It Is Important that You Are Aware of Oral Cancer | Dumas Dentist

April 28th, 2017

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Whether or not you are aware, April is oral cancer awareness month. Not one of the more popular versions of cancer, awareness is very low but approximately 49,750 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. If you break it down, that 132 new people in the US EVERY DAY will be newly diagnosed with an oral cancer, and that one person EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY, 24/7/365 will die from it. It’s high time that we make ourselves aware, don’t you think?

Smoking and tobacco use are the obvious reasons behind oral cancer development, but the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. And since we cannot stop this virus from spreading, it’s important to save lives is with professional involvement and public awareness. In fact, the American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40.

The first thing we need to know about oral cancer are the symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist to schedule a visit:

  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

Yes, there are quite a few symptoms that could possibly be the beginnings of oral cancer, but prevention is key. Here are ways to prevent oral cancer:

  • Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lip, so use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin, as well as your lips.
  • See your dentist on a regular basis. You should conduct self-exams, but there are times spots or sores in the mouth can be very tiny and difficult to see on your own. During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.

For more information on oral cancer screenings, call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

How to Whiten Your Teeth Without a Dental Visit | Dumas Dentist

March 29th, 2017

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We visit the dentist when our teeth hurt, but when we voluntarily go to the dentist it’s cosmetic – we want a “brightens any room” kind of smiles. However, it’s important to understand that while whitening is effective, you are the first line of defense when it comes to keeping your pearly whites pearly.

One of the major causes of stains is a dark colored beverage, such as coffee, tea, and wine. The surface of your teeth is made up of enamel, a hard material, but not a perfectly flat or smooth material. While enamel is great at protecting your teeth from breaking, those cracks and ridges allow dark colored particles to collect. Over time, those particles will become more and more visible. For patients that are unwilling to sacrifice dark beverages, consider drinking these beverages at a specific time each day rather than throughout. Rinse or brush any remaining particles from the mouth afterwards so you can continue to indulge with a lower chance of developing significant staining.

Smoking is damaging to many parts of the body, and teeth and gums are no exception. Much like particles from coffee can sit in the pores of your enamel, tar will find its way into the pores of your teeth, causing a similar stain.

For both beverage-related and smoking-related staining, the best way to avoid the problem is by stopping the staining activity, if at all possible. Even lowering your intake will make a significant difference in the state of your smile.

For more information on teeth whitening, call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

Which Dental Filling Is Right for Me? | Dumas Dentist

February 26th, 2017

 

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Are you curious about what types of dental filling options you have, and what types there are? Lots of people can get confused by what sort of dental filling options they have. Your dental options vary depending on your health, where and how the filling is placed, the amount of pressure the tooth takes on while chewing, and the type of materials that should be used for your individual needs. Some of the choices you may have to choose from include amalgam, composite, and ionomers.

Amalgam filling are extremely durable, relativity inexpensive compared to the alternatives and can be done in one dentist visit. This type of filling can sustain a heavy chewing load and are usually used in the restoration of your molars. One of the disadvantages of amalgam filling are that they won’t match your natural tooth.

Composite fillings consist of fine glass particles or quartz and resin, and usually people can’t even tell its been filled! More of the natural structure of the tooth is preserved, it provides great resistance against fractures and are also quite durable. Unfortunately, composite fillings can chip off the tooth, discolor and stain over time, are a bit more expensive.

Ionomers are the least durable filling and are made out of a mixture of fine glass powders and acrylic acids. This type of filling is commonly used to fill cavities on the root of teeth or in small filling that doesn’t require any chewing resistance.

To determine what type of filling is fitting for your individual needs, call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

Root Canal Therapy: Pain in Your Mouth Shouldn’t Be Avoided | Dumas Dentist

January 28th, 2017

jaw pain-tmjAccidents can happen every day, and sometimes those accidents happen in our mouths. Your poor dental hygiene can lead to cavity development, and if left untreated, can progress into a much deeper issue. A physical accident can lead to cracked or chipped teeth. Again, if you don’t have it looked at, it can progress into something worse, and likely accompanied by a lot of discomfort or pain. In order to avoid this ailment, keeping routine dental visits is important to keeping up with your dental health.

