Thursday, September 30, 2021

Oral Cancer Screening At Home

 Six easy steps to check for oral cancer at home!

  1. Tongue - Extend your tongue as far as it can go, examine the sides and underside for white and red patches and feel your tongue for lumps.
  2. Lip and Cheek - Feel for any lumps or bumps while looking for white and red patches.
  3. Double-Digit Probe - Examine the floor of your mouth from the top to bottom simultaneously for lumps, red and white patches.
  4. Palate Tickle - Check the roof of your mouth for lumps and areas of softness on the hard palate, looking for white and red patches.
  5. Neck Caress - Palpate your neck for enlarged lymph nodes.
  6. Tonsils - Depress the tongue and check for enlarged tonsils and any white or red patches.
Remember this does not take place of seeing your dentist, this is just a cautionary screening. If you notice any unusual patches or unexplained soreness contact your dentist immediately.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Dry Mouth? There is Help For That!

Many people suffer daily from a condition known as Xeristomia or Dry Mouth. Dry mouth can be brought on by any number of medical maladies and various prescription drugs. Most sufferers have found little to no relief from this condition and find themselves constantly drinking more water in hopes of quenching it.
New studies have shown that gums, candies, rinses and sweetners containing Xylitol offer comfort to those suffering from dry mouth. The xylitol coats the soft tissues of the mouth sealing in moisture and stimulates saliva flow.
A plethora of amazing over-the-counter products are endorsed by dentists for treating dry mouth. Some products worth checking out are Biotene, Oasis and Sensodyne for Dry Mouth.
Be sure to check with your doctor if you have the symptoms of dry mouth.  Make sure you find the cause before you use any OTC treatments! 

As always, Keep Smiling!  

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Can Sharing Oral Hygiene Products Spread Covid-19?

 As Covid-19 and the new Delta variant continue to spread across the world, it's important that we all stay safe. One way to prevent yourself from catching these viruses is by not sharing any oral hygiene products. 

Sharing toothpaste, toothbrushes, or even toothbrush holders/containers probably never even crossed your mind, right? 

Well...
  • By sharing a toothbrush you could be passing the viruses to another family member.
  • Sharing a toothbrush holder/container can also pass the viruses from one toothbrush to the other. *Sharing a toothbrush holder/container has always been looked down upon*
  • If toothbrushes touch a shared toothpaste bottle, you could possibly be spreading the virus to anyone who uses that toothpaste.
Important reminders:
  • Change your toothbrush every three months.
  • If you have recovered from one of the viruses, toss your toothbrush no matter how new it is.
  • Disinfect your toothbrush with an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing. This will help kill any bacteria.
  • Keep toothbrushes away from others.
  • Have everyone use separate toothpaste.


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

What You Never Knew About Cavities!

 Cavities are no fun at all. No joke about that! However, there are a lot of myths out there about cavities. Let's see if we can play myth busters on a few of them.


MYTH: Only Sugar Can Cause Cavities:
FALSE:  Sorry mothers, I hate to take away your reason for your kid to have that candy car. Yes, sugar does cause cavities, but that is not the only culprit. If you want your kiddo to stay cavity free then you should steer them clear of bread and pasta, too. They contain starch, which is another cavity culprit.

MYTH: Extra Brushing Will Heal or Slow Down The Progression Of A Cavity
FALSE: Tooth enamel does not grow back. When you have a cavity, you need to get it filled. If you don't, you will eventually need a root canal and/or a crown. Brushing will not heal it or slow it down. Now, on the positive side, brushing will reduce the risk of obtaining more cavities and it will also keep the cavity clean and reduce the risk of infection.

MYTH: If I Have A Cavity, I Would Feel It
FALSE: Well, mostly false. If you feel the cavity and are experiencing pain, then you are probably dealing with a serious cavity that is much more advanced. When a cavity is starting chances are really good that you will not be able to feel it. Which is all the more the reason why regular dental checkups are so important.

So, it appears we have busted a few of the myths! I am sure there are many more. Do you have any that you would like to know about? Comment on this blog and we will try to find out if it is Myth or Fact!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Botox And Dental?

What are your thoughts on Botox? Would you get Botox treatment if it meant it could help with specific dental problems?

