Health

Link between diabetes and mouth cancer

New research has discovered that women who suffer from diabetes face a dramatically increased chance of developing mouth cancer.

The research published in Diabetologia found that women have a 13% higher chance of developing oral cancer if they suffer from diabetes.

Overall women faced a 27% increase of developing any form of cancer if they had diabetes, while men also faced a 19% increased risk according to the study.

With previous research showing close links between diabetes and the development of mouth cancer, as well as other forms of the disease, leading health charity the Oral Health Foundation, is calling on people to be aware of the close links between their oral health and their wider wellbeing.

CEO of the charity Dr Nigel Carter OBE, which campaigns tirelessly to raise awareness of mouth cancer, believes the research could help to identify individuals at risk of mouth cancer.

Dr Carter said: “This could be a very significant piece of research, and one that could help to save lives. Diabetes has previously been linked to poor oral health, but this new research shows a specific link to mouth cancer.

“This makes regular dental visits an absolute must. If your dentists know that you are diabetic, they will check your mouth accordingly. For many years we have known that diabetic patients are more likely to get gum disease and need extra dental care but this is yet another reason for regular checks.

“It is important, not just for diabetics but for everyone to be aware of what the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer are. Be alert to ulcers which do not heal within three weeks, red and white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the head and neck area.  If you experience any of these visit your dentist immediately.

“More people lose their lives to mouth cancer every year in Britain than from cervical and testicular cancer combined. Without early detection, the five-year survival rate for mouth cancer is only 50% but if it is caught early, survival rates can dramatically improve to up to 90%, as well as the quality of life for survivors being significantly increased.

“Smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, poor diet and the human papillomavirus (HPV), often transmitted via oral sex, are all lifestyle choices that will increase the risk of developing the disease. As diabetes has now been shown to be another potential risk factor, amending your lifestyle to make sure you take yourself out of harm’s way makes it more important than ever to be mouth aware.”

In the UK, it is estimated that over four million live with diabetes, with many cases going undiagnosed. Type-2 diabetes, which is closely linked to lifestyle and diet, has been rapidly increasing in recent years and is now one of the world’s most common long-term health conditions.

 

Health

10 facts you didn’t know about kissing

Today (Friday, 22 June) is National Kissing Day! To help mark the occasion, Dr Harold Katz of The Breath Company shares 10 little-known facts about kissing, along with his top hygiene tips.

DID YOU KNOW?

1. The mouth is full of bacteria and when two people kiss, they exchange between 10 million and 1 billion bacteria, so remember to brush, rinse and floss!

2. Kissing is actually good for your teeth. The anticipation of a kiss increases the flow of saliva to your mouth and gives your teeth a plaque-dispersing bath.

3. Bad breath can’t be passed on to another person via kissing.

4. A French kiss involves all 34 muscles in the face, whereas a quick pucker involves only two.

5. Passionate French kissing can burn up to five calories in a few seconds or about 150 calories (calculation compiled by Dr Harold Katz) in a minute.  Kiss for 10 minutes… and skip the gym!

6. Kissing makes you feel happy, positive and less stressed because it releases endorphins and oxytocin. According to relationship therapist Dr. Krista A. Bloom, our lips are super- sensitive and have approximately 10,000 nerve endings – and that’s why we love kissing so much.

7. So far, the movie with the most kisses, namely 127, is Don Juan (1926).  Andy Warhol’s Kiss (1963) contains the longest kiss ever filmed.  Splendor in the Grass (1963) with Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty made history with Hollywood’s first on-screen French kiss.

8. People in the 18 to 24 age group are making out an average of 11 times each week.

9. 5% of people aged 45 and over are managing more than 31 passionate kisses each week.

10. Kissing is healthy and can even make you live longer. Even a quick goodbye kiss before leaving home can have huge benefits.

Boots and Superdrug are helping the nation prepare to kiss with confidence this National Kissing Day with savings off breath freshening treatments from The Breath Company, whose products include Fresh Breath Toothpaste, Fresh Breath Chewing Gum, and Fresh Breath Oral Rinse – all of which are made from pure, natural ingredients.

Health

Is stress causing your bad breath?

