- April (4)
- March (3)
- February (4)
- December (4)
- November (3)
- October (5)
- Testing your Knowledge on the Facts and Myths of Thumb Sucking
- Understanding The Types Of Dental Implants And Restorations
- How Much Do You Really Know About Keeping Your Children's Teeth Healthy?
- Dental Implants: The Best Solution For Missing Teeth
- Maintaining A Proper Bite Can Keep You Looking Young
- September (3)
- August (2)
- July (4)
- June (4)
- May (4)
- April (4)
- March (5)
- veneers (5)
- smile makeover (5)
- cosmetic dentistry (17)
- common symptoms (5)
- snoring and sleep apnea (3)
- oral health (18)
- replacing teeth (2)
- dental implant (2)
- missing tooth (2)
- tooth wear (2)
- grinding (1)
- dental implants (12)
- root canal (3)
- sensitive teeth (2)
- bleeding gums (2)
- periodontal disease (2)
- gum disease (3)
- sinus pain (1)
- heart disease (1)
- teeth whitening (4)
- tooth decay (7)
- dental health tips (2)
- pediatric dentistry (3)
- bonding (1)
- dental injuries (1)
- chipped tooth (1)
- oral cancer (3)
- bridgework (2)
- oral hygiene (1)
- crowns (1)
- age one dental visit (1)
- first dental appointment (1)
- thumb sucking (1)
- dental hygiene (2)
- nutrition (1)
- sugar (1)
- denture (1)
- tongue scraper (1)
- bad breath (1)
- dentures (1)
- dry mouth (1)
- tooth colored fillings (1)
- dental fillings (1)
- bruxism (1)
- discolored teeth (1)
- bleaching (1)
- stained teeth (1)
- toothpaste (1)
Posts for: March, 2012
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
April is the official Oral Cancer Awareness Month. 100 new people in the US every day will be newly diagnosed with an oral cancer and one person every day will die from it. It is not rare and screening for it as important as cervical, prostate, breast and other cancer exams.
Your dentist can help. At New Town Dental Arts we have has the skills and the tools to ensure that early signs or pre-cancerous conditions are identified.
Oral cancer screening is a routine part of a thorough dental examination. Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a very small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not be aware of it. Your dentist and hygienist will carefully examine the inside of your mouth and tongue and in some patients may notice a flat, painless, white or red spot or a small sore. Although most of these are harmless, some are not. Harmful oral spots or sores often look identical to those that are harmless but testing can tell them apart. If you have a sore with a likely cause, your dentist may treat it and ask you to return for the re-examination.
Signs to look for:
- Oral cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth.
- It can affect any area of the oral cavity including the lips, gum, cheeks, tongue and the hard or soft palate.
- A change in the way the teeth fit together.
- Oral cancer most often occurs in those who use tobacco in any form.
Other signs include:
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A color change of the oral tissues
- A lump, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
- Alcohol use combined with smoking greatly increases risk.
- Prolonged exposure to the sun increases the risk of lip cancer.
- Oral cancers can occur in people who do not smoke and have no other known risk factors. Oral cancer is more like to strike after age 40. Studies suggest that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may prevent the development of potentially cancerous lesions.
- There has been a nearly fivefold increase in incidence of oral cancer patients under age 40, many with no known risk factors. HPV 16 (human papilloma virus) is now implicated in young non-smoking cancer patients.
- The incidence of oral cancer in women has increased significantly largely due to an increase in women smoking. In 1950 the male to female ratio was 6:1 by 2002 it was 2:1.
Prevention and Detection
- The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid tobacco and alcohol use.
- Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.
- Knowing the risk factors and seeing your dentist and hygienist for oral cancer screenings can help prevent this deadly disease. Routine use of the Pap smear since 1955, for example, dramatically reduced the incidence and mortality rates for cervical cancer in the United States.
Get a dental check-up, get a screening, it may save your life!
Oral Cancer foundation - oralcancerfoundation.org
The American Dental Association - ada.org
The American Cancer society - cancer.org
There's a lot to like about dental implants, today's state-of-the-art tooth-replacement system. We consider them the best choice for replacing missing teeth because implants are:
You may not realize this, but when a tooth is missing, the bone underneath it begins to melt away. That's because bone needs constant stimulation to rebuild itself and stay healthy, and it receives this stimulation from teeth. It's a delicate balance that's disrupted by the loss of even one tooth. Because implants are made of biocompatible titanium, they actually fuse to the bone and prevent bone loss.
The fusion of implant to bone is an extremely solid connection. Not only does it offer a strong replacement for a missing tooth, but it can also offer support to other tooth-replacement methods such as fixed bridges or dentures. By themselves, these other methods would not preserve bone and might even hasten its loss in the case of dentures. But with implants, bone-loss is prevented — as is embarrassing and uncomfortable slippage of dentures.
When you receive your implant, it is left alone for a few months to complete the fusion process described above. Then it is topped with a crown made of a realistic tooth-like material. The result is so convincing as a tooth replacement, only you and your dentist may be able to tell it's not a natural tooth.
