Learn the Facts About Oral Cancer

Oral cancer, or mouth cancer refers to a group of cancers that can develop anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, tonsils, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, salivary glands, sinuses and throat.

Oral cancer usually appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away and it can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 51,000 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2018.

The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:

 

 

  • Swelling or thickening of the skin or lining of the mouth
  •  Development of lumps or bumps on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • Sores that bleed or do not heal
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Numbness or loss of feeling of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat or change in voice
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together

According to the American Cancer Society, men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women. Cigarette smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancers. Those who use chewing tobacco products are 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the cheek, gums, and lining of the lips. In addition, oral cancers are about six times more common in those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol. People who have a family history of cancer, have a weakened immune system or who have the human papillomavirus virus (HPV) are also at a greater risk of developing certain types of oral cancers.

To avoid developing oral cancer, it is recommended that you stop, or do not start using any form of tobacco, whether it is smoked or chewed, drink alcohol only in moderation, chose a healthy diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants, perform self-examinations of your month once a month, and see your dentist regularly.

As part of your routine dental exam, your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening. This includes feeling for any lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and oral cavity. When examining your mouth, your dentist will look for any sores or discolored tissue as well as check for any signs and symptoms mentioned above.

If diagnosed with oral cancer, treatment options include surgery to remove the cancerous growth, followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

Make an appointment with your dentist immediately if you have any persistent signs and symptoms of oral cancer. If you do not have a dentist, make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Dental Center by calling 718-206-6980.

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.

Make Your Smile a Priority in 2018

We have all made New Year’s resolutions at some point in our lives. Many of these

annual vows revolve around improving our health.  Typical resolutions may include losing weight, quitting smoking, or beginning an exercise routine, but what about our oral health? The New Year is also a good time to commit ourselves to better dental care.

Make 2018 the year you look to improve your smile. Some ways to help you meet this goal include:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene – Daily brushing and flossing is a simple way to improve your oral health. For successful bacterial plaque removal, it is important to brush at least twice a day and floss at least once per day to remove bacterial plaque and food that has accumulated throughout the day. Daily brushing and flossing help to prevent gingivitis (gum disease), tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). The daily use of antimicrobial and fluoride mouth rinses also helps to improve your oral health.
  • Watch What You Eat and Drink – An important part of achieving your dental health resolutions is making healthier food and beverage choices, especially for snacks. Frequent consumption of food and beverages containing carbohydrates and acids contributes to tooth decay.
  • Quit Smoking – Quitting cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco use is important for improving your oral and overall health. There is no better time than the present to make a resolution to stop tobacco use. Consider free online tools, smoking cessation groups, progress-tracking apps and support from friends and family to assist you with tobacco cessation.
  • Use Whitening Products – There are several over-the-counter smile-improving products that you
    can use to whiten your teeth when you brush and floss. In recent years, tooth whitening has acquired enormous popularity because they can enhance the appearance of teeth by removing deep (intrinsic) or surface (extrinsic) stains.
  • Receive Regular Check-Ups – A resolution to make routine visits to the dentist may help prevent oral disease or reveal an existing disease in its early stage. Dental visits should take place every six months to allow your dentist and dental hygienists to monitor the condition of your oral cavity and develop an appropriate treatment plan to meet your wants and needs.

Some however might need to make more than a few lifestyle changes to address their dental needs. For those, a dentist or orthodontist can help. Make this the year you stop putting off having dental work done. An orthodontist can correct an overbite or straighten crooked teeth and a dentist can address your need for crowns, implants or fillings to preserve your tooth structure.

To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Dental Center, please call 718-206-6980.

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.

Tips to Maintain Dental Health During the Holidays

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year. While it is easy to get caught up in the merriment, we need be to be mindful of the effects all of the holiday festivities can have on our dental health. With sweet treats all around us, one particular cause of concern is how our teeth can be impacted.

