April 2014 Newsletter

Oral Cancer Screenings Performed at Our Office

tongue2Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer, accounting for 40,000 newly diagnosed cancers each year and 9,000 deaths. Less than half of all oral cancer patients are cured, because it is usually diagnosed in later stages. You are more likely to develop oral cancer if you are male (2 times) and after age 45.

While the potential for oral cancer may be genetically inherited, the risk increases with smokers, spit tobacco users, too much exposure to sunlight and excessive alcohol consumption. Habits such as lip or cheek biting and ill-fitting dentures also heighten the risk of developing oral cancer. The most prevalent oral cancer sites are the tongue, floor of the mouth and soft palate. But, oral cancer may also be found on the lips, cheeks or gums.

Our office performs a free oral cancer examination at routine check-ups by looking for certain indicators and palpating (feeling) for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your mouth and head and neck. We will biopsy any suspected areas. Treatment for oral cancer is surgical removal of the lesion; sometimes radiation therapy is utilized.

If you cant come for regular 6-month check-ups, you can perform self-examination to look for early warning signs. Basically, you are looking for anything out of the ordinary, especially a lump that increases in size, a sore that doesnt heal within two weeks and changes in the appearance of soft tissue. Other early warning signs are persistent bleeding from the throat or mouth, difficulty swallowing, constant hoarseness and numbness anywhere in the mouth. To perform your own oral cancer examination, start in one area and consistently follow a pattern of observation and palpation.

  1. Face and neck – using a mirror and your nose as the dividing line, look for lumps or swellings that appear on only one side. See if there are any size or color changes in moles or other growths. With your fingers, press the sides and front of your neck, feeling for lumps or tenderness.
  2. Lips – Pull your lip down or up to observe any sores or color changes. Run your lip between your thumb and forefinger, feeling for lumps or changes in texture.
  3. Cheeks, roof of the mouth, floor of the mouth, tongue, and gums – Look for red, white or dark patches or open sores. Feel for lumps and bumps.

Oral cancer is painless in the early stages. With early discovery and treatment, survival rates greatly increase. If you detect these early warning signs, call or see us immediately.

Energy Drinks Healthy or Not?

Energy-DrinksSleep and exercise are proven stress relievers and help promote health. But, over 90 million Americans don’t get a good night’s sleep, and many find difficulty developing daily exercise routines. People are constantly seeking new products and looking for more ways to become energized. Many athletes, weekend warriors, business people and homemakers have turned to various energy boosters, including very popular and highly promoted sport and energy drinks like Amp and Red Bull. J. Anthony von Frauhofer, PhD, the chief researcher of a study done at the University of Maryland Dental School, suggests some precaution when using these drinks.

The researchers immersed pieces of human enamel [outside covering of the tooth and the hardest substance in the body] in 13 popular beverages. The study found that non-cola soft drinks, energy/sports drinks, and commercial lemonade “showed the most aggressive dissolution effect on dental enamel,” and in fact, were up to 11 times more erosive than cola. High levels of some additives, such as citric acid, caused the disintegration of the teeth. Frauhofer advised that people do not sit and sip these drinks for a long time and that you should follow-up the energy drink with some water to help rinse away the potentially damaging acids.

ZOOM! White Teeth in One Hour or So!

how-to-get-white-teeth-at-home-fast-When it comes to tooth whitening, many people want instant gratification. Our office uses the  Zoom! In-Office Whitening System, a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure -especially suited for people who just won’t find the time to do home bleaching/whitening.

It’s safe effective and fast – very fast. In just over an hour, your teeth will be dramatically whiter. Zoom! Whitening is ideal for anyone looking for immediate results. The convenience of Zoom!, compared to days of wearing trays and gradual whitening, makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual.

This whitening procedure is simple and painless. It begins with a short preparation to isolate your lips and gums. Then the proprietary Zoom! whitening gel, is applied, and when activated by the Zoom! light, it gently penetrates the teeth to remove deep stains and discoloration. Teeth typically become at least six to ten shades whiter, sometimes more. A five-minute fluoride treatment completes the procedure. You’ll be amazed with the results. In most cases, teeth get even whiter the first few days after the procedure.

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