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Exploring the Link Between Periodontal Disease and Esophageal Cancer

Dental researchers have long known about the connection between the bacteria that cause periodontal disease and other health conditions, but a new study from the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Center at the New York University Langone Health has now linked these strains of bacteria to a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer.

The study was published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, and outlines a new investigation between gum disease and esophageal cancer, the eighth most prevalent cancer in the world.

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Can Squid Ink Help Test for Gum Disease?

Squid ink may soon be a new way for dentists to test for periodontal disease.

How Squid May Save Gums

The strange connection developed when a University of California, San Diego, nanoengineer Jesse Jokerst was at a dental checkup. Part of his exam included the usual poking and prodding of the gums.

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Oral Health Complications Getting Higher with Marijuana Use

Dentists may be seeing more patients with oral health complications because of increasing rates of marijuana use. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 22.2 million people in the United States have used marijuana in the past 30 days, and the rate of marijuana use is increasing as the stigma attached to using the drug is decreasing.

Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in eight states and the District of Columbia, and the medical use of the drug is now legal in 28 states.

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Sleep Apnea May Sabotage Your Dental Implants

Spanish researchers have found that obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of implant complications in patients with dental implants. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, causes patients to stop breathing during sleep. In some patients, these episodes may occur just a few times throughout the night, but many individuals experience sleep interruptions of 30 or more times per hour.

OSA is also responsible for the development of bruxism, or tooth grinding, in patients while they sleep. This OSA-induced tooth grinding has a negative impact on dental implants and prosthetic restorations, according to the study.

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Great Gums Are Important, Too!

Brushing and flossing is often mentioned as a way to have healthy teeth, but what about healthy gums? Gums should not be overlooked during oral hygiene routines, as gum health is very important to both oral and total health. Finding out what healthy gums look like and what it takes to maintain them should be questions that every patient asks their dental care provider.

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Want to Protect Your Teeth? Pass Up that Bottled Water

Bottled water is an increasingly popular beverage in the United States. While drinking bottled water helps to increase hydration, according to the American Dental Association it may also be increasing rates of tooth decay because it lacks fluoride that is necessary for protecting teeth.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that occurs in water, rocks and soil. Fluoride is especially important for the protection of teeth from tooth decay. It is absorbed into the tooth enamel, and remineralizes the teeth against decay caused by acid erosion. Acid erosion occurs when bacteria begin to break down food particles left behind in the mouth that were not removed by brushing or flossing.

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Get Educated About Enamel Erosion

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body. This bony, dense material needs to be strong in order to protect the sensitive living nerves and tissue deep inside the teeth during chewing. Enamel also keeps out bacteria and other pathogens that cause infection and inflammation in the tooth’s living tissue, known as the pulp. Although tooth enamel is extremely durable, it is subject to damage and deterioration caused by bacterial tooth decay and acid erosion. Enamel erosion is a serious dental condition that impacts over half of American adults and one-third of children in the United States, according to the National Institute of Health.

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Sjögren’s Syndrome Causes More Than Dry Mouth

Dry mouth conditions that are caused by Sjögren’s syndrome are not only uncomfortable, but greatly diminish sufferers’ quality of life, says an article published this month in Dentistry Today.

Most notable symptoms of the this autoimmune disorder include extreme dry mouth and dry eyes caused by the disorder’s impact on the salivary glands, tear ducts and other mucus producing membranes of the body. Other symptoms of Sjgren’s syndrome include extreme fatigue and joint pain.

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April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and dentists around the country are raising awareness by sharing information about this disease and encouraging their patients to have an oral cancer screening performed at their next dental checkup.

According to the American Dental Association, oral and oropharyngeal cancers account for 2.9 percent of or 49,750 cancer diagnoses in the United States. Oral and oropharyngeal cancers are responsible for 1.6 percent of or 9,750 cancers deaths in the U.S. each year, killing one person every hour of the day. Oral cancer deaths number over 450,000 worldwide.

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Don’t Skip Dental Check Ups

It may be that time of year – time for a dental check up. This particular type of office visit may fill some individuals with dread and despair. As a result of their fear of the dentist, these patients may put off their visit to the dentist until absolutely necessary. While dentists understand that dental phobia is a very real thing, all dentists would agree that a trip to the dentist is one of the most important things to safeguard the health of the mouth and the body.

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