Heavy consumption of diet soda can damage teeth as badly as methamphetamine or crack cocaine, a new study contends.
“You look at it side-to-side with ‘meth mouth’ or ‘coke mouth,’ it is startling to see the intensity and extent of damage more or less the same,” said Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny, a professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia.
Methamphetamine, crack cocaine and soda — sweetened or not — are all highly acidic and can cause similar dental problems, Bassiouny said in a study published recently in the journal General Dentistry.
The acid in soda is in the form of citric acid and phosphoric acid, Bassiouny said. Without good dental hygiene, constant exposure can cause erosion and significant oral damage, he said.
In his study, he found that a woman in her 30s who drank 2 liters of diet soda daily for three to five years experienced tooth rot and decay remarkably similar to that suffered by a 29-year-old methamphetamine addict and a 51-year-old habitual crack cocaine user.
The younger man had used methamphetamine for three years, and often downed two or three cans of regular soda a day because the drugs made his mouth so dry. The older man reported an 18-year history of crack abuse.
The woman said concerns about weight gain led her to choose diet soda over regular, and admitted that she had not seen a dentist in many years, according to the study. She also associated sweetened beverages with a higher risk of tooth decay.
Her teeth were soft and discolored, with many destroyed by erosion. She usually sipped the beverage directly from a can or a bottle, and held the soda in her mouth before swallowing, Bassiouny said.
“She also mentioned that when doing so, she habitually leaned on her left side against the arm of the sofa while watching television,” he said. The “massive” damage to the left side of her mouth bore this out and resulted in what is called a collapsed bite.
“None of the teeth affected by erosion were salvageable,” Bassiouny said. The woman had to have all of her teeth removed and replaced with dentures.
Methamphetamine and crack are known to ravage the mouths of users, and the two drug abusers needed all of their teeth extracted.
Besides exposing teeth to damaging acid, these illegal drugs reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth, providing less opportunity for the acids to wash away. The drugs also cause systemic health problems that affect dental hygiene. Previous studies have linked “meth mouth” with rampant decay.
A group representing soft drink manufacturers said this case study should not be seen as an indictment of diet sodas generally.
“The woman referenced in this article did not receive dental health services for more than 20 years — two-thirds of her life,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement. “To single out diet soda consumption as the unique factor in her tooth decay and erosion — and to compare it to that from illicit drug use — is irresponsible.
“The body of available science does not support that beverages are a unique factor in causing tooth decay or erosion,” the group said. “However, we do know that brushing and flossing our teeth, along with making regular visits to the dentist, play a very important role in preventing them.”
Dr. Eugene Antenucci, spokesman for the Academy of General Dentistry, said he was not surprised by Bassiouny’s findings.
“From my experience, the damage that happens to people’s mouths from cocaine or methamphetamine are degrees greater than what I see from soda, but I see a lot of damage from soda,” said Antenucci, a dentist in Huntington, N.Y.
Damage from excessive soda consumption can cause “very deep brown stains, where it’s actually eroded into the tooth, and the teeth are soft and leathery,” he said.
Prevention is the best cure, Bassiouny said. How often you drink soda, how much you drink and how long it’s in your mouth all are important factors. “You can help prevent it from happening by reducing any of those,” he said.
Sugar-free soda is no better than regular soda when it comes to dental decay, Bassiouny added. “Both of them have the same drastic effect if they are consumed in the same frequency, the same amount and the same duration,” he said.
Antenucci said people need to keep in mind that they are drinking something that is highly acidic when they pick up a soda.
“Knowing that, you limit it and understand that you need to clean your mouth afterward,” he said. “Even simple water will wash away the acidity. And everyone should brush twice a day, if not more often.”
Should people give up drinking soda? “You’d be better off if you didn’t drink the soda,” Antenucci said, “but in my mind there’s not a reason for that extreme.”
Article by Dennis Thompson A HealthDay Reporter via Health.com
You probably often hear that 120 over 80 is the “sweet spot” for blood pressure, but the normal blood pressure for men can vary. As an adult male, your age actually plays a role in your blood pressure, as do other factors. Knowing what numbers are healthy is critical to your overall health. Even if your blood pressure is slightly elevated, this could eventually lead to problems down the road.
