Posts Tagged ‘Oral Health’

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

Friday, April 28th, 2017


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 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

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017


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 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

Saturday, 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 for additional information.

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

‘Tis the Season: Fruitcake Edition | Dumas Dentist

Tuesday, 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 for additional information.

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

Don’t Forget to Floss | Dumas Dentist

Thursday, 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 for additional information.

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

Top 5 Root Canal Myths

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

515225859When you hear the words “root canal”, does it send chills down your spine? If you think of a root canal as a tremendously painful dental procedure, you’re not alone, most people do.

Root canals have received a negative reputation over the years, but truth is they’re not as bad as most people think they may be. Thanks to technological advances in dentistry, root canal procedures can now be comfortable and quick.

There are several myths about root canals that have mislead many people, and it’s about time that these myths are put to rest.  While it can be quite frightening to be told you need a root canal, the more you know about the root canal procedure and what it can do for you and your oral health, the more relaxed and reassured you will feel.

Myth 1: Root canals are only need when you experience tooth pain.

In some cases, when teeth die they no longer cause pain and need to have root canal to avoid it from becoming infected. There several tests, such as temperature testing and percussion testing, that allow dental professionals to know when a tooth has died and needs to receive root canal therapy.

Myth 2: Root canals are painful.

Root canal treatment is quite painless. However, the same cannot be said for a tooth infection, which is most likely what lead you believe root canals were. Root canals are what relieve the pain associated with progressive and severe decay that has reach the root of a tooth and caused infection. With advanced dental technology, along with anesthetics, roots canals can be just as painless as getting a filling.

Myth 3: Root canals are long process.

Many people have been lead to believe that root canal treatment requires several visits to the dentist office, but that is not the case. In fact, a single visit is usually more than enough to restore the infected tooth and preform a root canal. However, in some cases, follow-ups are required, but only to have a filling or crown placed on the tooth to prevent further infection.

Myth 4: Root canals can cause illness.

This common myth indicates that root canals can lead to negative health risks, and was debunked due to research that was done over almost an entire century ago. Not only is a root canal treatment safe and effective, it eliminates the bacteria from the infected tooth, improving your oral health and overall health.

Myth 5: Tooth extractions are a better alternative to root canals.

Having a tooth extracted is a traumatic procedure that actually allows bad bacteria to enter the bloodstream. There’s also not replacement that will ever be like your natural tooth. Root canal treatment isn’t only cost effective, it allow you to keep your natural tooth. Replacement alternatives for missing teeth requires additional treatments, a lengthier process, and an elevated cost.

The myths listed above have mislead many people to date. Don’t let silly myths about roots canals steer you away from having both good oral health and overall health.

Rid yourself of tooth pain and save your tooth by scheduling an appointment with Dumas Family Dentistry at 806-935-2725 today! Or visit to learn more about root canals.

Best Way to Care for Your Dentures

Thursday, February 4th, 2016


If some or all of your permanent teeth have fallen out or have been removed, your dentist may have recommend that you wear dentures. Full dentures are used in cases where a patient has lost all of their permanent teeth, and partial dentures are used in the case where a patient is only missing one tooth or a few teeth. Both types of removable dentures require you to take proper care to keep both the health of the dentures and mouth. Keeping these following rules in mind can help you take the best possible care of your dentures, so that they last you years:

  • Handle Dentures with Care- Make sure while you’re cleaning your dentures not to bend or damage the plastic by brushing to aggressively. Be sure to always moisten your denture brush before cleaning to avoid scratching the surface of your dentures.
  • Remove and Rinse Them after Eating- Run water over your denture to help loosen and remove leftover food debris. You may want to place a towel below while you rinse them so dentures don’t break if you drop them.
  • Brush Dentures Daily- Be sure to clean your dentures at least once a day by soaking and brushing them with a non-abrasive denture cleaner to remove plaque or left over food debris. Never use dentures cleanser in your mouth.
  • Keep Your Mouth Clean- After you remove your dentures use a soft bristled toothbrush to clean your mouth. Brush your natural teeth, gums, tongue and palate.
  • Soak Your Dentures Overnight- Almost all types of dentures need to stay moist to uphold their shape. Store your dentures in a denture soaking solution or water. Always make sure to rinse your dentures off after removing them from a denture soaking solution.

What should be avoided?

  • Abrasive Cleaning Material- Avoid using firm bristled-brushes, harsh tooth paste, and strong dentures solutions.
  • Whitening Toothpaste- Toothpastes that are advertised as whitening pastes should be avoided because they are especially abrasive.
  • Hot Water- Be sure to avoid hot or boiling water because it can warp your dentures.
  • Bleaching Products- Do not use any sort of bleaching products on your dentures because these could weaken and change the color of them. Also don’t soak denture with metal framework in solutions that contain chlorine because it can tarnish the metal.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about dentures, contact Dumas Family Dentistry in Dumas, TX at 806-935-2725 or visit our website at

Do You Suffer From Bruxism?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

200324634-001Bruxism is a disorder that is fairly common, but also poorly understood by many patients. Reports suggest that its rate of occurrence in the population ranges from 8-30%, but many patients tend not to get diagnosed because they are asymptomatic. Bruxism can occur during sleep or while awake, and the causes are not always fully understood.

