A Critical Review of WebMD – Oral Health

Many people have heard of the WebMD website. For years it has been a source of accurate helpful information. The website covers many health issues including dental and oral health. If you’re looking for answers to dental questions it is a great resource.

Many topics such as gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath are covered in great detail. You will learn what the symptoms are as well as treatment and prevention. The information is accurate and often there are photos or animated drawings to help inform you. There is an enormous amount of information and it is presented in many ways which helps to make it interesting. Don’t be surprised if you end up spending much more time than it takes to research one issue. You will likely think of several other topics you would like to learn something about. They use short articles, diagrams, photos, drawings and videos to inform and educate. One of the reasons the site is so popular and people come back to it time and time again is that it is very interesting and easy to navigate. Here is a list of some of the video topics.

Oral pain & Injuries
Budget Dental Care
Cosmetic Dentistry
Diabetes & Dental Care
Childrens Dental Care
Orthodontics & Braces
Oral Health Myths

When you have a question and want an answer right away this site will be very helpful. Keep in mind that this site and it’s information should not take the place of a consultation with your dentist or doctor when you have a serious or urgent condition.

One very interesting feature is the oral health evaluator. It only takes a few minutes and it is very easy to use. It
is like having someone answer your specific questions. On the topic you choose. When you are finished you
will have answers to your questions and a plan or ideas to use in the future regarding the topic you chose.
Some of the topics are

preventing tooth decay
fresh breath
whitening
improving daily hygiene

As you click through the evaluator you will answer questions with a click of the mouse. When you are finished you will receive the detailed information mentioned above. This feature makes WebMD-oral health more than just a generic information site. It personalizes the report and that makes it more valuable to you. Now that it has been established that there is a link between your oral / dental health and your overall health it is more important than ever to be knowledgeable and proactive with your oral health. WebMD-oral health helps you do that. With it’s insightful and interesting articles and information it has become one of the most popular and trusted sources of information.

Because of this it is no surprise it so popular. For most people their first visit is not their last.

Pediatric Oral Health Tips

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), tooth decay is one of the most common chronic infectious diseases among U.S. children.  This is a preventable health problem that begins early.  28% of children aged 2-5 years have already had decay in their primary or baby teeth.  By the time they reach 11 years of age, approximately half of children have experienced decay.  By the age of 19, tooth decay in permanent teeth affects two-thirds or 68% of adolescents.  Low-income children have twice as much untreated decay than children in families with higher incomes.  Problems such as pain, dysfunction, underweight, and poor appearance can result greatly reducing a child’s capacity to succeed in the educational environment.

A healthy smile is a good indication of a happy child.  Oral health experts are all in agreement that developing healthy smiles in children should start in infancy.  CDC experts have promoted a set of pediatric oral health tips that if followed will significantly prevent tooth decay in any child and save the child from suffering embarrassment.

Pediatric Oral Health Tips

Start early.  As soon as the first tooth appears, start with wiping to clean it every day with a clean, damp cloth.  When more teeth come in, switch to a small, soft toothbrush.  You can start using toothpaste with fluoride when the child is 2 years old and if your doctor recommends it you can use toothpaste with fluoride even earlier.  Do not let a child under the age of 6 use fluoride mouth rinse unless the child’s doctor or dentist recommends it.

Check with your child’s doctor or dentist about the specific fluoride requirements of your child.  At age 2, most children are getting the right amount of fluoride to help prevent cavities if they drink water that contains fluoride and brush their teeth two times daily with a very small amount of toothpaste with fluoride.  If the drinking water does not have enough fluoride parents of children 6 months and older should ask about the need for a fluoride supplement.

It was known that fluoride is an important element for the fight against cavities. But for children younger than 6 years old, swallowing too much fluoride may be detrimental to his/her health. Fluoride can cause white spots to appear in the child’s permanent teeth. Always advise your child to use only a small amount of toothpaste (approximately the size of a pea) and tell your child not to swallow but spit out the toothpaste and rinse thoroughly after brushing.

Always supervise your child.  Until such time that the child is able to correctly use his/her own toothbrush you should brush your child’s teeth twice a day.  After that you should continue to keep a watchful eye to make sure the child is doing a thorough job and using only a small amount of toothpaste.

As a parent be a good role model to your child by practicing good oral health care habits. And schedule regular dental visits for checkups and cleanings.

Check your child’s mouth for the signs of periodontal disease.  Symptoms include bleeding gums, swollen and bright red gums or gums that are receding away from the teeth and bad breath.

Sedation Technique And Sedation Methods

If your child becomes anxious or panics at the sight of a dentist or just a thought of visiting a dentist office you may consider using a sedation technique in order to relax him/her through the dental procedure.

Consult with the doctor to determine the best method to help reduce your child’s stress level.  There are several types of dental sedation methods being used by sedation dentists.  They are oral sedatives, nitrous oxide sedation, intravenous (IV) sedation and general anesthesia.  All of these methods provide sedation on varying degrees.

Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

We’re all very aware that cigarette smoking has a potentially disastrous effect on our health. From heart disease and cancer to emphysema, cigarette smoke is known to cause a variety of very serious and deadly diseases. Yet, the full effects of smoking on health are often overlooked; and in fact, cigarette smoking also negatively impacts your oral health. Indeed, tobacco smoking is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults.

The effects of smoking on health are well documented, and smoking tobacco can have a significant effect on the appearance and health of your mouth and gums. Just a few of the dental problems associated with smoking include:

  • Halitosis (or bad breath)
  • Staining or discolouration of the teeth
  • Inflammation of the salivary glands
  • Advanced buildup of tartar and plaque on the teeth
  • Bone loss in the jaw
  • Increased risk of mouth cancers and leukoplakia
  • Increased risk of gum disease
  • Slower healing of gum tissue
  • Increased risk of complications following tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, oral surgery, and dental implants

In addition, there are a number of serious oral and general health concerns that often result from cigarette smoking:

  • Oral and pharyngeal cancers
  • Lung cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Tooth decay
  • Premature aging
  • Sores or lesions in the mouth

There are some sobering statistics that support the negative relationship between tobacco smoking and oral health. For example, nearly 90% of patients suffering from mouth, lip, tongue, or throat cancer use tobacco products. Furthermore, continued and increased use of these tobacco products significantly increases the risk of developing these cancers. Similarly more than a third of patients who continue to smoke after remission of oral cancers will develop second cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat.

Unfortunately, even exposure to smokeless tobacco products is dangerous for your oral health. Cigars, cigarettes, snuff, and chewing tobacco are all associated with an increased risk of oral cancer, cancer of the throat and esophagus, and other aesthetic effects of tobacco consumption (e.g. stained teeth and gum disease).

Smoking and Gum Disease

Smoking cigarettes is a major contributor to gum disease, as smoking weakens the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. Recent research suggests that smoking disturbs the normal functioning of gum tissue cells making smokers significantly more susceptible to periodontal or gum disease and infection. Moreover, smoking cigarettes prevents proper blood flow to the gums which may slow healing.

Ultimately, in order to maintain good overall health and proper oral health, dentists and doctors will always recommend quitting smoking and ceasing the consumption of smokeless tobacco products. Still, regardless of how long you have smoked or used other tobacco products, quitting will have an immediately positive impact on your health.