To demonstrate how much the average blood pressure reading can vary among age ranges, let’s look at the difference between what is average for men ages 20 to 24 and men ages 60 to 64. For men ages 20 to 24, the average reading is 117 over 77, and for men ages 60 to 64, the average reading is 134 over 87. As you can see, the normal blood pressure for men does rise slightly as they age.
Men under the age of 55 have a higher chance of experiencing high blood pressure than women. When looking at different races and cultures, African American men have the greatest risk of experiencing high blood pressure.
Men who are overweight have a greater chance of developing this issue over men who maintain a healthy weight. Men who have conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol – especially when these are not well-controlled – are at a greater risk of hypertension. If you smoke any form of tobacco, you increase your risk of developing high blood pressure. Alcohol can also play a role if you have more than two drinks each day. Other controllable factors include things like a high saturated fat diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
In some cases, high blood pressure will stem from something you have little to no control over. Having a family history of the condition is one of these factors. If you have a medical condition in which high blood pressure is a known symptom or complication, you may not be able to control whether or not you develop it. With such factors, avoiding the controllable factors can be beneficial to you in many cases. Your health care provider can also help you keep a handle on your blood pressure, and if it does get high, he or she can help you to maintain it.
Article By R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen VIA Yahoo Health
Fifty years ago, the US Surgeon General first warned of the dangerous effects of smoking. On the anniversary of that announcement, the current Surgeon General has released new data.
In a report released January 17, the Surgeon General noted that while progress has been made to curb smoking, more and more dangers tied to the habit have been uncovered.
According to the report, nearly 45 million Americans still smoke, and the habit is now tied to conditions like liver cancer, diabetes and problems with the immune system.
This report, released by acting Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH, and titled “The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress,” estimated that over 20 million Americans have died because of smoking in the years since the 1964 Surgeon General’s report — 2.5 million of whom were secondhand smokers.
Efforts to reduce cigarette use have proven successful over the years. It was estimated that in 1964, 42 percent of American adults smoked — a number which has dropped to 18 percent in the latest estimates for 2014.
And though this drop shows huge progress, Dr. Lushniak’s report stressed that this 18 percent still represents a huge number of Americans — an estimated 42 million adults and 3 million middle and high school students are current smokers.
Because of the continued problem, almost half a million Americans die an early death each year from smoking and over 16 million live coping with a smoking-related disease.
As cigarettes have changed over time, including changes to chemical levels and ventilated filters, they have become more complex and more deadly in the process, the report explained. Despite the fact that today’s smokers tend to smoke fewer cigarettes than the smokers of 50 years ago, they are more likely to develop lung cancer.
And though the connection between smoking and certain conditions like lung cancer, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been known for some time, the latest Surgeon General’s report provided new information tying cigarette smoking to a number of additional diseases, like colorectal cancer, liver cancer and even strokes in nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke.
“The report also concludes that smoking causes diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis and immune system weakness, increased risk for tuberculosis disease and death, ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and impaired fertility, cleft lip and cleft palates in babies of women who smoke during early pregnancy, erectile dysfunction, and age-related macular degeneration,” noted the Surgeon General’s office.
In the report’s preface, Dr. Lushniak explained that a concerted effort needs to be made to help encourage smokers to quit and discourage non-smokers from ever starting, through methods like media campaigns, smokefree policies, taxes on tobacco products and reducing barriers to smoking cessation treatment programs.
“It is my sincere hope that 50 years from now we won’t need another Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health, because tobacco-related disease and death will be a thing of the past,” wrote Dr. Lushniak. “Working together, we can make that vision a reality.”
“My foremost concern is for the innocent victims of secondhand smoke. This population represents mostly children who, against their will, are routinely exposed to over 4,000 toxic chemical compounds,” said Dr. Mark Mincolla, legendary health care practitioner and author of “Whole Health: A Holistic Approach to Healing for the 21st Century” and dailyRx Contributing Expert.
“Research shows that secondhand smoke is solely responsible for some 3,000 lung cancer deaths here in the US and over 21,000 deaths worldwide. More than 50 of these poisonous chemicals have been directly identified as cancer-causing agents, including arsenic, vinyl chloride, benzene and nickel. Living with a smoker increases one’s risk of lung cancer by nearly one third. The 2006 Surgeon General’s Report revealed that even brief secondhand smoke exposure can lead to pulmonary damage and lung cancer,” Dr. Mincolla told dailyRx News.
