prevent snacking throughout the day. Ensure that your child gets wholesome and a healthy diet and opts for healthy options instead of sugary, chewy and hard foods, which can damage the teeth and gums.
  • Supervise the brushing times of your child. Brushing twice a day regularly is very important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Tweens And Teenagers

  • Children between the ages of 10 and 12 or tweens are still losing their primary teeth. The last baby tooth is generally lost by the age of 12 and around this time the second permanent molars appear. Since the permanent teeth are so new, they are more prone to decay.
  • Teenagers, during the age bracket of 16 and 20 get their permanent third molars or the wisdom teeth. These can either grow in earlier, later or never at all. In many cases, the pediatric dentist may recommend the removal of the wisdom teeth since they are difficult to clean or are causing problems.
  • Teenagers often face a lot of peer pressure. This can cause them to might make choices which are harmful to their oral as well as overall health. These include oral piercings, smoking, eating disorders, chewing tobacco, etc.
  • Most kids during this stage of their lives need braces because of misaligned teeth. It’s best to find a dentist who is trained in kids’ oral care and seek professional help for your child’s healthy teeth.
  • Parents should help both tween and teenagers make healthy lifestyle choices including oral habits since their new permanent teeth are more prone to decay and damage.

Adults

  • Adults are more likely to neglect their oral health due to a plethora of reasons. They are at an increased risk of getting gum diseases such as gingivitis or even tooth loss in severe cases
  • Oral health problems can lead to overall health problems such as diabetes, heart diseases, inflammation, etc.
  • Regular brushing and flossing, quitting smoking, limiting coffee and tea intake, eating a healthy diet and drinking sufficient amount of water can help adults maintain a healthy mouth.

Seniors

  • A majority of them don’t have natural teeth. The remaining teeth need to be preserved as they are more prone to oral health issues, such as gum diseases.
  • Certain medical conditions such as arthritis in fingers and hands can make brushing difficult.
  • Use an electric toothbrush. Rinse afterward with an antiseptic mouthwash. Clean the dentures daily.
  • Oral issues at this age can result in overall health complications related to digestion, heart and other vital organs.

A family dentist offers many advantages such as familiarity, convenience, and reliability. They know your family’s dental history thoroughly, which allows for early detection and prevention of any underlying oral or related overall health issues. So if you still haven’t consulted one, find a dentist near you.

Never miss out on dental checkups. Professional dental care can help ensure healthy smiles in your family.

Source: https://www.longevitylive.com/health-living/family-health/know-importance-family-dental-care/