A Guide for Those Who Care about Their Smile

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A Special ‘Sugar Tax’ Should Go To Dental Care Institutions

As we all know very well, sugary and sweet foods are very harmful to our dental health. Those who like candies, jams, sweet bakery and other too much sweet foods are in a great dander to develop serious dental health conditions, including tooth loss, numerous cavities and so on. On the background of the information that nowadays, not all people who need a proper dental care can afford or by other reasons receive it, the Irish government is considering an interesting and very creative solution to this problem. It is proposed to launch a special so called ‘sugar tax’, and direct the accumulated funds to dental care institutions and spend those revenues to improve national dental care.

dental careIn particular, it is proposed to spend those money to sponsor wide national dental care programs and schemes. The experts at the Irish Dental Association (IDA) support this idea extensively, and they stress on the importance of launching such a tax as an indication of government’s concern about national health and well being. The ‘sugar tax’ is a special governmental tax which is planned to be imposed on a variety of fatty foods and sugary drinks, as an effective measure to improve public health in the today’s Ireland.

The experts from the IDA are demonstrating the figures and facts proving a huge decrease in the number of dental treatments and dental procedures provided recently by dental care specialists in the country. They say that in 2010, the amount of dental services decreased too much. In particular, the number of dental fillings has reduced by over 60 per cent compared to the number of dental fillings provided in 2009, and the number of tooth extraction procedures also dropped down by almost 30 per cent compared to the one provided in 2009. The same can be said about the number of oral examinations, which has dropped by 32 per cent in 2010.

That is why, according to the report of the IDA experts, spending revenues from ‘sugar tax’ on national dental schemes and developing new dental programs could be “the best return for the taxpayer”. In addition to that, the IDA specialists point on the fact that governmental help and financial support for the PRSI dental treatment cover programs and schemes have been recently decreasing, and in 2010 governmental funding for these programs decreased almost by 50 per cent. That is why extra financial support for national dental programs is absolutely vital and necessary in the circumstances.

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Dental Care For Patients With Cancer

The importance of a proper dental care for everyone of us is indisputable. However, people with certain health conditions and diseases should pay extra attention on their dental care and regular dental procedures. This can be said about the people who suffer from type 2 diabetes or severe mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. Besides, those patients who were diagnosed with the most common types of cancer, who had to undergo a variety of anti-cancer therapies, also require a special attention of today’s dental specialists. And many world’s leading dentists are talking about the necessity to make a good emphasis on this issue is dental schools around the world.

Cancer is a very serious and stressful disease which is linked to a variety of treatments and very serious side effects. The most commonly offered cancer treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery, and all of those have very serious impact on the body and health. Sometimes, patients with cancer have to undergo a combination of the mentioned treatments which in turn has much heavier impact on the body and general health. In particular, the most common side effects of cancer treatments on patients’ dental health include:

  • patients with cancerNecrosis of tissues in oral cavity
  • Tooth decay
  • Dry mouth
  • Wounds in oral cavity and impaired ability to heal them effectively
  • Inability to open the mouth properly
  • Increased risks of osteoradionecrosis and other related conditions
  • Others

Many specialists point on the importance of teaching young dental specialists how to treat the mentioned dental problems and health conditions which are very common in people who suffer from head and neck cancer. Every dentist should have skills and enough knowledge to evaluate treatment opportunities, choose the best and the most proper one, and perform all necessary procedures in the framework of the selected type of treatment. Unfortunately, currently the issue is not being stressed out enough in dental educational establishments.

In particular, it is known that patients with cancer who undergo a radiation treatment should recognize the importance of special fluoride treatment, and dentists should explain the patients the necessity of performing this procedure on a daily basis. It is crucial to raise the level of awareness and understating of the specifics of dental care for patients with cancer among today’s dental care specialists. Side effects of cancer treatments like radiation therapy or chemotherapy can be very harmful, and proper dental treatments are the only way to prevent their destructive effects on the overall health of those people.

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Diabetes And Increased Risks Of Dental Care Issues

It is a known fact that the people who suffer from certain serious diseases have elevated chances to experience various dental problems as well. However, it is obvious that being aware about this situation and taking actions of any kind in order to prevent all sorts of dental problems is a very important factor. At the same time, according to the last research of British scientists, published recently in the British Dental Journal (BDJ), quite a few patients with such common disease as type 2 diabetes are aware about the fact that diabetes is linked to increased risks of dental care issues.

A fundamental research titled Oral health awareness in adult patients with diabetes: a questionnaire study, which evoked a great interest and public resonance, studies the connections between advanced stages of type 2 diabetes and dental infections, dental inflammations, as well as progression of such serious diseases as gum disease or tooth loss. dental careIt is also mentioned that type 2 diabetes is closely associated with poor cardiovascular health, elevated risks of developing oral cancer and other serious diseases and health conditions. As a part of the study, the academics interviewed 229 patients with type 2 diabetes in one of British clinics, and they found out that quite a few people showed awareness about the above mentioned factors and risks.

In particular, the scientists report that only as small amount of patients with diabetes as 13 per cent knew about the connections between swollen and bleeding gums and type 2 diabetes, and just only 12 per cent of the patiens know about the links between tooth loss and type 2 diabetes. Authors of the study from Warwick Medical School, write: ‘Dental and oral self-care tasks were rated as less important than other diabetes self-care tasks, such as taking prescribed medication or having regular eye checks. Around one-third of patients rated daily flossing as the least important health related activity

It is necessary to say that the expert at the British Dental Association were very much disappointed and worrying after receiving the findings of this research. According to their opinion, this study has shown the necessity to raise public awareness about the importance of dental care for patients with type 2 diabetes. It is crucial for all modern dental care professionals to make people aware about the connections between dental health and several serious diseases. And everyone with type 2 diabetes should remember that brushing teeth twice a day, flossing and visiting your dentist twice a year are the key factors for an effective dental care.

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