Are you worried about snoring? Perhaps it is yourself that snores all you have a partner, husband or wife that snores? Whatever the cause, snoring can become a major problem for both the individual and their partner.
In this blog post our Derby dentist, Dr Daniel Murphy takes an in-depth look at snoring, what it is, how it happens and what some of the potential treatments might be.
Why do people snore?
Snoring happens when a part of your airway becomes narrowed, when you are asleep and relaxed this narrowing can reverberate as you breathe causing the snoring sound.
Anything that makes this narrowing smaller or facilitates your relaxation and sleep can increase the likelihood of snoring, think about things like:
- Being overweight. The extra weight can restrict the airway and put more pressure on the narrowed part causing you to snore more.
- Drinking lots of alcohol. This can encourage a deeper sleep/unconsciousness which means the muscles relax and the airway narrows.
- Sleeping on your back. Your tongue can fall back narrowing the airway.
- Stopping smoking. Smoking can irritate and restrict your airway making snoring more likely.
There are also medical conditions such as sleep apnoea which mean your airway becomes temporarily blocked whilst you are asleep, this is not necessarily linked to weight, alcohol or the position in which you sleep.
How to stop snoring
Before you look at the ways to stop snoring it’s good to consider why you snore in the first place, this will then give you a more detailed answer.
Ways to stop snoring include:
- Mandibular advancement devices.
- CPAP Machines (Constant Positive Air Pressure).
These ways to stop snoring are in addition to the more obvious losing weight, drinking less and stopping smoking.
Mandibular advancement devices
Following a snoring assessment by your dentist mandibular advancement devices can help to dramatically reduce snoring. They work by pulling your lower jaw forwards, as your jaw comes forwards the attached muscles also pull forwards and open up your airway.
This technique is so effective that emergency medical crews will pull your lower jaw forwards if you are unconscious, this act alone can help to open and airway and allow an unconscious casualty to breathe more easily.
Mandibular advancement devices such as this are usually available from your dentist.
You would wear your mandibular advancement device at night, they are comfortable to wear and can help you get a good nights sleep, free from snoring.
This type of device is one of the stop snoring devices that really work.
Other stop snoring aids
Other aids to stop snoring include things like anti snoring pillows and devices which prevent you from lying on your back. These devices all primarily work in the same way, to change your position whilst sleeping so that you don’t snore.
If you’re snoring is not primarily caused by your position then you still may find that you snore when using some of these other devices, if this is the case then a mandibular advancement device may work better for you.
Operation to stop snoring
There is an operation called a somnoplasty, this operation is a simple procedure to modify the shape of your airway, particularly uvula and soft palate. It is done under local anaesthetic so is relatively quick with a short recovery time.
This treatment is however not suitable for people with sleep apnoea.
Obstructive sleep apnoea or OSA
OSA takes snoring to the next level, with this condition the muscles relax so much that the airway becomes completely blocked, when this happens breathing will become impossible.
Obstructive sleep apnoea can affect men, women and children alike, affecting sleep and overall health.
If the apnoea lasts for more than 10 seconds then the level of oxygen in the blood can reduce leading to hypoxia. If this happens frequently throughout the night it can lead to extremely disruptive sleep.
In extreme circumstances a constant positive air pressure machine can be used to keep the airway open, this ensures the blood remains oxygenated and because the airway doesn’t close so often sleep come be far better.
This type of machine will be prescribed by your doctor following sleep apnoea tests.
If you have snoring (as opposed to sleep apnoea) and would like more advice about which device can help, please contact our Derby dentist, Dr Daniel Murphy who will be pleased to see you for a consultation and discuss how a mandibular advancement device may be able to help.
We’ve just picked up on some recent research from the University of Cardiff which showed that of the 160 children that responded to their survey 89.4% of them stated that they drank sports drinks with half of them drinking them at least twice a week. What most parents and children don’t realise is that these drinks are intended to improve performance and keep athletes hydrated and are not intended to be drank as recreational drinks, especially by young people.
You will probably have seen that drinking these drinks has been marketed as being fashionable, trendy and often healthy which has led to a surge in popularity amongst the younger members of our population.
When the researchers asked the children that responded why they drank these drinks, the main reason was attributed to the nice taste (90% of respondents) with 80.4% of respondents purchasing the drinks from local shops. 77.9% of boys came to drink sports drinks during physical activity whilst only 48.6% of girls claimed the same thing however, more girls claim to drink socially, 51.4% compared to 48.5% for boys.