“To my way of thinking, our primary focus should be on protecting the innocent from the addicted. I’d like to see an even stronger movement toward smoke-free policies, higher smoking taxes, greater access to non-smoking rooms, flights and cabins, world wide,” he said. “I believe we should protect the innocent victims of secondhand smoke by getting progressively tougher on smokers and smoking regulations. Protect the right to breathe!”
Article By Morgan Jones VIA Yahoo Health
Urine and teeth are two things you’d rather not associate with each other, but new research into stem cells shows one may be someday used to grow the other.
Researchers from Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health and other Chinese research centers have developed a novel way to grow teeth in mice, using stem cells gathered from urine.
In a study published Tuesday in the journal Cell Regeneration, the scientists showed that a specific type of cells—pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)—can be engineered from urine and developed into cells to regrow teeth.
The approach could potentially solve a major problem for adults who break or lose teeth through injury or disease.
Teeth Grown from Urine Stem Cells
The research team, led by Dr. Duanqing Pei, made a cellular cocktail of iPSC-based epithelial cells—the most prolific type of cells found in the body—and mouse embryotic cells before transplanting them into mice.
After three weeks, the cells were structurally and physically similar to human teeth. These “teeth” also contained the dentin and pulp found in human teeth, as well as cells capable of forming enamel.
While exciting in terms of cell regeneration, the teeth only had a 30 percent success rate and were only about a third as strong as human teeth, making their consistency closer to chalk than something you could chew with.
Still, the research team concluded that the iPSCs derived from urine could have the potential to one day grow patient-specific dental tissues.
For now, continue to keep your toothbrush away from your toilet.
Article by By Brian Krans VIA Yahoo Health
Cancer is generally a disease of an aging population. Cancer risks typically start to increase around the age of 50. But recent trends signal an alarming jump in a certain type of cancer among people under the age of 45.
Cancers that develop in areas of the mouth and throat have increased greatly among young people in recent years, according to a new study.
The biggest increases were seen in whites, while incidences of oral cancers have actually declined among blacks.
Visit your doctor if sores in your mouth don’t get better.”
Farzan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, director of the Head & Neck Radiation Therapy Program in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Henry Ford Hospital, was the lead investigator in this study.
“The growing incidence in oropharyngeal cancer has been largely attributed to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, which led to an increased transmission of high-risk HPV,” said Dr. Siddiqui in a press release.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is exchanged through sexual activity and is linked to a number of cancers including genital and oral cancers.
This study was looking at oropharyngeal cancer, which can develop in the throat (pharynx), back of the tongue, tonsils or soft palate (back roof of the mouth).
Nearly 41,500 Americans will be diagnosed with oropharyngeal and other oral cancers this year. This cancer is almost three times more common in men than women.
For this study, the researchers examined the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database to identify individuals under the age of 45 who had been diagnosed with invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) oropharyngeal cancer between 1973 and 2009.
SEER does not have HPV data, so the researchers looked at tumor grade as an indicator of HPV involvement.
A total of 1,603 individuals were identified, with 73 percent of them being white and 90 percent of the cases being in people aged 36 to 44.
Here’s what the data revealed:
- Oropharyngeal cancer incidence among white people increased 113 percent during the 36-year study period.
- Surprisingly, rates of this cancer have declined by 52 percent among black individuals.
- Proportion of grade III/IV SCC rose from 28 percent in 1973-79 to 43 percent in 2000-2009.
- 50 to 65 percent of the oral cancer patients underwent surgery to remove the tumors.
- Five-year survival for the study group was 54 percent, with no gender differences in survival rates.
- Patients who were treated with both surgery and radiation had the highest survival rates.
- Black individuals tended to have significantly lower survival rates than people of other races.
“Not only were we surprised to find a substantial increase in young adults with cancer of the tonsils and base of tongue, but also a wide deviation among Caucasians and African Americans with this cancer,” Dr. Siddiqui said in a prepared statement.
