April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Close-up of happy smiling dental care woman visiting dentistOral Cancer Facts

48,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone.

Worldwide the problem is much greater, with new cases exceeding 640,000 annually.

The fastest growing segment of the oral/oropharyngeal cancer population, are HPV16+ young non-smokers.

Tobacco use in all of it’s forms and alcohol are still major risk factors for oral cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Red and/or white discolorations of the soft tissue of the mouth
  • Any sore which does not heal within 14 days
  • Hoarseness which lasts for a prolonged period of time
  • A sensation that something is stuck in your throat when swallowing
  • Unexplained numbness in the mouth
  • Ear pain that occurs on one side only
  • A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, still does not heal
  • A lump or thickening that develops in the mouth or on the neck

Your dentist can be a first line of defense in detecting abnormalities in the mouth, which could be signs of oral cancer. Many people don’t realize that oral cancer screenings are a routine part of an extensive exam performed during your dental visit. So make sure to visit the dentist regularly, get checked and stay a step ahead of oral cancer. Early detection saves lives!

To learn more, please visit www.oralcancer.org

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7 Subconscious Habits That Damage Your Teeth

Daily brushing and flossing, regular dental exams, and professional cleanings are important to keep your teeth healthy. It’s also important to keep some habits in check as they are doing more damage to your teeth than you may realize.

Eating ice cubes
Chewing on ice is something a lot of people do because it provides a certain sensory satisfaction. Even though there’s really no taste to ice, the cold temperature and crunchy texture is appealing to many. But chewing on ice is actually quite bad for your tooth enamel. Enamel is a protective layer that keeps your teeth strong and healthy. But without if that enamel breaks down, your teeth can be exposed to more bacteria and may be more susceptible to cavities. Furthermore, the hard consistency of ice can damage dental work, or even cause small cracks to form in your teeth. Over time, these cracks may become larger, letting in bacteria and perhaps even causing your teeth to fracture.

Brushing too soon after eating
Consuming acidic foods and beverages, such as sports and energy drinks, citrus fruits, wine, and tomatoes, can erode tooth enamel—the glossy outer layer of the tooth. Brushing your teeth too soon after eating and drinking these items can cause more damage because you are essentially brushing the acid into the teeth, not getting rid of it. Instead, you should rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and beverages and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your pearly whites.

Using Your Teeth As A Tool
Who has ever used their teeth to rip off a tag or rip open a bag of your favorite snacks? We would venture to guess that most everyone has done this at least a time or two. Some dentists in Edmonton may even be guilty of this. However, using your teeth like this can severely damage them and threaten your overall dental health. Always, always opt for a pair of scissors instead.

Brush teeth too aggressively
Using bristles that are too firm for your gums or pressing too hard when you brush can also wear down your teeth and gums over time. It’s better to use a lighter hand and take time to brush thoroughly.

Use tobacco
Products such as chewing tobacco, cigars or cigarettes. These are not only bad for your overall health, but also your teeth and gums. Tobacco puts you at higher risk for periodontal disease, because it reduces blood flow to your gums. It also causes bad breath, decreased saliva flow and higher tooth decay rate, and can cause oral cancer.

Biting nails
It is another dental habit that leads to tooth damage, among other things. Your fingernails are dirty and biting them allows all the germs hiding underneath to enter the body (yuck!). Also, fingernails are hard, really hard, and chronic biting can cause teeth to shift, break, or crack.

Food & Drink
Sugar and acid are two major offenders to oral health. Staying away from sugary and/or acidic food and drink goes beyond the obvious things like soda and candy. The acids in alcohol can damage your teeth and dry out your mouth. Diet soda and club soda are not guilt-free for your teeth as they still contain high levels of acid.

Source: www.informationng.com

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Tips For Fresher Breath

Bad breath? Here are causes and treatment options for bad breath.


Hopefully by now someone has informed you (gently) of your halitosis, or – even better you figured it out yourself. If so, it’s time to take action. And that doesn’t mean forming an addiction to mints or downing mouthwash by the liter. Finding out the exact cause of halitosis will help you overcome it most efficiently.