Alarmingly, a study reported in the independent.ie says that 55% of the sports drinks consumed at home rather than during any exercise at all!
The problem is not the sports drinks themselves, the problem is the fact that these drinks are formulated for enhanced exercise performance. The sugar in sports drinks is there to give fast absorption of carbohydrate so that the muscles can run at peak performance. Yet if these drinks are consumed with out the physical exercise then the body is not using the sugar in this way.
Lucozade sport, for example Contains 27 g of sugar or 7 teaspoons worth in a 750 mL bottle. The world health organisation recommends people consume a maximum of 50 g of added sugar per day, meaning one bottle of Lucozade sport is more than 50% of your daily recommended intake.
Obesity expert Dr Donal O’Shea says:
“If you’re a gold medal Olympian who’s burning 6,000 calories a day and can’t eat enough to replace that, maybe a sports drink is okay, but for everyone else they have no benefit,”
The government’s recent launch of their Change4Life campaign of the Sugar Smart app goes a long way to helping children understand how much sugar is contained in various drinks, because this is an app, children find it more interactive and a useful way to scan their favourite drinks to see how much sugar is included.
What are the risks to your dental health of too much sugar?
We’ve written in other blog posts about the effects of too much sugar with regards to diabetes and obesity but there are also risks to your dental health.
Dental decay is caused by the acid excreting from the bacteria in your mouth, these bacteria feed prolifically on the sugar in your diet, the more sugar you have, the more they feed on the more acid they excrete.
In the most part your saliva neutralises this acid but it can only work to a certain degree, too much acid and it attacks your teeth and causes dental decay.
One of the biggest problems is that these bacteria lurk in between your teeth which is notoriously difficult to clean, this is why using an interdental brush or floss is absolutely vital for maintaining your dental health.
Here is, perhaps a more honest advert for sports drinks!
Ways to reduce sugar intake
It is fairly easy to limit the amount of added sugar that you put on food, more difficult is being aware of the sugar that you don’t know you are eating. It’s important to doublecheck things like sauces, dressings, cereals plus prepackaged food like soup and ready meals.
Fizzy drinks contain a huge amount of sugar, a 500 mL bottle of cola contains the equivalent of 17 cubes of sugar. Even when you drink fruit juice you are still consuming a large amount of additional sugar.
Here are a few additional tips to reduce sugar intake:
- Consider sweeteners in moderation instead of adding sugar.
- Remove the temptation of adding sugar by not putting it on the table in the first place. Remember, syrup and honey also contain sugar, so keep these safely in the cupboard also.
- Enhance your food with spices instead of sugar, things like ginger, cinnamon or nutmeg can add interesting flavours without adding sugar.
- Purchase sugarfree drinks or get into the habit of drinking water, perhaps with a slice of lemon or lime to give it a fresh taste.
- When baking reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe by up to 1/2, often you won’t notice any difference.
- If you purchase tinned fruit, make sure it is in water or natural juices rather than in syrup.
- If you like sugary cereal, rather than add sugar, experiment with different fruits such as bananas, cherries, strawberries or dried fruits such as apricots, raisins or cranberries.
Dove Dental Care is a dental practice in Derby with a keen interest in helping patients, young and old improve and maintain their dental health.
Dr Daniel Murphy encourages patients to give up smoking, not only is the habit damaging for your overall body health it has serious consequences the teeth too. A recent study shows that smoking alters the oral biome, creating high levels of bacterial species in the mouth.
Smoking is widely known to be linked to a range of dental problems including complications after dental implant placement, root canal therapy and dental extractions smoking also exacerbates cavities and periodontal disease. Whilst many of these complications are due to a result of the toxins in the smoke the most recent study published in the International Society for Microbial Ecology discovered that smoking also alters the oral biome.
The study evaluated the oral microbiomes of more than 1,200 American adults aged 50 and over. More than 100 were current smokers, and 571 were former smokers. Smokers had significantly higher levels of 150 bacterial species, including Streptococcus, and significantly lower levels of 70 other species, including those linked to breaking down the toxins linked to smoking.
