Get your teeth into a healthy New Year

Posted on: 9th February, 2015

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Dr. Claire Foley BDS NUI, Dunmanway Dental

By mid January, over 75 per cent of New Year’s resolutions are already broken. Most of us, on December 31, make a resolution to improve our health: lose weight, exercise more, stop smoking and eat healthy, but do we ever include our dental health in our resolution to improve our overall health? Well we should. The two are more closely linked than you might think.

Let’s start with the smoking cessation issue, as it’s one of the most popular and most difficult of the resolutions. We often get patients in complaining that their gums are bleeding more since they have stopped smoking, thinking this is a negative side-effect of giving up. The opposite, however is true. Yes, bleeding is a sign of unhealthy gums and that you need a cleaning with your dentist and you need to improve your own oral hygiene routine at home. However, the reason your gums weren’t bleeding before was due to reduced oxygen and blood flow in your gum tissues. The new bleeding is a sign of healthy, renewed blood flow to the area and is one of the first positive signs that patients notice upon quitting smoking. Oral cancer is also on the increase in Ireland with over 300 cases detected each year, and the main culprit again for this, is smoking. Each September there is a National Mouth Cancer Awareness Day to increase public knowledge that mouth cancer is an important global healthcare problem. It is important to realise your dentist screens for oral cancer at each of your visits and not just on this one day and once caught early, these cancers can be easily treated. There are a million and one reasons to quit smoking and prevention of oral cancer is definitely high on the list.

Our resolutions to improve our health and fitness usually stem from a desire to improve our self-image, to give ourselves back our confidence. How confident are you about your smile? A person’s smile can be a major factor in boosting or deflating your confidence. A less than attractive smile can really hold you back in life. It can even be the reason you may not be hired for a job. This can be due to you not being confident in your interview because you are paranoid about a discoloured tooth or due to your potential employer making assumptions about you and your work ethic based on your appearance. A person’s smile is one of the first things you will notice about someone you meet for the first time. I have seen patients reduced to tears when I have provided them with a new denture/ tooth whitening/ new white fillings etc. They usually can’t believe they left it so long to get their teeth ‘fixed’ and are like new people leaving the surgery.

Speaking of white fillings, one question we are asked time and time again is whether or not removing your silver fillings will improve your health. People ask this, as they have read that there is mercury in silver fillings and that this is poisonous and has been linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis and a number of other health issue. Silver fillings have been used in dentistry for nearly 200 years. They do contain small amounts of mercury as a component. However, no scientific link has been proved that shows this mercury content causes any adverse effects at all. There is some mercury release from these fillings when we place and remove the fillings which can be reduced with high level suction, but when they are in your teeth, the amount released is negligible. I have one silver filling myself, which has been there for 15 years or more and I wouldn’t replace it unless it needed to be replaced for functional reasons. We are more than happy to replace amalgam fillings that might be in your smile line for you if you don’t like their appearance but I would never advocate to a patient that all their silver fillings need to be replaced for health reasons. There is simply no evidence for me to do this. You may have heard that some countries, such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, have already banned amalgam and that Ireland will be phasing the material out as part of an EU agreement. This is not for individual health reasons though, but for environmental reasons to reduce waste amalgam in our water supplies and mercury vapour in our atmosphere.

While removing your silver fillings will not improve your systemic health, improving in your oral hygiene and oral health certainly will. Poor oral health has been scientifically linked to diabetes. Diabetics with poor oral health have difficulty controlling their blood glucose levels and diabetics who have poor sugar control also have worse gum disease. The two are unequivocally linked so that improving your oral hygiene will improve your diabetes. Poor oral health is also linked to heart disease, preterm births and low birth weights of newborns among other illnesses. Brushing twice daily, flossing at night and regular scale and polish with your dentist may do more for your overall health than swearing off chocolate for the month of January only to cave in on the second week! And remember that if you are a medical card holder or have PRSI cover your exam is free, so there is no reason to delay making an appointment and get the smile you have always wanted. Make 2015 the year you made your dental health resolution and kept it!

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.
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Vikings talk in Clonakilty!

“The Viking Gold and Silver Hoards from County Cork” is the topic of the next Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage lecture on Thursday 22nd at the Parish Centre starting at 8pm.

It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
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15th February, 2018  ·  

Bandon Toastmasters is a club that helps people overcome Glossophobia, a fear of public speaking. The club is holding a night of inspirational and motivational speakers on February 22 that is a must for anybody wishing to overcome this phobia.
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