Dental Tips Blog

May
13

Should Your Family Use Mouthwash?

Posted in Oral Cancer

Mouthwash is an essential breath-freshener for most people. Others avoid it because they fear ingredients that can supposedly lead to oral cancer.

Is mouthwash safe? Should you stock it with your family’s hygiene supplies?

Know What’s in Your Mouthwash

Mouthwashes won’t cause oral cancer. Some people worry about this because most rinses contain alcohol. The alcohol itself doesn’t have any health benefits. It’s just a preservative and helps the other ingredients to stay evenly mixed.

The alcohol content won’t increase your risk for oral cancer if you only rinse for 30 seconds or less every day.

Choose the Right Mouthwash

Mouthwash can be a very effective adjunct to your oral hygiene routine. Just make sure that you choose a formula that contains things that will help your family.

Some rinses are little more than alcohol and flavoring. These blends will ironically only dry out your mouth and potentially increase the risk of bad breath.

Other mouthwashes contain fluoride, which strengthens enamel against cavities. Still others contain antibacterial agents such as essential oils to prevent plaque bacteria buildup.

If you choose to use a mouthwash, remember that it’s not a replacement for brushing and flossing. Select one that will deliver the benefits your family needs.

Keep Mouthwash Out of Reach of Children

Even kids’ mouth rinses can be dangerous if ingested in large quantities. Keep those sweet colorful formulas high out of the reach of your kids so that they aren’t tempted to drink it like juice.

Mouthwashes can be very effective, but you need to know how to use them.

If you’d like to add a mouth rinse to your family’s routine, ask your general dentist for advice.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

Dec
18

A Second Opinion on Oral Cancer

Posted in Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is more common than most Americans realize. This type of cancer is one of the easiest to treat, but it’s also easy to miss. If you wait too long to take action, it can cause serious problems. The most effective way to treat oral cancer is to diagnose it as early as possible.

What if your dentist identifies a suspicious spot in your mouth at your next dental checkup?

It’s important that you don’t wait too long before taking action. But it’s okay to ask around before settling on a treatment course.

Why Get a Second Opinion?

Patients often seek a second opinion because:

  • They cannot contact a cancer expert, so they ask another general practitioners
  • They want more options for treating the cancer
  • The diagnosis is such a rare and obscure condition that it requires the support of another opinion or two

It’s understandable that you’ll want extra emotional support at this time. That’s why you’ll probably find it helpful to talk with people you know who’ve dealt with cancer in the past. Or you might feel better talking with your trusted primary care physician for recommendations.

Getting the First Opinion

Start out by scheduling a routine checkout with your local dentist. A basic dental examination includes a careful oral cancer screening.

It’s also a good idea to be familiar with any unusual sores or spots that develop or show up in your own mouth. If you notice something strange, you can bring it to the attention of a dental expert. You’ll also learn from your dentist about what you can do to lower your risk for oral cancer. Call your dentist today to schedule.

Posted on behalf of:
Basin Dentistry
5016 Briarwood Ave
Midland, TX 79707
(462) 699-7334

Sep
8

4 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Oral Cancer

Posted in Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is scary. It’s nothing trivial, that’s for sure! It tends to be overlooked as something not very serious. It’s also dangerous for the fact that it can sneak up and become a big problem before you’re even aware of it.

Putting the following five points into practice will help you to lower your risk for oral cancer.

  1. Wear SPF on Your Lips

The skin on your lips is different from that inside your mouth. Skin cancer can develop differently there. But even the outside of your lips is very close to inside your mouth. Keeping your lips healthy and protected with SPF lipbalm will spare the rest of your mouth some potentially serious complications.

  1. Say “No” to Tobacco and Alcohol

Drugs such as chewing tobacco and excessive alcohol irritate the sensitive tissues in the mouth. Cutting them out altogether is the single best way to lower your risk for developing cancer.

  1. Switch Up the Location

If you feel that you aren’t yet ready to quit the chew or snuff, then at least try to move it around. These substances trigger unnatural changes in the sensitive cells of their surroundings. The longer the cells are exposed to the chemicals, the more they will change.

  1. Get Regular Examinations

Early detection is the best cure for almost any cancer. Oral cancer can be absolutely devastating, if not treated as soon as possible. Doing a self-exam on a regular basis will keep you alert to changes in your own mouth. Visit your dentist for regular examinations to make sure you get a thorough checkup and cancers screening twice a year.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Mar
14

Early Warning Signs Of Oral Cancer

Posted in Oral Cancer

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 45,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. Approximately one person dies from oral cancer every hour.  While oral cancer can be greatly prevented with healthy lifestyle choices, early detection remains an important factor in surviving oral cancer.

Maybe It’s Oral Cancer

Sometimes the smallest symptoms can be the first warning sign of oral cancer. The key to early detection is paying attention to your oral health and any changes that persist for several days or weeks and notifying your dentist. Do you know the early symptoms of oral cancer?