Lack of Oxygen
A lack of oxygen is the primary cause of the complications following dental extractions and root canal treatments. The lack of oxygen in your bloodstream means the infected gums downhill as effectively.
Your blood is a vehicle for delivering oxygen to the various parts of your body as they need it. Your blood vessels are coated with a thin Teflon like layer of cells that ensure smooth bloodflow. When you smoke this layer is damaged allowing fat and plaque to stick to the vessel walls, the narrowing of the blood vessels restricts the amount of oxygen that reach the disease, this is especially important during the healing phase after any form of dental treatment/surgery.
The nicotine and tar in tobacco are responsible for the stains many smokers have on their teeth. Also, because the smoking makes the teeth stickier the bacteria which form dental plaque find it much easier to adhere to the tooth. The double effect of this is that plaque stains more readily than natural teeth does, this often results in heavily stained and plaque ridden teeth.
The links between smoking and cancer are well documented. It is a misconception to think that if you don’t inhale the smoke, particularly types and cigars, then you lower your chance of developing cancer. The truth is if you smoke at all, the smoke comes into contact with the kids use of your mouth and greatly increases your chance of developing oral cancer.
Former smokers had similar oral microbiomes as nonsmokers, which indicates that bacterial colonies do tend to return to a normal, balanced state once smoking stops.
Halitosis or Bad Breath and Smoking
Smoking causes bad breath in one of several ways:
- Leaving smoke particles in the throat and lungs meaning the smell lingers for ages
- 1968 report showed that tobacco smoke contained more than 60 aromatic hydrocarbon, many are carcinogenic and convey s smell. These hydrocarbons, linger in your saliva.
- By trying out your palate. As this happens anaerobic oral bacteria can thrive and produced the smell.
- By leaving a thick layer of tar. This tar relay which covers your breathing passages sticks and has a rather distinctive smokers breath smell. How to overcome smokers breath
What is the advice for smokers from a dental health professional?
Of course, the first piece of advice is going to be quit smoking… But you knew that anyway didn’t you!
Visit your dental hygienist. Regular visits to the dental hygienist will help to ensure that you keep your teeth in good condition as possible. The hygienist can remove any built up plaque which will then make the teeth look brighter and healthier, feel fresher and may also remove some of the odour.
Clean your teeth regularly. Cleaning your teeth regularly, including cleaning between the teeth using a brush or floss will also help to keep down the amount of bacterial buildup in your mouth. We recommend brushing for at least 2 min per day, twice a day.
Use a mouthwash. Use a mouthwash in between brushing (not immediately after brushing as you reduce the amount of fluoride in contact with your teeth). Use them fluoride mouthwash in between meals and in between brushing to give your teeth a little extra freshness and protection.
Chew a sugarfree gum after smoking. This will help to stimulate the saliva in your mouth to start flowing again, this can then alleviate the dry mouth that smoking causes. The smell of the gum and the relief of the dry mouth will also help to reduce any bad breath.
Dove Dental Care are a general dental practice in Derby with a keen interest in helping local people improve their oral health.
Smoking and Plaque Image source dentalhealth.org & hin255 at freedigitalimages.net
There have been many damning reports recently in the press about the state of our children’s dental health. Some of these shocking reports from the Royal College of surgeons and the British Dental Association warned that thousands of children are being admitted to hospital to have teeth removed because of advanced decay, all of this costing the NHS millions.
The Health and Social Care Information Centre’s research shows these numbers have been increasing consistently for the past four successive years and that the rate of painful tooth extraction in some of the nation’s most deprived children is five times that of the children in better off areas.
Children with this level of dental decay find it difficult to sleep, eat and speak, not to mention problems socialising with other children. This will inevitably affect their development as well as education.
The research goes on to show that many children have their decayed teeth extracted under general anaesthetic, with 8362 children being admitted in London for the procedure.
The statistics are scary, yet 90% of this dental decay is actually preventable with a balanced diet and regular dental checkups with the dentist.
As adults in our society we make our own choices about whether we go to the dentist not, the problem is a five-year-old doesn’t have this choice, they are reliant upon their parent or carer to make the right choice for them and ensure their dental health remains good.
Many parents believe that children have two sets of teeth and therefore can afford to have the first set go rotten. The problem with this theory is that as the dental decay takes hold the bacteria have an adverse effect on the rest of the body also, thereby impacting on the child’s overall health.
