Improper dental care can lead to tooth decay, discoloration and worse

February 25th, 2014

Maintaining proper oral hygiene requires a personal commitment to daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental visits. Dental academic software can help keep patients interested and engaged in their own care. However, for children too young to care for themselves, it's the parent's responsibility to maintain hygiene and instill good oral habits.

The Indian Express reported  that mothers or fathers who share eating utensils with their children, or clean off pacifiers by sticking them in their own mouths, may be putting their kids at risk for cavities and other oral health problems. Liliana Rozo, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, told the news source that contracted tooth decay can have significant ramifications on the quality of the child's life, including poor performance at school.

Through the exchange of saliva, parents with cavities may unknowingly be transferring damaging oral bacteria into their child's mouth. The Indian Express warned that such transmissions can lead to pain, an inability to chew well and myriad of other detrimental consequences, like teeth discoloration.

From tooth decay to cancer
In another study, co-authored by the Henry Ford Hospital and Wayne State University, researchers discovered that from 1973 to 2009, cancers of the base of the tongue, tonsils, soft palate and pharynx in people younger than age 45 have increased by 60 percent. Researchers specifically examined the link between the rise in oropharyngeal cancers and the increasingly common human papillomavirus, or  HPV, but bad oral health is the ultimate driver behind recent trends.

TheraBreath confirmed  that HPV is a viral infection spread via skin-to-skin contact, and in recent years has become the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. The study from Ford and Wayne State found that HPV is quick to spread, and when a person has canker sores or bleeding gums, the lesions act as easy entry points for the virus. After an area has become infected, a person's chances for oral cancer begin to rise. The American Cancer Society estimated  that of the approximately 36,000 people who contracted an oropharyngeal cancer, nearly 7,000 will perish from the disease, TheraBreath reported .

Of course, HPV is the root cause behind the cancer's development, but oral lesions, which allow the virus to spread, are the result of poor oral care. Keeping mouths clean and patients healthy requires university clinics to have the best equipment available to them, but also a significant amount of patient engagement.

Dental school software can help clinics deliver the highest quality of care, leveraging innovative and streamlined digital processes to improve workflows and documentation accuracy. With electronic health records, staff can quickly and easily take notes and reference comprehensive patient histories while working with patients. Dentists can also ensure patients are staying involved with their own care using online patient portals and automated email reminders.

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