  • A Constant mouth sore or ulcer that just won’t heal
  • White, red or a mixture of white and red patches on the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth
  • A persistent lump on your lip, in your mouth, in your throat or on your neck
  • Difficulty or pain associated with chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your jaw and tongue
  • Loosening of the teeth or painful teeth without any obvious dental reason
  • Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness of the tongue or mouth
  • A sensation that a lump or something is caught in your throat
  • Ear pain that doesn’t affect your hearing
  • Sudden, unexpected weight loss
  • Ear or jaw pain that does not resolve itself
  • Voice changes, hoarseness or a persistent sore throat
  • Swelling that causes denture discomfort or poor fit

If you’re experiencing any of these persistent conditions, your dentist may recommend special tests to rule out the possibility of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Prevention

Your best defense against oral cancer is by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as stopping tobacco use, and having routine oral cancer screenings at your regular dental checkups. Call your dentist today to make an appointment.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050 

Mar
8

Detecting Oral Cancer Early With a Brush Biopsy

Posted in Oral Cancer

Did you know that approximately one person dies from oral cancer every hour, every day, every year? Of those that are diagnosed, barely more than half will still be living five years after their diagnosis, in great part due to late detection. As the rate of oral cancer increases, early detection becomes more important.

Preventing Oral Cancer

Cancers begin as harmless dysplasia, which are pre-cancerous cells in the thin layer of tissue that surrounds our skin and organs. If dysplasia goes undetected and untreated, cancer forms. The best way to prevent oral cancer is by detecting irregularities early, before cancer growth occurs.

Brush Biopsy

A brush biopsy is a non-invasive, in-office method of oral cancer diagnosis. Detecting oral cancer early, with a brush biopsy, is a four step process:

  1. Detection: Dysplasia of the mouth typically begins as a red, white or mixed colored spot that can be easily overlooked. Small bumps in the mouth are not uncommon, but when they occur without an obvious cause, your dentist may determine that further analysis is necessary.
  2. Brush Biopsy: This simple, in-office procedure, requires no anesthetic and involves rotating a small, circular brush against a suspicious area. Slight abrasion allows the brush to collect cellular material, which is then transferred to a slide for laboratory analysis.
  3. Detection: The material collected is then analyzed in a lab for abnormal cells. Once the analysis is complete, the results are sent to your dentist.
  4. Results: The laboratory report will help your dentist determine the underlying cause of your oral concern. Should unhealthy cells be found, you may be referred to an oral cancer specialist for early treatment.

Routine dental checkups are your best option for oral cancer prevention! Call your dentist today to schedule your appointment!

Posted on behalf of:
Newport Beach Dentistry
1401 Avocado Ave #20
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 644-9181

Mar
6

Reducing Your Risk For Oral Cancer

Posted in Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can happen to anyone, but the majority of cases are related to lifestyle choices.  By making some simple changes, you can reduce your chance of contracting this disease.

  • Tobacco Products: any people with oral cancer use some form of tobacco product.  Whether you smoke tobacco or chew it, it’s important for your oral health that you make the decision to quit.
  • Drinking Alcohol:  Moderation is very important when it comes to consuming alcohol, which is also linked to oral cancer.  Alcohol use is a common factor in nearly a third of all oral cancer diagnoses.  If you use tobacco and consume alcohol, your risk of oral cancer becomes 30 times more likely.
  • Oral HPV:  The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus that is quickly catching up to tobacco use as the most common cause of oral cancer.
  • Poor Diet Choices:  Many oral cancer diagnoses can be linked, at least in part, to poor food choices.  A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, vitamin C and calcium have shown a decreased risk of oral cancer.
  • Excessive Sun Exposure:  When applying sun protection, the lips are often overlooked; yet excessive, repeated sun exposure increases your risk of lip cancer.  Remember to apply lip protection when heading outside.

Oral Health

Making healthy lifestyle choices is the first step to reducing your risk of oral cancer.  You can also conduct monthly self exams at home.  With the aid of a small mirror, inspect your mouth thoroughly for concerning areas.  If you notice any lumps, sore spots or discolored red or white patches, call your dentist right away.  Visiting your dentist for regular oral cancer exams is one of the best ways to protect your smile’s future.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

Nov
21

Is HPV Linked to Oral Cancer?

Posted in Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a very serious condition. Too often it goes undetected until it has spread to another area, such as the neck. At this point, treatment becomes much more difficult and the prognosis worsens. Tobacco use is not the only predisposing risk factor for oral cancer. With a rise in the number of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, more and more people are exposed to yet another risk factor for developing oral cancer.

The Connection Between HPV and Oral Cancer

CDC statistics estimate that some 80% of Americans will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives. The majority of these infections clear up on their own, often without the individual ever being aware of any symptoms. However, of the nearly 200 strains of HPV, only nine are directly associated with causing cancer.

