Monthly Archives: August 2017

Tobacco Use and Your Oral Health

In addition to affecting your overall health, tobacco use and smoking can cause a number of oral health issues, ranging from oral cancer to discolored teeth.

“You can get yellow teeth [and] a yellow tongue,” says Thomas Kilgore, DMD, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery and associate dean at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. “You see a lot of staining on the tongue.”

Smoking and tobacco use can lead to more serious oral health complications as well, including gum disease and oral cancer.

Smoking and Oral Cancer

“The most serious issue is mouth cancer,” Dr. Kilgore says. “It’s hard to say what percentage of people who smoke will get mouth cancer, but the death rate of those who do get it is high — between 40 and 50 percent of all cases, and that hasn’t changed over the last few decades.”

The American Cancer Society estimates that 90 percent of people with oral cancer (cancer affecting the lips, tongue, throat, and mouth) have used tobacco in some form. Likewise, the risk of oral cancer is six times higher among smokers relative to non-smokers. Your individual risk of oral cancer depends on how long you’ve been using tobacco — the longer you use it, the greater your risk.

Smoking and Periodontal Disease

“Smoking cigarettes doesn’t cause dental decay, but it does cause periodontal, or gum, disease,” Kilgore explains. “Bone loss is part of periodontal disease. It starts out as inflammation of the gums. In the natural and unfortunate progression, the bone supporting the roots of your teeth becomes inflamed,” and then the underlying bone can deteriorate, he adds.

“There are surgical and nonsurgical therapies to reverse or slow the progression of periodontal disease,” Kilgore says, but without proper treatment, gum disease does eventually lead to tooth loss and jawbone damage. One study found that smoking was associated with more than 50 percent of periodontal disease cases.

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No Tobacco Is Safe

People often think that different forms of tobacco are “safer” than others. However, says Kilgore, “Tobacco in any form has risks. It’s hard to figure out which is worse” — when tobacco is chewed, smoked, or inhaled.

The bottom line is that regular exposure to tobacco in any form can compromise your health. Kilgore points out that “pipe smokers may not smoke very often, but they can [still] get cancer of the lips, as they’re always holding the pipe in the same place on the lip.” Additionally, “there’s a myth that chewing tobacco has less risk, but it’s been shown pretty clearly that this isn’t true.”

And people who use smokeless (chewing) tobacco are at a four to six time greater risk of oral cancer than people who don’t use tobacco at all. People who use smokeless tobacco are also at higher risk of tooth decay and cavities because some varieties of chewing tobacco contain sugar for a sweeter taste, and sugar is a primary cause of tooth decay.

Protecting Your Oral Heath

The following three principles can help to ensure good oral health throughout the years:

Quit smoking. After you’ve quit smoking, your risk of oral health problems decreases significantly. And the longer you remain a non-smoker, the lower your risk becomes. A decade after you’ve quit, your risk for periodontal disease is similar to that of a person who never smoked at all. “A lot of dentists now are taking the initiative to ask patients about their smoking habits, and are talking about the [nicotine] patch” and other ways to help people quit, Kilgore says.
Get regular dental checkups. As with most cancers, early detection can improve your outcome. “The good news is that regular checkups by a dentist are a good way to catch oral cancer early,” advises Kilgore. “Any mouth ulcers can be checked out with a biopsy, and you can get a diagnosis.” The sooner you start treatment, the better your odds of survival.
Brush properly. “Most people who have periodontal disease develop it from not brushing and flossing properly,” Kilgore notes. The heat and carcinogens found in cigarettes and tobacco are also damaging to your mouth and gums. So people who use tobacco need to be doubly careful about brushing and flossing correctly and doing so as often as recommended. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist to watch you brush and floss to make sure you’re doing a thorough job.
Having Trouble Quitting? Visit the Dentist Regularly

If you do use tobacco, cutting back and eventually quitting are some of the most important actions you can take to improve both your oral health and your overall health.

Tobacco use “is a tremendously addictive habit, so in the meantime, regular dental visits can help with early detection” of gum disease and precancerous mouth sores, Kilgore says. He adds that the people at greatest risk for oral cancer are chronic smokers who don’t visit their dentists regularly. “By the time oral cancer is detected, it’s hard to treat,” he says. Plus, the treatments can be more challenging at later stages. Surgery and radiation treatments are often disfiguring and can affect your ability to speak and eat.

Talk to your dentist or general doctor about what can help you to kick your smoking and other tobacco habits today.

Amabrush, la brosse qui lave les dents en 10 secondes seulement

Si vous aussi vous laver les dents (pendant trois minutes !) est du temps perdu, mais qu’il faut bien le faire pour éviter de vous faire détester de vos amis et de vos collègues, peut-être que cette brosse à dents va vous aider. Disponible sur Kickstarter pour encore quelques heures, le projet Amabrush est un énorme succès avec déjà plus de 3 millions d’euros collectés (sur une demande initiale de 50 000 €). Vous pouvez comprendre plus de Turbine Dentaire sur www.athenadental.fr

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Et pour cause : il promet à ses futurs possesseurs des dents lavés en 10 secondes. Connectée à une application, cette brosse à dents se range dans votre bouche avec de nombreuses petites brosses qui libèrent un dentifrice en vibrant et en accélérant le processus de lavage. Le projet Kickstarter permet de lancer la fabrication à grande échelle et ainsi d’industrialiser le concept puisque vous devrez ensuite acheter des recharges de dentifrice et de nouvelles brosses régulièrement : tous les 3 à 6 mois pour cette dernière.

Il faut le reconnaître, se brosser les dents n’est pas l’activité la plus amusante du monde, on a bien souvent tendance à abréger cette activité du réveil et du coucher. Beaucoup de gens oublient de se brosser les dents avant de se coucher car ils sont trop fatigués. Sans parler des enfants qui se passeraient bien de cette étape obligatoire de la toilette.

Pour ceux qui ont le courage de faire un détour par la salle de bain, le brossage des dents ne durerait que 60 secondes au lieu des 180 secondes recommandées. 90% des problèmes bucco-dentaires seraient d’ailleurs liés à un simple mauvais brossage des dents. Constat plus troublant, nous passons 108 jours entiers de notre vie à nous brosser les dents, des jours que, selon les créateurs de l’Amabrush, nous pourrions dédier à des activités plus enrichissantes.

Le dentier que l’on dispose dans la bouche émet tout simplement des vibrations qui remplacent les va-et-vient d’une brosse classique et qui permettent de nettoyer toutes les dents en même temps pendant 10 secondes. L’Amabrush intègre en plus un distributeur de dentifrice et se recharge via un socle USB.

 
Les astuces naturelles pour détartrer vos dents