Friday, April 15, 2016

Your Local Dentist Can Watch for Oral Cancer

Oral CancerAs an experienced dentist, we can help to watch for and identify signs of oral cancer. Early prevention is the key to fighting any type of cancer and by having your teeth examined twice a year, we can make sure that cancerous cells are not growing undetected. While we cannot guarantee that we will catch signs of cancer 100 percent of the time, a dental professional is typically your first line of defense when it comes to early prevention.

According to the American Cancer Society over 35,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer on an annual basis within the United States. This is a staggering statistic considering oral cancer is quite unknown and is very rarely discussed. Unlike breast cancer or heart disease where people have been trained to watch for signs, most people are unaware of the symptoms of oral cancer which makes early prevention difficult.

At our office, our staff has been trained on how to identify the signs of oral cancer so that we can help patients to get the care they need quickly. This can give people the best shot of defeating the disease rather than becoming sicker and sicker. We can also refer you to a specialist as needed.

Here are some signs of oral cancer that you can watch for, and what we look for during your dental examinations:

Spots inside of the mouth. If you have velvety red, white or a combination of red and white patches inside of your mouth it can be a sign of cancer. If the patches are near the front of your mouth you may be able to see them while brushing your teeth, however, routine examinations are important because a dentist can inspect your entire mouth and discover any signs of cancer early in the development stage.

Random bleeding inside of your mouth. If your mouth is bleeding unexplainably this can be a sign of oral cancer.
Sores that do not heal. It is normal for people to get a canker sore from time to time but when sores appear in your mouth, on your neck or face and do not go away within a couple of weeks, they could be signs of cancer.

Your teeth or dentures fit together differently. Your teeth shouldn't fit together differently unless something is causing them to move.  A wisdom tooth coming in or a tooth falling out is a reasonable explanation for why your teeth may shift. If there is not a logical explanation you may have a cancerous growth that is causing your teeth or dentures to move out of place.

Something in the back of your throat. If you feel like something is constantly caught in the back of your throat or your throat is constantly hurting you could have more than an infection.

Lumps, bumps, and rough spots. When cleaning your teeth our dentist will look for any strange lumps, bumps, or rough spots on your gums or the interior of your mouth. Your gums and cheeks should be smooth.  When they aren't this is typically a sign of a problem. You can check for this at home by running your tongue along your gum line on a frequent basis. If you notice something out of place or different schedule an appointment with your dentist.

We help patients to stay healthy with regular dental examinations and cleanings.  We will look for signs of oral cancer during your examination and inform you of any potential problems so that they can be dealt with immediately.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Ouch! If You Have Tooth Pain Call an Emergency Dentist

Emergency DentistYou never know when you will need an emergency dentist. A dental emergency, as with any health emergency can strike at any time and without warning. For some people, they will feel a moderate level of pain that all of a sudden escalates into unbearable tooth pain. For others, they need an emergency dentist after being in an accident. Regardless of when or why you need a dentist, we are available to help.

Two common reasons for needing an emergency dentist are injuring a tooth while playing sports or getting into an accident. According to the American Dental Association, the majority of adult tooth injuries are due to playing sports. Most adults don't have the time to play in an organized league so the likelihood of your tooth getting injured during a neighborhood game of basketball is actually fairly high. You can reduce your risk by keeping your teeth healthy in the first place or wearing a mouth guard while you play.

If your tooth was injured in a car accident or on the job, there typically isn't much you can do to prevent it. Scheduling regular dental exams and teeth cleanings will help your teeth to be healthy enough to withstand damage but there is no guarantee that your tooth won't become cracked, chipped, or even fall out during an accident. If this happens to you after business hours or on the weekend, you need to call a 24-hour dentist.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that the emergency room staff can treat tooth injuries. They can't and don't because they are trained in how to treat the rest of your body, but not in how to treat your teeth. This is why you need to visit a doctor of dentistry, not just a medical doctor. In fact, if you go to the ER, they will direct you to an emergency dentist instead.As a 24-hour dentist, you can call us at any time day or night.

We can provide the immediate relief you need when the pain becomes unbearable or restore your tooth after an accident. If your tooth has fallen out it is extremely important to see a dentist right away because we may be able to save it. Waiting until the morning is not an option when you are trying to do so. Instead, find your tooth, rinse it off and put it into a glass of milk. Once you get to our office, we will see if the tooth can be saved. If not, we will make other recommendations for replacing it such as installing a dental bridge or dental implants.

Likewise, if your tooth is in major pain, you can call our dentist office. We will examine your mouth and determine the reason you are experiencing pain before making treatment recommendations. By restoring your damaged tooth or treating an infection, we can correct your dental problems and help you to feel better in no time.