Most people who grind their teeth are unaware of the problem. While some may be told that they grind their teeth by family who hear it at night, others may be told by a dentist that notices damage to the bite surfaces of teeth during routine checkups.

Patients may also notice some symptoms that they don’t immediately connect with bruxism:


  • Hypersensitivity can be due to worn enamel and dentin. As the tooth material is worn away by grinding, the teeth become more and more sensitive to hot and cold

  • Tooth fractures. Like hypersensitivity, as tooth material is worn, they become more likely to break. This applies to both natural teeth and restorations (such as crowns and implants)

  • Muscle soreness or fatigue of the jaw, tongue, or neck.

  • Pain, tenderness, or clicking in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), where the lower jaw attaches to the skull

  • Headaches, especially in the temple, caused by muscle soreness associated with the temporalis muscle

Because bruxism can permanently damage teeth, it’s important to diagnose and treat it as soon as any symptoms are noticed. The treatment options vary. Damage to teeth can be treated with normal dental procedures, but treating bruxism (the root cause) typically involves medical devices such as dental guards or medications such as benzodiazepines and muscle relaxers.

If you notice any of the symptoms of bruxism, or if you’re told by a family member that you grind your teeth in your sleep, speak to your dentist as soon as possible. Diagnosing and treating bruxism is important for maintaining the health of your teeth.

To learn more about bruxism call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dental Implants

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

implant diagramDo you have a cracked tooth, severe cavity, or a tooth damaged by physical trauma such as a fall? While it’s possible that your tooth may not be able to be saved, modern dentistry has a number of options that look and feel like a natural tooth, and one of the most common solutions for teeth that can’t be saved is the dental implant.

Dental implants are a combination of procedures that work together to provide a fake tooth for patients. Dental implants are popular choices for dentists because they tend to last a very long time, have a high success rate, can be used for treating a wide variety of serious problems, and provide a replacement tooth that is almost indistinguishable from a natural tooth. Dental implants are popular among patients because the implant looks and feels like a tooth, implants do not require special cleaning like bridges, and they do not need to be removed nightly like dentures.

Implants consist of three primary components:

– A titanium post screwed into the bone of the tooth socket
– A titanium extension post is attached to the screw base and provides a socket for the crown
– A dental crown – often porcelain – is attached to the middle titanium post

The procedure for installing the implant is straightforward, but takes time. Once the tooth is extracted, the area is allowed to heal. At this time, the dentist will likely make a mold of the mouth so that the final implant can be created in a lab. Once the tooth socket is healed, the post is attached to the bone, and again the mouth is allowed to heal. During this time, a lightweight temporary crown will be placed (often using a retainer) to maintain the patient’s smile and protect the titanium post. Once the screw is healed in place, the new permanent crown is attached, and the patient has a new artificial tooth that looks exactly like the tooth it replaced.

Properly cared for, a dental implant may last for decades – 30 years, or more. If you have a tooth that is damaged, or if you believe a dental implant may be right for you, ask your dentist about implants. The procedure takes time, but is a great solution for severely damaged teeth.

To learn more about dental implants call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Tooth Decay

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

459953231One of the most common problems for patients of all ages is tooth decay – bacterial colonies that eat away at a patient’s teeth, forming cavities that can eventually cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. While many patients know that tooth decay should be avoided, it can be helpful to explain tooth decay in simple terms, so that patients both know how to avoid tooth decay, and how it will be treated.

Feeding bacteria causes the physical action of tooth decay. These bacterial colonies create which break down the tooth material. The primary way to minimize tooth decay is to minimize the bacteria that can come in contact with teeth – by removing the bacteria, a patient can minimize the acids that break down teeth, virtually eliminating the risk of tooth decay.

The primary method of removing bacteria is removing food particles from the teeth and gums through brushing and flossing. Brushing and flossing both removes food, which bacteria need to survive, and removes the bacteria on the surface of the teeth themselves. The bacteria will typically be present in a sticky, bacteria-rich substance known as plaque. Proper brushing and flossing can remove plaque from the surface of the teeth and the gum-line, but failure to do so regularly can allow plaque to harden into tartar, which is far more difficult to remove. As plaque hardens into tartar, the harder surface protects the bacteria, allowing it to damage teeth without being brushed or flossed away.

In addition to brushing and flossing, patients should have regular dental visits – every 6 months or so – and use fluoride mouthwash. The professional cleaning will help break down the hardened tartar deposits, and fluoride helps resist acid created by plaque.

As mentioned previously, failure to take proper care of your teeth will lead to decay – once diagnosed, a dentist will treat decay by removing the damaged tooth material with a high-speed drill. Once the decaying material is removed, the hole created will be re-filled with either a composite resin (tooth colored), or a metal amalgam filling (typically silver in color) – while they’re very different, they both serve the same purpose of filling the hole caused by decay, and protecting the tooth from further damage.

To prevent decay, cavities, drilling, and fillings, be sure to follow your dentist’s recommended oral hygiene routine – brush and floss daily, and have a professional cleaning every 6 months.

To learn more about oral health call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.