Pain and pressure associated with a root canal only occurs when the root canal becomes infected and dies. A root canal in your tooth can become infected due to a cavity or fracture that allows in bacteria. Pain and pressure are the first signs that you will need one of the most common restorations, root canal therapy. Without treatment, the infection spreads and could lead to tooth loss. When it gets to that point, you are likely to visit your dental professional to fix it. And chances are, this will result in the need of a root canal.

What is root canal therapy? Root canal therapy is the process by which the infected tooth is cleaned and diseased tissue is removed, and the canal is reshaped and filled. A root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile!

For further information on your oral health, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

‘Tis the Season: Fruitcake Edition | Dumas Dentist

December 27th, 2016

There are people who love it. There are people that would be happier if it never existed. But no matter what your stance is on the fruitcake consumption issue, fruitcake is a holiday staple in America. Made with chopped candied or dried fruit, nuts and spices and sometimes soaked in “spirits”, fruitcake has been a holiday gift-giving tradition for many years. And on December 27th, we celebrate National Fruitcake Day. But who invented this most controversial of holiday delicacies?

Rome is believed to be the creator of fruitcake, as one of the earliest recipes dates as far back as ancient Rome. This original recipe included pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins mixed into barley mash. Records indicate that in the Middle Ages it changed slightly to include honey, spices, and preserved fruit, but it seems every country has their own take on the original recipe. Due to the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits, Americans created an excess of candied fruit, making fruitcakes more affordable and popular.

Here are a few fun facts about our beloved holiday dessert:

  • In America, mail-order fruitcake began in 1913.
  • In 1935, the expression “nutty as a fruitcake” was coined during the time Southern bakeries, Collin Street and Claxton, had access to cheap nuts.
  • Most mass-produced fruitcakes in America are alcohol-free, but some traditional recipes include liqueurs or brandy. In fact, brandy-soaked linens have been used to store fruitcakes as they are believed to improve with age.

According to the American Dental Association, we should be brushing two times a day for at least two minutes, just barely the appropriate amount of time to sufficiently remove dirt from the front and back ends of the teeth. After brushing, use dental floss to get in between and hard to reach areas. Floss removes any extra food particles left in between teeth. If left untouched, those particles may turn into plaque, resulting in a higher risk for gum disease. Flossing is merely the act of wrapping a piece of string around your teeth, one by one, in order to remove any bacteria and excess material stuck between each tooth. Wrap a piece of floss around your index fingers, pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth in a downward zigzag motion, gently scrubbing the spaces between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Finally, rinse your mouth with an ADA approved mouth wash to seal the cleanliness in and for a trace of fresh breath. Top off your oral hygiene with regular trips to the dentist to ensure all of your efforts are doing the trick.

For further information on your oral health, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

I Need a Filling. What Are My Options? | Dumas Dentist

November 30th, 2016

494183909It’s unfortunate, but it happens to the best of us. Even the strictest of dental routines cannot always prevent cavities from developing. And now you have found yourself back in the dentist’s chair, waiting to get the cavity filled. Are you curious about what types of dental filling options you have, and what types there are? Lots of people can get confused by what sort of dental filling options they have. Worry not. Thankfully, Daniel West, DDS of Dumas Family Dentistry is extremely experienced and can help you along this process by offering a great deal of options for your procedure.

Your dental options vary depending on your health, where and how the filling is placed, the amount of pressure the tooth will have to endure while chewing and the type of materials that should be used for your individual needs. These days, there are three main versions of fillings available: amalgam, composite, and ionomers. But what are the differences between each? Is one better than the other?

Amalgam filling are extremely durable, relativity inexpensive compared to the alternatives and can be done in one dentist visit. This type of filling can sustain a heavy chewing load and are usually used in the restoration of your molars. One of the disadvantages of amalgam filling are that they won’t match your natural tooth due to the materials having a silver tone and more of your natural tooth is removed to accommodate the filling.

