Screening with ViziLite

Early detection of oral cancer increases the success rate of treatment

Do you remember when you were young child and your dentist did a plaque test on your teeth to show you where you need to brush more? It was so fun to see the results after the cleaning. Your mouth felt cleaner and you could see that it actually was cleaner too! ViziLite is sort of the same concept, only it’s purpose is to detect something much more serious than plaque. If, during your visual oral exam your dentist spots a suspicious lesion, that lesion can easily be tested in as little as two minutes. ViziLite dye is spread on the lesion and a special lite is used to determine if the spot could possibly be cancerous, or if it’s a common mouth sore. ViziLite screenings will take the worry out of suspected lesions and will help detect oral cancer at a much earlier stage. Why lose sleep at night waiting for that suspicious cold sore to heal?

What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

Unfortunately, oral cancer can go unnoticed in the early stages as it can look like a common ulcer or cold sore. Your dentist knows what to look out for, that’s why it’s important to get in every six months for a check up.

Over 300,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year and according to The Oral Cancer Foundation, on every hour of every day someone dies from this serious dental disease. Common indicators of oral cancer include:

  • Mouth ulcers
  • Cold sore
  • Discoloration of tissue
  • Sores that don’t heal within two weeks
  • Difficulty in swallowing

The highest amount of risk for oral cancer is associated with tobacco use.

Approximately 75% of those diagnosed were either current or past tobacco users. The risk jumps up by 15% if tobacco use is accompanied by heavy alcohol use.

If a specialist confirms oral cancer after a biopsy, treatment is either completed by surgery alone or radiation along with surgery if the cancer is in advanced stages.

 

Keep Your Teeth White – Key Foods to Avoid!

If you’ve recently had your teeth professionally whitened, it’s important to avoid foods and beverages that have a high potential to stain your teeth.  Your teeth are very absorbent after the whitening process making them soak up the colors of what you eat and drink.  Below are some foods and drinks to avoid to keep your pearly whites, pearly white!

  • Red wine
  • Blueberries
  • Soy Sauce
  • Fruit Juice
  • Soda

Try to swish with water or brush your teeth immediately after consuming staining foods if they are unavoidable to keep your smile bright!

Simplifying Toothpaste…

Over the counter dental care has come a long way.  It can be overwhelming to know which kind of toothpaste is going to work the best for your needs.  From tarter control to whitening to sensitivity, below are some points that will help you be an informed consumer.

Sensitivity May Be Caused By Additives

There are many over the counter toothpastes that have whitening or tarter control additives in them.  Several kinds of toothpaste that help with sensitivity also include tarter control and whitening additives.  Did you know that whitening and tarter control toothpastes can cause sensitivity?  If you cringe every time you take a sip of hot coffee or eat ice cream, try sticking to sensitive toothpastes that leave out the other additives.  Once you switch to a toothpaste that is strictly a formula to combat sensitivity, your sensitive teeth should respond after about two weeks of daily use.

What’s The Deal With Whitening and Tarter Additives?

It has been our experience that whitening toothpastes don’t work well.  Since they are known to cause sensitivity, why risk it when whitening toothpaste could affect how much you enjoy your favorite foods.  Need I mention ice cream again?

If you’re concerned about tarter control, the toothpastes that offer that do have a solvent chemical added that actually dissolves calcium deposits.  These toothpastes work great for people that don’t have sensitivity issues and they do reduce the amount of tarter build up.

Still Feeling Sensitive?

Please call us for an appointment. You may have a cavity or need a prescription toothpaste. Prescription toothpaste is a great option because it has more flouride in it than regular toothpaste and it can reduce the amount of cavities you get. Contrary to what you might be thinking, prescription toothpaste is actually quite inexpensive and can last anywhere from 3-5 months depending on the size you purchase. Please call us to schedule an appointment to see if prescription toothpaste is right for you.

If you aren’t experiencing sensitivity to your teeth, but you are experiencing dry mouth be sure to let your dentist know because this prescription toothpaste can counteract the damage a dry mouth can cause to teeth.  Dry mouth is a concern that’s important to get on top of as it can cause expensive dental problems such as increased decay and gum disease.