Tag: dental implants

Physical Activity is Great for Your Oral Health . . . If It’s Done Right

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Everyone knows that physical activity is good for you in so many ways, such as reducing stress, decreasing risk factors of disease, and so on and so forth. It would make sense that physical activity would have a ripple effect across different systems, like your oral cavity. While staying in shape can certainly improve your oral health, some activities and habits can diminish the benefits. For instance, planning on taking a scuba trip soon? One study showed that that activity can wreak havoc on people with crowns and fillings:

Training to become a scuba diver? Start at the dentist

Recreational divers should consider consulting with their dentist before diving if they recently received dental care, says Vinisha Ranna, BDS, lead author and a student in the UB School of Dental Medicine.

 

“Divers are required to meet a standard of medical fitness before certification, but there are no dental health prerequisites,” says Ranna, who is also a certified stress and rescue scuba diver.
“Considering the air supply regulator is held in the mouth, any disorder in the oral cavity can potentially increase the diver’s risk of injury. A dentist can look and see if diving is affecting a patient’s oral health.”

 

The study, “Prevalence of dental problems in recreational SCUBA divers,” was published in the British Dental Journal.

 

The research was inspired by Ranna’s first experience with scuba diving in 2013. Although she enjoyed being in the water, she couldn’t help but notice a squeezing sensation in her teeth, a condition known as barodontalgia.

 

Published research on dental symptoms experienced while scuba diving is scarce or focuses largely on military divers, says Ranna, so she crafted her own study. She created an online survey that was distributed to 100 certified recreational divers. Those who were under 18-years-old, ill or taking decongestant medication were excluded.

 

Her goal was to identify the dental symptoms that divers experience and detect trends in how or when they occur.

 

Of the 41 participants who reported dental symptoms, 42 percent experienced barodontalgia, 24 percent described pain from holding the air regulator in their mouths too tightly and 22 percent reported jaw pain.

 

Another five percent noted that their crowns were loosened during their dive, and one person reported a broken dental filling.

 

“The potential for damage is high during scuba diving,” says Ranna, who has completed 60 dives. “The dry air and awkward position of the jaw while clenching down on the regulator is an interesting mix. An unhealthy tooth underwater would be much more obvious than on the surface. One hundred feet underwater is the last place you want to be with a fractured tooth.”

Read full article here . . .

If you are planning on doing this kind of extreme activity, you’ll want to visit a dentist first to assess your crowns or fillings. You can check out allin1dental.com/cosmetic-dentistry/porcelain-crowns/ for more details. This unnatural clenching that divers experience isn’t unique to their activity. So many sports have the risk of clenching, grinding, and breaking teeth if you’re not wearing protective gear such as a mouthguard.

And even if you are a gym rat that doesn’t engage in full-body contact sports, you can still be at risk for dental problems. According to Carefree Dental, breathing through the mouth and drinking energy beverages are two common habits among athletes that cause dental problems:

Do You Know How Exercise Impacts your Dental Health?

Sports Drinks
Many athletes prefer to rehydrate by drinking sports drinks or energy drinks. Although the electrolytes found in these beverages can in fact help your body refuel and stay hydrated during a workout, they can take a major toll on your teeth. In fact, a study published in the clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry found that there is so much acid in sports drinks, that damage occurs after only 5 days of consistent consumption.

“Young adults consume these drinks assuming that they will improve their sports performance and energy levels and that they are ‘better’ for them than soda,” says Poonam Jain, BDS, MS, MPH, lead author of the study. “Most of these patients are shocked to learn that these drinks are essentially bathing their teeth with acid.”

Another contributing factor to athlete’s dental problems is how they drink these beverages. Taking sips throughout a workout gives teeth frequent exposure to the damaging sugars and acids in these sports drinks, making them vulnerable to tooth decay.

Open Mouth Breathing

During intense exercise, people tend to breath heavily with an open mouth. Mouth breathing dries out your mouth, reduces saliva flow, and creates an environment for bacteria to thrive. Adding corrosive sports drinks to the mix only makes things worse for an athlete’s teeth. Rapid, heavy breathing.