Chances are, your halitosis is related to dental issues. Maybe you’ve slipped off the gold star chart for oral hygiene and have become lax with brushing, flossing, tongue scrubbing and meeting with a dentist twice a year. If so, particles from the food you eat will hang in your mouth and collect bacteria. Unfortunately, that bacteria doesn’t smell quite like peppermint, and foods such as garlic and onions can give your breath a particularly foul funk as you exhale.

Plaque buildup from poor dental hygiene habits can also lead to gum disease – another common culprit of bad breath. What else can turn a good mouth bad-smelling? Decay. Whether its in cavities, poor restorations or those spots under old crowns and fillings, the smell of rot is not pleasant.

Yeast infections of the mouth, which are most common among denture-wearers, can spell trouble for your breath, and so can xerostomia – a condition more commonly known as dry mouth. Saliva is a wonderful cleanser and if you don’t have enough saliva, food particles are more likely to stick around.

Smoking and chewing tobacco can also do wonders to stink up your breath, so add halitosis to the lengthy list of reasons to kick the deadly habits.

If, after some dental hygiene soul-searching, you admit your routine could use a boost – get boosting. Brush, floss and don’t forget to scrub your tongue, which is a popular hangout for smelly bacteria.

If you start brushing and flossing like a champ and still have bad breath, go to the dentist. He or she can help fix dental causes for bad breath, such as decay and gum disease. Your dentist will catch gum disease at its mildest stage, called gingivitis. With dental cleanings and improved at-home oral hygiene, you can reverse gingivitis. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontal disease, which will need a more aggressive treatment.

Source: https://health.usnews.com

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Foods For Healthier Teeth: 7 Things To Eat

dentist jacksonvilleWe all know the basics of good oral care: brush in the morning and evening, floss each day and visit the dentist twice per year. But there are smaller, incremental steps we can take to guarantee good health, including the food we eat each day. Nutrition is important for every cell in our bodies — and that naturally extends to teeth and gums.

Overall, look for items that stimulate saliva production, which has a neutralizing effect on acid. Other acid neutralizers, like those found in dairy can also help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Seven foods that have been shown to help in the research or clinical practice:

View Slide Show Here

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The Healthy Habit That Could Damage Your Teeth

Chances are, you go above and beyond to make sure your smile is as healthy as it can possibly be. But, you may not know the dangers that lurk behind the most common daily dental habit. If you’re brushing too hard or using the wrong kind of toothpaste, the look and health of your smile can suffer. Read on for the surprising details and what you an do do to fix any damage that’s been done.

With so many different types of toothpaste on the market, including one that does it all can seem downright difficult. Most toothpastes use abrasive ingredients to remove stains. “The abrasives scratch away the stains on the tooth’s enamel, causing erosion,” says New York aesthetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS. When selecting a toothpaste, it’s important to pick one that is gentle, yet effective. It should contain fluoride, which prevents decay and protects against cavities, and be sulfate-free. “Sulfates, which are foaming agents, have been proven to create microscopic damage to the tissue that lines the inside of your mouth. They can also cause canker sores,” says Dr. Smigel.

You also need to take into consideration how hard you brush your teeth. “Some people make the mistake of brushing too hard in an attempt to feel like they have a clean mouth, which can lead to irritated gums and eroded tooth enamel,” says Dr. Smigel. Brushing in a back-and-forth sawing motion wears down the gums and exposes the roots of the teeth. Instead, brush with gentle pressure in a circular motion. Any gum damage and damage to your teeth can be fixed. “Gum recession can occur due to a variety of reasons, but trauma from brushing is a culprit,” says Dr. Smigel.

Source: www.newbeauty.com

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The 6 Biggest Dental Problems For People Over 50

Smile! There’s good news from the world of dentistry: Older American are keeping their teeth longer than ever before and the average number of teeth people retain into old age is increasing, says Judith Ann Jones, DDS, a spokesman on elder care for the American Dental Association and director of The Center for Clinical Research at the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

But Jones is not all smiles. As people keep their teeth longer, there are more problems that are likely to arise, which is why keeping up with regular dental visits is so important. Here are the most common problems, and what you can do about them:

Tooth decay
Yes, people over 50 can get cavities. You can get them on the surfaces of teeth that have never been a problem before, but you can also get them around old fillings or at the root of your tooth. “As you age, the root of your tooth becomes softer and sometimes more exposed,” Jones explains.

