More and more dentists now incorporate routine exams inside the oral cavity and the outside of head and neck into their hygiene appointments to screen for a host of oral diseases, including gum disease and oral cancer. Unfortunately, not all early signs of disease can be seen by the naked eye. At our practice we do much more. Advances in technology have made it possible for dentists to offer non-invasive screening tests to help identify patients that are at higer risk for developing head and neck cancers and gum disease and to detect these diseases at an early stage. At our office we utilize 3 screening tools, in addition to the examination of the oral cavity and head and neck, to help identify at risk patients that we serve. They include individualized Oral Health Scores, a light based screening tool for the oral cavity, and a saliva test that measures the amount of human papillomavirus in your mouth.
“You have periodontal (gum) disease.” These 4 words initially scare or confuse many people when they hear them from their hygienist or dentist. There are many questions that might run through your mind after hearing this. “What does this mean?” “How is this going to affect me?” “Am I going to loose any or all of my teeth?” “Is gum disease something I really need to worry about?” Gum disease is estimated to affect about 8 out of every 10 Americans with 99% of those with gum disease having no signs or symptoms that let them know they have a problem. At our practice, total wellness is our goal. Along with our highly skilled dental team, we are pleased to offer specialized technology that will assess your individual risks of gum disease with easy to understand Oral Health Scores. Your individual Oral Health Scores are just like your cholesterol scores. These Oral Health Scores, combined with your clinical examination, will allow us to make the best recommendations for you specifically. Do you know your Oral Health Scores? If not, now is the time to find out! With proper treatment we can improve your Oral Health Scores just like your physician can improve your cholesterol score.
Gum disease (known as periodontitis) is a silent disease. It is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. You can’t see it. There’s usually no pain. Often times, you don’t even know you have it. If left untreated, gum disease just gets worse and can compromise your oral health and your overall health. It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. Research has demonstrated that as many as 3 out of 4 people will experience some form of gum disease in their lifetime. There are many reasons to take gum disease seriously. o one wants to lose teeth. No one wants to risk heart disease. No one wants to risk diabetes. No one wants to risk cancer. Knowing your Oral Health Scores is the first step toward healthier teeth and gums. It allows us to chart your course to better oral health. Remember that if caught early enough, gum disease can be reversed or prevented altogether. Now is the time to find out if you are at risk for gum disease. There can be no greater peace of mind than knowing you are protecting your health.
Screening for the early warning signs of oral cancer is one of the most important reasons why you should visit the dentist on a regular basis. More than 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. The bottom line for everyone: See your dentist; it may save your life. It is our goal to have 100% of our practice family screened for oral cancer on a yearly basis. It is important to realize that a visit to our office is no longer about a filling, a crown, or “just a cleaning,” but can actually be a matter of life and death. Dental examinations, when properly done and which include a screening for oral cancer will save lives.
February is National Children's Dental Health Month. In the spirit of Children's Dental Health Month we wanted to bring you some information that we feel is important for you to know. We often get many questions from parents about their children’s developing smile regarding what to expect and how best to care for them. Below is more information that can be helpful as you help your child maintain proper oral health as they grow. Remember Mom and Dad, good oral health habits begin at home with you. As you well know, your children are constantly watching and learning from you. Studies have shown that children whose parents have poor oral health habits and do not visit the dentist regularly will grow up with the same belief and neglect their oral health. Poor oral health has been linked to serious health conditions including heart disease and diabetes. Let’s all work together to be role models and teachers for our children and encourage good oral health so that wonderful smile that warms your heart will last for their lifetime! Tips to maintain Tip Top Teeth throughout you Child’s life: * Infants and Toddlers: After every feeding, wipe your baby’s gums either with a clean, wet gauze pad or a washcloth. This removes plaque and residual food that can harm erupting teeth. * Toddlers: Brush and floss your child’s teeth until the child has developed the necessary skills to do so themselves. * Bring your child with to your next dental reservation so they may become acquainted and comfortable with the office, the dentist and the staff. Also schedule your child’s first reservation with the dentist early (around 1 year old)…Good habits can never start too early!
For years we have heard of the ever-growing connections between dentistry and medicine, with articles written in medical and dental journals as well as in scientific authorities such as Reader’s Digest or Ladies Home Journal. For decades dentists have looked at the increasing body of evidence that what we are doing in the mouth can affect the rest of the body. The mountain of evidence that supports the oral health-overall health connection has seen incredible growth and advancement over the past few years. There is no longer a question as to “if” the soft tissues in the mouth are connected to the rest of the body. For example, we can easily find evidence of gum disease-causing bacteria creating challenges in tissues throughout the body. However, the mouth-body connection is not limited to just infections in the soft tissues of the mouth. The impact of the mouth also extends to such monumental things as blood flow to the brain.
Throughout the years research has shown links between poor oral health and heart disease, stroke and diabetes, as well as Alzheimer's disease. Now researchers from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York have found gum disease could also influence brain function through several mechanisms, such as causing inflammation throughout the body, a risk factor for loss of mental function. This study is another of many that have shown the importance of maintaining your optimal oral health. Your mouth and oral health are connected to more than just chewing and eating. Taking care of the health of your teeth and gums through regular visits for hygiene therapy will not only improve your oral health, but it will affect your overall health and wellness as well. Call us today to reserve your time to shape up your teeth and gums.
Did you know that every time you visit our office for your routine hygiene therapy appointment you are screened for oral cancer? Screening for the early warning signs of oral cancer is one of the most important reasons why you should visit our office on a regular basis. More than 34,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades. In fact, recent statistics published by the American Cancer Society indicate that while the incidence and death rates for cancers overall have decreased, both the incidence and the death rate for oral cancer have increased. Early detection and diagnosis are essential in successful treatment of the disease. Oral cancer is 90% curable when found in its early stages.
There are many tests that help doctors predict our risk of developing certain diseases. We routinely get our blood pressure taken to assess our risk of hypertension. A blood pressure of higher than 120/80 is considered high risk and in need of treatment. We get our cholesterol checked to assess our risk of heart disease. [...]