If a child is first set (deciduous) of teeth are left to decay then this oral hygiene routine can become a habit which then continues on to win the second (permanent) set of teeth come through. This can then spell disaster for the overall dental health of the child as they mature and grow into adulthood.
So what can we do?
The simple answer is twofold:
- Maintain a balanced and healthy diet
- Have regular visits to the dentist to ensure your child’s oral health care routine is efficient.
Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is primarily focused around reducing the amount of sugar. Sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth and as they feed they secrete an acid which attacks the hard outer surface of your tooth. If this acid attack is left to continue then the decay becomes worse and worse until ultimately your child is left in pain and the tooth has to be removed. Reducing the amount of sugar in your child’s diet is one of the primary ways of preventing this happening, along with maintaining an adequate daily dental healthcare routine.
Regular visits to the dentist will also ensure that your daily dental health care routine is adequate. Here’s our advice for children.
Advice for looking after your children’s dental health
- Take your child to the dentist from an early age this helps them get used to sitting in the chair, going up and down and generally being around a healthcare professional.
- Start brushing your child’s teeth at soon as they appear, even as a baby. This gives your child time to get used to the feel of a toothbrush in their mouth as young as possible.
- Use a child’s toothpaste. A children’s toothpaste has less fluoride than an adult toothpaste, fluoride is generally good when kept to the correct dose however it can in excess cause problems for children.
- Use a pea sized amount of toothpaste when you clean your children’s teeth twice per day for 2 min.
- Supervise your child’s brushing up until around the age of 7.
Many dental practices offer special children’s rates and care/maintenance plans to help look after your children’s teeth. Our dental practice in Derby offers children’s dentistry with examinations starting from £7.50 to help you keep your child’s teeth and overall health as good as possible for life.
Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As many people know our bodies work as a complete system, with things working best when everything is in balance and order. Studies have shown that the bacteria found in periodontitis are also involved in many other diseases and problems caused around the body.
In this blog post we take a look at some of those conditions… Is your mouth making you sick?
Heart disease and gum disease.
Gum disease may increase the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.
Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
Diabetes and risk of premature death.
It may sound sensationalist to say this, but it’s true. A study on Periodontal Disease and Mortality in Type 2 Diabetes showed that periodontal disease is a strong predictor of mortality from ischaemic heart disease and diabetic nephropathy.
The diabetic person with severe periodontal disease may be particularly susceptible to microvascular and macrovascular complications, these are primarily responsible for the increased morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes.
Gum disease and tooth loss may increase the risk of Alzheimers.
It is clear that periodontal disease is associated with numerous systemic diseases, it is however too soon to tell for sure if Alzheimer’s is on this list. There are however some plausible biological mechanisms linking periodontitis and Alzheimer’s disease.
These include mechanisms such as the spread of negative bacteria from the oral cavity to the brain, injury to the brain tissue from systemic inflammatory mediators produced in response to periodontal pathogens, periodontal disease increasing the risk of cerebrovascular injury to the brain, weight loss and wasting associated with periodontal disease may also contribute to cognitive decline conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Gum disease linked to pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in America, it is extremely difficult to treat and little is known about what causes it. There are established links between pancreatic cancer, cigarette smoking and type II diabetes. A new study by the Harvard School of Public health and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that periodontal disease was associated with an increased risk of cancer of the pancreas.
“Our study provides the first strong evidence that periodontal disease may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. This finding is of significance as it may provide some new insights into the mechanism of this highly fatal disease”
How to look after your teeth properly.
Looking after your teeth on a day-to-day basis really is quite simple, if you follow these guidelines you will be sure to keep the gum disease causing bacteria reduced to an absolute minimum.
Brush your teeth for 2 min twice per day.
Cleaning your teeth are 2 min using a good quality toothpaste which includes fluoride is the best way to start. Brush the 2 min, focusing 30 seconds on the top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right quadrants of your jaw.
If you don’t have an electric toothbrush with a timer, brush your teeth using a stopwatch or second-hand of a clock. Make sure you time it for 2 min.
Clean in between your teeth.
The acid excreting bacteria which cause dental disease lurk in between your teeth. The best way to clean them is to use an interdental brush or floss, you can do this any time of day, it doesn’t have to be at the same time as cleaning your teeth.
Use fluoride mouthwash after meals.
