Oral Cancer Awareness Month

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM), “Oral and oropharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat) collectively kill nearly one person every hour of every day of the year.” However, mortality rates can be reduced through early detection.

One of the best ways to detect oral cancer at an early stage is by getting regular screenings. Dental associations such as the Academy of General Dentistry, recommend seeing your dentist at least once a year for a thorough examination-especially if you are at risk for developing the disease. You may be at risk if you:

  • Drink excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis
  • Contracted the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Use tobacco products
  • Chew betel quid
  • Previously had oral cancer
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Have poor oral health
  • Have a family history of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)- the most common type of oral cancer

Those at risk should be mindful of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer which include:

  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
  • A white, red or black discoloration of the tissues inside the mouth
  • A growth or lump inside the mouth
  • Lip sores that do not heal
  • Hoarseness or soreness of the throat that do not resolve
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Loose teeth
  • Mouth pain
  • Earaches

It is strongly recommended that you see a dentist if these symptoms persist for more than two weeks.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month; during this time the AAOM and other dental health associations across the United States are urging the public to schedule an oral cancer examination. If you are at risk for developing the disease please remember to check for signs and symptoms in between dental visits.

To schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Fluoride In Drinking Water Benefits Our Teeth

One way to prevent tooth decay is to drink plenty of water. Most public water systems in the United States (approximately 75%) have added fluoride to their supply.

Drinking fluorinated water has been proven to be a key contributor in the prevention of tooth decay. It keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities in adults and children by about 25%. By preventing cavities, community water fluoridation has been shown to save money for families and for the U.S. health care system.

Fluoride exists naturally in most water supplies, but usually not enough to prevent cavities. Fluoridation of community water supplies is simply the adjustment of the existing, naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water to an optimal level for the prevention of tooth decay. It is recommended that community water systems adjust the amount of fluoride to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water.

While some have questioned adding fluoride to our water supply, for more than 70 years, the best available scientific evidence consistently has indicated that community water fluoridation is safe and effective. It has been endorsed by numerous U.S. Surgeons General, and more than 100 health organizations recognize the health benefits of water fluoridation for preventing dental decay, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization and the American Dental Association

Thanks in part to adding fluoride to our drinking water, the oral health in the United States is much better today than it was many years ago; however, drinking water alone will not prevent tooth decay. It is recommended that everyone still brush (with fluorinated toothpaste) and floss daily and see their dentist regularly.

To make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Dental Department, please call 718-670-5521.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

More and more people, both children and adults are seeking orthodontic treatment today. Having well aligned teeth is not only important for a nice smile but also for proper dental health.

The importance of having healthy and aligned teeth dates back as early as 1000 BC. The ancient Egyptians and the Etruscans were using material made from animal intestines to move teeth into better alignment. An ancient Roman scientist discovered that by applying finger pressure on teeth for an extended period of time over the course of months would help move teeth into a new position.

The first more modern practice of orthodontics was documented in the early 1770’s.  A French surgeon dentist named Pierre Fauchard came up with the concept of the “Bandeau” which was a horseshoe shaped device that gave the mouth a natural arch. Later on in the early 1800’s Francois Delabarre invented the wire crib that was placed on the teeth and help move them into better alignment. In the mid 1800’s dentists began to realize that the jaw and the teeth would have to be aligned simultaneously and this was accomplished by using tiny rubber tubing and wire cribs together.

In the early 1900’s, we entered the era of orthodontics that we are more familiar with today. Back then, dentists would wrap different materials depending on their preference (ivory, wood, copper, or zinc and later on gold or silver) and connect them with bands that helped move the teeth into the desired position.  In the 1970’s stainless steel was more widely used and this had the advantage of being less costly and also more flexible than the other materials used previously.

In the late 1990’s, orthodontics changed with the introduction of the invisible braces. In addition to brackets that were placed on the inside of people’s teeth to make it more aestically appealing, clear retainers were also being used which would help to align teeth.

To schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5522.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

NATIONAL DENTAL HYGIENE MONTH

October is National Dental Hygiene Month and Flushing Hospital Medical Center (FHMC) would like to bring awareness to a dental hygiene condition that affects most people, gum disease or gingivitis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately half of the American population has gum disease or symptoms of it. Affecting women and men alike, no one is excluded from this possible diagnosis- even child are susceptible.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a contagious bacterial infection that affects the gum tissues and bone that supports the teeth.  Many factors can increase the chances of developing gum disease, such as tobacco use, stress, poor diet, or even genetics.  Hardened plaque, called tartar or calculus, that builds up by the gum line can bring about gingivitis and spread into the underlying bone.  It can start slowly without any pain and may go unnoticed until there is pain.

