Thursday, 5 March 2015

What Chemotherapy Patients Need to Know About Oral Health

Cancer patients around the world face chemotherapy treatment. A treatment that kills cancer cells and at the same time leads to a number of oral problems. Many patients undergo a number of different cancer treatments, this is determined by the type and stage of cancer they have. Some may have a short dose of chemotherapy, while others may undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

It is easy when you’re facing such a serious illness to forget about your oral health, but what many chemotherapy patients don’t realise is that chemotherapy can lead to oral health problems and with the right management, you can ensure your teeth and gums are kept healthy throughout the treatment process.

Patients undergoing chemotherapy often experience a number of oral issues, they suffer from dry mouth, painful and bleeding gums, infection and swollen tongue. Dry mouth can lead to dental cavities, while the body’s inability to clot blood can lead to bleeding gums, which in turn can lead to oral ulcers.

Anyone who have been advised that chemotherapy is their only solution to fight cancer, need to make an urgent dental appointment before they start treatment, according to leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon, Dr Tariq Drabu. According to Dr Tariq Drabu, dentists can examine themouth, take care of any fillings, gum diseases or issues, ensuring the patient has good oral health when they start their first round of chemotherapy.

It is essential for chemotherapy patients to follow a strict oral health routine, even though it may be the last thing on their mind at the time. Brushing for two minutes twice a day is imperative to reduce the risk of bacteria and eliminate plaque. You need to brush before bed and once in the morning using a fluoride toothpaste.

Flossing is also important. Floss between the teeth, where gum disease starts. Flossing removes any food particles and other debris which is hard to reach with a toothbrush. It may be a good idea to use a soft toothbrush which will reduce the risk of the gums bleeding. In some cases the dentist may recommend an oral rinse or fluoride treatment to use to reduce the risk of tooth decay during the chemotherapy treatment.

According to Tariq Drabu, there are a number of ways patients who are undergoing chemotherapy can reduce the risk of oral disease while they are having treatment. The first is to keep the mouth moist. The dry mouth can lead to tooth decay. Keeping the mouth moist can be achieved by drinking plenty of water, chewing sugar free chewing gum or even sucking ice chips if you aren’t feeling well on the day.

Using a fluoride toothpaste can be a great benefit when going through chemotherapy. Fluoride is found in most toothpastes sold on the market today and help prevent and manage tooth decay. Brushing twice daily for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste will help remove plaque and ensure high quality oral health.

Dr Tariq Drabu also mentioned that patients who are about to undergo chemotherapy and wear dentures must also visit their dentist before they start treatment. It is imperative that the dentures are still fitting properly and aren’t irritating the gums. Poor fitting dentures can be painful and uncomfortable when suffering with painful gums, a side effect of chemotherapy.

It is recommended that all patients ensure that they make a dentist appointment and discuss their chemotherapy with the dentist, this way the dentist is able to ensure the patient has good oral health before treatment starts, reducing the risk of chemotherapy negatively impacting the patients oral health.

About Dr Tariq Drabu

Dr Tariq Drabu is a leading dentist and specialist oral surgeon. This Manchester born and educated dentist was one of the youngest dentists to graduate in the United Kingdom. He has worked at some of the busiest hospitals in the UK and Saudi Arabia and completed his Fellowship in Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He is the owner of the very successful Langley Dental Practice and is also the Clinical Lead Dentist for the Oral Surgery Clinical Assessment and Treatment Services at NHS Heywood Middleton and Rochdale. Tariq Drabu also teaches and mentors postgraduate dentists in oral surgery at the UCLAN Dental Clinic in Preston.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Tariq Drabu on Alarming Increase in Mouth Cancer Cases

Mouth cancer has been increasing at an alarming rate over the past ten years to a point where more than two thousand people die of this disease in the United Kingdom each year.

There are a number of risk factors associated with this disease. These risk factors include smoking, excessive alcohol use, poor diet and the HPV virus. In fact it has been reported that nine in ten cases are linked to lifestyle choices.

Mouth cancer is a serious concern and I am worried that the people in the United Kingdom aren’t educated enough on the disease and what to look for. With over six thousand seven hundred new cases each year, this disease has increased by more than fifty per cent in the past ten years. This is something we need to be worried about and educate our patient on, ensuring they are aware of the dangers, the symptoms and signs and when to seek medical or dental assistance if they think something is wrong.

