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Blackberries may help fight dental problems


New research published in the Journal of Periodontal Research suggests that the antibacterial properties contained in blackberries could help prevent or at least help with the treatment of gum disease. When compared to other berries, it was revealed that blackberries contain the most antioxidants that have been linked to blocking the spread of cancer cells – which could mean that they also assist with the prevention of oral cancer.

Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation said that this backed the theory that a good, balanced diet benefits all aspects of health. He commented that a healthy diet full of vitamins, minerals, and fresh product can offer a high level of anti-oxidants to help in the fight against numerous ailments, including gum disease and oral cancer – he even added that a New Year’s resolution involving diet improvement would be a good way to start 2013.

Dr Carter went on to say that; ‘Although the study is promising, it is important that any use of blackberries in preventing and treating gum disease should be as well as maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. Prevention is a really important word when it comes to oral health and it is fairly easy to keep on top of. It does not take up too much time or a lot of money, yet it is surprising how many people actually forego basic oral hygiene principles, including brushing for two minutes twice a day.’

John Lennon’s tooth comes home to Liverpool


It has toured all over the country after being incorporated into a necklace to raise awareness of oral cancer, and now John Lennon’s extracted molar has returned to his home city of Liverpool, just in time for Beatles Mania Week and the band’s 50th anniversary. The necklace, estimated to be worth around £25,000, will be displayed at the Brunswick Street Surgery, offering patients the chance to wear it and have their picture taken as they learn more about the symptoms of oral cancer.

The tooth was originally sold at auction a year ago to dentist Michael Zuk for £19,000 after Lennon’s former house keeper, Dot Jarlett, held onto it for nearly fifty years. The Beatle is thought to have passed it on to her sometime between 1964 and 1968, after having it removed due to decay, and Ms Jarlett stored it to give to her daughter, suggesting that it might be worth something one day.

Fragments of the tooth were then transferred to a necklace and it has been displayed at some of the UK’s top dental practices, in order to highlight National Mouth Cancer Month. Owners of the Liverpool clinic that currently holds the jewellery, husband and wife team Marius and Debbie McGovern said that they were ‘proud to be the only Liverpool dentist involved in this important campaign.’

Funding secured for Scottish dental schools


Glasgow and Dundee Universities have jointly been awarded £132,000 from the Scottish Funding Council in order to tackle ongoing issues with their dental services. The money is expected to go towards improving the treatment for oral cancer and birth defects like cleft palates. Joint initiatives between the two schools are also thought to be on the agenda, pooling their resources to build research programmes and seek additional funding.

Dean of dentistry at Dundee University, Prof. Mark Hector, spoke about the ‘unenviable reputation’ that Scotland held in the UK and throughout Europe, referring to it’s poor treatment of oral diseases like caries and cleft lips, as well as some types of cancer.
He said; ‘This funding will facilitate a greater level of effective collaboration between experts in dental research and dental public health at the universities of Dundee and Glasgow to accelerate progress towards finding solutions to such problems and implementing them with a beneficial impact on the health of the population of Scotland and beyond. ’

 Head of the Dental School at the University of Glasgow was in agreement, saying that the money would present them with ‘an excellent opportunity’ to improve their services and build on their research platforms. He added; ‘It will ensure that there is synergy and a sharing of expertise, which will help both institutions to deliver research outputs relevant to the Scottish population and enhance their positions and research reputations within the UK and internationally. ’

New dental health score ‘could limit risk of emergency dentistry’


New dental health score 'could limit risk of emergency dentistry'People who worry about needing emergency dentistry could benefit from a new online dental health scoring feature.

Launched by the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) as part of National Smile Month, myDentalScore will give patients the chance to understand their dental health needs.

By carrying out a brief questionnaire, people will be given a set of scores revealing their chances of developing problems with their teeth and gums, as well as oral cancer risks.

Patients are also provided with a report that advises them on steps they should take to ensure they maintain strong and healthy teeth.

Chief executive of the BDHF Dr Nigel Carter said: "This software will benefit patients, who will see how their lifestyle, eating habits and other factors will impact on their oral health."