It’s estimated that 50% of the UK population suffers from bad breath but is stress the culprit?
Yes, says dentist, bacteriologist and founder of The Californian Breath Clinics and The Breath Company Dr Harold Katz.
“It’s well documented that stress can have a huge impact on our general health and can cause a plethora of physical conditions, such as heart disease and obesity, as well as serious mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression,” says Dr Katz.
“Specifically, when taking our oral health in to account, stress can really take its toll and be attributed to various oral health issues including bad breath, gum disease
and mouth ulcers to name a few.”
But how does stress cause halitosis?
“When individuals find themselves in high stress circumstances, their bodies react by using the sympathetic nervous system as a form of protection.
“This system essentially triggers the fight-or-flight response mechanism, providing you with a boost of energy so you can react quickly to the situation. In cases of chronic stress, your body is kept in ‘fight or flight’ mode and conserves energy by turning off certain digestive functions such as the production of saliva.
“The mouth then produces a lower level of saliva – saliva is mandatory for moistening food for easier digestion, but the body deems it unnecessary in critical situations.
“Saliva evaporates and the mouth becomes dry, leading to bad breath. This happens because the odorous gases created by bacteria in the mouth, which are generally suppressed by spit and swallowed away, are free to be released into the air.
“Additionally, bacteria are much more likely to stick to the surfaces of a dry mouth, which can further enhance the sour smell. Drinking plenty of water, chewing sugar-free gum and rinsing with a non-alcohol mouthwash can help to minimise the effects of stress related halitosis.”
How can stress cause gum disease?
“A small amount of blood in the sink when you clean your teeth might not seem like a big deal, but consistently bleeding gums should not be ignored. Bleeding gums are a visual symptom of gum disease which can be caused by stress. There are a few factors that link stress to bleeding gums and the onset of gum disease.
“Firstly, when the body is under stress it produces elevated amounts of the hormone
cortisol which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. When cortisol is produced peripherally in the gums, it stimulates mast cells to produce more proteins, simultaneously increasing inflammation and the progression of gum disease.
“In addition, individuals with high stress levels tend to adopt bad oral hygiene and lifestyle habits, and this in turn can have a negative impact on their oral health.
“If gum disease isn’t in advanced stages then good oral hygiene habits can reverse it so it’s essential to adopt a robust oral hygiene regimen coupled with regular trips to your dentist who can offer sound advice on correct brushing and flossing techniques.”
How can stress cause mouth ulcers?
“Chronic stress suppresses the immune system and can leave you open to disease and infection. Mouth ulcers are one example of this and although are relatively harmless can make life unbearable when eating, drinking, speaking or swallowing.
“They occur on the inside of the mouth and are white or yellow surrounded by a dark red area. Minimising your exposure to stressful situations and adopting some simple lifestyle changes can reduce your chances of developing moth ulcers.”
How can I minimise stress and its effects on my oral health?
“Stress can often be an unavoidable part of modern day living, but that can really hinder your day-to-day life. You can help to minimise the impact that stress has on your oral health by adopting the following:
Start with some lifestyle changes. Stress can often lead us to make bad lifestyle choices that will impact our oral health. Limiting consumption of sugary foods and drinks, alcohol and quitting smoking will all contribute to healthier gums and mouth. Smoking in particular dries out the mouth and can lead to gum disease as a result of bacteria and toxins causing plaque to form in the mouth.
Exercise. Fitting exercise into your lifestyle will do wonders for your stress level. When you exercise, you’re using physical activity to shed the mind of stressful thoughts. Regularly practicing yoga for example, may be great for the body and mind. Similarly, deep breathing exercises can be very beneficial, and any form of exercise may boost endorphin production and help you better handle your emotions in high-tension situations.
Adopt a robust oral health regimen. Brush and floss regularly but avoid harsh soap in
toothpaste. Brushing helps eradicate the plaque and bacteria on your teeth, however some toothpaste contain sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), a soapy detergent that creates foam but has no cleaning benefit. The additive has recently been linked to serious side effects including canker sores.
Flossing is an extra step, but it’s an important one, as it helps gets in between the teeth where toothbrushes sometimes miss. In addition, regular and specific application of alcohol-free mouth rinses such as The Breath Company Healthy Gums Oral Rinse will help calm the gum area and work to both eliminate germs associated with gum disease and reduce the formation of biofilm which leads to plaque and tartar build-up.
It’s important to steer clear of alcohol-based mouthwashes as these can cause dry mouth, and just mask odours rather than killing off bacteria
Stay hydrated throughout the day. The fight-or-flight reaction to stress can make you
dehydrated and this leads to dry mouth and bad breath bacteria forming which can both
contribute to the onset of halitosis gum disease. If you keep your mouth and body well hydrated, you will minimise the chance of developing dry mouth that can lead to these problems.
• Talk to your dentist and make regular check-ups. They are the very best source of advice and will be able to check for any signs of any stress-related gum disease and bad breath issues. In addition, they will be able to offer advice on how to prevent stress affecting your oral health and put in place a care plan that is bespoke to you.”
Dr. Harold Katz is a dentist with an advanced degree in bacteriology and a lifelong advocate of good oral health. He is the founder of The California Breath Clinics and the developer of the The Breath Company line of premium oral care products. He is the internationally recognised expert in the fields of bad breath, taste disorders, tonsil stones and dry mouth.
Known as the ‘Bad Breath Guru’ due to his numerous television appearances on U.S shows like The View and the CBS Early Show, he has helped
millions of people around the world eliminate their bad breath problems.
Dr. Katz is a graduate of the UCLA School of Dentistry and holder of a separate degree in Bacteriology, also from UCLA. In the 1970s he established a thriving dental practice in Beverly Hills, California, minutes from bustling 20th Century Fox Studios. There, he perfected his dental techniques while working with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.