The Fix: Flouride is not just for kids, Jones says. “Fluoride is one of the 10 most important health measures developed in the 20th century.” Almost 80 percent of people in the United States have fluorinated water, but if you don’t, you should probably add a daily fluoride rinse to your brushing habit. Or ask your doctor about a stronger fluoride prescription gel. If you are starting to get cavities, even if your water has fluoride, consider a fluoride rinse. Ask your dentist if that’s right for you.

Dry mouth
Saliva protects us against tooth decay. But if you’re not producing it, your teeth may be at risk. The calcium and phosphate present in saliva prevent demineralization of your teeth, Jones says. How do you know if you have dry mouth? You’ll have a sticky feeling in your mouth, trouble swallowing, dry throat, and dry, cracked lips. You may notice a metallic taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath. You may or may not feel thirsty. Dry mouth is often caused by medications, and as people age, they take more medications. It can also result from smoking or from a blow to the head that somehow damages the salivary glands.

The Fix: If you have dry mouth, you should try to stimulate saliva production. Jones says some people just sip water all day while others find that chewing sugar-free xylitol candies or gum helps. Your dentist may prescribe a prescription saliva substitute or recommend over-the-counter formulations for you to try.

Gum disease
If your gums are swollen, red, or bleed easily, you’ve got gingivitis, an early form of gum disease that can progress and be dangerous. Untreated gingivitis often becomes periodontitis, which is when the gum pulls away from the tooth and creates pockets which can become infected. If this condition develops and continues unchecked, it could cause the loss of bones in your jaw and eventually, the loss of the teeth themselves.

The Fix: The best fix for this condition is regular dentist visits, Jones says. You may need to visit your dentist more frequently so that your teeth can be cleaned and your gums treated for the condition. People who don’t have good access to dental care are more likely to have gum disease, Jones says.

Oral cancer
More than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancers this year, and more than 8,000 will die from it, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation. Oral cancer incidence definitely increases as you get older, Jones says, and is very often linked to smoking and heavy alcohol use. Recently, the number of cases has risen because doctors have discovered that the Human Papilloma Virus also can cause oral cancer.

The Fix: Only about half of people who develop oral cancer survive the disease, Jones says. The best hope for survival is to discover it at its earliest stages—in which case there is an 80 percent chance of surviving for five years. Your dental exam should include a check for oral cancer. Your dentist will hold your tongue and check the soft tissue in your mouth as well as your throat and jaw. If he or she does not, find another dentist, Jones says.

Tooth crowding
Are you noticing that food is getting stuck in new places in your mouth? Or that the overlapping tooth that was cute in your teens now seems to be overlapping even more? You’re not imagining it. As you age, your teeth shift, according to Lee W. Graber, D.D.S., M.S., M.S., Ph.D., Past President of the American Association of Orthodontists. And that can be problematic, not because you’ll look different, but because it can make your teeth more difficult to clean, leading to more decay. It’s also of concern because misaligned teeth can lead to teeth erosion and damage to the supporting tissue and bone, Graber says. Add to that the tendency of older adults to have periodontal disease, and you could end up losing your teeth even faster.

The Fix: If your teeth have really shifted, you could see an orthodontist, who may fit you with a retainer, spacer, or even braces. This may not be necessary, but you should discuss with your dentist whether your teeth are shifting at your regular check up. If they are, it may mean only that you need to go to the dentist more regularly for more frequent cleanings.

source: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/28/common-dental-problems-_n_5844434.html

