Reasons to Visit the Dentist in Winter

Reasons to Visit the Dentist in Winter

Reasons to Visit the Dentist in WinterWe know that the cold winter weather and dry air wreak havoc on the skin. Did you know that these weather conditions can also facilitate dental problems? Being aware of these winter dental woes, as well as how to combat them, will help to keep your mouth healthy in the cold, and avoid the tooth pain and increased sensitivity which many of us experience in the wintertime.

4 Reasons to Visit the Dentist in Winter:

  1. To Avoid Crowds and Long Waits:
  2. The winter is a great time to schedule a dental appointment! Summertime means that there will be an influx of parents taking their children in for a check up, especially during the back-to-school season. Many college students might make appointments during spring break, but the longer winter break means that the appointment times won’t be as concentrated. We recommend that you come in now to ensure your dental health all year long––without the wait!

  3. Getting sick affects your teeth, too:
  4. Maybe you were unlucky enough to catch a cold or flu. Cough syrups, cough drops, and other remedies contain high amounts of high fructose corn syrup or other sugars. These can have a negative impact on the teeth, especially if you are not flossing and brushing regularly. Other drugs may contain citric acid or alcohol, which attack the enamel of your teeth. Additionally, it’s important to switch out your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. You don’t want to reinfect yourself!

  5. To Fight Harsh Winters:
  6. The cold weather and lack of sunlight that accompany winter can be tough for the best of us. As many as 20% of Americans, especially those in Northern climates, can be afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder. This form of depression arises during the winter season and may make it hard to perform even basic oral hygiene activities. Depression is highly correlated with poor dental health, so it’s important to try to maintain oral hygiene all year long.

  7. Prepare for Spring:
  8. Winter means that many of us are huddled up in our homes, whether we are enjoying the heater or a toasty fireplace. Fewer outings are planned, which means more free time. It’s a good idea to schedule a winter dentist appointment to get out of the house and to take advantage of these more idle months. Springtime consists of spring cleaning, gardening, chaperoning the kids’ sports and other activities, so be sure to schedule your appointment now before things get too busy!

    Final Verdict:
    If you need one of your regular dental checkups, December is just the right time. Book your appointment and visit Korel Family Dentistry this winter!

    Contact Korel Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment!

3 Signs You May Have Gum Disease

3 Signs You May Have Gum DiseaseGum disease, medically termed gingivitis, is a serious condition. If left untreated, it can actually cause your gums to be unable to hold your teeth in place and could lead to tooth loss. Unfortunately, there is no way to correct the damage that gum disease has caused. As such, it is best to not let it progress to a point where damage is done.

Being aware of what causes gum disease may help you to know when you should visit a dentist. A dentist can help you treat the condition before serious damage is done. Here are a few of the signs that you may have gum disease.

Gum Disease: 3 Signs To Be Aware Of

Your Gums are Red, Puffy, or Swollen
One of the first signs you may experience if you have gum disease is gums that begin to turn red, get a bit puffy, or begin to swell. Unfortunately, there is no standard color for gums or appearance. Some people may naturally have darker, pinker, or redder gums than someone else.

This is a sign that is hard for dentists to see. However, you should be aware of what your normal gum color and appearance is and when things begin to change. When you notice these changes taking place, you will want to bring it to the attention of your dentist so they can document the changes and begin you on a treatment course for the early stages of gum disease.

Your Gums are Bleeding
Odds are, you have experienced bleeding gums at some point in time. You may have brushed too hard or gotten a little vigorous when flossing. An isolated incidence of your gums bleeding is nothing to fret over. You simply want to be careful the next time you brush or floss.

However, if you notice some pink in the sink after brushing or flossing routinely, you want to bring this to the attention of your doctor. The bleeding is often caused by irritation, which is a tell-tale sign of gum disease. Unfortunately, if left untreated, the bleeding may get worse as well. As such, you want to correct and treat the problem.

Your Gums Are Receding
The last sign of gum disease is receding gums. If you notice or experience this symptom, you have advanced gum disease. When gum disease is left untreated, it begins to kill your gum tissue, which is what causes the receding to occur. This leaves more of your teeth exposed and fewer gums holding them in place.

Eventually, the gums will erode away, leaving nothing holding your teeth in place, and they can fall out. Dentists are beginning to check for gum recession during normal appointments.

Technological advancements have made it easy to determine the length of a person’s gum tissue and see how much, if any, is lost from one appointment to the next.