The same study mentioned above also felt that open mouth breathing played a role in tooth decay. Researcher Cornelia Frese that it can lead to dental erosion and cavities. “The athletes breathe through the mouth during hard exercise,” she mentioned. “The mouth gets dry, and produces less saliva, which normally protects teeth.” Thus, teeth are at an even higher risk for dental issue among athletes.

Read full article here . . .

In short, if you are going to be active, get your dentist’s blessing as well as your doctor’s. Everyone goes to the doctors for physicals, but your dentist can set you up with protective gear like mouthguards and fix weakened restorations.

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The article Physical Activity is Great for Your Oral Health . . . If It’s Done Right is courtesy of: www.allin1dental.com

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Why is the Severity of a Chipped Tooth Difficult To Diagnose?

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After some sort of accident or trauma to the oral cavity, patients with zero dental training often wonder if they have a true dental emergency or if they should wait. A good rule of thumb is to always call your dentist first before going in. If you have lacerations or other injuries, your trip to the dental office may be in vain since you may need to go to the ER or another specialist first.

Obvious emergencies include things like unbearable pain, avulsed teeth, or damaged restorations, but what about chipped enamel? According to Dr. John Gammichia, figuring out the severity of a chipped tooth can be difficult:

Deciphering the Meaning of ‘I Chipped a Tooth’

I know this is something you hear all the time: “I chipped a tooth.” This can mean so many things, especially if it is coming from a nondentist.

 

“I chipped a tooth” in the posterior can be a chip off the marginal ridge next to a class II restoration that you did five years ago. And if you saw this, you might just say, “It is fine,” or you might just smooth it off. Or a broken tooth in the posterior could mean the ling cusp of tooth No. 12 just broke to the gumline and below.

The question that usually comes up at our office is: How do we schedule patients who call and say, “I chipped a tooth.”

 

I am a doctor who does not like to schedule a “come in and we will see” visit. I know how difficult it can be for people to take time off of work or get a babysitter just so I can tell them, “Yep, you have a chipped tooth, and we can see you in three weeks to take care of this.”

 

Sometimes I schedule 50 minutes for a chip on the anterior that you couldn’t see with a microscope, or I might schedule 20 minutes for a “chip” when, actually, a child fell off his bike and “chipped” the heck out of teeth Nos. 8 and 9, to the point where the nerves were hanging out.

 

Because I refuse to do a “look-and-see” appointment, about a year ago, we bought a smartphone for the office. First, we bought it to be able to send text messages to people to confirm their appointments. We all know that calling someone at home and leaving a message on their voicemail is about as effective as sending a smoke signal (but we tried for 10 years). And nearly everyone has a smartphone these days, and everyone sends text messages (except for Grandma Nel, who we still just call). Now that we have this designated smartphone, we just ask people to send us a photo of the tooth via text message.

Even if your dentist doesn’t have this kind of system in place like Dr. Gammichia, it wouldn’t hurt to send in a picture of your injury if it can streamline the process. Hopefully more dentists follow suit so patients can avoid unnecessary “look-and-see” appointments. If your dentist deems that you should come in to fix the tooth chip, you may want to consider veneers.

Although often used for cosmetic reasons, veneers can be great for people with multiple structural problems or discoloration from trauma. You can learn more about veneers at allin1dental.com/cosmetic-dentistry/porcelain-veneers/

Along with the wide spectrum of tooth chipping as seen in Dr. Gammichia’s article, diagnosing these problems can also be difficult without the best imaging systems according to drbicuspid.com:

Which imaging system is better for diagnosing tooth cracks?

When it comes to examining images of a tooth and identifying a crack, should you use periapical radiography or cone-beam CT (CBCT)? Also, who is better trained to identify these cracks on images, an endodontist or a radiologist?

Researchers from China noted that cracks in teeth present practitioners with a challenge in designing a treatment plan. Using both periapical radiography (PR) and CBCT, they investigated the best imaging method to identify these cracks while also comparing the performance of different practitioners (PLOS One, January 4, 2017).

