Cute girl cleaning teeth by floss

Kid’s Dentistree Reacts to AP Flossing Report

By now, you’ve probably seen or heard about the AP flossing report that claims the “medical benefits of dental flossing [are] unproven.” Needless to say, it has been causing quite a stir in the Kid’s Dentistree offices! Not because it’s changing our opinions about oral hygiene – but because the article itself is a little misleading.

 

A lack of good research doesn’t prove something is ineffective.

 

As you’d imagine, a number of dental groups have already publicly shown their support for flossing since the AP report was released. The American Dental Association (ADA) and American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) were both quick to address the duration of these studies, which in general have been conducted only over short periods of time. In the AAP’s official statement about flossing, their president acknowledges that “much of the current evidence does not utilize a large sample size or examine gum health over a significant amount of time. Additionally, many of the existing studies do not measure true markers of periodontal health such as inflammation or clinical attachment loss.” And that “because the development of periodontal disease is slow in nature and because a variety of factors can impact its progression, studies that examine the efficacy of daily flossing are best conducted over a number of years and among a large population.”

What the studies in the AP report failed to incorporate in their research were very important factors, primarily family history and the presence of other health issues. One doctor even said he doubted the patients in the study flossed correctly. So although there may be conflicting conclusions about the efficacy of flossing, it’s worth remembering that flossing is only one aspect of maintaining good oral health. Just like maintaining a good diet is only one aspect of physical health.

 

The American Dental Association still defends flossing as an essential part of taking care of teeth and gums.

 

The AP report, despite all its claims that flossing is ineffective, still never fully endorses an end to flossing altogether. In fact, the report ends with a recommendation from Dr. Iafolla, a public health analyst at the National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Policy, to keep flossing once a day. “It’s low-risk, low-cost,” Dr. Iafolla said. “We know there’s a possibility that it works, so we feel comfortable telling people to go ahead and do it.” In an August 4 release, the ADA argues that the federal government has never changed its stance on flossing and “the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) made a deliberate decision to focus on food and nutrient intake (i.e., added sugar).”

“According to the American Dental Association (ADA), interdental cleaners such as floss are an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach. Interdental cleaning is proven to help remove debris between teeth that can contribute to plaque buildup.”

 

Dental hygiene care plans should be personalized.

 

The official statement from the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) endorses a dental hygiene care plan that is “personalized according to the individual’s unique oral health needs, general health status, values, expectations and abilities. Not all adjunct devices are appropriate for all patients, and it is important for dental hygiene professionals to work with their patients on which interdental cleaning method fits their needs.” For some patients, this could mean using a Waterpik®, or a water-flossing product that has been proven more effective than string floss at improving gum health. For others, like the dentist in the video above, the answer could be an old-fashioned wooden toothpick. Whatever decision you make, there is no better person to help you decide what’s right for you than the person who knows your teeth the best – your dental hygienist.

 

 

Now that you’ve heard how everyone else is responding, let’s hear what Andrea Edelen, a real-life Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH), has to say:

Professional Portrait of Andrea Edelen

Andrea Edelen, RDH, BS, National Director of Hygiene, Mortenson Dental Partners

“We believe in dental hygiene practice that is both evidence-based and patient-centered. Our standard of care emphasizes that the oral hygiene recommendations be personalized according to the patient’s unique oral health needs, general health status, and abilities. Not all adjunct devices are appropriate for all patients, and it is important for dental professionals to work with their patients on which interdental cleaning method fits their needs. The ADA supports flossing with proper technique among other interdental cleaners being beneficial to removing bacteria, biofilm, and food debris from interproximal areas that a tooth brush cannot access.”

A young child's first visit to a Dentist. Dentist is giving the child a cartoon dental sticker.

Patient Appreciation Day – New Albany

At Kid’s Dentistree and BracesBracesBraces, we know our dental practices wouldn’t be anything without our patients. You give us so much with each visit, which is why we’re giving back to you with a free Patient Appreciation Day! Come on out this Saturday to our Kid’s Dentistree – New Albany location for a few hours of family fun and the opportunity to get to know each other a little better. From 11AM to 2PM, we’ll have:

  • Doctor Dunking Booth
  • Face Painting
  • Water Slide
  • Photo Booth
  • Popcorn
  • Ice Cream Truck

Plus we’ll be giving away the following items all morning:

  • 1 Xbox One
  • 1 Smart TV
  • 2 Amazon Fire tablets
  • and more!

 

Follow and share the Facebook event by clicking here.

 

Click on the address below for directions:

2325 Green Valley Rd.

New Albany, IN 47150


 

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Hands holding stomach to highlight stomach pain

Crohn’s Disease, Colitis and Oral Health

About 5 million people worldwide are living with Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These chronic diseases affect the digestive system and cause intestinal tissue to become inflamed, form sores and bleed easily. Crohn’s specifically can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract including the lips, mouth and even the esophagus. And in addition to the physical and emotional toll IBD has on the well-being of its patients such as weight loss, fever, nausea, diarrhea and anemia, it can also have a number of negative effects on oral health.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell what is causing changes in the mouth such as ulcers, soreness, dry mouth or cavities. Sometimes medications taken to treat Crohn’s disease interfere with normal mouth bacteria that can cause problems. IBD can also lead to nutritional deficiencies that affect dental and oral health. In other instances, it is the disease itself causing the problems. Your doctor can identify whether Crohn’s or colitis is interfering with the health of your teeth and gums with testing.