If you are showing signs of gum disease, you will want to schedule an appointment with your dentist. They can offer you treatment options to correct the problem, as well as monitor your symptoms to ensure the condition is improving.

If you are showing these signs, contact Korel Family Dentistry today for help!

November is National Diabetes Month: How it Can Affect Your Dental Health

November is National Diabetes Month: How it Can Affect Your Dental HealthNovember is National Diabetes Month, and as we raise awareness we also want to examine our lifestyle routines to make sure we are not only managing diabetes well but are also taking the proper preventative measures to ensure that this disease doesn’t affect other areas of our bodies. Did you know that people who have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing periodontitis, or advanced gum disease? Those with diabetes are also more susceptible to tooth decay, gingivitis, thrush, and dry mouth. Fortunately, these conditions and diseases are preventable if you maintain a healthy dental regimen while managing your diabetes.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR MOUTH AND BODY

If you haven’t already established a healthy dental regimen, talk with your dentist about how you can improve your daily hygiene routine. Make sure your dentist is aware that you are a diabetic. Studies have shown a link between periodontal disease and an increased risk of diabetic complications, so always keep regular appointments for cleanings and examinations and make sure you are managing your diabetes as directed by your doctor. Keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level can help further prevent the development of periodontal disease.

When maintaining your at-home care, always check for any signs of gum disease such as any redness, swelling, or bleeding at the gums. If you begin experiencing dry mouth or any new pain, talk to your dentist. Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Talk with your dentist about possibly adding antiseptic mouthwash to your daily dental regimen. Avoid smoking, as this is an additional risk factor for periodontal disease.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

In addition to maintaining a healthy dental regimen, there are a few details that might be beneficial for you to consider when scheduling dental appointments and procedures. Try scheduling your exams and cleanings in the morning. Usually, this is the time of day when blood sugar levels are optimal and the risk of hypoglycemia is reduced. Be mindful of the time of day when you have peak insulin activity. If mornings are not a good time for you, try to schedule your appointments around the parts of your day when you feel the best and when your blood sugar is best under control.

Here at Korel Family Dentistry, we know you have a choice when it comes to your dental care. We are proud to help you manage your dental routine in conjunction with the treatment you’ve been prescribed for the management of your diabetes. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Korel Family Dentistry today.

Early Signs Of Oral Cancer

Early Signs Of Oral CancerThere are over 300,000 cases of oral and lip cancer worldwide. Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, develops in the mouth’s tissues (oral cavity). Men are at a higher risk of getting it than women.

What Is Oral Cancer?

This is a life-threatening condition if not diagnosed and treated early. It presents itself as growths or sores in the mouth that do not go away. Many cases are discovered when it has already spread to the neck lymph nodes. It is essential to have regular dental visits, which involve an examination of the mouth, lips, throat, and face. Additionally, your doctor may also screen you for oral cancer. To be safe, it is essential to know the early signs of oral cancer should they occur.

Oral cancer occurs in the following areas of the body;

  • Roof of the mouth
  • The last part of the tongue
  • Lips
  • Cheeks
  • Tonsils
  • Gums
  • The sides and back of the throat
  • Sinuses
  • Inner lining of the cheeks mouth
  • Floor of the mouth

There are several types of mouth cancers, categorized as head and neck cancers Cancer that affects the mouth and the oropharynx is known as oropharyngeal cancer.

Grades and Stages of Oral Cancer

The stages and grade of oral cancer help determine your treatment. It also lets the doctors know how cancer might behave or present itself. The three grades include:
Grade 1: This means that the cancer cells look like typical mouth cells. It is a low grade of oral cancer.
Grade 2: This is the intermediate grade. It looks slightly different than typical mouth cells.
Grade 3: This is the highest grade, and the cancer cells look abnormal, unlike the normal mouth cells.

A physical examination and the results of your tissue biopsy will determine the stage of your cancer. The following are the basic stages of oral cancer:
Stage 0 Mouth Cancer: It is also known as carcinoma in situ (CIS), the very early stage of oral cancer. In this stage, the abnormal cells in the lip lining and oral cavity are likely to become oral cancer.

Stage I Mouth Cancer: This describes the earliest stage of invasive cancer, meaning the tumor has not spread to the lymph nodes, tissues, or other organs. The tumor is not more than 2 centimeters and is 5 millimeters deep or less.