Rinse your mouth out with a fluoride mouthwash after meals, this will wash away any food debris and bring the enamel hardening fluoride into contact with your teeth in the middle of the day. Avoid rinsing with mouthwash after brushing your teeth, toothpaste contains more fluoride than mouthwash does, if you rinse with mouthwash the new actually reduce the amount of fluoride in contact with your teeth.
If all else fails, just listen to the Singing Dentist who will explain it all in song…
Dove Dental Care are a Derby dental practice offering a range of dental health treatments and advice to the local people around SW18
Research from the British Dental Foundation has identified that around 20% of us fear visiting the dentist. Of those who don’t visit the dentist regularly 36% cite fear as their main reason for not going.
Unfortunately though, not visiting the dentist can cause significant oral health problems. If you don’t have regular dental check-ups you cannot identify problems in their early stages and you can turn simple, treatable ailments into life threatening problems.
Fear can be a powerful stimulator but we can overcome our dental phobias using a few, often very simple techniques. With that in mind here are some of the best techniques to use.
Talking to a dentist
The best place to start is to talk to a dentist or a dental practice. If you can’t face actually visiting a practice then try and arrange a phone consultation.
In the consultation try and discuss your fears and let the dentist know what they can do to help relax you. Things to discuss should include;
- What causes your fears
- Whether taking regular breaks would help
- Whether having steps in treatment carefully explained would help
- Whether you like to be talked to before and during treatment
All these options can help you feel more relaxed around a dentist. They are human too and really have no desire to scare you or cause you avoidable discomfort.
Using Distraction Techniques
Distraction techniques are designed to help your mind think of other things whilst you have treatment. There are a variety of great distraction techniques you might want to consider but we’d recommend any of the following
- Taking an mp3 player with you and listening to relaxing music
- Having a friend sit in with you to talk to you
- Asking the dental nurse to talk to you
- Counting in your head
Anything that might work for you is worth considering and anything that won’t interfere with your treatment is worth trying to help you relax and be distracted.
Using Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are incredibly helpful if you want to ease your stress before and during treatment. There are a two options here that have been shown to help patients with dental anxiety.
Gentle exercise is very good at relaxing the body. We’d rather you didn’t enter a practice straight from a ten mile run but if you exercise and then shower just before your treatment your body will be at its most relaxed. Even gentle exercise has been shown to help you relax.
2. Breathing Exercises
Practicing controlled breathing acts as both a relaxation and distraction technique and is really helpful. Breathing through your mouth can be tricky during treatment so practice timed breathing through your nose. Three deep breaths in and out slowly is a great way to bring your heart rate down and to keep your mind occupied whilst you count the slow inhales and exhales.
Therapy and Support Groups
If these techniques don’t help you to overcome your dental fears then you may want to look to support groups and therapy to cure the underlying issues that cause your fear.
Online then are a wide number of support groups, such as the one at Dental Fear Central, where you can talk to other people with similar issues and find the support and techniques to help you.
If these don’t help then therapy might be the best course of action. You can seek treatment for dental phobia on the NHS and there are actually a number of specialist dealing with dental phobias as it is a common fear for many of us.
We wish you the best of luck overcoming your dental fears and hope this helps put you on the path to safe oral hygiene.
Dove Dental Care is a Derby dentist offering gentle and caring dentistry with a range of techniques, such as dental sedation to help with dental fear and anxiety
It seems that, each day, many of us are eating too much sugar.
You may be surprised to discover the amount of sugar you are eating and how quickly the added sugar that many of us consume can build up during the day.
The government are now advising that parents take action by installing a new app onto their smart phone which is able to read the barcodes on many food products giving them a visual representation of the amount of sugar a product contains.
The “sugar smart app”, from Public Health England (PHE), functions by checking bar code scans and revealing total sugar content of the food in either cubes or grams.
Authorities hope it can help combat tooth cavities, weight problems and type 2 diabetes and encourage families to select more healthy options with their daily diet.
TOOTH CAVITIES & DENTAL DISEASE
Approximately 46,500 children and young people under 19 were admitted to hospital for a primary diagnosis of dental caries in 2013–14 according to The state of children’s oral health in England report by the Faculty of Dental Surgery – that’s more children than were admitted for tonsillitis.
As a nation, if we are going to reduce these hospital admissions for young people and we need to get dental disease under control.
