Red Flags for Oral Cancer

One of the pathology in the oral cavity in none other than oral cancer. The most common form of oral cancer being squamous cell carcinoma. This cancer can be a deadly disease, often due to the fact that it is commonly found late in its development. Like many cancers, successful treatment can be linked to early detection. There are dentists out there that perform oral cancer screenings as part of their routine examinations. It’s also extremely crucial to know the warning signs so that you can make an appointment with your dentist if you experience any of them and would like to be checked out to be safe.

Here are some symptoms of oral cancer:

  • White or red patch in your mouth
  • Jaw swelling that does not subside after two weeks
  • Lump or sore in your mouth, lip, or throat
  • Much difficulty swallowing and even chewing
  • Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
  • Having the feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • Numbness sensation in your tongue or mouth
  • Pain in the ear on one side

Although many of these issues don’t involve pain, we all do have to remain cautious on the signs. It is advisable to keep to your regular dental visits and to make extra appointments if you notice problems arising. Oral cancer screenings are simple and painless, in which your dentist examines your lips, neck, face, and entire mouth for signs of cancer. A thorough examination is the first step to getting immediate treatment started.


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Infant Teeth Problems

Though babies aren’t born with a full set of dentition, that doesn’t mean parents have nothing to worry about when it comes to infant dental issues. Problems can crop up at just about any age. Hence, paying attention to children’s gums and teeth right from birth is an excellent prevention technique. Parents should begin taking children for dental visits around their first birthday, but here are some common issues to watch for with infants before even visiting the dental office.

Baby bottle decay
Dentists have been warning against letting children go to sleep with a bottle of milk. Letting milk remain inside an infant’s mouth means that sugars have access to the gums and have the ability to change into an acidic substance that attacks teeth. This leads to tooth decay, often referred to as baby bottle decay. The best solution is to prevent it from happening by taking away the bottle after they reach the age of one.

When teeth begin erupting through the gums, most of the time babies let their parents know. Sleepless nights and stressful days are usually due to these. Known symptoms of infant teething include drooling, sensitivity, gum swelling, and crankiness. As parents, we must be patient and caring while teeth are coming in, but there is usually no indication for a dental visit. Issues that is faced while growing up is not permanent, and the symptoms subside as the teeth come through the gums.

Most children find it comforting to suck on things, many times a pacifier or their thumbs. The habit of thumb sucking can be difficult to break because there’s no taking away the thumb from the child’s hand. Thumb sucking is an acceptable way for children to find the security, although dentists recommend trying to break the habit by age four. Continuing to suck the thumb after that growth stage can cause overbites, which would need orthodontic work to corret those issues in when they are grown up


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General Tips for Healthy Teeth

Maintaining your teeth and gums in excellent condition can mean the difference between being shy to smile and being happy to display your white teeth. Do you know that your smile is one of the first things people notice? Here are some things to add to your dental care routine so that your teeth are sparkling and healthy.

Change your toothbrush
Toothbrush are meant to be efficient at plaque removal. Old bristles that are out of shape harbor bacteria and are not as good as newer brushes. Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every six months, or when it starts to appear worn. It is important to select a brush with soft bristles for the best treatment of your teeth and gums.

Brush after consuming foods that can cause staining
You should avoid foods and drinks that are known to stain your dentition. Those foods are for example, red wine, coffee, colored gravies, and dark colas. Diligently brushing your teeth as soon as possible after consuming such items is key. If brushing isn’t possible, try eating an apple to help clean away staining residue.

Use mouthwash
Add mouthwash to your daily routine regime can help kill bacteria that your toothbrush doesn’t reach. Mouthrinse is also an excellent method to improve your breath. There are many brands of mouthwash in the market today.

Floss regularly
Most people don’t floss and thus have bad teeth. Using dental floss at least once every day to clean between your teeth and along your gums is a good habit. Carry a pack of floss with you so that you can quickly use it after a meal or bothersome snacks.

See your dentist
Regardless of how well you care for your mouth, see your dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. Regular dental visits keep your teeth bright and will catch any potential issues early. By doing so, you have the chance of avoiding more extensive dental work in the future.


Dr. Thanos is a general and family dentist in Weston Florida

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Replace Silver Colored Amalgams with Tooth Colored Composite Fillings

Amalgams were the traditional filling of choice for many decades. These are inexpensive restorative material, hard wearing and frequently used for restoring the posterior teeth. Nowadays your dentist in your area is more likely to use tooth-colored composite resin fillings to restore smiles. These are slightly more expensive so at the end the choice is yours. However, many dentists will only place amalgam free restorations.

The issue with silver fillings is the way they weaken the structure of the natural tooth. The weakening of the tooth is due to the material expansion and contraction when coming in contact with extreme temperatures. Continual flexing may create microfractures, and the filling can crumble and leak over time. Besides that, there are concerns about the mercury content of amalgam fillings, a metal that can be toxic in huge amounts.

The other counterpart, which is Composite resin fillings can be closely matched to natural teeth, giving back the appearance of your smile. Composites are much better for teeth as less tooth structure needs to be drilled for their placement and the resin bonds to the natural tooth very strongly. Gone are the worrying of the material flexing or changing shape.

Placement of composite fillings is rather technique sensitive, and your dentist will thoroughly clean out the decay before completely drying the tooth. Next, they will gradually apply the filling material in tiny increments, curing it with a particular light. At last, the restoration will be shaped and polished and should be just about invisible.

Should you currently have older style silver-colored amalgam fillings, ask your dentist to evaluate their condition. Some people will choose to replace these fillings to improve their smile. Amalgam fillings typically can last up to 10 years before they begin to leak or fracture, so it’s possible yours could do with replacing.


If you live in the Weston Florida area and you need a family and cosmetic dentist, contact our office today.

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