Researchers believe that maintain good oral hygiene could help to decrease the risk of bowel cancer.
A new study carried out by a team of researchers from Harvard University’s TH Chan School of Public Health revealed that taking good care of your teeth and gums could also have a positive impact on your general health. Researchers believe that harmful microbes, which may travel to the gut from the mouth, can bind to precancerous growths, causing them to become malignant. There is also a suggestion that the microbes may cause tumours in the bowel to increase in size.
Scientists have been trying to establish how certain streams of bacteria travel around the body and one theory suggests that harmful bacteria can reach the gut via the bloodstream as a result of bleeding gums. Bleeding gums are a tell-tale sign of gum disease.
The Harvard researchers discovered that the bacteria contain protein, which enables them to bind onto sugar molecules. These molecules cling to polyps, non-cancerous growths, in addition to tumours located in the bowel. The anaerobic bacteria don’t need oxygen to survive and are able to thrive in the bowel. Once the molecules are bound to the cancerous cells, they encourage growth, causing the tumour to expand.
Co-author of the study, Wendy Garrett, explained that a better understanding of the “mechanisms” and movement of bacteria may result in fewer people developing cancerous tumours. Bowel cancer affects around 1 in 20 people, and Dr Garrett believes that the findings of the study could also be useful in developing effective treatments. The study shows the importance of targeting bacteria with have sugar-binding proteins. Destroying these bonds could help to prevent bowel cancer from becoming more aggressive.
From seeing the spooky forceps and needles to even smelling dental compounds, 5-8% of patients refuse to seek dental care all together and 20% of patients will only go to the dentist when necessary.
I think I have odontophobia. What can I do to prevent panic during visits?
Easier said than done - practice positive self-talk! Tell yourself “YOU CAN DO IT!”
Make sure to remind yourself “everything WILL be okay.” Your dentist is a professional and is someone you can trust.
Don’t be nervous - speak up to your dentist. Let him/her know when you’re having a rough time. Listening to your concerns face-to-face helps both sides - you and your dentist. Your dentist can help make an ideal and reasonable commitment that makes you feel comfortable because dental health is SO important! Knowledge is power!
Download your favorite podcast, album, or playlist before heading to the office. Distract your thoughts and link the experience to something you ENJOY.
Don’t forget headphones! Your dentist will not be upset if you put your headphones in to distract your thoughts.
Take deep breaths! Think about pleasant experiences in your life to stay calm.
Here at Fabulous Smiles, we have a therapy dog named Bailey that will ease any panic you might have.
You never outgrow your smile!
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