With the rise of the use of Marijuana in our country due to many states continuing to pass laws legalizing the use, many patients now feel that it is a harmless substance to try, use or even abuse! However, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have identified a molecule that is activated by the presence of THC in the bloodstream that accelerates the growth in patients with HPV-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
HPV-related head and neck cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States, while at the same time that exposure to marijuana is accelerating. These cancers are the sixth most common cancer worldwide and begin in the cells that line the membranes inside the mouth, nose, and throat. Researchers believe that increased marijuana use over recent times may be the driving factor in this increase. There is now scientific evidence that daily marijuana use can drive tumor growth in HPV-related head and neck cancer!
Researchers are now looking at whether cannabidiol (CBD) has a similar effect to THC. CBD is another major chemical compound that is found in marijuana but does not produce the same high and is commonly used in over the counter products such as lotions, ointments, and edibles. Stay tuned as more information about the effects of the use of marijuana in all of its forms, recreactional and medicinal, becomes available!
Jaunary 1st has come and gone and many people have made Resolutions like "No more nail biting," Lose ten pounds" or "Stop Smoking!" Even by now, most resolutions have already "gone by the wayside." But if nothing else has helped you keep your resolutions, maybe by seeing how they can improve your oral health will give you some extra willpower!
NO MORE NAIL BITING. You can easily see how nail biting affects your fingernails, but its effects are more than cosmetic. The pressure this habit places on tooth enamel can lead to cracks, chips, and enamel erosion. Nail biters have a greater risk of bruxism, or teeth grinding. And the transfer of germs from your fingers to your mouth and mouth to fingers is a vicious circle that can lead to illnesses and infections in both fingers and mouth.
NO MORE JUNK FOOD. Sugars and carbs help pack on the pounds, no doubt. But did you know that they can also help create cavities? Sugar is a favorite food for oral bacteria, which allows them to produce acids which attack and weaken tooth enamel. And carbs? They convert easily to simple sugars. Choose nutritious snacks and beverages, and you will keep those teeth healthy!
NO MORE SMOKING OR VAPING. Cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco - there is no tobacco product that is heathy for your body or your teeth! And vaping? Due to the particle size and many sugar-laden flavoring agents, vaping can actually be more damaging to your teeth! We are all familiar with the discoloration tobacco can cause, but it also has serious oral health consequences. Oral cancer, gum disease, early tooth loss - all these conditions have been linked to tobacco use. Today, there are more methods than ever before to help you quit. Make this your year!
Even if some or all or your New Year's Resolutions have already been discarded, it's not too late to make a commitment or start again to work on those healthier habits. If you'd like to tackle teeth grinding, banish nail biting, stop smoking or vaping, or even work on any other habits that can damage your health and teeth, we can discuss them with you at your next dental visit. And, don't forget - resolving to see us twice a year for a check-up and a cleaning is a resolution that's extremely easy to keep!
The Holidays are a very hectic time of the year and the last thing that anyone needs to worry about is their breath! One of the most common ways to keep your breath fresh during the Holidays is with mouthwash. While mouthwash is important for fresh breath, combined with other forms of dental hygiene, it can help prevent plaque, cavitiies, and other gum diseases. But with so many choices, it may be difficult for you to choose the right mouthwash off the shelf. Take a look at a few things to consider when choosing a mouthwash.
- FLUORIDE MOUTHWASH. These mouthwashes are designed for patients that are cavity-prone. Fluoride creates a protective film over the teeth and strengthens the enamel.
- ALCOHOL MOUTHWASH. Alcohol in mouthwash works as an antiseptic: it clears the mouth of germs and some viral infections. However, if you have issues relating to a dry mouth, alcohol can aggrevate the problem.
- ANTIBACTERIAL MOUTHWASH. Antibacterial mouthwashes have special ingredients to help fight gum disease and other infections. Although most mouthwashes contain trace amounts of these chemicals, some are designed to specially fight bacterial infections.
Although mouthwashes can be a quick way to keep your breath "Holiday fresh," remember that they are a prevention and not a cure!
There are some things we don't miss about being a kid. Getting grounded? A thing of the past. Curfew? Not happening. Confiscating our cell phones? As if. Cavities? While we'd like to think those are also a part of childhood that we can happily leave behind, unfortunately, the potential for cavities is one thing that we truly never outgrow!
If you are keeping up with a healthy dental routine, you know that two minutes of twice daily careful brushing, flossing, a sensible diet, regular dental exams and cleanings are the best way to keep cavities from ever recurring. But adults face other challenges that children might not. Take a look at the following things that need to have attention during the adulting phase of life.
- Over Brushing. Too vigorous brushing can damage gum tissue.
- Receding Gums. Aging, gum disease, improper brushing technique, genetics, and other factors can leave root surfaces exposed to bacterial acids, which can lead to root decay and tooth loss.
- Aging Dental Work. Over time, all dental work ages under normal chewing pressure, which can allow bacteria to enter into the worn spaces or margins that are no longer sealed, which can lead to internal decay or tooth loss if left untreated.
- Life As An Adult. A busy schedule can lead to unhealthy diet choices. Sugar, acidic foods (like sodas, coffee and tea), and carbs, which break down into sugar, can lead to the increased risk for tooth decay. Physical changes like exercise, new medications or certain medical conditions can lead to a drier mouth. Stress can also weaken immune systems and increase the potential to night time teeth grinding. These changes have also been associated with a break down of your dental health.
Aduting is a phase of life that is inevitable even if many people desire to have the Peter Pan motto to "never grow up!" At your next cleaning and exam, our Dental Team can discuss what changes that have occurred in your life that might impact your overall dental health!
What's in your carry-on bag? You've got your passport, ticket, and currency, but what about your dental floss? Of course! You're preparing for the trip of a lifetime, and we want to help make sure that everything goes according to plan.
Part of your preparation before a long awaited vacation should be a complete dental check-up at our office well in advance of your trip. If there is dental work that needs to be done, now is the time to do it. No one wants to be struck over the Atlantic with a toothache, and changes in atmospheric pressure can cause serious problems if you have a severely compromised tooth!
Now that you have the all clear sign to travel, what about maintenance once you're on board for a long flight? Some airlines provide toothpaste and brushes for travelers. If you have any questions about the quality of the water in the airplane restroom, use bottled water to brush your teeth. There are also single-use mini-brushes that are available for travelers that come pre-loaded with paste and ready to use without any water at all. Crisp fruits and vegetables can also help to clean teeth during your flight if brushing is not an option, and drinking plenty of water will not only keep you well hydrated, but help cleanse your mouth and teeth as well. Finally, be sure to travel with floss, a travel-sized tube of toothpaste, and a brush in a well-ventilated container in case you face any airport delays between flights.
Once you've arrived at your destination, try to keep your dental routine as close to normal as possible while on vacation. Regular brushing and flosssing is still a necessity, especially if you take the opportunity to explore the local desserts. Hopefully, these tips can make your flight more comfortable--now that you've reached your dream destination, the rest is up to you!
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