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Posts Tagged ‘dental care’

A Dental Exam Before Beginning Chemotherapy?

In Dental Care on October 25, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Routine dental examinations prevent against tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues detrimental to not only our oral health, but our overall physical health as well.

Basically this regular exam, teeth cleaning, oral cancer screening, and any other diagnostic procedure such as digital radiography, allow our dentists to gain a complete picture of our oral health.

In order for our trusted family dentist to accurately communicate our current oral health situation, we actually need to go to the dentist!

But that’s been said before, and it will be said again – at least as long as you’re a reader of this little dental-centric blog.

Dental exams become anything but routine when we factor in some other health-related variables. Pregnancies, diabetes, even chemotherapy all represent opportunities for the cavity creeps to grab hold of our optimal oral health and throw a wrench in the works. A Dental Exam Before Chemotherapy

In order for us to receive a total picture of our overall systemic health, it is essential we pay attention to our teeth and gums too.

Without oral health concerns, our picture is out of focus.

It’s the whole incisor, to our oral systemic health connection we’ll all learn more about, as this area of research and patient education becomes more widely known.

When Life Happens, See the Dentist

Maybe going to the dentist isn’t our first thought on receiving the positive pregnancy test news, and perhaps diabetes and dentistry don’t seem like two subjects that go hand in hand. In order for us to maintain optimal health and wellness, we need to actively promote our own optimal oral health.

If not, we’re missing a crucial part of the equation. But our trusted local social dentists are not going to let that happen.

A Dental Exam Before ChemotherapyGiven October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month; we’d like to take the opportunity to promote some local dentistry as it relates to chemotherapy and breast cancer.

Chemotherapy is another cancer treatment regime, or area of health care, where dentistry factors into the equation.

According to Dr. Reitz, in his weekly dental article for the ReadingEagle.com (Reading, PA.);

Both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are effective in treating fast-growing cancer cells but are also toxic to rapidly dividing cells such as bone marrow and mucus membranes.

Mucus membranes line our mouth, throat, digestive and respiratory systems.

In his article, Dr. Reitz explains how everyone experiences mouth ulcers at one time or another, which is totally normal. But more importantly, a similar ulceration occurs during chemotherapy, but to a greater degree and often more painfully.

Dr. Reitz goes on to mention how, in addition to the chemotherapy being toxic to mucus membranes, it also prevents cells in the mouth from reproducing, making it difficult for oral tissue to repair itself.

A healthy mouth contains many different bacteria, some beneficial, others detrimental.

It’s thought that chemotherapy reduces the amount and consistency of saliva, allowing more bad (pathogenic) bacteria to proliferate. Click the link to learn more about how chemotherapy affects mouth ulcer causes and treatment, read Dr. Reitz’s entire article from the ReadingEagle.com.

Then, be sure to SHARE this dental health information with your entire friend list!

Better yet, take this article and post it to your Facebook Wall – and be sure to give a ‘Like’ to Dr. Reitz while you’re at it!

 

How Dogs Help Dental Patients Cope with Dental Anxiety

In Dental Anxiety on September 29, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Dental appointments are often put off, rescheduled, or dismissed altogether – much to the detriment of not only our optimal oral health, but also to our dentists’ self-confidence.

Picture how it would affect you to realize that people only come to see you when they need something.

We don’t think that’s fair, or even nice.

Never mind the disservice you’re doing to yourself by neglecting proper dental care, you’re only hurting yourself there.

But please don’t contribute to the anti-dentite sentiments still systemic throughout society!

Change starts at home…and in the doghouse. how_dogs_help_dental_patients_cope_with_dental_anxiety

Whether it’s fear of pain that keeps you away from the dental office, finances, social anxiety disorder, or simply just a rampant dislike for your teeth and gums, one fact remains undeniable; skipping dental appointments will only cost you more pain and financial discomfort in the future – when something unavoidable arises in your mouth.

Would the company of a trusted pet calm your nerves in the dental office?

Sure, aromatherapy combined with relaxation therapy certainly helps calm the nerves, and sedation dentistry can allow anxious patients the luxury of undergoing years of neglected dental work in a single twilight induced appointment.

And I.V. sedation helps those extreme cases of dental anxiety, or assists with special needs cases a great deal.

But there has to be other options out there…but where?

