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Oral Cancer on the rise in the US- Are you being screened?

 

velscope%20cartoonAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancers of the oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) are usually caused by tobacco and alcohol, but recent studies show that about 72 percent of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV.

“There has been significant change in the last decade. The HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer has reached epidemic proportions,” Stenson warns.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 45,780 Americans will be diagnosed with cancer of the oral cavity and oropharynx in 2015.

If this trend continues, the number of cases of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer will surpass the number of cervical cancer cases.

Early detection is key

The HPV vaccine currently in use has been shown to decrease the incidence of cervical infections and cancer associated with the virus. While the same result is anticipated for HPV-associated head and neck cancer, the impact of vaccines on incidence of persistent oral HPV infection and/or HPV associated oropharyngeal cancer has not yet been investigated. Still, head and neck surgeons, medical oncologists and other researchers strongly advocate vaccination of both girls and boys to help prevent all HPV-associated cancers.

“For all individuals, the key is in early detection, as with any cancer,” Stenson observes.

In addition to being vaccinated, Stenson stresses the importance of regular visits to the dentist. “Dentists play a key role in detecting oral cancer,” she says. “You might not see a primary care physician even once a year, but most people see their dentist twice a year. Having regular dental visits can  help catch cancers early to help ensure the best outcome.”

The American Dental Association states that 60 percent of the U.S. population sees a dentist every year.

Oral cancer warning signs

The Oral Cancer Foundation presumes that cancer screenings of the existing patient population would yield tens of thousands of opportunities to catch oral cancer in its early stages.

Possible warning signs of oral cancer may include difficulty swallowing, pain when chewing, a white patch anywhere on the inside of your mouth, a lump or sore in the mouth or on the lip that does not heal. If you notice any of these symptoms, ask your dentist or doctor about it.

Treatment includes surgery for early or low-volume late stage lesions and radiation or chemoradiation for more advanced cancers.

“There is much that can be done for those who are diagnosed with head and neck cancer.  Since early detection and treatment is critical, it’s important to see your dentist regularly and to promptly see a medical professional if there are any warnings signs,” Stenson advises.

We screen all of our patients yearly with the Velscope as well as visual exams at each visit- call us today to schedule your appointment.

Help us help some furbabies!

During the month of April we will be collecting items for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. This great local rescue finds homes for dogs and cats rescued from low-income, rural animal shelters or whose owners can no longer care for them. We will be collecting the following items at our office- please feel free to drop by any donation during our business hours.

Dog Leashes Bath & Beach Towels Cat Litter

Martingale Style Collars High Quality Dog & Cat Food

Laundry and Dish Soap Paper Towels

White Copy Paper #10 Envelopes Postage Stamps

Gas Station Gift Cards Target & WalMart Gift Cards

Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Does Not Prevent Cavities, Study Finds.

 

The AP (8/7, Donn) reported that although the ability of fluoride to help prevent cavities “has been widely accepted for decades,” the “internet is dotted with claims” that “fluoride-free toothpaste also prevents cavities.” However, a recent review published in the journal Gerodontology found that oral hygiene efforts without fluoride do not reduce cavity rates. ADA spokesperson Dr. Matthew Messina said, “The study is important,” adding, “The study is supporting what we’ve been contending for a long time.” The article notes that “the ADA recommends using fluoride toothpastes.” Combining fluoride dental products with fluoridated water offers additional protection, added a professor at New York University.

We suggest Fluoridex toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride as well as sensitivity relief.  We would be happy to discuss the benefits of this toothpaste with you at your next visit!

Yes, you need to floss!

Flossing helps to remove food particles and bacteria from between your teeth and along your gumline. When this bacteria builds up, it forms plaque, a sticky, colorless film that can threaten your oral health by contributing to tooth decay and ginigivitis. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which can then evolve into periodontitis, the full-blown form of this health condition. “Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums around your teeth, which will progress to periodontitis, which is inflammation of the gums in combination with bone loss. When left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.

 Bleeding gums, a high rate of cavities, bone loss, and bad breath” are prevalent in people who don’t make flossing a habit.

Here are tips for flossing more effectively:

    • When using traditional floss instead of another type of interdental cleaner, use a long piece around 18 inches so there’s enough clean floss to get in between all your teeth.
    • Tie the floss around your middle finger on both hands and pinch it with your thumbs.
    • Keep the distance between your two hands small and go between each tooth in your mouth. Do this gently to avoid harming your gums.
    • To clean both teeth, make a C shape, hugging one tooth and sliding up and down, then make a C shape around the adjacent tooth and repeat the motion. Don’t forget the back sides of your last teeth!
  • Consider using a mouthwash, such as Therasol, after flossing to rinse your mouth and remove as much bad bacteria as possible.

The bottom line: When combined with brushing your teeth, flossing every day is a great way to keep your mouth healthy.

Is Vaping safer than Smoking?

Vaping

E-cigarettes emerged around 2004-2005 and have become increasingly popular as the “Healthier” alternative to smoking.  Although initial studies showed vaping had far less impact on health compared to smoking things are changing now as there is more long term studies coming out to the contrary.

In 2015, a letter from the New England Journal of Medicine expressed concern over formaldehyde, a toxic compound found in the vapors produced by e-cigarettes. While researchers are still studying its link to cancer, formaldehyde is known to cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.