Composite fillings consist of fine glass particles or quartz and resin, the mix of these materials produce a more natural tooth colored filling and usually people can’t even tell it’s been filled! With composite fillings, less of your tooth is removed and more of the natural structure of the tooth is preserved, providing great resistance against fractures and extreme durability. Unfortunately, composite fillings can chip off the tooth, discolor and stain over time, are a bit more expensive depending on the size of the filling and technique used and the procedure is generally longer compared to using amalgam.

Ionomers are the least durable filling and are made out of a mixture of fine glass powders and acrylic acids. This type of filling is commonly used to fill cavities on the root of teeth or in small areas that don’t require any chewing resistance.

Cavities are natural and shouldn’t be anything to be ashamed of. But taking care of the cavity as soon as possible will help prevent any further damage to your oral health.

If you feel you need to have a cavityfilled, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Forget to Floss | Dumas Dentist

October 20th, 2016

flossingWe all know we’re supposed to floss daily and that it’s very important when it comes to keeping our mouths healthy. But let’s be honest – most of us don’t. Just like the rest of us, you probably answer ‘Yes!’ when we ask you at your dental visits if you’ve been flossing on a regular basis. We know you’re fibbing, by the way. We can tell. So instead of flossing the morning of your dental appointment, let’s go over why it’s so important to floss daily.

Flossing and brushing is more effective than brushing alone. A toothbrush works to removing plaque with its bristles. Brushing alone has one big drawback: A toothbrush’s bristles can’t adequately clean between the teeth or under the gums. That’s where floss comes in, to get into those tiny spaces between your teeth to get the grime out your toothbrush can’t reach.

Flossing protects your gums. The area where the gums and teeth meet is where flossing plays its most important role. Particles of food can get lodged here, and plaque in this area will harden over time to form tartar, build-up that only your dentist can remove. If left untreated, tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis not only affects your mouth, but it can also lead to other health issues.

Gum disease can have effects that go beyond discolored teeth, discomfort and bad breath. Research has shown that the bacteria in an unhealthy mouth can harm the rest of the body, leading to heart disease, diabetes and respiratory illness.

Flossing is an essential part of any oral health care routine. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to achieve optimal oral health. The most important thing about flossing is to do it. Pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your dental care. People who are too tired at the end of the day may benefit from flossing first thing in the morning or flossing after lunch. And don’t forget, children need to floss too! Getting them into a routine of flossing will only help them keep up great dental health. You may feel discomfort when you first start flossing, but don’t give up. With daily brushing and flossing, that discomfort should ease within a week or two. If your pain persists, talk to your dentist.

If you feel you need to find out more about flossing, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

I Need to Get a Prophylaxis: Should I Be Nervous? | Dumas Dentist

October 11th, 2016

494183909You take a lot of pride in your smile and you have a daily dental hygiene routine that rivals even the most perfect of smiles. And it shows. You always pass your check-ups with flying colors. Then you get the news…you get a notice from your dentist’s office that you need to get a dental prophylaxis. Now you’re nervous. What is a prophylaxis?

Prophylaxis, or prophy for short, is a non-therapeutic dental cleaning procedure aimed towards the maintenance of a clean and healthy mouth. Not only do you get a very thorough cleaning, but it also prevents the progression of periodontal diseases and gingivitis, which invade and colonize right around the gum line.

Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies to have this treatment done. Regular cleaning is often recommended only to patients who have a healthy mouth, free from periodontal disease, bone loss, infection, bleeding, loose teeth, receding gums or exposed roots. So congratulations – if you need to have a prophylaxis, you are doing a fantastic job maintaining your dental health!

So why have the cleaning done if you’re doing a great job? Well, even your best efforts will never clean as well as a professional cleaning. They have instruments that can get into places a regular brush and floss cannot. Having this extra-strength cleaning will only help your routine do its job. After all, your oral health isn’t guaranteed forever.

What can you anticipate from this prophylaxis treatment? Lots of good things your smile will love. Your hygienist will remove tartar and plaque build-up, both above and below the gumline, a great advantage to preventing gum disease. Stains will be removed from your teeth, leaving your smile a beautiful shade of white. Fresh breath – by removing any food particles, plaque and bacteria from the mouth, you lessen the chance of having chronic bad breath. Not only will you have a more aesthetically pleasing smile, but having this cleaning done will also anticipate any issues that may arise in the future. If caught early enough, you may never develop dental issues that may call for a more serious procedure. So, continue to keep up your fantastic dental regime. Prophylaxis is only going to be helping you keep that brilliant smile for as long as possible.