Dental cavities arise when the bacteria in your mouth secrete acid. This acid secretion happens as they digest the sugar in your diet. This acid attacks the hard enamel of your teeth and can continue to penetrate deep into the tooth structure.
If this acid attack is left unchecked then the tooth can become seriously infected.
The only way to stop the dental cavity from continuing to grow is to visit the dentist, have the caries removed and then the hole filled. Advice on a good oral health routine can then be given as well as dietary advice.
It is this acid attack which can be limited if we control the amount of sugar that we have in our diets.
There are however other reasons to limit the amount of sugar.
TYPE 2 DIABETES
Chris Askew, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, said:
“Diets that are high in sugar are fuelling the rise in obesity, and in turn the dramatic rise in Type 2 diabetes, a serious health condition that can lead to devastating complications such as blindness, amputations and stroke. This is unlike Type 1 diabetes which cannot be prevented and is not caused by being obese. With the average child consuming three times the recommended daily amount of sugar, the need for action has never been more urgent. The new Sugar Smart app will help parents to understand and take control of their children’s sugar intake.
PHE states that young people are eating 3X more sugar than is recommended in their new Change4Life marketing campaign. Their research indicates that normally children aged 4 to 10 years of age are consuming 22kg of added sugar annually. That equates to about 5,500 sugar cubes which is more that the average 5-year old weighs!
It’s all as simple as 3 easy steps:
Get The App
Reveal The Sugar
HERE’S HOW TO USE THE SUGAR SMART APP
- Download the application through the Apple Store or Google Play.
- Based on how old you are, your everyday sugar allowance will differ. The application informs you on the maximum you should eat.
- Select the product that has a barcode.
- Open the application.
- Permit the application the use of the digital camera on your phone- a box will appear requesting permission.
- Line the barcode track up with the red-colored line and wait for a beep. If it’s doesn’t work, yo may be trying to scan too close up, so move the camera further away.
- The application will let you know just how much sugar there is in the product – however the application does not have every food item available yet as it is still in it’s development stage.
- After that you can share the end result together with your connections on Facebook, Twitter, Google & other social media sites.
- Clicking the menu button gives you more about sugar content in meals, a scanning history and let’s you go to the app’s website.
If you have children we can highly recommend that they download the app and begins scanning food, this can be a fun way to educate your case about the amount of sugar in food.
More resources about sugar
Dove Dental Care is a Private dental practice in Derby offering free dental health advice via their website, social media streams and regularly updated blog posts.
November 2015 is mouth cancer action month.
Mouth cancer action month was set up in 1998 to begin to combat the growing concerns about a significant increase in diagnoses of mouth cancer in the UK. The primary concern was that there seemed to be a lack of general awareness about the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, knowing what to look out for and being confident to report it to a healthcare professional. This year our dental practice in Derby is doing its part to raise the awareness of mouth cancer.
Throughout this blog post we have placed several hyperlinks to additional resources, if you click on these you can find out more information about the subjects highlighted.
The causes of mouth cancer.
Most mouth cancers can be linked back to smoking cigars and pipes, there are also instances of habits such as chewing tobacco being a contributory factor to mouth cancer. Alcohol also gives an increased risk of mouth cancer, particularly if consumed at the same time as tobacco.
With a tendency for people to lay out in the sun more, over exposure to sunlight can also responsible for causing some cancer of the lips.
Many recent reports have linked mouth cancer to the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is the major cause of cervical cancer and affects the skin that lines the moist areas of the body. HPV can be spread through oral sex, and research now suggests that it could soon rival smoking and drinking as one of the main causes of mouth cancer. Practicing safe sex and limiting the number of partners you have may help reduce your chances of contracting HPV.
The signs of oral cancer
There are many different forms of oral cancer. However, the primary signs and symptoms may include:
- A lump or thickening of the soft tissue in your mouth, including the gums, tongue and cheek.
- Soreness and/or a feeling that something is caught in your throat.
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
- Jaw pain.
- Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw.
- Numbness of the tongue or other area of your mouth.
- White or red patches in the mouth the do not normally. (Typically these areas should heal within three weeks)
- Mouth ulcers that don’t heal within three weeks.
Early detection of mouth cancer
The two best ways of detecting mouth cancer early are to be mouth aware at home and to have regular visits to your dentist. A modern dental practice should always undertake the mouth cancer check with every dental health assessment and this is a primary way of spotting the first signs of mouth cancer.
