Public warned about gum disease & cancer link as survey finds 29%
have bleeding gums
Dental Health Foundation has urged members of the public to 'Brush
for Health' in National Smile Month after it was revealed that
people with gum disease have a significantly higher risk of
According to the Foundation the combined
results of 2 studies released this week show that people in the UK
are increasing their cancer risk by failing to manage their oral
This week a large scale study by Imperial College London has found
that people with gum disease are 14% more likely to develop cancer,
while the National Dental Survey 2008, conducted by the Foundation
and Oral B, found that 29% of people suffer with bleeding gums.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health
Foundation, commented:- "Bleeding gums are caused by gum
disease so it is a concern that such a large proportion of people
experience this - especially with the cancer link.
has already been linked to a range of serious general health
conditions including heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes
and premature births; but the news that it could increase a
person's cancer risk will still be a big concern for people."
The Health Professionals Follow-up Study was carried out by experts
at Imperial College London who analysed the questionnaire based data
of more than 48,000 American males. Most of the subjects had filled
in surveys every 2 years with questions relating to oral health,
tooth loss, gum disease, lifestyle factors and new cancer diagnoses.
The survey found that people with gum disease were 36% more likely
to develop lung cancer, 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer,
54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and 30% more likely to
develop hematologic cancers such as leukaemia.
Dr Carter added that:- "While further research is needed to
confirm the link and to see if women are also at risk, these figures
are undoubtedly a concern.
The latest National Dental Survey
has shown that people in the UK need to improve their oral
healthcare routines - a worrying 15% brush less than twice a day
while 29% brush for less than a minute and this will drastically
increase their gum disease risk.
A good oral healthcare routine should involve brushing for two
minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, cutting down how often
you have sugary foods and drinks and visiting the dentist regularly,
as often as they recommend.
It can also be helpful to clean between
the teeth daily using floss or interdental brushes.
health is often considered to be of secondary importance to general
health, but that is simply not the case.
It is high time that people
realised that the mouth and the body are part of the same system and
so need to be considered accordingly.
Remember your mouth and your body talk; so look after them both!"
National Smile Month is running from 18 May 2008 to 17 June 2008 with the
theme 'Brush for Health' being used to raise awareness of the
links between the mouth and the body.
The campaign has been
launched in the USA for the 1st time this year with the Foundation
working in conjunction with Oral Health America.
For more information on National Smile Month go to
100,000 people with diabetes in the North West risk losing sight
charity Diabetes UK warns that 100,000 people with diabetes in the
North West are at risk of losing their sight because they are not
being screened for diabetic retinopathy, the primary cause of
blindness in the UK’s working-age population.
The charity is calling for everyone aged 12 and over diagnosed with
diabetes to have free retinal screening with a digital camera every
year. Retinal screening is used to spot signs of retinopathy, a
condition that occurs when blood vessels in the retina of the eye
become blocked, leaky or grow haphazardly. This gets in the way of
the light passing through to the retina and if left untreated can
damage vision and ultimately cause blindness.
Helen Pattie, Regional Manager of Diabetes UK North West, says:-
“It is appalling that almost a third of people with diabetes in
the North West are not getting free digital retinal screening every
year. If retinopathy is caught early and treated properly then
blindness can be prevented in 90 per cent of cases, so the simple
screening process really could save the sight of hundreds of
thousands of people.
Retinal screening services in England are patchy. PCTs need to
ensure they are reaching out to all eligible people to invite them
for screening, and in turn people with diabetes must make every
effort to get to these vital appointments. If they have problems
attending they can talk to their healthcare team about what help and
support is available.”
Diabetes UK works hard to raise awareness of the importance of
retinal screening amongst people with diabetes. Last year the
charity launched Your Vision, an awareness campaign supported by an
unrestricted educational grant from Lilly. In addition, as
Specsavers Opticians’ charity of the year, Diabetes UK is educating
people about the importance of looking after their eyes.
Latest Government figures show that 103,063 people with diabetes
aged 12 and over in the North West did not receive digital retinal
screening in the year ending 31 March 2008. The national average for
people that did receive screening was 67.7% – this figure was
69.8% in the North West. Almost 60% of PCTs in England (94 out of
152) failed to meet their target of offering all people with
diabetes the chance to be screened during this time.
People in the North-West Have Stopped Printing Photos
generation will have no memories stored on photos warns CeWe Color,
Europe’s largest photo company, after a survey found that 88% of
people in the North-West do not print out all of their digital
pictures but often leave them languishing on computers, mobile
phones or digital cameras to be forgotten, lost or deleted.
The survey also found that 31% of 16 to 24 year olds have lost or
accidentally deleted their digital images.
Digital photos are increasingly being left in storage although the
poll found that most people still prefer to look back on their
pictures in print (48%) rather than digital format (31%).
Looking at photos could be problematic in the future unless photos
are printed out or put in to photo books.
Andrew White, Internet Sales Manager, CeWe Color, believes that one
of the main reasons why so many digital images are stuck on CDs, USB
sticks and other storage devices is because people do not have a
convenient way of turning them in to prints and albums. “The
survey shows that most people prefer prints but because so many of
us lead a hectic lifestyle, this often gets over looked. We tend to
think that they’ll be safe indefinitely on a CD or a memory stick,
but this isn’t necessarily true and there’s always the real risk
that they can be lost, or the media on which they are stored becomes
obsolete in the future, with no way to access the photos.”
The survey was commissioned by CeWe Color and conducted by GfK NOP.
1001 adults aged 16 or over were interviewed between 7 March 2008 and
9 March 2008. Data was weighted to bring it in line with national