The holiday season is just around the corner, bringing with it a wide variety of opportunities to eat, drink and be merry. For many of us, Thanksgiving and Christmas are prime times to indulge in rich flavors and sweet treats; but in addition to the impact they can have on one’s waistline, fatty and sugary foods and beverages can also take a toll on oral health and hygiene – putting the body at risk for much more than just a few pounds’ worth of holiday weight-gain. Most people know that brushing and flossing are staples for a healthy oral hygiene regimen. But amidst the winter festivities this year, remember that a balanced diet can also be a major factor in overall oral health – and a critical ally in the fight to keep teeth, gums and the rest of the body strong, clean and disease-free.
Last week, medical researchers published early findings suggesting that changes in oral bacteria may help doctors detect pancreatic cancer. According to Fox News, the small yet groundbreaking study showed pancreatic cancer patients exhibiting different bacteria levels in their saliva as compared to healthy individuals; and while these findings must be confirmed within a larger test group before providing a sound basis for pancreatic cancer screenings, they stand in the meantime to reinforce the known connection between oral health and that of the rest of the human body – and to remind us why good dental care is essential to our total well-being.
In recent years, a combination of media coverage, medical advancements and reinvigorated screening procedures have helped raise public awareness of the human papillomavirus (HPV), an incredibly common sexually-transmitted disease that is also a known contributor to the development of cervical cancer. Armed with the Gardasil HPV vaccine and HPV-specific detection test, doctors have since increased their ability to prevent and detect cancer-causing strains of the virus. However, medical research now points to another, growing danger for those exposed to HPV in the form of certain oral cancers – and in order to avoid the potentially fatal flaw of late detection, more and more dentists are investing in advanced screening tools to help catch pre-cancerous developments as quickly as possible.
In years past, restorative dental work was notoriously inconvenient for dentists and patients alike. Messy, cumbersome impression materials and extended processing periods made for slow service – that is, until the development of digital impression technology made it possible for dentists to streamline restorative procedures and improve the speed with which clients saw results. Today, digital impressions are the quickest, most accurate and comfortable means by which to prepare ceramic dental crowns – and the key to creating better smiles in as little as a single day.