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Cancer and Your Teeth

In 2007, it was announced that scientists had discovered a link between poor oral hygiene and pancreatic cancer. That may seem a far stretch, but the numbers didn’t lie. Since then, dental complications have been tied to many serious illnesses, which give the average American even more reason to schedule regular appointments with the dentist. But, what about the effects on the teeth when receiving treatment for cancer? The truth is that it is a two-way street. The health of your teeth and gums can affect the rest of your body and what is happening to other areas of it can play a big role in how healthy your teeth are.

Radiation Treatment for Cancer When receiving radiation treatments in the neck or head region, the teeth can be directly impacted. First and foremost, the procedure can result in pain or discomfort, which leads to difficulty eating, talking, swallowing, and brushing. It can also leave you at a great risk of an oral infection. Not only will that mean several meetings with your Austin dentist it can also be a major risk to the cancer treatment plan and to your overall health. If the dental problems persist, you will likely have to discuss the option to spread out the radiation treatments.

Signs of Trouble with Radiation Though not all of these are ‘red flags’ to the dental community, they are reason to speak with your dentist. Dry mouth, an increased number of cavities, loss of taste, sore gums, signs of infections, jaw stiffness, and even changes to the jaw bone might be seen as a result of the intensive treatments. The dentist can discuss proper care to avoid many of these complications.

Chemotherapy and Oral Hygiene Just like radiation, chemotherapy can wreak havoc in your mouth. The need for regular dental care during your treatments is paramount. The medications used in the process of treating the cancer can lead to increased oral pain. The concerns with chemotherapy are often the same as what is seen with radiation patients; undergoing both means that your risk of mouth-related complications is increased further.

Signs of Trouble with Chemotherapy Again, these symptoms do not necessarily mean that there is a significant problem within the mouth, but all should be immediately discussed with the dentist. If you find that you have soreness in or around your mouth or you suffer from dry mouth, if you note swelling or burning of the tongue, if you experience the symptoms of infection or have a change in taste then make a call to the dentistas soon as possible.

There are a few things that you can do to keep your mouth as healthy as possible during your cancer recovery. Drink a lot of water or suck on ice chips to avoid dry mouth and wash away bacteria. Chew sugarless gum to remove food particles and keep the surface of the teeth clean during the day. Furthermore, it is important, even when feeling ill, to practice proper oral hygiene. Brush regularly with a fluoride toothpaste, use mouthwash to reach into areas the brush can’t, and floss between teeth daily. If soreness becomes an issue, choose the foods you eat carefully. Pick those that are soft and easy to choose. Follow all meals with a glass of water to soothe your mouth and wash away the remaining food particles.

 

Austin Dental Center, PC
2304 Hancock Dr. Suite 1

Austin, TX 78756-2537

(512) 454-0414


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Do You Have Rosacea?

The condition known as rosacea can be very troubling for those who suffer from it. Though the problem is not medically significant, it can be unsightly and call for cosmetic assistance.

Those who develop rosacea will notice that the face appears redder than usual, particularly around the nose and forehead. In addition to the flushing, there are often small bumps that appear like pimples in the area. They can be solid or puss filled, depending on the individual. Enlarged blood vessels in the area can also produce tiny red lines to appear and the face may sting or burn, especially when the face is contorted to show expression.

There are certain foods and other triggers that can make the skin condition worse. These can include alcohol, spicy foods, hot beverages, as well as changes in activity level. Hot baths, changes in the weather, and even direct sunlight can make the effects of rosacea more noticeable. In addition, sufferers should avoid excess stress, as well as harsh skin products that can aggravate the condition. In order to reduce the impact of rosacea, one should attempt to avoid triggers. Staying away from foods and beverages that are known to produce a pronounced redness, taking a cool shower after a workout and practicing stress management are three great steps to improve the condition. In some cases weight loss can improve skin condition, including rosacea. If you have difficulty shedding unwanted pounds, then you may want to consider the HcG diet. Austin laser spas have doctors on staff to answer questions about the diet program and to prescribe the treatment.

It is important to stay in contact with your doctor while suffering from rosacea. There are treatments to reduce the symptoms, includes medications for the eyes when they are involved. Many rosacea sufferers also report extremely dry, painful, or itchy eyes during a flare. If the condition continues to get progressively worse, it may be necessary to see a licensed dermatologist. It is also wise to discuss any medications being taken at the time of onset. It could be that the symptoms appear as rosacea, but are actually tied to the prescription or over-the-counter drugs being taken.

Currently, there is no cure for rosacea, but more is being learned about the condition everyday, and there is hope that a solution will be found in the near future. During outbreaks, there are spa treatments that can be used to erase the redness and bumps associated with rosacea, including photofacial. Austin technicians use broad spectrum light therapy to smooth the skin and provide a more consistent tone. Though it can take five to eight treatments to reach the desired outcome, the effects can be astounding and can nearly erase all traces of the skin condition.

Many experts agree that one way to prevent flares is through a healthier diet. Consider eating more foods rich in skin-friendly vitamins. More commonly vitamins C, E, and B complex are attributed to better skin health. While some of the most beneficial nutrients are available in topical solutions today, it is considered even more effective to include them in the daily diet.

Laser Studio
4613 Bee Caves Rd #105-B
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 337-2466


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