Check out this article by Perfect Teeth:

"When you think about Botox chances are good you think about a Gen-Xer having it done to maintain their youthful appearance. You wouldn’t be wrong – Botox is by far the most popular cosmetic procedure out there with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reporting over 7.4 million injections given in 2018.

And now dentists are getting in on the action. Have you heard about this trend of Botox in dentistry? It just might be the next big thing!

What is Botox?

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. While it’s the same toxin that causes a life-threatening type of food poisoning called botulism, its use as an injectable paralytic has been FDA approved for cosmetic procedures and more. In fact, it’s now commonly used in small doses to treat a variety of health problems including excessive sweating, excessive blinking, overactive bladder and even migraines.

Botox works by blocking nerve signals that control muscle movement, which makes them unable to contract, temporarily softening the skin around the area that was injected. It typically takes a few hours for results to be seen and they usually last about three months.

Botox in Dentistry

For most people who hear the word “Botox”, they think of wrinkle reducing injections used in cosmetic procedures. While it is true Botox was approved by the FDA for such, it is now expanding in its application due to the nerve blocking benefits it offers. In fact, a trip to your dental office could include your dentist offering Botox.

While some dentists do use Botox for cosmetic procedures, there are many other uses for Botox in dentistry.

  • Treatment of Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)  
  • Treatment of bruxism (teeth grinding)
  • Reducing a “gummy smile” without surgical intervention
  • Adjustment of lips before or after denture placement or oral surgeries.

Should a Dentist Do Botox?

Botox as a purely cosmetic procedure will likely never be part of a dentist’s repertoire – as their first and primary goal is oral health care. But, because dentists have extensive training on oral and facial anatomy, health and function, some say there is no one better qualified to administer Botox than a dentist.

In fact, some proponents of the use of Botox in dentistry claim dentists are the most qualified, and offer a better experience because they administer oral and facial injections on a regular basis. This makes the injections quick and less painful, because they are done with a skilled hand.

While the use of Botox in dentistry is controversial to some, it seems there may be a place for Botox in dentistry, to help both medically and cosmetically. According to the American Academy of Facial Aesthetics about 10% of dentists are currently trained to administer Botox with more seeking training every day. The American Dental Association even offers Botox training for its members!

Is Botox in dentistry the next big thing? We don’t have a crystal ball, but it’s a trend we envision increasing especially as demand grows and more and more state dental boards support the practice."

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Unaffordable Dental Expenses for the Elderly - An Editorial

With our volatile economy, things are bad enough, but it is so much worse for those on limited and fixed incomes, and the real travesty is that there is very little help available for those in need of serious dental care. Medical care can be much easier to obtain.
Dental treatment is fast becoming one of the most costly of all areas in the medical industry. Basic restorative treatment is becoming a thing of the past, with dentists and dental specialists opting for the higher end products and procedures. Root canals, crowns and implants are exorbitantly high priced, as are dentures and prosthetic devices. Having worked in the dental industry as long as I have, I'm well aware of the cost of materials vs. the mark-up.  It's ridiculous, and there is no regulatory agency that can help to even out the cost to make it more affordable. In fact, dental specialists are among the highest priced professionals in the country.  The elderly are probably the most affected by this. They are literally forced to spend money they don't have and are finding that there are limited resources to help with the funding of  treatments and procedures, as government based organizations generally will not cover anything other than extractions for adults.
A good Dental Plan can go a long way toward reducing costs for the elderly, but the fact is, sometimes it just isn't enough. Consequently, many elderly dental patients will go outside of the country to places such as Mexico, or will simply go without the care they need, thereby affecting their overall health. 
No doubt we all know of an elderly family member or friend that has had this problem.

So, the question? How long can this continue?  When insurance is of little or no help and money is limited, there must be an alternative somewhere.  Any ideas anyone? 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Could Antibiotics Worsen Oral Infections?

 Usually, when you have an infected tooth, your dentist gives you antibiotics before any procedure, right?

Well, new research from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has found that antibiotics kill the "good" bacteria which helps keep the infection and inflammation at bay and can do more harm than good.

Pushpa Panduyan stated "Of course, antibiotics are still needed for life-threatening infections. No question about that. Our bodies have many natural defenses that we shouldn't meddle with," she said. However, needless overuse of antibiotics is not helpful."

"Also, we know there is a definite link between oral health and overall health," she added.

 For the research and results click here!

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Dental Plans Are Still A Good Option-Even If You Have Insurance!

