Posts Tagged ‘oral hygiene’

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

Friday, 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

Wednesday, 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.

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 www.dumastexasdentist.com 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 www.dumastexasdentist.com 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 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

Tuesday, 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.

Best Way to Care for Your Dentures

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

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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 www.dumastexasdentist.com

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 http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dealing with Stained Teeth

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

176997237While many dentists will focus on plaque, tartar, and cavities, the real reason many patients visit the dentist is cosmetic – they want a pretty smile, and that’s great. Many dentists have techniques and treatments to help perfect a patient’s smile, and many times those include professional whitening. However, it’s important to understand that whitening is effective, but may not be necessary if the patient properly cares for their teeth and avoids activities that cause stains.

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, the small pits, cracks, and ridges allow dark colored particles to collect. Over time, those particles will become more and more visible, leading to a darkening of the patient’s smile.

While avoiding coffee, soda, tea, and wine may be an option for some patients, it’s a less popular choice for others. For patients that are unwilling to sacrifice dark beverages, consider drinking these beverages at a specific time each day rather than sipping throughout the day. Follow this with a glass of water to rinse remaining particles from the mouth. Consider brushing your teeth 30-60 minutes later – giving your enamel a chance to re-harden after the acidic beverage, but still removing the particles before they can permanently stain your teeth. By doing this, you can continue to drink coffee, tea, soda, or wine with a lower chance of developing significant staining.

One of the other common causes of stained teeth is smoking. 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 – avoid coffee, wine, soda, and smoking, if at all possible. If that’s not an option, try to limit your activity to fewer times each day, rinsing your mouth with water after each occurrence, and consider consulting your dentist for professional whitening as the stains develop.

To learn more about oral health 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.

The Importance of Flossing Daily

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

ThinkstockPhotos-185147513We all know we’re supposed to floss daily and that it’s importance, but lets be honest most of us don’t! We bet you even 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, lets go over why it’s so important to floss daily.

1- Flossing and Brushing Are 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 in those tiny spaces between your teeth to get the grime out your toothbrush can’t reach.

2- Flossing Protects Your Gums: Where the gums and teeth meet are where flossing plays its major role. Particles of food can get lodged here, and plaque in this area will harden over time to form tartar, that your dentist will remove with a scraper. Tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis.

3- Flossing Helps Prevent Other Diseases: 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! 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.

To learn more about oral health 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.

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