Irfan Rahman, professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester, led the first study to examine the impact of e-cigarettes on oral health.

“We showed that when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage that could lead to various oral diseases,” he said.

This year, he was one of the authors of a studythat examined artificial flavors for inducing tissue damage and having a toxic effect on white blood cells, with the worst impact coming from cinnamon, vanilla, and buttery flavored e-juices. There are around 250 harmful chemicals found in traditional cigarettes while the number is significantly reduced in vaping. But the presence of nicotine still poses a threat (particularly risk of heart disease) in its concentrated, e-liquid form.

Another study using mice showed secondhand e-cigarette smoke could compromise the immune system. Thomas Sussan, lead author and an assistant scientist at the Bloomberg School, explained how the exposure to e-cigarette vapor “was followed by a bacterial or viral infection, the harmful effects of e-cigarette exposure became even more pronounced. The e-cigarette exposure inhibited the ability of mice to clear the bacteria from their lungs, and the viral infection led to increased weight loss and death indicative of an impaired immune response.”

In our office we believe more long term studies will show that vaping is not good for your oral care and can cause many problems down the road.

I need a crown and I don’t mean the rhinestone type!


crown

So you have been told you need a crown and you are not even sure what that means- here is a brief description of a crown.

“A crown, sometimes known as dental cap, is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth. ”

Crowns are nothing to be scared of, we make the procedure painless with proper numbing techniques and walking you through each step.  If you have been told you need a crown call us today for your consultation.

crwon gold

Bad Breath and Valentines Day

Does bad breath worry you, have you noticed a persitant bad taste in your mouth or bad breath? This could be a warning sign of gum disease called periodontal disease. Gum disease can be caused by many things like the buildup of plaque on the teeth, poor brushing techniques, lack of flossing, just to name a few. Untreated gum disease can damage the gums and cause bone loss which can mean the loss of teeth.

Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental caries (cavities).

The medical condition dry mouth (also called xerostomia) also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications or continuous breathing through the mouth.

If you have bad breath call us now to schedule an exam with Dr. Mullaney so we can help you have the best breath around for Valentines Day!

703-650-9320

iTero Digital Scanner is here- say goodbye to messy impressions!

Dental and orthodontic procedures are often limited by technology. Improper crown and mouth guard fits, prosthetic devices that don’t quite match the bite of a patient and cumbersome molds are just a few problems that this limitation creates.
Advances in technology are allowing dentists and orthodontists to provide a new level of quality in their work.
Technology like the iTero™ scanner represents one of the most essential tools needed for any professional dealing with oral restoration.

Let’s explore the benefits that the iTero™ scanner enjoys over traditional impression technologies that have existed for decades without any radical changes.

What Does the iTero™ Scanner Do?

The iTero™ Intraoral Scanner is designed to make the process of measuring a patient’s mouth easier and more comfortable than ever before while offering a significantly higher degree of precision.
There are two parts to the iTero™: the wand and the station itself.
The wand employs incredibly precise imaging technology capable of capturing even the smallest details about a patient’s mouth. This occurs without the need for cumbersome impressions or movement of the patient’s mouth.
The wand captures thousands of images in the patient’s mouth that it then sends to the station. It does so automatically.
The station processes the data that the wand captures. It turns it into a 3D model that can be updated in real time.

Why Use the iTero™ Scanner Over Traditional Methods?

Traditional methods of creating an impression require the use of  impressions taken with material that gradually hardens.
The problem with both of these methods is that patients tend to feel uncomfortable in these situations. This can dramatically alter the results of these impressions.
Because the patient must adjust their mouth and keep it stationary for the best image, their bite may be artificially adjusted.
This can make everything from mouth guards to braces fit incorrectly, which can have long-term effects on a patient’s skeletal structure.
The iTero™ scanner doesn’t have these problems. It allows for a free impression of the patient’s mouth that automatically accounts for many of the deviations that tend to present themselves with other imaging techniques.
This allows for impressions that:
Are more accurate than other methods can provide.
Tend to be faster to record.
Are less prone to errors.
Require fewer retakes than other methods.
Create more accurate prosthetic devices that require less fine tuning.
Can be used to create devices faster due to the lack of needed modeling.
Tend to allow for a higher degree of comfort to the patient and care provider.

The iTero™ Scanner: Bringing a New Level of Quality to the Office The iTero™ scanner allows for dentists to give their patients significantly more accurate and comfortable work.
It makes appointments faster and reduces the amount of error encountered during the creation of devices made to fit in a patient’s mouth.
This means the iTero™ scanner represents a new level of quality when it comes to taking tooth impressions.
This allows for a higher degree of care that lasts longer, which ultimately benefits the patient and the care provider.

Join our office

Thursday, January 24th from 4pm – 7pm

to learn more about iTero scanning and

how it can benefit you!

Call now to reserve your spot for a free scan!

703-835-9251

Don’t leave money on the table!

If you have a flexible spending account, or FSA, time is running out to spend down your balance.
FSAs, which are typically offered as a benefit through your employer, give you the option of putting money directly from your paycheck, tax-free, into an account so they can be used to pay medical-related expenses throughout the year. The max contribution this year was $2,650 per person.  Dental appointments are generally covered so if you still have money available now is the time to call us for an overdue cleaning or any outstanding treatment.  Call us NOW at 703-548-8584.