Another concern that I have is that the majority of mouth cancer cases are diagnosed at stage four. Stage four is the advanced stage of this disease. The disease has more fatalities a year than cervical and testicular cancer combined.

If we are able to catch the disease in the early stages, the survival rate increases significantly with the five year life expectancy increasing by almost ninety per cent. I do believe that patients who attend their routine dental appointments have an improved risk of the disease being caught early, so an effective treatment plan can be put in place to increase their survival rate.

I have always been a strong believer in education, which is why the team and I are always taking advantage of courses to expand our knowledge to provide better patient care at all times. Staying up to date with the latest dental trends and news can ensure our patients receive the highest level of patient care at all times.

Education can also improve the chances of mouth cancer being caught in the early stages. Educating the UK public and making them aware of what to look for can help increase their survival rate and ensure they get the right treatment within the shortest period of time.

Some of the signs and symptoms patients should be looking out for include, white or red patches in the mouth, a lump in the mouth, an ulcer that won’t heal and bleeding or numbness in the mouth. There is also pain when swallowing, chances to the voice and teeth loosening without any reason.

Monday, 12 January 2015

A Brief Statistical Outlook & Key Perceptions on Tooth Whitening

It has been observed that people are much more concerned about tooth discoloration. They not only feel bad, but also find the best techniques around in order to address the issue effectively. A third of the population (32%) say they are ‘concerned by the look of their teeth.’ (source: ).They communicate this problem on a serious note and visit several cosmetic surgeons. In pursuit of the same, people at times fall prey to certain products that can never influence or restore the original tooth conditions. Renowned cosmetic dentistry societies have also asserted that people have a more conscious sense about tooth discoloration because it directly affects their overall looks as well as personality.  A lot of people, and especially teens spend a considerable amount of time as well as money to substantially improve the overall appearance of their teeth.

As per the study, the overall appearance of the smile is vital in determining the attractiveness of a person. In fact, some of the theories have suggested that the significance of the mouth is connected to its importance in social interactions. Many of the behavioral approaches have stated that beautiful smile is one of the reasons for a person’s success in his/her profession and in personal life as well.

As it is easy to find the clinics in the neighbouring places that offer proven dentistry practices for such complications, people approach dentists for the best suitable answer to the problem. These clinics undoubtedly provide comprehensive restoration services stain removal, several tooth whitening techniques or even crowns and veneers. Of course, these techniques are friendly, non-invasive and can provide relief to a patient, but up to what extent, under what condition are still under suspicion. There are other factors also that still play a vital role in the procedure, which are remaining a mystery. However, if we consider the ideal conditions, then these procedures are highly significantly advanced and can prove to be a perfect solution for patients.  

In fact, the proactive utilization of a wide variety of tooth whitening techniques has become a matter of attention. Being completely non-invasive, simple and relatively advanced in its forms; these techniques are based on the use of chemical agents such as hydrogen peroxide, etc. The techniques often involve the use of such agents that are aimed to offer perfect bleach for predictable results. The teeth whitening gel plays a significant role in the overall method and leaves a lasting impression when carried out in a professional manner.

Studies and meta-analysis of studies have also shown that such whitening gels show results that are unprecedented and fruitful. If we observe the history of tooth whitening at a glance and in brief detail, then you will come to know that the procedure has gained much more advancement from the very start of the 1848 until now. The procedure has seen several vital transformations from high to low percentages of chemical agents with the use of LED lights, diode lasers. The concept/mechanism has still its prominent significance in cosmetic dentistry.

Most of the time, researchers do not understand the basic reason behind tooth whitening  besides more youthful appearance; getting married and even enhanced self-confidence. In a study of patient satisfaction with their tooth colour, Odioso et al. 52 reported up to 50% indifference, while 30% were dissatisfied and 10% highly dissatisfied with their tooth colour. As there are multiple reasons for tooth discoloration (intrinsic or extrinsic staining), it has become difficult to spot one.  However, if we look into the basics, we can observe that people prefer tooth whitening due to several reasons such as accident, prolonged smoking, staining and aging, too.  Over a quarter (27%) continues to believe that cosmetic dentistry can improve quality of life. (Source:, British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD))

As people have very high expectation from tooth whitening procedure, they directly contact dentists and convey their concerns. The Dentist also understands their concerns and as per their current conditions, they suggest different solutions. The most advantageous thing is that it is non-invasive in nature and even better for patients having sensitive dentures. Dentists address the issue and go restorative techniques. 


