We are in the middle of National Bone and Joint Awareness Week. You may not realize the different ways that your bone and joint health relate to your oral health. Consider your jawbone, for starters. Without proper function, and regular mineralization, you could have TMD (tempormandibular joint disorder) or facial collapse from lack of bone density. Arthritis is a painful condition that affects your joints though inflammation of tissues. Your Kentucky dentist, Dr. Darlene Sand Wall, explains the connection between healthy teeth and arthritis in the knees.
Research Study Links Gum Disease Bacteria to Arthritis
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, OH, analyzed DNA information to determine that the bacteria that cause gum disease can travel all the way from the mouth to the knees. Synovial fluid surrounds the knee caps. This protective liquid is sterile in people with good health. However, when someone already has arthritis, the bacteria are able to take advantage of an already unhealthy situation, and settle in the knee joints. These findings are certainly compelling in terms of oral-systemic health (a connection between your mouth and body).
Can Bacteria from Gum Disease Infiltrate Other Parts of the Body?
While the Case Western Reserve research didn’t examine patients with advanced periodontal disease (gum disease) some of the patients examined presented with identical bacteria in their mouths and knee joints. The body offers a lot of potential channels for various strains of bacteria to travel through. This new evidence of the connection between gum disease and knee joint health warrants further research to uncover which other parts of the body could be affected by gum disease.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Kentucky Dentist
Taking care of your joints, and your teeth, are great ways to continue a wonderful quality of life as the years march on. If you are due for a dental checkup, or have any dental concerns, Dr. Sand Wall would love to see you. To schedule your appointment contact our Erlanger, KY dentist office at 859-344-8500. We are happy to serve families from Cincinnati, Crestview Hills, Ft. Mitchell, Florence, Union, Independence, Taylor Mill, and other Kentucky communities around the 41018 zip code.
As a preventive care measure, most dentists advocate an oral cancer screening during your regular dental check-up. During your oral exam, Dr. Sand Wall will examine the inside of your mouth for lumps, suspicious lesions, and discolorations, such as red or white patches. Oral cancer is often found in places you may not look, such as under the tongue or inside the cheeks.
Most mouth sores are noncancerous. However, if Dr. Sand Wall finds a sore of unusual appearance, she may perform a painless oral brush biopsy to test the abnormal tissue for cancer. The objective, as with any type of cancer, is to detect oral cancer early when it is most easily treated.
Oral Cancer Statistics
The American Cancer Society estimates that 35,000 people will get oral cancer in 2012. The number of fatalities for 2012 is estimated at approximately 6,800. The good news, however, is that the death rate from oral cancer has declined steadily since the 1970s – a statistic many experts credit to early detection.*
Individuals at Higher Risk for Oral Cancer
People with certain risk factors should be particularly vigilant about their oral cancer screenings. These individuals include people who use tobacco products, those who consume alcohol heavily, regularly spend time in the sun without protection, or have previously been diagnosed with oral cancer.
You can reduce your risk of oral cancer by protecting your skin with high-SPF sunblock, by giving up tobacco products, moderating alcohol consumption, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Take an Active Role in and Early Detection
You should conduct an oral self-exam at least once a month and, most importantly, see Dr. Sand Wall every six months for a preventive checkup and cleaning. If you notice a mouth sore that does not heal in about two weeks, visit us for an exam.
To schedule your appointment, or just to learn more about Dr. Sand Wall and our team, call our Erlanger, KY dentist office today at 859-344-8500. We serve families from Cincinnati, Crestview Hills, Ft. Mitchell, Florence, Union, Independence, Taylor Mill, and other Kentucky communities around the 41018 are. We can’t wait to see your smile!
While all cancers are serious, breast cancer takes center stage in October. As your trusted Erlanger dentist, Dr. Darlene Sand Wall wants to send well wishes and thoughts of hope to all the women, and the few men, affected by breast cancer. You’ve probably noticed the hoopla that reminds us about the ongoing fight against breast cancer this time each year. Your favorite NFL players are wearing hot-pink shoes, and many stores are accepting donations for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Retailers donate a percentage of sales from “pink ribbon” products to the Komen Foundation, as well.
To participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Sand Wall wants to share with you how oral health and breast cancer are related, and how to address the oral health concerns that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy may experience.
Studies Show a Potential Oral Health Link
The World Health Organization (WHO) published a study, spanning from 1985 to 2001, that showed gum disease may increase a person’s risk for developing breast cancer. Experts go back and forth over whether gum disease actually contributes to the cause of various cancers and systemic health problems, but there is no question that the disease is more prevalent in people with certain health conditions.
Gum disease is an infection and inflammation of the periodontal tissue that, along with bone, supports teeth. Because everything in your mouth has direct access to your body via your digestive system and bloodstream, the bacteria that cause gum disease can travel throughout your body. This explains the connection between oral and systemic health. About 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease, ranging from mild gingivitis to acute periodontitis. In addition, the disease is the reason behind most adult tooth loss in our country. To reduce the risk for gum disease and its potential contribution to other systemic conditions, practice good daily oral healthcare at home and visit Dr. Sand Wall for six-month checkups and cleanings. If your gums appear red, swollen, feel tender, or bleed when you brush your teeth, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sand Wall as soon as possible.
Cancer Treatment and Oral Health
Patients who undergo chemotherapy may experience oral health problems, and if you are in this situation, Dr. Sand Wall can help. She recommends that you brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste that contains xylitol, floss thoroughly once a day, and use an alcohol-free mouthwash. Be consistent with six-month checkups and cleanings, and if you notice a change in oral health, schedule a visit to talk with Dr. Sand Wall.
Oral symptoms that result from chemotherapy include:
- The feeling of a toothache, without having tooth damage
- Yeast infection (candida) in the mouth, known as thrush
- Xerostomia, known as dry mouth
- Sore throat, difficulty swallowing
- Infection and inflammation in the mouth
- Changes in how flavors are tasted
A Compassionate Member of Your Healthcare Team
Do you need a dentist who will listen to your concerns and have empathy for your situation? As a female dentist, Dr. Sand Wall brings compassion understanding to her patients. If you’re going through a rough time in life, whether your issue is breast cancer or something else, Dr. Sand Wall can help you reclaim and maintain good oral health, to support good overall health and a higher quality of life. Call our Erlanger, KY dentist office today at 859-344-8500. We serve families from Cincinnati, Crestview Hills, Ft. Mitchell, Florence, Union, Independence, Taylor Mill, and other Kentucky communities around the 41018 area — and we can’t wait to see your smile!
Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America. Sometimes practicing excellent oral hygiene isn’t enough to combat your teeth’s worst enemy. Today, your Erlanger dentist, Dr. Darlene Sand Wall discusses gum disease, and what you can do about it.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the supporting tissues of the teeth. Typically, gum disease begins with poor dental hygiene. If you brush and floss regularly, at least twice a day, plaque begins to form on your teeth. When plaque is allowed to remain for more than 48 hours, it calcifies, or hardens, into tartar–an insoluble substance that irritates your gums. Unattended, bacteria will thrive in tartar buildup, causing gum tissue to detach from your teeth and leading to infection.
What Can I Do To Prevent It?
Just like any other type health issue, prevention is the key. If you practice good oral hygiene habits—such as regular tooth brushing and daily flossing—you have a good chance of preventing gum disease before it occurs. Regardless, the symptoms of gum disease aren’t always easy to identify; it’s always best to visit your dentist at least two times a year for a full oral health evaluation.
What Can I Do If I Have Gum Disease?
At our Erlanger dentist office, we provide several different options to aid in your fight against gum disease. We offer conservative treatments to combat gum disease such as scaling and root planting, as well as Gingivectomy if the aforementioned methods are ineffective.
Schedule An Appointment Today
To schedule an appointment for a checkup, cleaning, or just to have Dr. Sand Wall provide you with a breakdown of your overall dental health, call our Erlanger dentist office today at 859-344-8500. We proudly serve families from Cincinnati, Crestview Hills, Fort Mitchell, Florence, Union, Independence, Taylor Mill, and surrounding communities.
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