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Mouth Cancer Action Month

Globally there are more than 300,000 new cases of mouth cancer every year. The number of people being diagnosed with mouth cancer has grown nearly a third in the last decade.

Although risk factors (such as smoking and alcohol) are responsible for many mouth cancers, it is a disease that can affect anyone.

That is why it is so important we all know what to look out for.
Don’t leave a mouth ulcer unattended for more than three weeks.
Don’t ignore any unusual lumps or swellings or red and white patches in your mouth.
Regularly check your own mouth, lips, cheeks, head and neck for anything out of the ordinary.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate. Book an appointment with Dr. Stevenson and Dr. Jessica today. Quick action is very often life-saving.

 

The Worst Candies for your Teeth

Chewy and Gummy Candies

These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. The reason they are so harmful to teeth is that bacteria in the mouth burn the sugar, creating acid as a byproduct. The acid then dissolves tooth enamel, which is what causes cavities. Chewy candies, including gummy candies and taffy, are among the worst offenders because they linger and stick around in your mouth, giving them additional time to cause tooth decay.

Hard Candy

Hard candies can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful. You also tend to keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva and washing over your teeth.

Sour Candy

Sour candy that is sticky and coated in sugar can be very acidic, and that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.

Popcorn Balls

Popcorn kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth. They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard. If you have braces or any other retainers in your mouth staying away from these would be best.

Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the friendliest candies on your teeth. Chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy, and dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate.

We hope you eat some delicious sweets this Halloween season. Remember to eat in moderation and maintain a proper oral hygiene routine to maintain good oral health all year-round.

For information click HERE.

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)

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Today, as many as 4 million Americans are living with dry mouth. Dry mouth—also called Xerostomia results from an inadequate flow of saliva. It is not a disease, but can be a symptom of a medical disorder or a side effect of certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics and many others.

Some of the common problems associated with dry mouth include a constant sore throat, burning sensation, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages. In some cases, dry mouth can be an indicator of Sjögren’s syndrome. Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture-producing glands, the tear-secreting and salivary glands as well as other organs.

Saliva is the body’s primary defense against tooth decay and maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria, and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth, offering first-line protection. Without saliva, extensive tooth decay can also occur. Dr. Jessica and Dr. Stevenson are happy to recommend various methods to help you if you are experiencing dry mouth.

To learn more you can visit the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation.

 

Nitrous Oxide – Now Available!

home-message-bgNitrous oxide is one option we now offer at Smith & Jackson Family Dental to help you be more comfortable during dental procedures. Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is for adults and children, and can be a particularly helpful sedation method for those who are nervous about a pending treatment.

Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over the nose.  As a patient breathes normally through their nose, they may feel a sense of relaxation, decrease in anxiety, and a tingling in arms and legs.

While breathing nitrous oxide, patients are able to hear and respond to questions and directions.  Dental treatment is then initiated while the patient is calm and comfortable.  After treatment is completed and within seconds after nitrous oxide is removed, the effects of the gas are no longer felt.

If you or your loved ones have anxiety about dental treatment, ask us about nitrous oxide.  We are excited to be able to offer this trusted service to our patients!

 

For more information click HERE or HERE.

 

Sensitive Teeth & How to Treat Them

ice-creamMany people have sensitive teeth that are symptomatic when eating hot and cold foods

Possible causes include:

  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Fractured teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Exposed tooth root

In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin.
Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity.

anatomy-of-tooth

Sensitive teeth can be treated. The type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Come in and see Dr. Jessica and Dr. Stevenson to know which treatment is best for you. Treatments include:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste. This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
  • Fluoride gel. An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
  • A crown, inlay or bonding. These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
  • Surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canal. If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.

Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain. Ask us if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.

 

Click HERE for more information.

An Unwanted Valentine

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An Unwanted Valentine

Everyone loves a Valentine, but sharing a kiss with someone can be an exchange of bacteria from one person to another.  Prevent unwanted Valentine exchanges by brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing between your teeth once a day.

Bad Breath

Bacteria can be a big culprit of bad breath, so regular habits like brushing and flossing are especially important.  Other ways to keep your mouth fresh are over-the-counter antimicrobial mouthwashes or chewing sugarless gum.  Both can freshen your breath instantly and get saliva flowing—especially after you eat foods with a strong flavor.

Periodontal disease (gum infection) can be transmitted through saliva.  That’s why the American Academy of Periodontology recommends that if one family member has periodontal disease, all of the family members should be screened for the disease as well.

The bacteria that cause tooth decay aren’t found in the mouths of newborn babies!  A baby’s mouth can become infected through another person’s saliva, which can be passed by a kiss on the lips or sharing food.

Is Kissing Good for your Health?

Research into kissing has uncovered knowledge about many valuable health benefits.  In a healthy mouth, saliva contains substances that fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  Kissing increases the flow of saliva, which in turn can help to keep the mouth, teeth, and gums healthier.

For more information click HERE

FREE Letter to Santa

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Merry Christmas! A FREE printable letter to Santa just for you! Enjoy a fun holiday activity you can do with your children. This download includes versions, one that says: “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth and:”… and another version that does not (just in case they DO have their two front teeth). Simply download and print!

Click HERE to download.

Early Advances in Toothbrushes & Toothpaste

Where did toothbrushes and toothpaste come from?
The first toothbrushes were small sticks or twigs mashed at one end to create a broader cleaning surface. The Chinese lay claim to the first bristle toothbrush. Europe adopted the bristle brush in the 17th century, and many dentists practicing in colonial America advised their patients to use the brush. The first electric toothbrush was marketed in 1880, though the Swiss developed the first effective electric toothbrush just after World War II. It was introduced in the United States around 1960. A year later, the first cordless model was developed and proved to be popular with both consumers and dentists.

Toothpaste also saw its earliest form in ancient civilizations. Early toothpaste ingredients included powdered fruit, burnt or ground shells, talc, honey and dried flowers. Less agreeable ingredients included mice, rabbit heads, lizard livers and urine. Despite the decidedly non-minty flavor of early toothpaste, various recipes continued to appear throughout ancient history and well into the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, many of these toothpastes contained corrosive elements that dissolved tooth enamel.

Toothpaste as we know it emerged in the 1800s, with ingredients that included soap and chalk. In 1892, the first collapsible tube was marketed and reigned supreme until 1984, when the pump dispenser was introduced. In 1956, Proctor & Gamble introduced Crest brand toothpaste with fluoride.

To learn more about the history of dental advances click HERE.