Oral Health

Oral Health Articles

Tuning up your teeth

Most dental work—like crowns, bridges, implants, and dentures—can last seven to 10 years on average, if not longer, if people maintain excellent oral hygiene and see their dentist every six months. Various signs indicate when replacements or upgrades are needed. (Locked) More »

How should I treat canker sores?

Short summary: Canker sores are small ulcers that appear on the inside of the cheeks and lips. Treatment involves easing the pain with over-the-counter or prescription anesthetics in the form of liquids, gels, and pastes, or an occlusive that offers a protective coating when eating salty, spicy, or acidic foods. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Do I really need to floss every day?

The long-term benefits of flossing are still unknown. While new federal guidelines have dropped the recommendation for daily teeth flossing, the American Dental Association and most dentists still endorse the inexpensive and low-risk practice. More »

Two options for replacing lost teeth

The loss of teeth can lead to further dental complications. Bridges and implants can restore one’s bite. Which one is better depends on a number of factors, including number of teeth to be replaced, bone density, and overall health. More »

Is flossing really necessary?

The benefits of flossing haven’t been verified in randomized clinical trials. However, health authorities still recommend it for preventing disease-causing plaque. (Locked) More »

Gum disease may signal warning for pancreatic cancer

Research has found that people with high levels of the oral bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis had a 59% greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer. It is too early to say whether this specific bacterium directly contributes to the disease. However, one theory is that since inflammation is related to cancer, the bacteria could cause inflammation in the pancreas. Another possibility is the bacteria are simply a marker for cancer-causing inflammation.  More »

Dental implant reality check

A dental implant is a small titanium post that’s surgically placed into the jawbone. In time, it fuses with the bone and provides a base for a porcelain replacement tooth that will later be screwed into the implant. After surgery, it’s important to avoid crunchy and sticky foods and stick to a soft diet until the gums heal. In older adults, dental implants are typically used to replace one or two missing teeth or to anchor a bridge or dentures to keep them secure during chewing and speaking. (Locked) More »

When an infection attacks the heart

Bacteria or viruses occasionally invade the heart, creating inflammation or other problems. For people ages 60 and older, the greatest risk is endocarditis, or inflammation in the innermost layer of the heart’s chambers and valves. People with underlying heart valve problems, such as a leaky or narrowed mitral or aortic valve, are most vulnerable to this problem. Those who have had surgery to repair or replace a heart valve or had a previous heart infection should take antibiotics prior to certain dental, surgical, or other invasive procedures.  (Locked) More »