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Issue:- 28 June  2012

Gum Disease Linked to Oral Cancer Virus

THE British Dental Health Foundation are looking to educate the public on good oral health after scientists discovered severe gum disease could be linked to an increased risk of head and neck cancer cases caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

The study found patients with HPV-positive tumours had significantly higher bone loss, a key factor in the development of severe gum disease, compared with patients with HPV-negative tumours.

Latest figures suggest more than 6,000 people in the UK suffer from oral cancer, while almost 2,000 lives are lost to the disease. HPV is a growing cause of the disease, with experts suggesting it may rival tobacco use as the main cause of oral cancer within 10 years. Other risk factors for developing the disease include tobacco use, drinking to excess and poor diet.

The significance of the research is compounded by the fact more teeth are lost through periodontal (gum) disease than through tooth decay.

Although further research is required to determine the exact relationship of the link between severe gum disease and an increased risk of HPV-related oral cancer, it is not the first time poor oral health and cancer have been linked.

Recent research carried out at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden suggested failure to brush your teeth properly could increase the chance of premature death resulting from cancer. They found a link between high levels of dental plaque; the cause of gum disease; and dying from cancer up to 13 years earlier than previously expected.

The findings of both studies present even greater evidence of the need to ensure good oral health, according to Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter OBE.  He said:- "A greater understanding of how we can tackle this potentially life-threatening disease could lead to many lives being saved.   Most of us suffer from gum disease at some point in our lives, yet it is entirely preventable. By developing and keeping a good oral health routine it lowers the risk of gum disease and any possible links to more serious diseases. We should all take time to reflect on how we can make that a reality. Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning in between teeth daily with interdental brushes or floss, cutting down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks and visiting the dentist regularly, as often as they recommend will be a great starting point:-

If you have swollen gums that bleed regularly when brushing, bad breath, loose teeth or regular mouth infections appear, it is likely you have gum disease.

It is also vital to check regularly for early warning signs of mouth cancer.  These include ulcers which do not heal within 3 weeks, red and white patches in the mouth and unusual lumps or swellings in the mouth.

If you are in any doubt, please get checked out.”

The study, published in the Archives of Otolaryngology, sampled 124 patients suffering from oral cancer, 50 of which were as a result of HPV. Lead author Mine Tezal, D.D.S., Ph.D., of the University at Buffalo commented:- "Periodontitis is easy to detect and may represent a clinical high-risk profile for oral HPV infection.  Prevention or treatment of sources of inflammation in the oral cavity may be a simple yet effective way to reduce the acquisition and persistence of oral HPV infection.”

Bank Gliches!

WELL this four letter word is again living up to its reputation after Royal Bank of Scotland, Nat West and the Ulster Bank left millions of customers, not just in their bank, without money after a:- "technical glitch due to an error caused by an upgrade." This error has meant many businesses, who are already finding it hard to cope with the bad weather and the run of bank holidays, struggling to pay bills. It has also affected countless others, including the elderly. RBS stated in a press statement that they are responding to concerns about charges and other issues, stating that:- "those affected, even if not customers of RBS need not worry about being hit by late payment charges." But as others have said, it does not make up for:- "the drop in custom on the high street, or lack of cash when tying to pay for even by the basics." Have you been affected? What are your views? Email us now to:- and let us know!


BT announced a major investment in Merseyside, which could help create new businesses and hundreds of local jobs. High-speed fibre broadband will be rolled out to more than 13,000 homes and businesses in Maghull, 9,300 in Marshall's Cross, 13,000 in Rock Ferry - as well as 23,400 in Warrington - during 2013. It will take the total number for the whole of Merseyside to more than 368,000 of which around 223,000 already have access.

The investment; part of a £2.5 billion BT roll-out of fibre broadband across the UK; is expected to give a major lift to the local economy. Recent research by Regeneris Consulting predicted that over the next 15 years BT's fibre broadband could give the economy of a typical town a £143 million boost, create 225 new jobs and 140 new start-up businesses.

Mike Blackburn, BT's regional director for the North West, said:- "The arrival of fibre broadband in these communities is a massive shot in the arm for the local economy, creating new businesses, jobs and educational opportunities. The benefits are major and wide ranging. As our new fibre network expands across region it also brings new potential for offering essential public services online and cost savings across the sectors. Local firms and households who make the switch to fibre broadband will be able to do so much more with their connection, whether they're using it for business, entertainment, education, social networking or shopping – or all of these at once. They're joining more than 10 million premises now passed by our fibre network and becoming part of one of the fastest roll-outs of the technology anywhere in the world.”

Councillor Marie Rimmer, leader of St Helens Council, said:- "This is excellent news for many people in St Helens; who will soon have access to the next generation of internet services; and complements the coverage that will be delivered by the Liverpool City Region Broadband Plan.  Reliable, fast connections can make all the difference to education and business, and give people much greater scope for interaction with the world around them.  In a tough economic climate, this local investment from BT will help make St Helens an even better place to live, work and do business.”

BT's local network business Openreach is making fibre broadband available to around 66% of UK homes and businesses by the end of 2014 using a mix of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP) technologies.  Both offer speeds many times faster than those currently available to most UK homes and businesses. FTTC, where fibre is delivered to the street cabinet, offers download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, offers download speeds of 110Mbps, with 330Mbps coming soon.

By spring 2013 BT aims to make speeds of 330Mbps2 commercially available in any area where fibre broadband has been deployed3. The UK's current average broadband speed is 7.6Mbps, according to the regulator Ofcom.

Mike Blackburn added:- "As more and more people get connected to the fibre broadband network, it's increasingly important that those living in our more rural areas don't miss out. Across the UK, public bodies are developing plans to boost broadband speeds in even the most challenging areas. BT will compete hard to be the private sector partner of choice in such initiatives and, if selected, we'll invest further funds to take faster broadband to as many people as possible. Unlike some others, our network is available on an equal, wholesale basis to all companies offering broadband services, bringing choice and competition to local households and businesses. We want to help the UK achieve world-class digital connectivity and make sure the communities where we provide services and jobs remain vibrant, strong and connected.”

Internet users with a fibre broadband connection can do much more online, all at the same time. A family can download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the net and play games online simultaneously. A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.  Upload speeds are the fastest widely available to consumers in the UK, with large video and data files being sent almost instantly and hi-resolution photos posted online in seconds. And high quality voice and video calls mean businesses can keep in touch with customers while they cut down on travel.   For further information on Openreach's fibre broadband programme visit:-

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