Closeup portrait of young man with tooth ache crown bridge problem about to cry from pain touching inside mouth with hand, isolated white background. Negative emotion facial expression feeling

Cavities & Tooth Decay

For 8-29% of patients with Crohn’s Disease, cavities can appear before any intestinal complications. Many patients have reported an increase in tooth decay and higher incidence of cavities as they have undergone treatment for Crohn’s. And studies have shown that changes caused by colitis in the mucus that lines the gastrointestinal tract have led to tooth decay in some patients. Patients who are using Prednisone for their symptoms might want to consult their physician and dentist as some patients have reported a link between the medication and cavities. In our research, this was a very common side effect of medical treatment and the connection should not be taken lightly.


Closeup portrait, elderly business woman with tooth ache, crown problem, cavity pain, touching outside mouth with hand, isolated white background. Negative human emotion facial expression feeling

Mouth Ulcers & Vitamin Deficiencies

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is known to cause legions throughout the intestine, colon, esophagus as well as in and around patients’ mouths. Poor vitamin consumption, particularly of vitamin D, can lead to complications that range from small, painless lesions inside the mouth to ulcerations and swelling of the lips. This can lead to more serious issues like Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome, oral tuberculosis, cheilitis granulomatosa, sarcoidosis, or even contact allergic reactions. Pyodermatitis-pyostomatitis vegetans is also associated with Crohn’s disease, but only rarely. Symptoms include pustules (pimples) that can be yellow or whitish in appearance in the mouth. After the pustules rupture, they leave a superficial ulcer. The lymph glands under the chin can become swollen and there may be mild pain. Yeast infections and deficiencies in Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, zinc and Vitamin K are common.


Young woman holds side of her face and looks sad

Gum Inflammation & Gingivitis

Gum problems, such as swollen or bleeding gums, can be another complication of Crohn’s and may be the result of poor nutrition. Getting the right vitamins and minerals in your diet is crucial to good overall health and oral health, but the combination of Crohn’s and mouth problems can leave you with little appetite or interest in eating. You might need to work harder on the quality of your diet because the consequences of Crohn’s can prevent your body from taking advantage of all the nutrients in the foods you eat; instead, food is moved through your system without being fully digested. Some medicines can contribute to inflammation and gingivitis, so if you are using the following medications, you might want to talk with your doctor about possible alternatives: Steroids, Mesalazine and Methotrexate.


Portrait of a sporty young woman holding an apple and a bottle of water against a white background

Prevention

As always, we encourage you to discuss your symptoms and treatment options with your doctor or dentist. But the following tips will not only help your overall health, they might also prevent dental complications associated with IBD:

  • Avoid sweetened drinks like soda, juice and energy drinks
  • Limit the amount of dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) you eat
  • Get plenty of sunlight or take a vitamin D supplement
  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals each day that are low in saturated fat, with lots of fruit and antioxidant-rich foods (beans, berries, apples)
  • Stop smoking!

If your child has IBD, let’s talk! We’d love to help you find the right treatment for their oral health.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

“Close to 48,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. It will cause over 9,575 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 48,250 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years.” Oral Cancer Foundation

 

This is the harsh reality of oral cancer, a disease that is easy to diagnose, but often discovered too late.

 
The Facts: The death rate of oral cancer is higher than cancers we hear about more frequently, including cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid. In fact, there are more deaths from mouth cancer each year than there are from road accidents. If you expand the definition of oral and oropharyngeal cancers to include cancer of the larynx, the numbers of diagnosed cases grow to approximately 54,000 individuals, and 13,500 deaths per year in the U.S. alone. Worldwide the problem is much greater, with over 450,000 new cases being found each year.

The median age of diagnosis is 62 years old, with the highest percentage of deaths falling within the 55-64 age group. Oral cancer is more common in men than in women, with two men affected for every woman. And those with a history of tobacco or heavy alcohol use account for nearly 75% of all oral cancers diagnosed. Smokers are 6 times more likely than nonsmokers to develop mouth or pharyngeal cancer, and approximately 90% of people with oral cancer are tobacco users.  Over the past 10 years, its incidence has increased in the younger population due to increased contraction of human human papilloma virus (HPV), which is now considered the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer.

 

Signs and Symptoms: If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms that last for more than two weeks (14 days), you should consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist or doctor for a screening. Remember, early detection is critical.

  • A sore that doesn’t heal
  • A lump or thickening of the skin or lining of your mouth
  • A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Poorly fitting dentures
  • Tongue pain
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Difficult or painful chewing
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Sore throat

 

Get Involved: If you’d like to spread awareness this month and beyond, there are plenty of ways to do so.

 

Share this infographic to show your support

 

 

Oral Cancer Facts Infographic

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