The authors concluded that the predominance of oropharyngeal cancer in the under-45 age group “suggests either non-sexual modes of HPV transfer at a younger age or a shortened latency period between infection and development of oropharyngeal cancer.”
Findings from this study were presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology’s (ASTRO’s) 55th Annual Meeting.
It should be noted that research is considered preliminary before it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.
This study was funded by the Henry Ford Hospital. No conflicts of interest were disclosed.
Article by By Laurie Stoneham VIA Yahoo Health
Because tobacco use has been declining in the US over recent years, cancers found in the mouth have also been on the decline.
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has updated its 2004 recommendation on primary care physicians screening for oral cancers.
The task force did not find enough evidence to recommend for or against oral cancer screenings by primary care physicians in adults with no symptoms of the disease.
“See your dentist if you have a mouth sore that doesn’t heal after a couple of weeks.”
Virginia A. Moyer, MD, MPH, Chair of the USPSTF, wrote this updated recommendation.
Oral and oropharyngeal (back of the mouth and top of the throat) cancers are the two primary types of cancer seen in the head and neck.
These two types of cancer often are considered to be the same, but they’re not.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) defines oral cancers as those that appear in the oral cavity, which consists of the lips, the lining of the lips and cheeks, gums, front parts of the tongue, roof of the mouth (palate) and the floor of the mouth under the tongue, along with the area behind the wisdom teeth.
The oropharynx starts where the oral cavity stops, ASCO explains, and includes the soft palate at the back of the mouth, the tonsils, the very back of the tongue and the part of the tongue behind the mouth.
Risk factors for both types of cancer are tobacco and alcohol use. However, oropharyngeal cancer is also caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus.
Oral cancers are declining, while oropharyngeal cancers are on the rise.
According to the USPSTF, “In the United States, the prevalence of oropharyngeal cancer due to oral HPV infection is probably as high as 80 percent to 95 percent.”
In updating its recommendation, the Task Force reviewed the latest published studies to determine if primary care physician screenings reduced the incidence of or deaths caused by oral cancers.
“The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to determine the balance of benefits and harms of screening for oral cancer in asymptomatic adults by primary care providers,” the statement read.
The recommendation does not apply to oropharyngeal cancers, which can’t be adequately seen in the primary care setting.
This recommendation applies to visual inspection and palpation (feeling) performed by primary physicians and does not apply to dental professionals or otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialists).
The USPSTF does have recommendations for lowering oral cancer risk factors like tobacco and alcohol use.
The Task Force recommends that clinicians screen all adults for tobacco use, urge patients not to use tobacco products and provide methods that can help patients stop using any form of tobacco product.
The USPSTF also recommends that primary care professionals screen for and offer recommendations for behavioral therapy interventions to help patients reduce alcohol misuse.
This updated recommendation was published November 25 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Article by By Laurie Stoneham VIA Yahoo Health
While chronic headaches in teens may be blamed on typical teen activities like playing video games or listening to loud music, there may be another less obvious culprit — chewing gum.
In a recent study where adolescents were asked to stop chewing gum, the researchers found that more than half of the teens stopped experiencing headaches.
These researchers noted that doctors and patients should be aware of the potential relationship between excessive gum chewing and headaches.
This study was led by Nathan Watemberg, MD, in the Child Neurology Unit and Child Development Center at Meir Medical Center at Tel Aviv University in Israel. The research team studied the effects of excessive gum-chewing in adolescents who experienced chronic headaches.
Children were recruited from the Meir Medical Center headache clinic and community clinics. Dr. Watemberg and team analyzed data from a group of 30 children between the ages of 6 and 19 who reported chronic headaches and chewing gum daily.
These children were split into four groups based on their gum chewing habits: up to one hour of gum-chewing a day, 1-3 hours of gum-chewing a day, 3-6 hours of gum-chewing a day and more than 6 hours of gum-chewing a day.
The participants completed a survey reporting their medical history, headache characteristics (migraines or tension-type headaches), previous diagnoses and potential causes of their headaches.
The children were instructed to stop chewing gum for one month, and were then interviewed by a researcher to record the effects it had on their headaches. The responses included: no change in headache frequency or intensity, partial improvement or total disappearance of symptoms.