 I saw an article recently that makes a good argument for Dental Plans! Not directly, of course, but if one considers that dentistry is among the most expensive in terms of healthcare and that there is no regulatory agency that holds dental prices in check, a Dental Plan can be extremely beneficial. Dental insurance companies pay little to nothing and put a cap on your benefits.

Now, when I say Dental Plan, I don't mean the ever growing "in-house" type of plan that some dentists are trying to promote; those will save you very little money overall and if a problem arises...well, where are you going to go? The plan would not be accepted by another facility! No, I'm suggesting a bonafide, BBB accredited discount plan.
Dental plans go far beyond what insurance companies do in terms of savings.  More procedures are covered, there is no limit to benefits, coverage is immediate and there is no waiting 12 months for a large procedure...
Additionally,  any good dental plan can be used as a supplement to an insurance plan.  Once your insurance benefits are exhausted, you can switch over to the dental plan and still receive a benefit. 

Seriously, why would one NOT consider a dental plan? Do your homework, but at least check it out. You'll find that the savings and a small investment for a membership are well worth the effort, especially now, in an uncertain market.  Everyone needs dental work at some point.  Be prepared with a good dental plan.

Don't wait for a toothache!!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Gum Disease (The Hidden Dangers)

Do you suffer from gum disease? If so, has your dentist explained the hidden dangers if you don't seek treatment?

Take a look at this article "The Hidden Dangers of Gum Disease" from one of our providers Artisan Family Dentistry in Glendale, AZ.

"Gum disease poses a much bigger oral health threat than many people assume. What may start out as inflammation or tenderness can quickly contribute to bone loss and tooth decay.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay and periodontal disease (gum disease) pose the biggest threat to oral health today. In fact, gum disease impacts nearly half of adults above the age of 30 and more than 70 percent of people over the age of 65.

Knowing the symptoms and prevention methods along with regular visits to your dentist will help you avoid or treat periodontitis before it gets out of control.

Knowing the Warning Signs

Gum disease develops over time and becomes more severe the longer symptoms go unaddressed. Let’s take a look at how this issue develops.

Gingivitis: This is the earliest stage of gum disease typically caused by inflammation of the gums as a result of plaque. Symptoms include:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath

Periodontitis: When gingivitis goes untreated, it will eventually develop into periodontitis. This happens when a pocket begins to form under the gums below the gum line. The result is plaque being trapped that can irritate the gums and even cause bone loss and tooth decay. At this stage, it’s important to seek the treatment of a dentist.

Advanced Periodontitis: This is an advanced stage of gum disease that can cause serious damage and pain to teeth, tissue, and bone. At this phase, teeth can shift and become loose, even fall out. A few other symptoms include:

  • Gums receding severely
  • Deep periodontal pockets
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums swell and bleed
  • Advanced tooth decay

Who is Most at Risk for Gum Disease

Age is one factor to consider if you think you may be at risk of developing gum disease. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 47 percent of adults aged 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease.

Adults over the age of 65 experience more advanced stages of gum disease, and at a higher rate. The CDC reports 70 percent of adults aged 65 and over suffer from periodontal disease.

Men are also more likely to experience gum disease than women at a rate of 56 percent to 38 percent.

What Are the Risk Factors?

Smoking: Tobacco use greatly increases the likelihood of periodontal disease. It is estimated that more than 64 percent of adult smokers have some degree of periodontal disease.

Hygiene: Poor oral hygiene is a leading cause of periodontal disease. Good habits and regular visits to the dentist will help prevent the onset of gum disease.

Bad Diet: Poor nutritional habits are a leading contributor to gum disease. Foods that are high in sugar, carbohydrates, and caffeine should be minimized.

Medications: Certain medications can contribute to periodontitis. Talk to your doctor and dentist about any medications you are taking. If your prescriptions cause dry mouth, you could be at risk for gum disease.

Prevention and Treatment

Prevention: Good oral hygiene is the best defense against gum disease. Maintain a healthy diet and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and regular cleaning.

Treatment: Speak with your dentist about treatment options for periodontal disease. Laser therapy is becoming a popular option because of the reduced irritation and faster healing times.

Conclusion

If you are showing any of the symptoms of gum disease, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. Treatment will be shorter and less painful if addressed early and can help you avoid further complications such a bone and tooth loss.

Check out our infographic below and learn more about gum disease."