Stage II Mouth Cancer: In this stage, cancer has not spread to the nearby lymph nodes or organs, and the tumor is 2 centimeters or smaller but not more than 4 centimeters, deeper than 5 millimeters, but not deeper than 10milimetres.

Stage III Mouth Cancer: The cancer is any size, but one lymph node contains cancer cells, and the tumor is larger than 4 centimeters.

Stage IV Mouth Cancer: This means cancer has advanced. It may be any size and has spread to nearby tissues, other parts of the oral cavity, and areas beyond the mouth such as the lungs. The lymph nodes are more than 3 centimeters in size.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

Common symptoms include:

  • Mouth pain
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Ear pain
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Mouth sores that do not heal
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Numbness, loss of feeling in the face area, mouth, or neck
  • Soreness or feeling like something is caught at the back of the throat
  • White or red patch on the inside of the mouth
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • A growth, swelling, bump, crusts, or lumps inside the mouth
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Lower lip, neck, face, or chin numbness

When To See A Doctor

You should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you have persistent pain lasting more than two weeks or an infection.

Oral Cancer Causes and risk factors

The exact cause of oral cancer is not known. The following factors may increase the risk of oral cancer:
Most mouth cancers begin in the squamous cells lined up in the lips and the inside the mouth cavity. Mouth cancers develop when lips or mouth cells mutate their DNA. The mutation changes inform the cells to continue growing and multiply while the healthy cells continue to die. A tumor is formed by the accumulated abnormal cancer cells. The cancerous cells spread to other areas in your mouth and eventually other body parts.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus and those sexually active get HPV at some time in life. This virus causes cancers of the mouth, especially in men over 50 years and those with multiple sexual partners.

Other risk factors include:

  • Gender: Men are more likely to have oral cancer than women
  • Age: Most people get it after 55 to 60 years
  • Family history of oral cancer
  • Smoking: Cigarette and cigar smokers are six times more likely to get it than nonsmokers.
  • Tobacco users: Chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip users are 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the gum, cheek, and lining of the lips
  • Alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol can increase the risk of oral cancer six times more than nondrinkers.
  • Poor diet: Studies link oral cancer with not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
  • Excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV) especially when young, can cause lip cancer.
  • A weakened immune system can increase the risk of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Diagnosis

The determination of tests to be done is based on your condition. Tests include:
Physical examination: An oral screening exam is done by a dentist who will check and feel any lump or tissue changes in the neck, head, face, and oral cavity. They will look for any sores or discolored tissues and other abnormalities.

An endoscopy might be done to get a better look into your mouth. Cell samples may also be examined under a microscope. Your doctor may take biopsy samples depending on the nature of the problem.

Your doctor may order imaging tests to determine how far it spread. They include:

  • X-rays to show the areas cancer cells have spread
  • CT scan to reveal the tumors present and where
  • MRI to show the head and neck images and determine the stage of cancer.
  • PET (Positron emission tomography) to determine if the lymph has been affected, including other organs
  • Endoscopy to examine the sinuses, inner throat, windpipe, nasal passages, and tracheas.

Oral Cancer Treatment

Treatment depends on:

  • Whether cancer cells have spread to other parts of your body
  • Size and location of the main tumor
  • Your overall body health
  • Type of oral cancer
  • Your age

Treatment options include:

  • Radiation therapy and chemotherapy
  • Drugs to destroy any remaining cancer cells
  • Drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen and stronger ones like morphine for pain relief
  • Nutritious food that is gentle and smooth to the throat because poor appetite and weight loss are common
  • Mouth hygiene is crucial. Keep the mouth moist, gums and teeth clean
  • Immunotherapy helps boost the immune system
  • Targeted therapy for early and advanced stages of growth
  • Surgery to remove the cancerous growth. The tumor’s location determines the type of surgery.

Prevention

There is no proven way to prevent oral cancer. However, you can minimize the risk by:

  • Quitting smoking or use of any tobacco-based products
  • Drink alcohol in moderation or stop drinking altogether
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Limit excessive sun exposure and wear a UV-A/B-blocking sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats to protect your lips and face from the sun
  • Make an appointment with your dentist regularly
  • Practice good oral habits by brushing and flossing twice daily
  • Conduct a self-examination test at least once a month, like feeling your lips and gums and looking at them to check for abnormalities.
  • Oral cancer screening for people in the age bracket of between 20 -40 years is essential

Oral cancer is treatable. Get screened regularly to prevent the condition or detect it in its early stages for effective treatment. For more information please contact Korel Family Dentistry.