Some of the symptoms of gum disease can include:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that bleed when brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Metallic taste
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Deep pockets (the space between gums and the teeth)

While practicing good dental hygiene, such as regular flossing and brushing after meals, can help slow the progression of such a disease, it is important to schedule regular dental check-ups to prevent gum disease or its progression.

Unfortunately, many people go to the dentist only when they experience some sort of pain or symptom. Don’t let this happen to you.  Keep on top of your oral health and make an appointment with your dentist every six months for a dental check- up and deep cleaning.  If you would like to make an appointment with a Board Certified Dentist at Flushing Hospital’s Dental Center, call 718-670-5221 to schedule an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also referred to as the third set of molars, are the last set of teeth to develop. They form in the back of the mouth on the upper and lower jaw. Most people’s wisdom teeth surface when they are teenagers or young adults.

Wisdom teeth can become a problem when they fail to grow in proper alignment with the rest of our teeth.  When these teeth are not growing in correctly, it is referred to as being impacted. A tooth that is impacted may have only broken through the gum partially, or not at all. This can lead to infection, pain, tooth decay, gum disease and crowding of the teeth that are adjacent.

The signs and symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth include:

  • Tenderness of the jaw
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Problems opening the mouth

Wisdom teeth that are impacted can’t be prevented. The best way to monitor for a potential problem is to have regular oral check-ups and an x-ray of the mouth every year. Not all wisdom teeth are going to be impacted, but when they are, and if symptoms develop, your dentist may want to remove them to prevent potential infections, disruption of the other teeth, and also to prevent further discomfort.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, you may call 718-670-5522

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What is a Dental Abscess ?

A dental abscess is an infection caused when harmful bacteria gain entry to the  central pulp area of a tooth.  This can happen when the tooth has a cavity or when trauma to a tooth has occurred and leaves an opening.  An abscess usually leads to inflammation and the development of pus. Many people describe the pain caused by a tooth abscess as one of the worst things they have ever encountered. While the pain from a tooth abscess may come on suddenly, the infection may have been developing over a long period of time.
The symptoms of a tooth abscess are:
• Sensitivity to hot and cold
• Swelling of the jaw
• Fever
• Bad breath
• Painful chewing
• Swollen lymph nodes at the jaw or neck
• Bitter taste in the mouth
Tooth decay is caused by poor dental hygiene and probably a diet filled with sugary junk food. These will cause the tooth or teeth to disintegrate over time. Trauma can be caused by either being struck in the mouth by a hard object, or biting over time on hard substances like nuts and candy. Either method can allow harmful bacteria to get into the pulp deep within the tooth. This will lead to swelling and pus to develop.
A dentist will assess the tooth with an x-ray. Depending on the extent of the abscess, they will prescribe an antibiotic to fight the infection and possibly a pain medication to help soothe the discomfort. In some cases a tooth can be saved. This may involve a root canal procedure to clean out the pulp and the root,  but when the abscess has destroyed a large portion of the tooth, it may have to be extracted.
There are a few ways to prevent tooth abscesses. A healthy diet that is low on refined foods and sugar helps.  Brushing and flossing are very important for maintaining proper oral hygiene. It is also very important to not bite down on hard objects like rock candy, nuts, and stale bread and cookies.
If you are experiencing any kind of tooth pain, it is important to see a dentist as soon as possible. This will prevent the problem from getting worse, will get you relief quickly, and can prevent the abscess from becoming a life threatening infection.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5522.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Are There Dangers Associated With Excessive Gum Chewing?

Everyone chews gum! Last year alone, 1.74 trillion sticks of chewing gum were made and it is estimated that the average American chews nearly 300 pieces of gum every year.

There are many benefits for those who chew gum. It freshens up our breath and helps remove food particles that get stuck between our teeth. It helps reduce stress for some and helps fight off hunger cravings for others. Chewing gum also stimulates saliva production, which helps fight off nasty plaque and certain gums containing the sweetener xylitol have actually been reported to fight cavities. With all these benefits associated with chewing gum, is there any reason not to do it?