 

“In clinical practice, it is a huge challenge for endodontists to know the depth of a crack in a cracked tooth,” the authors wrote . . .Early enamel cracks have no obvious symptoms and may not be visible on examination. Yet they can lead to patients coming to your office because of pulpitis, periapical periodontitis, or even root fracture. As creating an appropriate treatment plan and assessing the long-term prognosis for these teeth can be difficult, there’s a need to understand the best way to diagnose this condition . . .

 

“Within the limitations of this study, on an artificial simulation model of cracked teeth for early diagnosis, we recommend that it would be better for a cracked tooth to be diagnosed by a radiologist with CBCT than PR,” the authors concluded.

So again, if you’ve gotten lacerations or have fractured multiple teeth, it’s best to call your dentist first since he or she may send you to a radiologist or another specialist before treating you. As this study from drbicuspid.com illustrates, certain imaging equipment may be able to pick up smaller chips that cannot be seen to the naked eye during a quick dental evaluation. Once you have a clearer picture of all the enamel that was damaged, then a dentist can help you with the appropriate restorative treatment, whether that’s veneers, crowns, fillings, etc.

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The following post Why is the Severity of a Chipped Tooth Difficult To Diagnose? was originally published to: All In 1 Dental Innovations

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Easing Dental Anxiety Starts in Childhood

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Whether it’s the sound of the dental drill or the prospect of pain, it’s an understatement to say that many children fear the dentist. Many dentists understand that this can be a problem, so some offer sedation dentistry. 123dentist.com goes into what sedation is and how it can help:

Is Sedation Dentistry Right for you?

With sedation, the dentist administers a drug before or during the dental procedure. Only one type — general anesthesia — renders the patient completely unconscious. The other forms will relax you, but won’t knock you out completely.

 

The most common types of sedation dentistry include the following:

  • Nitrous oxide: A gas that relaxes you during the procedure. It wears off quickly, so your dentist might let you drive yourself home after the appointment.
  • Oral sedatives: Oral sedatives, such as diazepam, also help relax patients during dental procedures. You typically take them an hour or so before your appointment. You’re fully awake but less anxious, and you might feel a little sleepy until it wears off.
  • Intravenous sedatives: Intravenous, or IV, sedatives can put you in varying stages of consciousness. This is also known as general anesthesia and, as mentioned above, will put you into a deep sleep until it wears off. Other IV drugs, however, can put you into a “twilight sleep.” You’re less aware of your surroundings, you might feel sleepy, and you might not remember much of the procedure once it’s over.

 

Some patients assume that general anesthesia offers the best solution. However, it also comes with more potential side effects than the other methods, so you might want to consider a lesser form of sedation dentistry. If your dental care provider mentions sleep dentistry, he or she likely means general anesthesia.
You might prefer dental sedation or sleep dentistry, but talk to your dentist about it first. Mention any allergic reactions you’ve experienced in the past, especially to anesthesia, so your dental professional can make safe, educated recommendations.

Read more at 123dentist.com . . .

But since some offices don’t offer sedation dentistry and since some parents don’t want their children to use sedatives, what can be done?

According to a study by Professor Maha AlSarheed, it was found that many fears manifested themselves in children–but if these kids had positive interactions with their dentist, they didn’t carry fears over into adulthood. This information may seem pretty straightforward and obvious, but one might wonder: what constitutes a good dentist interaction? Drbicuspid.com has an interesting study that answers this question. Certain words can be both reassuring to patients and parents:

What Can You Say to Reassure Pediatric Patients?

Practitioners who provide more positive reinforcement and reassurance when speaking with pediatric patients were perceived by caregivers to be more patient-centered and empathetic, according to a new study conducted in Hong Kong.

 

In addition, the inclusion of caregivers in conversation, such as the clinician mentioning the parent or caregiver present, was a key factor in producing a quality clinical experience, the study authors reported in PLOS One (January 3, 2017).

 

“Unlike the conversations focusing on the treatment procedures, those offering positive reinforcement and reassurance appeared to the caregivers that the clinicians were providing more patient-centered care and showing more concern to the patients, thereby creating more clinician-patient interaction,” wrote Hai Ming Wong, PhD, DDS, and colleagues at the University of Hong Kong. “Engaging patient-centered care can help clinicians build stronger clinician-patient relationships for productive engagement in preventive care.”