Many HPV strains are known to cause abnormal growths in the skin. These changes, if not successfully fought off by the body, can cause skin cells to permanently change in an abnormal way. This is how cancer can develop.

What You Should Know About Oral Cancer

It’s estimated that over 45,000 Americans will be diagnosed with some kind of oral cancer within the next year. Although an HPV infection does not guarantee that cancer will follow, the fact has been established that it will put you at risk. This means that you don’t have to be a tobacco user to develop oral cancer.

Early diagnosis leads to earlier treatments and more successful outcomes. Regular oral cancer screenings by your dentist can help you stay on top of your oral health and potentially minimize your cancer risk.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

Oct
27

I Don’t Smoke. Why Do I Need an Oral Cancer Screening?

Posted in Oral Cancer

It’s certainly true that those who use tobacco are at higher risk for oral cancer. Even if you don’t smoke, consider why your dentist performs an oral cancer screening on every patient.

Other Risk Factors

The fact remains that your risk could still be increased by having a history of oral cancer in your family, or even simply by your age. Those over the age of 55 are at higher risk. There are likely many other factors as yet unknown as to how they can cause cancer.

Catching It Before It’s Too Late

Sometimes, aggressive forms of cancer can develop rapidly between regular dental visits. For the most part, however, small signs of cancer can be detected in your dentist’s office before they become large symptoms that you discover at home. The earlier your dentist can find and diagnose oral cancer, the greater your chances become that treatment will be minimal, complete, and the least painful possible. Healing time will be quicker, and chances of the cancer returning will be lower.

A Wise Use of Time

Your dentist could be wasting precious time by screening patients based upon risk factors, alone. If your dentist concluded that you don’t need an oral cancer screening simply because you don’t smoke, he could end up missing a dangerous change in your mouth. The most careful approach is to simply screen all patientsfor potential signs of oral cancer.

Cancer can be a scary thing to deal with. Whenever and for whatever reason cancer rears its ugly head, your dentist wants to prepare you to minimize the effects of cancer by discovering it and treating it as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

Jul
24

Is It Oral Cancer?

Posted in Oral Cancer

Have you noticed any unusual developments involving the health of your mouth or throat? Perhaps you have noticed a sign such as these:

  • a sore that won’t heal
  • an unexplained discolored patch
  • difficulty swallowing

You may rightly be anxious – could this be cancer?

The first thing you should know is that if you notice anything at all that you know is out of place, then mention it to your dental care provider as soon as possible. You are at the best advantage to check your mouth each day for changes and abnormalities. In visiting the dentist regularly, you may experience an oral cancer screening. This screening is done by the dentist to check for any unusual patches on oral tissues, or for swollen areas in the lymph nodes indicating infection.

If something is detected which the dentist deems questionable, then he may order a biopsy for the site, just to be certain it isn’t cancerous. Oral cancer can be difficult to locate in its early stages, but the sooner it is found, the easier it is to treat.

Some dentists may even use a special light to detect the presence of cells that are starting to grow abnormally.

You should be familiar with a few factors that may predispose you to oral cancer:

  • excessive exposure to sunlight
  • tobacco and heavy alcohol use
  • any history with cancer

Worrying will not do you any good, but keeping in regular communication with your dental office is the best thing that you can do! Stay alert to any changes you may note, and freely question your dentist. Be proactive, be safe.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Dec
5

Oral Cancer Screenings Could Save Your Life

Posted in Oral Cancer

Even the healthiest of people can develop conditions like oral cancer. While oral cancer has been linked to risk factors like HPV, sun exposure, tobacco and alcohol, it is also found in people that do not have any of these risk factors at all. That’s why oral cancer screenings are such an important part of your regular preventive dental care.

Oral cancer and precancerous tissues often appear as lesions or spots in the mouth that do not go away or heal within 2 weeks. Areas of concern may look:

  • Red
  • White
  • Raw
  • Raised
  • Pitted
  • Have irregular borders
  • Do not match the tissue on the opposite side of the mouth

The most common areas for oral cancer to develop are on the sides of the tongue, in the floor of the mouth, and towards the back of the palate. However, oral cancer is also regularly seen on the lower lip and inside of the cheeks. Other types of oral cancers may not be visible, but only found through palpation of the soft tissues in and around the mouth, face, and neck.

During your regular exam, your dentist will check the tissues inside of your mouth to identify abnormal and precancerous tissues in their earliest stages. The earlier these tissues can be identified, the more effective (and less invasive) the treatment is. Your dentist may perform a small biopsy that is sent off for testing, see you for a follow up, or refer you to a specialist for an assessment. If you have noticed tissues inside of your mouth that don’t look quite right, it’s time to see your dentist immediately.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

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