Actually, there can be. When we chew gum, we exercise our jaw muscles – and similar to any other muscle group in the body that gets overworked, constant and aggressive gum chewing can tire these muscles and cause painful spasms in our jaw, neck and head, which can lead to the development of a condition called temporomandibular dysfunction (or TMD).

TMD occurs when the temporomandibular joints, which are located on either side of our head, become misaligned due to physical stress or degeneration of cartilage in the jaw, which act as shock absorbers for us when we chew. Chewing gum is one of the most common ways to cause this type of damage.

TMD affects over ten million Americans. Those who develop TMD experience many painful symptoms such as discomfort while chewing, difficulty opening and closing their jaw, and popping or clicking sounds when they open their mouths. Earaches and headaches are also typically associated with the disorder.

In addition to contributing to the development of TMD, chronic gum chewing can tighten facial muscles, leading to long lasting headaches. In fact, a recent study concluded that gum chewing was linked to chronic migraines in young children and teens.

So, what do you do? Most dentists agree that moderate gum chewing isn’t a problem, but they do recommend taking a break from the habit if you are experiencing head, neck or jaw pain and allow your muscles to relax. Other ways to relieve pain include taking anti-inflammatory medications, applying a warm compress to the area in pain, and switching to a diet of softer foods. If pain persists, contact your dentist immediately.

If you are experiencing jaw pain that may be caused by TMD, see your dentist. If you do not have one, you can call Flushing Hospital’s Dental Center at 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

History of Orthodontics

More and more people, both children and adults are seeking orthodontic treatment today. Having well aligned teeth is not only important for a nice smile but also for proper dental health.

The importance of having healthy and aligned teeth dates back as early as 1000 BC. The ancient Egyptians and the Etruscans were using material made from animal intestines to move teeth into better alignment. An ancient Roman scientist discovered that by applying finger pressure on teeth for an extended period of time over the course of months would help move teeth into a new position.

The first more modern practice of orthodontics was documented in the early 1770’s. A French surgeon dentist named Pierre Fauchard came up with the concept of the “Bandeau” which was a horseshoe shaped device that gave the mouth a natural arch. Later on in the early 1800’s Francois Delabarre invented the wire crib that was placed on the teeth and help move them into better alignment. In the mid 1800’s dentists began to realize that the jaw and the teeth would have to be aligned simultaneously and this was accomplished by using tiny rubber tubing and wire cribs together.

In the early 1900’s, we entered the era of orthodontics that we are more familiar with today. Back then, dentists would wrap different materials depending on their preference (ivory, wood, copper, or zinc and later on gold or silver) and connect them with bands that helped move the teeth into the desired position. In the 1970’s stainless steel was more widely used and this had the advantage of being less costly and also more flexible than the other materials used previously.

In the late 1990’s, orthodontics changed with the introduction of the invisible braces. In addition to brackets that were placed on the inside of people’s teeth to make it more aestically appealing, clear retainers were also being used which would help to align teeth.

To schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5522.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Are Dental Sealants Effective?

Though tooth decay is a growing problem among children and young adults, preventative measures, such as dental sealants and fluoride treatments, can help keep your child smiling brightly.

Children and young adults are more prone to tooth decay for two main reasons: diet and poor oral hygiene. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth uses sugar (from foods or drinks) to produce acids that dissolve and damage the teeth. A diet consisting of frequent consumption of sugary drinks, candy, and gum greatly contributes to tooth decay. Additionally, inadequate flossing and failure to properly brush at least two times a day, for three minutes each, allows bacteria to grow.

Preventing Tooth Decay
Dental sealants are a great way to protect your teeth against the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Sealants are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. The procedure is simple and pain-free.

Fluoride can also help prevent tooth decay. Dentists apply a fluoride treatment, either a gel, foam, or varnish, directly to the teeth and let it set for approximately four minutes. In addition to an in-office treatment, fluoride can be found in several brands of toothpaste and even tap water.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Flushing Hospital’s Department of Dentistry at 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What Is The Right Way to Brush Your Teeth?

What is the right way to brush your teeth?

A.  From side to side

B.  Up and down

C.  In small circles

If you answered A, you’re right! According to the American Dental Association you should:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush from side to side in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

The ADA also recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily. You should replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.

To make an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, please call our Dental Department at 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.