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    Oral Health = Heart Health

    Last updated 8 months ago

     

    Quick...

    Name two major public health issues that impact a high percentage of the population.

    If you’re like most people, you immediately think of heart or cardiovascular disease. It’s safe to say few think to place gum or periodontal disease in this category. In fact, not many people think of gum problems as a “disease”, much less a “major public health issue”.

    And yet periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are both major health issues that seriously impact our society -- and -- they are linked. Both are chronic inflammatory conditions. Having one may actually increase your risk of having the other!

    That’s why I say we’re in this together. Your oral health has everything to do with your overall health, your quality of life -- and -- your ability to avoid debilitating conditions like cardiovascular disease.

    Medical research continues to unravel the inflammation mystery.

    It is now believed prolonged or chronic inflammation can lead to severe health complications. Moreover, it is believed inflammation provides the basis for the connection between gum disease and heart disease. Today dental professionals and cardiologists are working together in a joint effort to provide the best care to patients. So, don’t be surprised when you are asked about your medical history. In fact, it is now common for cardiologists to not only ask about your dental history but even look at your teeth and gums.

    We’re here to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums and thereby ensure you have a healthy heart throughout your life. Truly, the best health insurance is prevention, and it starts by maintaining regular check ups and professional cleaning. Call us at 212-838-8230.

    In health,

    Jason S. Kasarsky and staff

     

     

    Using Fluorescent Light To Detect Oral Cancer Earlier

    Last updated 8 months ago

    In a recent column I emphasized that oral cancer remains a signi?cant health 
    concern and that it is one form of cancer that has shown no rate of decrease...for 
    decades. Why is this the case, you may ask, given success rates in treating other 
    forms of cancer? 
     
    I think it boils down to this: Patients do not have the knowledge and awareness 
    that oral cancer exists and that it is more common than one might think. This 
    means dentists and hygienists must become more vigilant in detecting and evaluating abnormalities in the mouth tissue. With that said, it must be stressed that detecting oral cancer can be very dif?cult.
     
    Although oral cancer screening has always been a routine part of the checkup we 
    provide in my practice, some symptoms of oral cancer can be invisible to the naked eye. In actuality, early oral cancer in the mouth looks like everything else -- a 
    simple injury or what might be considered a normal change in the tissue. We 
    might see a spot that is red or perhaps white. 
     
    For this reason in my practice, and in practices throughout the country, more and 
    more professionals are embracing what might be termed, Enhanced Clinical 
    Evaluation. This involves a detailed examination of the patient which includes visual, tactile, and now tissue ?uorescence visualization screening. 
     
    Tissue ?uorescence visualization screening utilizes FDA approved technology 
    like the VELscope System, which I have recently incorporated into my practice. 
    The VELscope System was developed by the British Columbia Cancer Agency and 
    Vancouver-based LED Dental, Inc. VELscope is a revolutionary hand-held device 
    that helps us identify oral cancer much earlier. The VELscope examination is a 
    non-invasive, painless procedure which takes mere minutes to complete.
     
    Basically, the VELscope shines a bright blue light into the mouth to cause it to 
    ?uoresce. This ?uorescence helps the dentist to visualize much earlier any abnormal tissue which may be pre-cancerous or cancerous.
     
    It is hard to over-estimate the importance of early detection of oral cancer. It is a 
    very aggressive disease that is dif?cult to treat. It has a high risk of producing second primary tumors. This means that patients who survive their initial bout with 
    the disease have a 20 times higher risk of developing a second cancer. Anyone 
    can get oral cancer, but the risk is higher if you are male, over 40, and use tobacco or alcohol. Symptoms of oral cancer include white or red patches in the 
    mouth, a mouth sore that doesn’t heal, bleeding in the mouth, loose teeth, problems or pain with swallowing, lump in your neck, an earache.
     
    The simple fact is your dentist is your ?rst line of defense against oral cancer. 
    I advise not only regular dental checkups but selecting a practice that offers the 
    VELscope System or another form of tissue ?uorescence visualization screening 
    for early detection of oral cancer.

    Some Dinosaurs Grew New Sets of Teeth Rapidly

    Last updated 8 months ago

    Dinosaurs never needed cosmetic dentistry, veneers, or teeth whitening. 

    As they chomped their way around earth, some of the largest herbivorous dinosaurs grew a new set of teeth every one to two months, a new study reports.

    “It was sort of a disposable battery strategy,” said Michael D. D’Emic, a paleontologist at Stony Brook University and one of the study’s authors. “They didn’t create high-quality teeth.”

    Dr. D’Emic and his colleagues studied Diplodocus and Camarasaurus, huge sauropods that were nearly 100 feet long. The dinosaurs’ heads were not much larger than those of horses’, but their caloric needs were enormous.

    “They were really using their teeth a lot to snip off and swallow vegetation,” Dr. D’Emic said, adding that the wear encountered would have been immense.

    The researchers were able to estimate rates of tooth formation by counting lines of tooth dentin, located below the tooth’s enamel.

    They found that Camarasaurus had up to three replacement teeth in each tooth socket and replaced worn teeth every 62 days. Diplodocus held up to five replacement teeth in each socket and replaced its teeth every 35 days.

    Sauropods used this strategy of quantity over quality with great success, Dr. D’Emic said.

    “This is the opposite strategy of something like an elephant or horse, which invests a lot in a single large tooth that lasts a lifetime,” he said.

    Dr. D’Emic and his colleagues report their findings in the journal PLoS ONE. The research was done while Dr. D’Emic was a doctoral student at the University of Michigan.  

     
    By SINDYA N. BHANOO, July 22nd, 2013

    Upcoming News

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Please check out upcoming posts regarding porcelain crowns, veneers, and cosmetic dentistry!

    Oral Health Tips To Protect Your Children

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Tooth decay is the No. 1 chronic disease in children today. And the reason is simple and well known. There is way too much snacking and far too much consumption of juice and sweet drinks. Plus, children are being given bottled water rather than tap water with fluoride.

    Here are the key oral health tips all parents should follow to prevent the decay of baby teeth:

    1. Take an infant to a dentist before their first birthday. Your child should have an assessment of cavity risk, even if they only have a few teeth.

    2. If your child is two years old or younger, I recommend you brush their teeth with a bit of fluoride toothpaste twice a day. At age two increase the amount of toothpaste slightly.

    3. Reduce or even eliminate entirely snacking on starchy or sugary food. These foods cause the pH level in the mouth to drop. This literally places your tot’s teeth in an enamel eroding acid bath for about 20 minutes until their natural saliva normalizes the pH. The frequency of exposure to acid is actually more damaging than the food’s sugar content.

    4. Please, never ever share utensils with a child or place their pacifier in your mouth and then give it to them. Many fail to realize that parents or caregivers who have active tooth decay can pass cavity-causing bacteria to their child through their saliva.

    And, yes, it is advisable to brush your preschoolers’ teeth for them. Children are not really capable of doing a good job brushing until they are 7 or even 9 years of age. If you have any questions about this subject, please call our office. Or, schedule a checkup for your child. Call us at 212-838-8230.

    In health,

    Jason S. Kasarsky and staff 

     

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