Dental implants have an amazing success rate — over 97%. And once they fuse to the jawbone, they should never need replacement. In fact, they will likely outlast the crowns to which they are attached, but this is not a problem. Implant crowns are precision components that detach for easy replacement, should the need arise.
Implants have a higher initial cost than other forms of tooth replacement, but when you consider how long they last, they are very economical. Consider it an investment in your health, appearance and self-confidence.
You can read more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth.”
If your teeth have a worn appearance, it's possible you have a habit you're not even aware of: clenching or grinding your teeth. Also called “bruxism,” this destructive action causes your top and bottom teeth to come together or scrape past each other with a force that's many times what is normal for biting and chewing.
So what's normal? This can be expressed in terms of pounds. An adult usually exerts a force of 13-23 pounds to bite or chew food. But we have the potential to generate as much as 230 pounds of force, or 10 times what's normal. A “parafunctional” force of this magnitude applied repeatedly is bound to stress your teeth and other areas of your oral system. Besides wearing away the enamel of your teeth — and maybe even some of the softer dentin layer underneath — you may experience muscle spasms or pain in your jaw joints. Serious cases of wear can lead to “bite collapse” in which your face actually changes shape as your cheeks and lips lose support. This can make you look prematurely aged.
What can be done? To prevent further wear, we can fabricate for you a thin, plastic mouthguard that will protect your teeth at night or during times of intense stress. We can also recommend ways to temporarily relieve the discomfort that your grinding/clenching habits can cause. Heat and/or anti-inflammatory medication, for example, can be helpful.
If your tooth wear is minor (raggedness along the biting edge of a tooth or teeth) you may not need any restorative work. However, if tooth wear has already caused changes to your teeth and bite that you find aesthetically or functionally unacceptable, we can restore lost tooth structure in a variety of ways. Veneers and crowns are two examples.
If you have any questions about tooth wear or grinding habits, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How And Why Teeth Wear.”
If you've lost one or more of your teeth due to tooth decay, trauma, gum disease or a failed root canal, there are a variety of ways that our office can help you to restore your smile and increase your confidence. Crowns, conventional bridges and dentures aren't your only options for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants, surgically placed below the gums, are another alternative for replacing missing teeth.
Getting Started: If you would like to explore the option of having dental implants to replace one or more teeth, you will first need a comprehensive exam. The ideal candidate for implants is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support an implant. Smokers and those with uncontrolled chronic diseases like diabetes may not be good candidates for dental implants because healing may be impaired or slow. In addition, dental implants aren't appropriate for children or teens until their jaw growth is complete.
The Process: Dental implant surgery can be performed in our office using either a local or general anesthetic. The implants actually replace tooth roots; they are placed into the bone surgically. Generally made of commercially pure titanium, this metal has the remarkable ability to fuse with the bone as it heals forming a union known as osseointegration (“osseo” – bone; “integration” – to fuse with). This process takes two to six months depending upon many factors of which bone quality is the most important.
The next step is to place an abutment (a small connector) which attaches the implant to the crown. The crown is the part of the tooth that is normally seen in the mouth above the gums.
Assessment of your individual situation and deciding if dental implants are right for you takes knowledge and experience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss any questions you may have regarding dental implants. Read more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants: Options for Replacing Missing Teeth.”
Nearly everyone has snored at some point in life. However, if your sleeping partner routinely tells you that you suffer from this problem, you really should take action to confirm or deny your suspicions. You may be like one of the 50 to 70 million people in the US alone that suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a medical condition in which the upper airway (the back of your throat) collapses during sleep thus limiting your intake of oxygen. And this condition is serious. If left untreated, OSA can lead to a stroke, impotence, an irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and other forms of heart disease.
The first and most important step you should take if you snore is to obtain a thorough examination by both your primary-care physician and our office. We have completed specialized training in sleep medicine so that we can not only diagnose but also thoroughly treat your sleep disorders.
If you are diagnosed with this problem, relax. We have many ways we can treat your condition. One of the most common methods is to provide you with oral appliance therapy. This first line of treatment involves our making a customized oral appliance (mouthpiece) that will hold your lower jaw forward. By doing this, we can move your tongue away from the back of your throat so that your airway is less likely to get blocked while you sleep. (It is this blockage that causes the infamous snoring sound.)
Another option we may consider using to treat your sleep apnea if it is moderate to advanced is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. These machines require you to sleep with a mask over your nose and/or mouth and produce continuous pressure in your windpipe so that your tongue is forced forward away from your airway. Not only can these machines potentially eliminate your snoring, but they can also give you the restful night's sleep that you have been missing.
The last and most permanent solution for treating certain non-responsive cases of sleep apnea is surgery. This option is typically reserved for the most advanced cases to eliminate or reduce an obstruction to the airway.
Contact us today to discuss your questions about sleep apnea or to schedule an appointment. You can also learn more about sleep apnea when you continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sleep Disorders & Dentistry.”