As part of the campaign, which starts on May 15th, patients have been advised to base meals around starchy foods and cut down on saturated fat and sugar in a bid to ensure good dental health.ADNFCR-2621-ID-800525616-ADNFCR

Drinking coffee ‘could protect against oral cancer’


Drinking coffee 'could protect against oral cancer'A new study has found that drinking more than four cups of coffee a day could significantly reduce the risk of oral cancer.

The International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology consortium carried out assessments on people who regularly consumed the beverage and those who were non-drinkers, finding a positive link with coffee.

People are encouraged by the British Dental Health Foundation to have regular check ups and not just wait until they require emergency dentistry, as if detected early the disease can have a 90 per cent survival rate.

Lead researcher Mia Hashibe, assistant professor in the department of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah, said: “Since … there is a relatively high incidence and low survival rate of these forms of cancers, our results have important public health implications.”

Reduction was proven to be higher in people who drank a significant amount of the beverage a day, with head and neck cancer 39 per cent less likely to occur.ADNFCR-2621-ID-19852574-ADNFCR

Check-ups ‘could save lives’


Dental check-ups could flag up the early sysmptomns of diseases.

Having regular check-ups at the dentist could help to save lives, it has been claimed. dental checkup

According to Dr Cary Sun, a dental professional at Cigna Dental, there are many diseases dentists are trained to look out for, with oral cancer one of the one these, Medical News Today reported.

Dr Sun commented: “Since oral cancer is not in the news as often as other types of cancer, education is extremely important. If people learn about the disease and its symptoms, oral cancer can be detected sooner.”

He added symptoms to look out for include unusual spots, unexplained tender areas in the mouth, a feeling like something is stuck in the throat and thickening of the tissue in the mouth or neck.

Elsewhere, researchers at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio, recently showed there is a link between premature birth and gum disease in pregnant women.

Dental predictions for 2010


Dental implants are likely to take off in 2010.

The Consumer Guide to Dentistry has published a number of predictions for the dentistry profession in 2010. dental implants

It forecast the year will see an increase in the availability and variety of dental implants on offer, as well as the creation of less invasive procedures.

The publication also noted there is likely to be growing competition in the invisible braces sector, with Invisalign coming under pressure from new competitors over the coming 12 months.

Finally, the introduction of oral cancer screenings will also help reduce fatalities from this disease in 2010, the guide predicted.

Elsewhere, Colgate recently announced its own predictions for the next ten years.

It claimed that by 2020, remote dentistry will be the norm, with dentists making house calls and visits to offices to carry out simple procedures and offer check-ups.

The company also predicted “the perfect smile” will take on a greater significance, with success being a measure of a person’s teeth.

Clean teeth ‘help prevent oral cancer’


Having clean teeth could help people prevent the development of mouth cancer, one dental healthcare professional has argued.

Kathy Fox, of NHS Leeds’ Special Care Dentistry Service, said more than 2,000 people die in the UK every year from oral cancer – that is one person every five hours.

Therefore, maintaining a good oral health routine is imperative in helping to bring these figures down, with regular check-ups also key to tackling the problem.

She advised: "Visit the dentist regularly, brush gums and teeth for two minutes twice a day, only eat sugary foods and drinks at mealtimes and examine your mouth for unusual changes."

Elsewhere, Canadian publication the Vancouver Sun recently argued that dentists could be the first line of defence against oral cancer.

The newspaper claimed as dental professionals are trained to pick up on minor changes in oral health, having frequent trips to the dentist could help patients tackle any issues early.

Dentists ‘first line of defence’ against mouth cancer


Britons worried about the prospect of oral cancer have been advised that visiting their emergency dentist should be their first port of call to allay such fears.

Canadian newspaper the Vancouver Sun reported that anyone worried about this disease should always book an appointment with their dentist, who would be able to pick up on the early signs of the development of mouth cancer.

"People who smoke are at high risk for oral cancer, but so are those who consume large amounts of alcohol. People who are both heavy smokers and drinkers have 18 times the risk of developing oral cancer," commented Dr Seema Ganatra, an oral pathologist who teaches at the University of Alberta.

Elsewhere, a dentist’s surgery in Weston-super-Mare is offering free mouth cancer screenings at a number of sessions through November as part of Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Twenty 2 Dental on Milton Road is offering the free service, while those looking for a screening do not have to be a member of the surgery on a full-time basis.

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