In order to be more mouth aware we have created a free guide, this goes through seven points for self-assessment at home. Looking at the risk factors for oral cancer and how you can lower them. You can download your 7 point mouth cancer self assessment guide here or download by completing your details below,
If your dentist believes they have found an early sign of mouth cancer than they will immediately refer you to the local hospital who can carry out more extensive tests which may include biopsies.
If mouth cancer is spotted early, the chances of a complete cure are good, and the smaller the area or ulcer the better the chance of a cure.
How to keep a healthy mouth
Blue Lip Selfie Campaign – #bluelipselfie
Get involved with our Blue Lip Selfie campaign and show your support for mouth cancer!
This year, the British Dental Health Foundation have joined forces with main sponsors Denplan and created a fantastic new campaign to help raise awareness of mouth cancer.
They’re asking people to wear blue lips as a visible sign of support for mouth cancer and take a selfie. We hope this positive, interactive approach will significantly boost awareness of the disease and get everybody taking about mouth cancer, the risk factors involved, the signs and symptoms, and what we can do to help reduce our risk.
So what are you waiting for? Show the world your perfect pout and be part of something huge that aims to get everybody talking about mouth cancer!
How to take part
Everybody can take part in the Blue Lip Selfie campaign; men or women, old or young, it doesn’t matter.
All you need to do is take a selfie of yourself or alongside family, friends or colleagues, and share it with the hashtag #bluelipselfie to help raise awareness get the campaign going viral and encourage others to show their support for mouth cancer.
You may already know about the health benefits of reducing the amount of sugar you eat, and equally you may already know that sugar is a great source of food for the bacteria which can cause dental decay. If you can cut down the amount of sugar you eat then you greatly reduce your chances of dental decay, so here are 10 ways to kick your sugar habit.
1 – Eat regularly
Eat 3 balanced meals and 2 healthy snacks per day, this will help prevent your blood sugar levels dropping dramatically. The more hungry you feel the more you will stray toward sugary snacks and junk food.
2- Choose whole foods and read the label
Choose natural foods that haven’t been processed. Real food is fresh and can perish. Packaged, branded food is often processed and contains added and/or hidden sugars. Look out for hidden sugars such as sucrose, fruit juice, maltodextrin and honey. Food labels are listed by weight, some manufacturers can use many types of sugars in small amounts to fill out one product.
3 – Don’t start the day with sugar
Breakfasts containing high starch and added sugar will only lead to cravings later in the day as your blood glucose spikes and dives. Eggs, fats and whole grains (whole oats, wheat, brown rice) can help you feel fuller for longer, with slow-release energy.
4 – Fruit, not fruit juice
The fibre in whole fruit helps us to balance out its sugar content. Smoothies and juices can shred or remove some of the fibre which may expose us to high levels of fructose, which raises blood sugar. Stick to water if you’re thirsty.
5 – Spice up your life
Use spices and herbs to add a natural sweetness to foods.
Add nutmeg, cinnamon or coriander to your food to kill off cravings.
6 – Keep busy
Filling your day with distractions, even a simple stroll can help you ignore the nagging need for a sugar hit.
7 – Get physical
Exercise improves your insulin sensitivity which helps with blood sugar levels. By increasing muscle mass you increase your body’s ability to use energy from food and reduce fat.
8 – Sleep and distress
Tiredness can tempt us to use sugar for extra energy. Aim to get adequate sleep. Look at the causes of stress or emotional issues that may be pushing you to find comfort in junk food.
9 – What you don’t have, can’t harm you
Keep sugary snacks and junk food out of the kitchen and office. You then won’t have access to it when temptation hits. Try whole fruits and unsalted nuts and seeds when hunger strikes.
10 – Drink plenty of water
By keeping hydrated and drinking plenty of water you will reduce the likelihood of turning to sugar filled juices or fizzy drinks in order to quench your thirst.
By looking after your teeth with daily cleaning and following a responsible and healthy diet you are far more likely to be able to keep your teeth fresh and healthy life which is, after all what everybody wants.
Dove Dental Care is a private dental practice in Derby offering a range of dental health care treatments for the local people.
*Images sourced from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
Content adapted from Babi Chana BSC Nut Med.