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5 Biggest Flossing Mistakes


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Interesting Dental Facts

  • The first chewing gum was “chicle”—sap from Sapodilla trees. Chicle dates back to Aztec times when people boiled and cut it into blocks.
  • You may have once heard that George Washington’s false teeth were made of wood. They weren’t. They were made of ivory, lead, and hippopotamus teeth.
  • The average person produces 100,000 gallons of saliva during their lifetime—enough to fill 200 bathtubs!
  • Before toothbrushes, people used shredded twigs to clean their teeth.
  • An average person exerts 30-40 pounds of pressure per square inch with their jaw muscles.
  • One in 2,000 babies is born with some teeth already grown in. Usually, these extra teeth can be pulled and the child will still grow a full set of baby teeth.
  • During the Middle Ages, some people believed that kissing a donkey would relieve a toothache, and that stealing someone’s tooth could help them grow a new one of their own. Silly folks.
  • Rabbit’s and squirrel’s teeth never stop growing. They continuously wear them down by gnawing on whatever is handy.

source: https://martinandshengdentalblog.com/2012/07/how-about-some-tooth-trivia/

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5 Surprising Things That Are Ruining Your Teeth

We all know that candy and soda aren’t good for our teeth, but the sugars and acids lurking in other, seemingly innocuous (and even healthy) foods can also do a number on your dental hygiene. We got New York City-based cosmetic dentist Marc Lowenberg, DDS, to give us real talk on five culprits you didn’t realize were hurting your choppers, and how to prevent the damage.

Say it ain’t so: While bottles of the cold-pressed stuff may be chock-full of good-for-you nutrients, juices also have such a high sugar content (some have even more than smoothies or soft drinks) that drinking them isn’t far off from bathing your teeth in chocolate, Lowenberg says. This sugar is consumed by the bacteria in our mouths and converted into acid that wears away enamel and can cause cavities.

The solution: Sip juice through a straw to help keep it away from the surfaces of your teeth. And make sure sure to wait at least 45 minutes post-drinking to brush your teeth: Scrubbing them immediately while after acid has softened their enamel can leave them even more vulnerable to damage.

Chewable vitamins
They taste just like gummy candy–and they’re not much better for our mouths. In fact, their sticky, sugar-y makeup adheres to teeth so well that they’re just practically bound to cause cavities.

The solution: Take your vitamins in pill form. While that may not be as fun (or taste nearly as good), neither is a trip to the dentist for a filling.

Barbecue sauce
Backyard barbecues are a summer staple. But most people don’t realize that the thick, sweet sauce marinating your chicken and ribs is also marinating your teeth in sugar (yep, the sauce is full of it), potentially sending you down a road of tooth discoloration and decay if it’s in your mouth long enough.

The solution: Before you know you’ll be eating ‘cue swipe a (very) thin layer of petroleum jelly over your teeth to create a barrier between the sauce and your enamel. Can’t stand the feeling of the jelly on your teeth? Try to brush right after the cookout to remove any residue.

Dried fruit
While some fresh fruits are actually considered good for teeth (think water-packed produce like apples and pears), dried fruits never are. This otherwise-nutritious snack is packed with non-cellulose fiber, which traps sugar on and around teeth the way gummy candies (and vitamins) do.

The solution: Get it off! Brush and floss teeth immediately after eating dried fruit to get rid of any stuck-on sugar.

White wine
Red wine tends to get a bad rap for staining teeth–and it does!–but white’s no better for your dental health. The acid in white wine eats away at your enamel and leaves teeth vulnerable to stains from other foods or drinks.

The solution: Eat more cheese with your wine! It’s rich in protein, calcium and phosphorus, all of which can help buffer the acids vino leaves in your mouth. A less-caloric approach: Gargle with water after drinking to flush away some of the acidity.

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

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Check Out These Tips for Relieving Dry Mouth

The best way to treat dry mouth — known medically as xerostomia (zeer-o-STOE-me-uh) — depends on what’s causing it. You can do some things to relieve dry mouth temporarily. But for the best long-term dry mouth remedy, it’s recommended that you visit a medical professional to address it’s cause.

To relieve your dry mouth:

– Sip water or sugarless drinks, or suck on ice chips.
– Avoid irritants, such as tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine.
– Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free candy.
– Avoid salty or spicy foods.
– Use a humidifier at night.
– Consider using saliva substitutes.

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