 

Dr. Wong is a clinical associate professor of pediatric dentistry at the university. Researchers from disciplines such as dental public health, psychology, and education at the university participated in the study.

 

Saying ‘mommy’ is helpful

The authors noted that good communication has been found to result in improved patient cooperation, self-care skills, and treatment plan adherence, as well as better treatment outcomes and a lower likelihood of dental anxiety. However, good communication may not be sufficient to achieve these results, with other active ingredients likely embedded within good communication underpinning those effects, they explained.

Read full article here . . .

If parents and dentists are careful about projecting fears and use reassuring words, then children will be more likely to avoid phobias into adulthood.

However, the study by Maha AlSarheed said that some procedures, like local anesthesia and tooth extraction, seemed to be the top causes for developing fears. If parents can get their children adapted to the dentist’s office early before the need for these procedures occurs, then children will be more adaptable to potentially uncomfortable procedures later on. In fact, children should be seeing their dentists as soon as baby teeth erupt!

If worse comes to worse, then sedation dentistry could be considered for children who cannot be soothed by both a parent and dentist. To learn more about preventative dentistry and pediatric dentistry services, check out allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/ for more information.

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The article Easing Dental Anxiety Starts in Childhood was first published on: http://www.allin1dental.com/

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The U.S. Wants More Dentists–Seize The Opportunity

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Dentists take No. 1 spot in 2017 best jobs list

For the third year in a row, dental professionals topped the U.S. News & World Report’s annual list ranking the best jobs of the year, according to ADA News.

 

Dentists, which ranked No. 2 in 2016’s list, took the No. 1 spot in 2017. It last held the top spot in 2015. Orthodontists, which ranked No. 1 last year, is this year’s fifth best occupation; oral and maxillofacial surgeons rounded up the top 10 with a tie for No. 9.

 

Occupations are ranked based on U.S. News’ calculated overall score, which combines several components into a single weighted average score between zero and 10. These components are: 10-year growth volume; 10-year growth percentage; median salary; job prospects; employment rate; stress level; and work-life balance.

 

Dentists scored an overall score of 8.2; orthodontists, 8.1; and oral and maxillofacial surgeon, 7.7.

 

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth of 18 percent between 2014 and 2024, with 23,300 new openings,” according to the U.S. News & World Report. “A comfortable salary, low unemployment rate and agreeable work-life balance boost dentist to a top position on our list of best jobs.”

 

The magazine also reports that orthodontists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons are expected to grow by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, with about 1,500 new job openings for orthodontists and 1,200 new jobs for oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

For more information about how to build a career in this sector, check out different services/specialties you’re interested in. You can learn more at allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/

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The U.S. Wants More Dentists–Seize The Opportunity is courtesy of: All In One Dental

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Is Mouthwash Actually Helpful?

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If you run a few searches on Google, you will find that there are many different studies and sites that say that mouthwash is very helpful in conjunction with flossing and brushing. And these studies aren’t wrong–mouthwash can kill cavity-causing bacteria. And strangely enough, one Australian study found that it could even kill STI-causing bacteria!

Can Listerine prevent STIs? Researchers want to find out

Rinsing with the antiseptic mouthwash Listerine for one minute can significantly reduce the prevalence of gonorrhea-causing bacteria, according to a new study. Now, researchers want to know whether Listerine can also help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

 

“If Listerine has an inhibitory effect against N. gonorrhoeae in the pharynx, it could be a cheap, easy to use, and potentially effective intervention for gonorrhea prevention and control,” wrote the authors, led by Eric Chow, MPH, PhD. Chow is a senior research fellow at the Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic.

 

“The two studies presented here are the first to demonstrate Listerine can inhibit the growth of N. gonorrhoeae in vitro and in a clinical study and raise the potential that it may be useful as a control measure,” Chow and colleagues wrote.