One interesting way a Palo Alto dentist offers relief for anxious dental patients is gaining lots of attention lately.

how_dogs_help_dental_patients_cope_with_dental_anxietyAs it turns out, more dental practices around the country are following suit.

They’re actually employing the family canine as a type of relaxation therapy for anxious patients during their office visit.

Yes, there is actually a dog in the dental office, even right there in the chair with patients!

Buster is there to comfort people who may experience anxiety before and during their dental appointments.

We love it!

Check out ‘Bay Area Buster’ and go ahead and give his Facebook page a ‘Like’ while you’re at it

Basically, some people feel as if the dentist appointment will surely involve pain, or at least discomfort.

It’s OK to feel that way, we understand.

But, things have changed a great deal, and patient comfort and experience in particular have really changed since the times of the kick drill and the spit sink.

Our comfort is among one of our dentists’ primary concerns. We think doggie dental concierge is a great idea to help reduce patient anxiety – share yours!

How can your dental office visit be more enjoyable, less stressful, or more convenient?

Would having the loving, calming presence of the family canine calm your anxious dental nerves?

The first person to share their thoughts on our Facebook page gets a free lolly…or pig’s ear! J

(BTW – Pain is virtually a thing of the past, if you don’t believe us, just ask your dentist!)

Should Our Dentists Screen for Diabetes?

In Dental Care on August 2, 2011 at 4:30 AM

In case you missed the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Dental Research, we’ll choose this incredibly popular social dental-centric forum to pass along some important health information that recently made the dental headlines.

OK, you’re right – it’s not such a popular forum, but this news is…

According to a recent study out of the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, our dentists can now accurately test for diabetes and prediabetes. (Journal of Dental Research, July 2011, Vol. 90 No.7, pp. 855-860).

In the study titled, Identification of Unrecognized Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes in a Dental Setting, published in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Dental Research, researchers at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine found that dental visits present a great opportunity [for our dentists] to identify people with diabetes or pre-diabetes who are unaware of their condition.

Click the link to read more about how dentists can help identify diabetes or prediabetes risk factors.

Old news you say, we already helped broadcast this message in a factually correct and tirelessly researched, grammatically perfect previous (if not meaningless) blog post?

Right again; but with this news on diabetes and dentistry, why are we not all clamoring away asking our dentists if they are going to offer such a screening on the regular?

And, why are we even asking IF our dentists should administer this completely pain-free, non-invasive, and relatively simple [for our dentists] diagnostic procedure?

Because, it seems like there is some concern as to whether or not this is going to become a normal part of our dental patient experience. If you’re interested in the debate that surely involves more politics than the local Royal Order of Antelope meeting, you can click the link toward the bottom of the page to open the recent article from DrBicuspid.com.

In case catching up on the latest dental news doesn’t really warrant your click thrus , allow us to paraphrase – however loosely defined that may be.

In the DrBicuspid.com article examining dentists screening for diabetes, a dentist from Texas discussed the widespread adoption of the new screening protocol; saying that while he agrees the suggested screening procedure is easy and that screening is important, it is unlikely most dental offices will do it.

Dr. Marc Whitmore goes on to mention, “In fact, much like comprehensive oral cancer screening, it is unfortunately a niche service,” he told DrBicuspid.com.

“Some dentists and dental personnel are actively educating patients about their overall systemic health and the implications of the oral health markers.”

“But is this level of concern common in our profession? Sadly, no.”

Read the complete DrBicuspid.com article by clicking this link, Should dentists screen for diabetes?

We think Dr. Whitmore makes a great point; how only some dentists are actively educating their patients about their overall systemic health.

We’re sure if you’re still here reading this, you’re lucky enough to be in the minority of dental patients out there that actually have a dentist (and dental team) that not only cares enough to utilize state of the art technology in performing their magic, but also employs cutting edge patient communications to keep you up to date on the most important dental and overall systemic health information!

Be sure to choose your dentist wisely; and the next time your dentist asks for a testimonial, do them one better and use technology to broadcast your tip-top tooth doc to the masses via Facebook, Google +1, Angieslist, Healthgrades…or any of your preferred local online review websites of choice!

It feels good to give something back.

Believe it or not, some dentists actually feel invasive if they ‘bother’ us with such information by way of email, or newsletter, or direct mail piece. Let them know that’s not the case.

Could our overall systemic health ever become a bother?