Regular cleaning is done usually twice or thrice a year, depending on the advice of the dentist. It’s also considered as a preventative procedure by your dental insurance, as regular cleanings can help prevent gum disease and other dental problems.

If you feel you need to find out more about prophylaxis treatment, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.comfor additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

I Have a Splitting Headache. What Should I Do? | Dumas Dentist

September 16th, 2016

200324634-001We’ve all been there before…we wake up in the morning to the most painful headache. A shooting pain overwhelms your entire mouth and even eating sounds like a terrible idea. You’ve gotten yourself a whopper of a toothache and it’s time to visit the dentist.

But what exactly is a toothache and how did we end up in this kind of pain? Well, there are lots of different ways a toothache can occur. It can be as simple as a cracked tooth, cavities or exposed roots; but it can also be something more serious, like your ears or sinuses causing the issue.

When it comes to pain, each one of us has a different threshold of pain tolerance. Some can work through a headache, some are taken out at the first signs of one. The problem with this is that denying yourself a solution to your frequent headaches is only delaying the inevitable, and possibly making your situation worse. If your headaches persist, you may need to figure out what is causing these frequent migraines. Because both headaches and toothaches are detected by the same trigeminal nerve in your head, which means one can be the cause of the other without being aware that is the case. There is no real way to crack the case without the help of your dental professional.

It may be unbearable but there are ways for you to give yourself some temporary relief while you are waiting to see the dentist. Over-the-counter remedies, like Ibuprofen or pain relieving gels are both great options, but there are also some natural ways to help ease your pain. Try chewing on a piece of garlic for a while every day. Not only is it a great pain reliever, it is also a way to strengthen your teeth at the same time. The heat and salt your mouth gets from gargling with hot saltwater for a few minutes also help relieve a toothache. Vitamin C from citrus juice is also a way to reduce tooth pain. If sinuses or some other infection is causing the pain, take a day to relax. Lots of water and sleep will do wonders to help your aches.

In the end, it is important to pay attention to the signals your body gives you when something is wrong. Ignoring the pain will only lead to more problems, so make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you find headaches or toothaches are persistent. There’s nothing to be afraid of. The technological advancements in dentistry makes dental procedures easy and virtually painless. Take care of your teeth. Good oral hygiene is the best line of defense against a toothache.

If you feel you have a headache caused by a toothache, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

What Is a Dental Crown? | Dumas Dentist

August 31st, 2016

crownsHaving a dental issue is nothing unusual. There are plenty of reasons your tooth can get chipped, cracked or damaged. life is full of all kinds of accidents that can damage our teeth. So it’s comforting to know that there is a fix when something happens. First thing’s first – get to a dentist stat. The sooner you get into a chair, the better off your tooth will be. Chances are, your dentist is going to suggest applying a crown to the damaged tooth.

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap basically that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. Dental crowns are actually very beneficial. Dental crowns, while typically used for cosmetic reasons may be beneficial in aiding a number of oral care areas for adults such as:

  • Protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  • Restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • Cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
  • Hold a dental bridge in place
  • Cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
  • Cover a dental implant

For children, a dental crown may benefit them in these ways:

  • Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
  • Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
  • Decrease the frequency of sedation and general anesthesia

Dental crowns can drastically improve your smile and oral health, and may be necessary for your child’s as well. Dental crowns are fit to you personally and are customized to ensure they are as authentic as possible, as well as require as few as two dental visits!

What if I need more than one crown?

A dental bridge is made up of two crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap; these two anchoring teeth are called abutment teeth, with false tooth/teeth in between. Like dental crowns, these provide more than just the cosmetic benefits to your overall oral care. Similarly, dental bridges are custom fit and colored to provide a cohesive look to provide natural look.

If you feel you may need dental crowns, contact Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.dumastexasdentist.com for additional information.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

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