After this, the children were asked to resume chewing gum for two weeks as they had done before the study began. They were interviewed again by a researcher to record whether their headache symptoms returned, and, if so, the amount of time between when they started chewing gum again and the reoccurrence of their headaches.
The researchers found that after they stopped chewing gum, 26 out of the 30 children reported significant improvement in their headaches, and 19 reported that their headaches disappeared.
All of the six children in Group 1 (less than an hour of gum chewing/day) reported partial or total improvement in their headaches.
Among those in Group 2, 10 out of the 11 children reported partial or total improvement in their headaches.
Among Group 3, six out of the eight children reported improvements in their headaches, and four out of five children in Group 4 reported improvements in their headaches.
All of the 20 children asked to resume gum-chewing reported that their headaches returned within a week.
The authors of this study noted that overuse of the temporomandibular joint, which helps the lower jaw to move and function, may be the cause of the headaches. They also suggested that aspartame, a low-calorie sweetener, may be another potential cause, but the evidence of this is unclear.
These authors concluded that larger, long-term studies are needed to confirm their findings that excessive gum-chewing may be connected to migraines in adolescents.
This study was published in Pediatric Neurology.
Article by By Chioma Ihekweazu VIA Yahoo Health
Article provided by
Via Yahoo Health
While a cup of coffee can give you an extra boost of energy to power through your day, it may provide a memory boost as well.
A recent study found that patients who were given caffeine were better able to distinguish between an image they were shown a day prior and a similar but unidentical image they were shown the following day than participants who did not receive caffeine.
The study authors noted that based on their findings, the optimal amount of caffeine to consume seems to be 200 milligrams — which is about two six-ounce cups of coffee a day.
This study was led by Michael A. Yassa, PhD, in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. The research team examined the effects of caffeine on long-term and short-term memory in a group of young adults.
Data was analyzed from 60 healthy participants between the ages of 18-30 from the Johns Hopkins University undergraduate campus and the surrounding community.
Participants were not eligible for the study if they consumed more than 500 milligrams of caffeine per week, had any neurological, psychiatric, or medical condition, were habitual alcohol drinkers (more than 14 drinks per week), were current smokers, or if they formerly or currently used drugs.
Before the study began, participants were given a series of tests to measure their long-term memory, short term memory, processing speed (the speed at which one processes information) and IQ. In the 24 hours before the study began, participants were asked not to have any caffeine, alcohol or use any drugs, and to also get at least six hours of sleep and maintain their normal eating habits.
Participants were either assigned to the treatment group where they received 200 milligrams of caffeine after the study session or to the control group where they received a placebo (fake pill) after the study session.
In the study session, participants were shown a series of images, and five minutes after the session ended they were either given a dose of caffeine or a placebo.
Saliva samples were taken before participants took the caffeine as well as one, three and 24 hours after they took the caffeine to measure caffeine levels.
One day later participants were tested to see if they recognized the images they were shown during the testing session. Researchers also included some images that were similar but not identical to the images participants were shown to measure their ability to distinguish between the two images.
The researchers found no significant difference between the caffeine and placebo group in their ability to recognize the images they were shown in the testing session.
However, the researchers did find a significant difference between the groups in relation to distinguishing between images they saw and similar but not identical images. Participants who received caffeine were better able to distinguish between the two images than those who did not receive caffeine.
The researchers also checked to see if different doses of caffeine had different effects on memory. They found that the 200 milligram dose of caffeine led to greater memory compared to the 100 milligram dose. The 300 milligram dose did not lead to better memory compared to the 200 milligram dose, but more participants experienced side effects at this dose.
The study authors concluded that based on their findings, caffeine does seem to improve memory but future studies should seek to understand how this improvement occurs.
This study was published on January 12 in Nature Neuroscience.
Article by By Chioma Ihekweazu provided by
Article VIa Yahoo Health
Smart Moves can be the alternative to braces for aligning front teeth as well as affordable. Dr. Artemeneko can evaluate the positioning of your teeth and let you know if you are a candidate or not. Smart moves aligners are a clear hard plastic material that is worn 24/7 with the exception of eating and brushing.
Below is a link to answer any questions you may before having a consult and impressions taken to begin the process. Feel free to call our office for any additional information!