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Regular visits to the dentist will keep your whole family healthy

Making sure your family see the dentist on a regular basis will ensure they all can enjoy healthy teeth and an attractive smile throughout their lives. Too many families do not visit the dentist enough and as a result suffer from gum disease and tooth decay. Some have even more serious problems that develop over time. To prevent this, the easiest and simplest thing is to look after your teeth.

Brush teeth twice daily, once in the morning, and at night before bed. This will keep the levels of bacteria and debris at a minimum. Using a good mouthwash and floss on a regular basis will also help to keep the spaces between teeth and deep in the gum line intact and bacteria free. Letting plaque build-up will lead to decay and tartar build up too.

Choose a good family dentist who can treat your whole family and has experience with patients of all ages. They will be experienced ant treating families for many years and building a good relationship with all members of the family. It is also a great way to teach children that dentists are not scary and are there to help. If they have been around them and know the surgery they are less likely to feel nervous or scared.

If you are in a new area always make sure you register with a good family dentist quickly, and arrange for all of you to have a check-up. This will ensure you are all seen and you can continue with your good oral hygiene on a daily basis. Following the simple steps everyday will keep gum disease, to the decay and more serious issues at bay. Don’t forget, it keeps your breath fresh, makes your smile attractive and prevents some instances of diabetes, mouth cancers and other serious life threatening illnesses.

To find a good dentist, simply go online and search for a dental practice in your local area. Or you can contact your local NHS who will have a list of dental practices in your area that are fully registered and offering family dental treatments.

Looking after your teeth is easy, simple and inexpensive. Treating damaged and decayed teeth can be painful, difficult, time consuming and expensive. Wouldn’t it be much easier to follow the path which keeps your teeth healthy rather than having to spend time and money fixing them when they have rotted away?

If you want to learn more about how to enjoy good oral health, make an appointment with your dentist today, or seek the advice of a qualified and registered dental hygienist. Looking after your teeth is one of the easiest and moth important things you can do for your health so don’t delay it any longer.

The NHS makes sure dentists are fully qualified and registered to practice. Do not be tempted to go to an unqualified dentist for treatment. Only use registered practices. That way you can ensure your and your family’s safety.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Moving (a Little Bit) Out of My Comfort Zone in Blackpool

At the end of every year it is always worthwhile reviewing one's performance and reflecting on the year that has just gone. As a busy predominantly NHS practice we are always continually focused on not only delivering high-quality care but also delivering our preset unit of dental activity targets. 
We have completed another successful year here at the practice not only reaching our targets but also managing it within a comfortable time frame. There have been a lot of other positive achievements this year as well is just the target related ones. These include the following:
  1. We have established and consolidated the HMR oral surgery service. 
  2. Our two cadet dental nurses have both achieved qualification with one of them Sarah Gorman being nominated for student of the year. 
  3. We had our British Dental Association Good Practice Scheme renewal confirmed for another three years following a detailed assessment. 
  4. Matthew Hodkinson was re-selected as a trainer for dental foundation training for the academic year commencing September 2014. 
  5. Two members of our team are returning back after maternity leave. 
I am always keen on change and development or not only myself but also all of my practice team. Sometimes this means stepping out of your comfort zone.
For me stepping out of my comfort zone came on the practice trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach on Friday 2nd May.  The trip to Blackpool is my way of saying thank you to everybody for the hard work they have put in another year and for everybody to let their hair down and have a good time and enjoy themselves away from work.
What has Blackpool got to do with my comfort zone you may ask? Well I have a big fear of heights and Blackpool is full of rides that exploit my fear. I also have a general overriding fear of roller coasters. Therefore I am proud to say that I managed to go on the Grand National the Big Dipper and Avalanche. I also got thoroughly wet at the Valhalla ride. I was initially reluctant to go on some of the rides but when I saw the rest of my team going I felt that I had to be a part of it and to be fair to them they were encouraging and supportive. That a nutshell is what team spirit and support and guidance out of one's comfort zone is all about. Next year I might even just go for The Big One!