So mouthwash is just beneficial, right? Not quite. Since mouthwash is excellent at killing bacteria, it not only takes the bad, but the good as well. Your body actually needs certain kinds of bacteria in the oral cavity and digestive tract to keep everything running smoothly. Drbicuspid.com has more on this topic:

Yes, I tell them antibacterial mouthwash kills bacteria. Yes, bacteria can cause gum disease. Yes, you should want healthy gums.

 

But you know that bacteria serve many purposes in the mouth, when the good bacteria balance out the bad kinds. Healthy gums are dependent on a healthy balance of bacteria. One underrated bacterial benefit is to allow a specific pathway of digestion to occur that is critical for health.

 

Mouth bacteria

When bacteria are killed indiscriminately, both harmful and good bacteria are killed, and the mouth’s delicate balance of bacteria goes awry. This means that tooth decay and gum disease may be more likely to occur.

 

To address their concerns, I talk with my patients about the benefits of mouth bacteria and the unique role they play in the chemical pathway of certain foods. Specifically, the chemical pathway of “nitrate-to-nitrite-to-nitric oxide” is dependent on specific anaerobic bacteria in the mouth . . .

 

So I tell my patients, if you kill the bacteria in your mouth and on your tongue with antiseptic mouthwash, salivary nitrates wouldn’t be converted into nitrites. With less nitrites in your system, you would produce less beneficial nitric oxide.

It’s best to err on the side of caution and ask your dentist whether or not your mouthwash is helping or harming. You can learn about other preventative dentistry methods at allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/

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Is Mouthwash Actually Helpful? is courtesy of: www.allin1dental.com

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Dentists Can Help U.S. Adults Tackle GERD

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Healthline says that about 20% of the population suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). While GERD can affect all ages–babies, children, teens, adults–it is typically more common in aging populations.

And while the condition mainly affects your GI tract, it also has negative effects on your oral cavity. Sometimes stomach acids will just seep up into the esophagus, but other times these acids can make their way up to the throat and mouth, increasing the likelihood of tooth decay.

And most adults don’t need one more thing that wears down their enamel, according to 123dentist.com:

Oral issues you need to be aware of as you get older

Wearing down enamel

All the chewing, grinding, and hard impact that your teeth are put through over the years can take a real toll on their health. Not to mention any breakages, chips, or other trauma your teeth may have been exposed to which may result in even worse consequences down the line. Over time your teeth are gradually worn down from continued use or from damage, and this erosion diminishes the hard protective outer layer of teeth – the enamel – which cannot be naturally regained once it’s lost.

 

To combat enamel loss, be aware of habits that may be speeding up damage done to your teeth and try to stop them as soon as possible. These habits included chewing ice or other hard things like pens and pencils, grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, and playing high impact sports without an athletic mouthguard. If you are prone to unconscious teeth grinding or clenching, ask your dentist about being fitted for a mouthguard you can wear while sleeping to protect your teeth. Frequent consumption of highly acidic foods such as fruit juices, citrus fruits, coffee, and soft drinks is also a culprit for enamel erosion as the acids eat away at the protective layer. Try to substitute water for acidic beverages and brush your teeth 30 minutes or so after consuming acidic foods to stop the acids from attacking your teeth before they can start. Since the acids weaken enamel, waiting before brushing is important to avoid causing extra harm.

If you suffer from GERD along with 123dentistry.com’s previously mentioned habits, it may be beneficial to make some lifestyle adjustments to prevent decay. It’s also important to keep your dentist appointments, since teeth cleanings, sealants, fluoride, and the like can all help. You can learn more at allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/

Along with worn-down enamel, GERD can cause dry mouth. Adults with dry mouth not only have bad breath, but their mouths are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria . . . which of course, leads back to decay. However, denticle.com has a good solution to the problem:

Study Shows OraCoat® XyliMelts® Oral Adhering Discs Effectively Treat Acid Reflux

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, describes a chronic digestive condition in which an accumulation of stomach acid in the esophagus creates symptoms. Acid reflux affects about 30 percent of the population on a weekly basis and is known to contribute to or cause a number of medical and dental problems including heartburn, sore throat, laryngitis, cough, halitosis, and tooth decay. The condition is also associated with sleep disturbance and can have a negative effect on nighttime comfort and overall quality of life.

