Archive for December, 2018

Poor Oral Health and Pancreatic Cancer: How They May Be Linked

Pancreatic cancer is a rare but serious cancer. The causes of this dangerous disease are largely unknown, but researchers have recently uncovered a potential risk factor: Oral bacteria. Although the link between poor oral health and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer is not fully established, there does appear to be a relationship that researchers and dentists alike want to understand better. Bacteria associated with poor oral health has previously been linked to heart disease, respiratory problems, and low-birth weight pregnancies, so discovering it that affects the body systemically in other ways is not surprising. Here are the facts about this link.

Studies Linking Oral Health and Pancreatic Cancer

A 2018 study published in the journal Gut found that the antibodies that are produced by several different types of oral bacteria are associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Antibodies associated with Porphyromonas gingivalis in particular appear to double the risk of oral cancer. The study was performed using a group of 800 adults in Europe. These results mirror results from studies published in the British Journal of Cancer and the International Journal of Cancer. In these studies, links between an increase in oral bacteria and pancreatic cancer were also discovered.

Reasons for the Link

The mechanisms that are responsible for the potential link between poor oral health and pancreatic cancer are not known. However, researchers suspect that the inflammation triggered by bacteria in the mouth could be to blame. Some of the antibodies in the bacteria that are common in the mouth may also diminish the immune response that protects against cancer.

Steps You Can Take

Poor oral health doesn’t just lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. It can also have significant repercussions for your overall health. Sticking to a diligent oral hygiene routine and seeing your dentist regularly for preventive care can help to protect your teeth, gums, and systemic health.

John R. Carson, DDS provides comprehensive dental care, including cleanings, exams, and preventive care. To learn more about our practice or to make an appointment for a dental cleaning in Tucson, please call (520) 514-7203.

FAQs and Answers About TMJ Disorder

Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, connects your jaw and our temporal bones of you skull. Essentially, it is the hinge that moves when you open and close your mouth. Since the TMJ gets a lot of wear and tear, it is prone to developing issues. These issues are usually referred to as TMJ disorders. If you have a TMJ disorder, your dentist may recommend a few different treatment strategies, including wearing a night guard that holds your jaw in a healthy position. If you’ve been diagnosed with a TMJ disorder, you probably have several questions about your condition and the treatments that are available. These answers to questions that patients frequently have about TMJ disorders may help.

What caused my condition?

There is a long list of things that can cause TMJ disorders. In some instances, arthritis develops as the result of wear and tear on the joint. Injuries, including jaw dislocations, can also be to blame. Some people have alignment issues with their teeth and jaw that causes pain and inflammation to develop. Stress is another significant contributing factor with TMJ disorders. Many people grind their teeth and clench their jaws when they are stressed, even without realizing it is happening. This can easily trigger a TMJ disorder.

How will I know if I have a TMJ disorder?

If you have a TMJ disorder, you may notice that you’re having more frequent headaches than normal and that your jaw feels sore when you’re eating and speaking. Your jaw may also be sensitive to the touch. In some severe cases, TMJ may make your jaw feel like it is locked, so that it is difficult to open and close your mouth. If you experience these symptoms, see your dentist for a definitive diagnosis.

What treatments are available?

The treatments your dentist recommends depend on many factors, including the type and severity of your symptoms. In some cases, treating the pain with heat packs and performing relaxing techniques can solve the issue. In other cases, a night guard or medication may be necessary.

At the office of John Carson, DDS, we offer multiple treatment options for TMJ disorders in Tucson, including splint therapy. Schedule an appointment for a consultation by calling (520) 514-7203.

Do You Have These Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can increase your risk of conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes and can even increase the chances that you could be hurt or lose your life in an accident. Sleep apnea happens to men and women alike and can happen to adults and children. Fortunately, if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your dentist has treatments that can help you put an end to your symptoms and get back getting a good night’s sleep. Because many people don’t know that they have sleep apnea unless a sleep partner tells them about their snoring and breathing problems, knowing your risk for developing it is an important part of getting a diagnosis. If you have any of these risk factors, consider talking to your doctor or dentist about whether you should be screened.


Obesity is a significant contributor to sleep apnea. Being overweight can cause weight to build up on the neck, which in turn puts pressure on the airway and causes it to close when you’re sleeping, triggering apnea episodes. Sleep apnea could exacerbate obesity as well, since lack of sleep is associated with weight gain. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, losing weight could help your symptoms.

Alcohol Use

When you drink, the muscles in your neck relax and can become slack. As a result, they can compress your airway. This happens most often with frequent or excessive drinking. This same effect can happen as the result of tranquilizer or sedative use.


Being a smoker dramatically increases the risk of sleep apnea. In fact, people who smoke are three times as likely to experience sleep apnea than those who do not. This is because smoking causes an increase in inflammation in your airway. It can also cause fluid retention there, which in turn causes an obstruction.

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, make an appointment with John Carson, DDS. At our practice, we offer multiple treatments for sleep apnea in Tucson, including CPAPs and oral appliance therapy. Make an appointment by calling (520) 514-7203.

Can Children Get Sleep Apnea?

Many people think of sleep apnea as something that happens to middle-aged men. In reality, it can happen to anyone, including children. Sleep apnea isn’t as common in kids and it is in adults, but it does happen, and it is becoming more prevalent. If your child is suffering from sleep apnea, his or her dentist may have a solution that can lead to more restful nights of sleep. Here is what you need to know.

Children and Sleep Apnea

According to statistics, up to 4% of children under eight years old may have sleep apnea. However, that number may actually be low. Pediatricians may under-diagnose sleep apnea in kids because they aren’t always looking for it. In many cases, children with sleep apnea are diagnosed with ADHD before getting an accurate diagnose of their issue, which could mean that many more children have sleep apnea than previously realized. It is estimated that up to 25% of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD actually have sleep apnea.

Different Symptoms

The symptoms for sleep apnea in children are often different than they are for adults. One major difference is that the loud snoring that is characteristic of sleep apnea in adults is seldom present in children. Kids are more likely to display symptoms that include mouth breathing, night sweats, and squeaking noises as they sleep. They often may appear moody, impulsive, and restless. Kids with sleep apnea often wake up with bed sheets that are unusually twisted and disheveled, as a result of their nighttime activity.

Treatment Options

Children are not typically good candidates for CPAP treatment. Instead, they can usually benefit from oral appliance therapy from a dentist. If your child has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, making an appointment with his or her dentist is a good step in finding an effective treatment.

John R. Carson, DDS can help patients of all ages overcome sleep apnea symptoms to get the rest that they need. For more information or to schedule a consultation for sleep apnea treatment in Tucson, please call (520) 514-7203.Source: