The lazy days of summer are here along with all of the fun activities (swimming, cookouts, beach trips) that families engage in during the summer months. There are a few things to keep in mind that will allow you to have a fun summer and protect your smile at the same time.
- Oral cancer occurs more often in those over age 40.
- It affects twice as many men as women.
- The risk factors include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, and sun exposure.
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables may play a role in cancer development, as these food groups contain antioxidants that are thought to have cancer-preventive benefits.
- Certain STDs such as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) have been linked to oral cancer.
- Your dentist will conduct an oral cancer exam and screening during your routine visits and will check your face, neck, lips, and mouth.
- It is important to notify your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms: a sore or lump in your mouth, throat or lip, difficulty swallowing or chewing, ear pain, a white or red patch in the mouth, difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, numbness of any part of the mouth, or swelling. Your dentist will evaluate the affected area and when indicated, refer to a specialist for biopsy and diagnosis.
- Early detection can lead to more successful treatment of oral cancer.
What is TMJ?
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint which connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the bone at the side of your head (temporal bone). When someone has a temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, they may experience pain in the jaw joint and muscles, stiffness, limited opening, clicking and popping of the joint when opening or closing, and sometimes a change in how the upper and lower teeth overlap. The exact cause of TMJ disorder is not known, although trauma to the jaw or joint may play a role and it can be more prevalent in those with higher stress levels.
While many people look forward to the spring and the warm weather that accompanies it, for allergy sufferers, it can be a difficult time. The pollen produced by trees, flowers and grasses can trigger an immune response that causes runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, and congestion. But what many people don’t know is that seasonal allergy flare ups can contribute to dental discomfort.
WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?
Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is blocked either by the tongue or muscles in the airway, causing the cessation of breathing during sleep. As the patient falls asleep, the airway collapses causing Oxygen levels to drop. The body then goes into flight or fight response, which arouses them, enabling them to breathe, increase their Oxygen levels and fall back asleep. The average sleep apnea patient has hundreds of these events per night.
Most people recognize the advantages of implants over dentures. But when does it make sense to choose an implant over a bridge to replace a single missing tooth? An evaluation of the condition of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth can help answer this question. If these teeth have no decay and no existing restorations, then an implant may be the optimal treatment for this scenario. By placing an implant, you would avoid filing down the enamel on healthy teeth.
Everyone knows that a great smile can boost your confidence and self esteem. That is why having straight teeth is desired by many patients. In the past, some patients with crowding or spacing in their mouth, may have avoided treatment due to a dislike for metal braces. They were apprehensive about the appearance of metal in their mouth, the perceived feel of the metal, or the potential for discomfort from the wires.
White spots, that are often observed as milky white areas on the front teeth, are generally the result of demineralized enamel. There is a loss of minerals from the tooth structure. There may be other causes as well, which your dentist will identify during a review of your dental and medical history and upon clinical examination.
Depending on your available time, your budget, and the shade change that you are trying to achieve, there are now multiple options available to brighten your smile. The following highlights the four main whitening choices. (more…)
Some patients wonder why yearly dental radiographs are necessary, particularly when they may have never had any oral health issues. For a dental examination to be complete and comprehensive, a clinical evaluation must be combined with dental radiographs.
Many oral conditions can be missed when radiographs are not taken. These include cavities, cysts, abscessed teeth, tumors, and bone loss. Certain dental radiographs also enable the clinician to view the sinus cavities and temporomandibular joints and any abnormalities that may exist in these structures.
To maintain good oral health and enable your dentist to conduct a thorough, complete exam, follow the recommended protocol and have dental radiographs taken yearly.