April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. It is estimated that oral cancer will effect an estimated 37,000 Americans each year. Studies show that the chance of surviving oral cancer is 80 to 90% if you catch it in its early stages.
While a cancer screening by your dentist is always best, doing self-exams at home can increase the likelihood that an oral cancer can be detected early. Look inside your mouth in a mirror and feel the insides of your mouth, lips and gums. Don’t forget to look at the upper part of your mouth as well and your tongue and it’s surfaces.
According to mayoclinic.org:
There’s no proven way to prevent mouth cancer. However, you can reduce your risk of mouth cancer if you:
Stop using tobacco or don’t start. If you use tobacco, stop. If you don’t use tobacco, don’t start. Using tobacco, whether smoked or chewed, exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals.
Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all. Chronic excessive alcohol use can irritate the cells in your mouth, making them vulnerable to mouth cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit yourself to one drink a day if you’re a woman or two drinks a day if you’re a man.
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. The vitamins and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables may help reduce your risk of mouth cancer.
Avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips. Protect the skin on your lips from the sun by staying in the shade when possible. Wear a broad-brimmed hat that effectively shades your entire face, including your mouth. Apply a sunscreen lip product as part of your routine sun protection regimen.
See your dentist regularly. As part of a routine dental exam, ask your dentist to inspect your entire mouth for abnormal areas that may indicate mouth cancer or precancerous changes.
If you notice anything unusual, a sore or discolored area of your mouth that doesn’t heal, call Dr. Brogdon for an appointment to get this checked out. We care about your dental health!
March is National Nutrition Month and the time to start thinking about what you eat and how it affects your dental health. Having healthy eating habits is important to our dental health. Choosing nutritious foods can play a major role in preventing gum disease and tooth decay.
Some Dietary Guidelines to follow include:
- Foods Rich in Calcium – Choose foods such as milk, cheese and dairy products that are calcium rich and help protect teeth from acid and decay.
- Fruits and Vegetables – Nutritious fruits and vegetables can freshen your breath and help eliminate plaque. Studies indicate that cranberries stop the formation of plaque. Buy locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables and try something new.
- Drink Water – Water can help rinse away those acidic and sugary foods that cause problems.
- Limit Sugar and Acidic Foods – Foods high in sugar or acid can damage your teeth by forming plaque. By limiting your intake of these foods and beverages, you not only help your teeth, but your whole body.
Remember to brush and floss after meals to remove food particles that can be harmful to your teeth. Contact us at Brogdon Dental if you have any thoughts or concerns about your teeth. We are here to help answer any questions you might have.
By eating a diet rich in healthy foods, you not only help your body and your heart, but your mouth as well. Small changes can make a big difference!
Have you ever considered veneers? If you have and wonder exactly what they are, according to WebMD:
Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.
Do you think you are a candidate for veneers? You might want veneers if you have discolored teeth, teeth that are worn down, chipped or broken, misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped teeth, or teeth with gaps between them.
Getting veneers usually requires around 3 trips to your dentist. One for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. Veneers generally last between 5 and 10 years. After that time, most veneers need to be replaced and there is no special care involved with your veneers, just continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing and flossing as you normally would.
What are some of the advantages of veneers?
- They provide a natural tooth appearance.
- Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.
- Porcelain veneers are stain resistant.
- The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.
- Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape; veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative.
If you feel you might be interested in veneers, give us a call at Brogdon Dental. Dr. Brogdon can discuss the pros and cons associated with veneers and you can decide if this procedure is for you.