 

The study aimed to prove if XyliMelts, recently rated by a Clinicians Report® survey as the most effective remedy for alleviating dry mouth could produce similar results in treating patients suffering from acid reflux, which is often managed by prescribed and over-the-counter medications that prevent excessive acid production . . .

 

XyliMelts are formulated from all-natural ingredients commonly used in foods. As tests prove that salivary stimulants can decrease the perception of nighttime dry mouth, tests also suggest increased saliva can diminish nighttime reflux . . . Test results displayed that both the disc and gel reduced the taste of reflux, heartburn sensation, morning hoarseness, perceived reflux severity, and the number of antacids taken during the night.

Read full blog post here . . .

GERD may be a problem for many adults, but it doesn’t have to be unmanageable. Again, talk with your dentist for more information.

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Dentists Can Help U.S. Adults Tackle GERD is republished from: http://www.allin1dental.com/

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It’s Vital for Seniors To Stay Up-to-Date with Oral Healthcare

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It’s an understatement to say that many Americans have struggled with finding the right healthcare for their families. And even if someone does find the perfect fit for their family, some of these health plans don’t include dental coverage.

And let’s be frank: when you have illnesses, you most likely consider seeing your family physician for every kind of ailment out there, while dentists are often cordoned to strictly oral issues. However, people need to realize that their oral cavity isn’t an isolated system. If something goes wrong, there’s a good chance that it can affect your overall health as well. And since the decline of oral health can possibly translate to poor overall health, it is imperative for certain groups, like seniors, to prioritize their dental visits.

Sadly, one recent article says that only 10% of older Americans actually have coverage, making it that much more difficult to get the care they need:

Infographic: U.S. Seniors Lack Dental Care

A new study published in the December edition of Health Affairs analyzed access to dental care for Medicare beneficiaries, and the findings don’t look good. Only about 10% of older U.S. adults have dental insurance, and, of those who do, they still pay half of all their dental costs out of pocket.

 

The researchers looked at Medicare data to see how seniors with different income levels and types of insurance access dental care. They attributed the overall lack of coverage and high percentage of out-of-pocket spending to larger policy trends, including the exclusion of dental care in Medicare and the changing of insurance benefits for retirees.

 

“Despite the wealth of evidence that oral health is related to physical health, Medicare explicitly excludes dental care from coverage, leaving beneficiaries at risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease and exposed to high out-of-pocket spending,”

 

“Until dental care is appropriately considered to be part of one’s medical care, and financially covered as such, poor oral health will continue to be the ‘silent epidemic’ that impedes improving the quality of life for older adults.”

Along with grassroots campaigning, dentists and insurance companies need to work together to make dental policies more affordable and accessible for aging populations.

Although dental care is of course needed for people of all ages, seniors are at a higher risk for certain diseases–like oral cancer–which means that dental care is even more vital. Delta Dental says that those over the age of 50 are at high risk but can be saved with early intervention:

Oral Cancer: What You Need to Know

Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer, accounting for 30,000 newly diagnosed cases each year – and 8,000 deaths. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, facial and oral disfigurement and even death.

Who gets oral cancer?

Anyone can get oral cancer. Heavy drinkers and people who smoke or use other tobacco products are at higher risk. Though it is most common in people over age 50, new research indicates that younger people may be developing oral cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV).

Early detection can save

The good news? The earlier oral cancer is detected and treated, the better the survival rate – which is just one of the many reasons you should visit your dentist regularly. Twice-yearly dental checkups are typically covered with no or a low deductible under most Delta Dental plans.

As part of the exam, your dentist will check for oral cancer indicators, including feeling for lumps or irregular tissue in your mouth, head and neck. A biopsy will be recommended if anything seems concerning or out of the ordinary.

If you have a senior family member, talk with them about the need for preventative dentistry, so they can get oral screenings and teeth cleanings to lower their risk of cancer, as well as gum diseases. Take a look at allin1dental.com/preventive-dentistry/ to learn more about preventive care.

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It’s Vital for Seniors To Stay Up-to-Date with Oral Healthcare is available on: All In One Dentistry Blog

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