A Great Day Out at Blackpool for Langley Dental Practice

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Tariq Drabu Celebrates Double Success at Langley Dental Practice

Recently Langley Dental Practice has had the opportunity to celebrate a double success. We achieved renewal of our BDA Good Practice Scheme award for 2014 and were also so selected as a training practice for foundation dentist by the NW Deanery.

We are absolutely thrilled to have had our Good Practice status renewed for another year. It is the leading independent externally verified quality and standards benchmark for dental practices. Achievement of the award represents a great achievement as we will now be in our fourth year of this award and it shows that we continue to maintain strong high quality standards for our patients and members of our dental team.

I am also delighted that we have been reselected as a training practice for foundation dentists who are in their first year after qualification. The selection process was detailed stringent and tough involving a thorough inspection of the practice and a detailed questionnaire as well as an interview and presentation. We are honoured and privileged to have been selected by the NW Deanery as a training practice from September 2014. This is evidence that Langley Dental Practice can show that it provides a supportive and nurturing environment which will look after and support a foundation year dentist in their first year after qualification.

These two great achievements continue to show the strong progress that Langley Dental Practice has made over the past few years. Patients and their well-being must always be at the centre of our focus. The Good Practice Award gives a strong indication that we are committed to this by means of our validated quality and standards. The rigorous inspection interview and assessment regime for foundation training and the award of a position for a foundation dentist at Langley Dental Practice also means that we have again set our standards very high in order to achieve this status. These two awards both externally verified coming within a short space of time of each other is a great boost for myself and my team.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Tariq Drabu Dentists on Picking the Right Toothpaste for You

At the Langley Dental Practice we’re very eager to make sure that our patients, as well as the wider British public truly understand the benefits of brushing their teeth. Brushing your teeth is the best method to fight off all manner of oral conditions, from gum disease to tooth decay and beyond. Most people understand the necessity of brushing their teeth; it’s something that is taught to us right from the cradle, however how many of us understand the mechanics?

What do we mean by this? We mean that although most people understand the principle, they don’t understand the toothpaste market. The toothpaste market is a very niche healthcare segment, with only a handful companies promoting essentially the same product range. Toothpastes, although they all have a general overarching purpose and are often tailored to include multiple elements, there are still a few individual products that have their own specific purpose. Some are designed to whiten, some to fight off plaque etc. Understanding which toothpaste best suits the purpose you need it for means that you can tailor your brushing regime to fit your needs. So what are some of the different types of paste on the market?

Whitening Toothpastes
These products, despite the fact that they do act to clean, are primarily designed to whiten the teeth of the consumer that uses them. Unlike other toothpastes, these products contain abrasive agents which function by abrading the stain that has formed on the tooth’s surface. In other words the whitening effect comes from a stripping back of the surface stain. They do not often contain actual whitening agents. If you have a diet that involves a lot of coffee or tea, then this type of tooth paste would suit you, as it acts to fight the stains your teeth acquire from your daily intake.

Desensitising Toothpastes
These toothpastes are an investment for people with naturally sensitive teeth, an affliction that a large portion of the British public face. There are usually two ways these pastes provide relief from dentine hypersensitivity. Firstly they interrupt the neurone response to pain stimuli. Secondly they occlude the dentinal tubules of dentine. These two methods act to decrease tooth sensitivity through ingredients such as potassium nitrate and arginine. This is the type of toothpaste to buy if you want to indulge in the occasional ice cream cone.

Fluoride Toothpastes
This is a more general one as many types of toothpaste take advantage of this tooth friendly mineral, although not all do. Fluoride has been instrumental in fighting tooth decay and the occurrence of cavities, amongst other things. It works by tackling the acid that it released by the bacteria in your mouth that feed on the sugar and starch that remain on your teeth long after you've finished eating. It does this by first strengthening tooth enamel against acid and secondly helping fight the first stages of acid erosion by remineralising areas that have started to decay.

Of course, this is only a brief overview of three of the more generalised  types of toothpaste on the market, specifically crafted to deal with certain oral issues. If you want to find out which toothpaste is best suited for your needs then it’s best to go to your local dental specialists who can offer more personal advice as well as provide you with a more comprehensive guide to picking the right toothpaste.