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  • Noah Hill

Pre-existing Conditions and Dental Decay

Updated: May 30, 2019

While the majority of us are affected by cavities at some point in our lives, there are some groups of people who are more prone to dental decay and its lasting effects on oral hygiene.

Diabetes affects more than 10% of the population in the US, close to 22% of those with diabetes though are also affected by some sort of periodontal disease. Our estimates show that more than $1 billion of yearly spend on diabetes goes into treating these associated dental issues. These costs place an unnecessary burden on the countless individuals and families who already have to focus on paying for diabetes-based treatments and medicine. In addition, AIDS/HIV patients also suffer from dental decay. Between 32% to 46% of these patients will have one HIV-related oral health problem in their life while 58% to 65% don't receive regular dental care. More often than not these individuals lack the proper tools in their lives to combat dental decay in its earliest forms. Rather than be included under the umbrella of HIV-related symptoms, these dental issues can turn into complicated challenges of their own.

Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy may also suffer from dental decay and other oral-hygiene related problems. Over 40% of patients who receive chemotherapy experience some sort of dental issue due to the harsh effects of radiation. For patients who are receiving stem cell treatments, this figure increases to 80%. Additionally, when patients receive radiation for head and neck related conditions the majority of them end up suffering from oral-healthcare related complications. These patients may even end up loosing all their teeth in the worst case scenarios.

Prescription drug users also suffer from similar complications. When we take into account the fact that over 50% of Americans over the age of 12 use prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, sedatives or stimulants, oral healthcare risks take on a much larger scale in the US; 16% of these drugs are also abused by close to 19 million people. These types of drugs include hydrocodone, lisinopril , simvastin, amlodipine and alprazolam, among others.

Over 4 million Sjogren's patients in the US are also at risk for increased oral-healthcare complications due to the side effects of have lowered saliva levels. It has also been seen that individual's with autism may have oral healthcare complications through the difficulties associated with consistent self-cleaning and oral-hygiene monitoring. All in all, a uniting theme amongst all these conditions is that oral care can become exponentially more difficult when someone is already sick or suffering from a preexisting complication.

Here at UChu we've decided to use our cutting edge technology to monitor a patient's pH levels and preempt any acid spikes that may cause damaging enamel erosion. We aim to help patients become active participants in the fight against poor oral hygiene and, more importantly, against the side effects of any medication or preexisting condition they may have. Our small, noninvasive oral band allows you to monitor and act upon the foods, practices and general conditions which could spike the acid levels in your own mouth, before any lasting damage is done. All you need to bring is teeth and a smartphone. Let us take care of the rest.

#disease #teeth #toothdecay #radiation #diabetes #prescriptiondrugs

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