Here are a few tips to help make sure we maintain good oral health into the new year:

  • Don’t forget your dental routine – No matter how busy you get this holiday season, don’t forget to practice good oral hygiene.
  • Eat healthy – Cookies and sweets are nice holiday treats, but instead of reaching for another candy cane, take a cue from the reindeer and fill your plate with vegetables, such as carrots.
  • Drink healthy – Avoid drinking sodas, sports drinks and juices with lots of sugar. Instead, drink water with fluoride in it to keep your teeth strong and healthy. If you want something bubbly, try carbonated water. If you must drink soda, use a straw to keep most of the acid off your teeth.
  • Be responsible while drinking alcohol – Aside from all the obvious reasons to be responsible when consuming alcohol, also know that it can affect your teeth. Red wine can stain your teeth and the acid in most alcoholic beverages can also be damaging.
  • Don’t skip your dental visit – We all know how hectic the holidays are, but whether it is a regular check-up or a visit to deal with an existing issue, it is important to make the time to honor your regular dental visit and not out it off until after the holidays.
  • Don’t use your teeth as a tool – Avoid using your teeth to tear open packages, tear tape or ribbons, or cracking nuts. These types of cations can lead to chips or breaks.
  • Stuff your stocking wisely – Sugary treats such as candy canes are a holiday staple, but try to limit the number of sweets in Christmas stockings that can lead to cavities. Use the holidays as an opportunity to replace everyone in the family’s toothbrush by dropping one in each stocking.

By following these simple dental tips, you can avoid being placed on Santa’s naughty list this year.

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.

Want to Quit Smoking? We Can Help!

Smoking Cessation

Tobacco is the single greatest cause of multiple diseases and premature deaths in the USA today.  It kills more Americans each year than alcohol, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS combined. There are an estimated 480,000 deaths in the United States annually that are due to tobacco use. It is the only legal consumer product that is lethal when used exactly as recommended by the manufacturer.

Smoking cigarettes affects many aspects of health. Tobacco smoke contains about 7000 chemicals, including low concentrations of such strong poisons as ammonia, cyanide, arsenic and formaldehyde.  It also contains 69 carcinogens – substances that are known to cause cancers in humans. Direct association has been established between smoking and cancers of the lung, mouth, nose, throat, larynx, esophagus, colon and rectum, stomach, pancreas, cervix, bladder, kidney and blood.
In the United States, Illnesses caused by smoking cost more than 300 billion dollars per year in direct medical care and lost productivity. Smokers pay twice as much for life insurance and will die on average of 13-14 years earlier than non-smokers. It costs tobacco companies approximately 5 cents to produce a pack of cigarettes.

Many lung conditions are either caused or aggravated by cigarette smoke. It irritates bronchial airways and stimulates mucous production leading eventually to decreased elasticity and functional failure. Patients suffering from COPD, Asthma, Chronic Bronchitis or Emphysema have a much higher risk of dying when repeatedly exposed to smoke.
Smokers are also at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. Smoking damages blood vessels making them stiff and narrow, obstructing blood flow which results with elevated blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure or chronic skin changes.

Pregnant women exposed to tobacco smoke have increased risk of complications like miscarriage, premature birth, and brain and lung damage in developing baby. Sudden infant death syndrome is three times more likely if mother smoked during pregnancy.
Secondhand smoke is the smoke exhaled by smokers or given off by a burning cigarette or pipe. Inhaling secondhand smoke is as hazardous as smoking a cigarette. There is no safe level for secondhand smoke exposure established. People can inhale it at work, homes, cars or public spaces and have all the complications mentioned above.

Smoking tobacco is an addiction similar to heroin and cocaine. It can be successfully treated but the majority of cases require three or more attempts. Quitting smoking offers a chance of feeling better and living longer.  Studies have shown that five, common sense steps, provide the best chance for quitting smoking for good:

1. Get ready: set a quit date and throw out all cigarettes and ashtrays from your home.

2. Get support: tell your family, friends and doctor about quitting plans; search the internet for advice.

3.  Learn new behaviors: distract yourself from the urge to smoke; exercise or go for a walk.

4. Get medication: combining medication like nicotine patches or Zyban with behavioral adaptation and family support quadruples your chances of success.

5. Be prepared for relapse and difficult situations- most people try to quit a few times before   succeeding.

If you would like to learn more about quitting smoking, please call 718-206-8494.

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 Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Dental Center call 718-206-6980.

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 Dentistry

Dentistry is one of the world’s oldest medical professions. As early as 5000BC tooth decay was described as being caused by dental worms and this belief was not proven false until the 1700’s.
In 166 – 200 AD Italy the Etruscans began to work on dental repair with crowns made from gold as well as bridgework.  The Chinese began using silver paste to repair cavities in the 700’s. The first organized group of dentists were described in France in the 1200’s and were actually barbers who in addition to cutting hair, had been trained to work on teeth.
Beginning in the 1700’s developments in dentistry were coming along at a quicker pace. In 1723 Pierre Fauchard, considered to be the father of modern dentistry wrote  one of the first complete books on dental practice. In the early 1800’s porcelain teeth began to be commercially manufactured to serve as replacement teeth. In 1839 vulcanized rubber was first used as a base for false teeth. Ether was first used as an anesthetic in 1846.
During the late 1800’s dental tools were being improved upon. The first mechanical drill was commercially manufactured in 1871, the first hydraulic dental chair was manufactured in 1877 and in 1895 x-rays were coming into practice for dentistry.  In 1905 the local anesthetic novocain was developed.
Oral hygiene and prevention of tooth decay became popular in the 1900’s. Toothpaste in tubes became popular with the general public as opposed to powders and pastes that had been used previously. Cities across the country began to fluoridate the water supply to aid in the prevention of cavities, and the first nylon toothbrush was manufactured.  High speed air driven drills which were developed in the late 1950’s made visits to the dentist less painful.
Dentistry is constantly evolving with new techniques being developed to make dental care better for both the dentist and the patient. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6980.

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.

Can Excessive Teeth Whitening Be Harmful ?

Woman holding up tooth whitening chart, smiling, portrait, close-up

Woman holding up tooth whitening chart, smiling, portrait, close-up

Many people wish to have that “Movie Star”  smile with bright white teeth. To get that perfect smile many people will purchase teeth whitening kits to use at home. Teeth whitening products use a chemical that in effect bleaches the outer layer of the teeth. Teeth that are yellow in color tend to respond best to this type of treatment. Teeth that are brownish in color or those that have been stained by long term use of tobacco, caffeine, wine or by the use of certain medications may not respond as well.
If used correctly, teeth whitening can be effective for many people. There are however risk s involved if the products are not used properly. Risks can include teeth sensitivity and damage to the roots of the teeth. Excessive teeth whitening can lead to the edges of your teeth becoming permanently bluish and translucent.
It is strongly advised that anyone considering whitening their teeth consult with a dentist first. It is also advisable to have your teeth professionally cleaned prior to home whitening which may remove some of the material that is staining the teeth.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Jamaica Hospital’s Dental Center, please call 718-206-6982.

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.

CAVITY PREVENTION TIPS

Sweet black girl patient showing in mirror her teeth

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) parents should instill in their children the importance of good oral hygiene at an early age, ensuring that this ritual will continue when they become adults.

 It is suggested that good oral hygiene be factored together when children are taught how to keep themselves healthy.

The ADA provides these age-by-age tips:

Babies, Toddlers and Pre-School

  • After each feeding, clean the baby’s gums with a clean wet gauze pad or washcloth
  • When teeth start to appear, brush them with a child’s size toothbrush and plain water
  • Begin flossing when at least two teeth begin to touch
  • Start dental visits by the child’s first birthday and make visits regularly
  • Brush teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and be sure to floss daily
  • Supervise your children while they are brushing their teeth to prevent them from swallowing the toothpaste

School-Age Children and Adolescents

  • Until they are six or seven years old, continue to brush your children’s teeth twice a day with a child size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
  • Continue to assist with flossing as needed
  • By age six or seven, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a day but may require supervision until about age 10 or 11
  • Ask the dentist about dental sealants, protective plastic coating that can be applied to chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts
  • Remind your adolescent about practicing good oral hygiene

 If your child has dental problems, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. If you would like to schedule an appointment for your child at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Dental Center call 718-206-6980

 

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.

Smoking and Dental Care

cigarettesandteethpicWith smoking, we tend to focus on the effects it may have on the lungs or the heart. However, we don’t focus on the health effects it may have on other parts of the body including your oral health.

The American Cancer Society states that smokers are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat. In addition, smoking can cause many serious problems for teeth and oral structures. It can interfere with the normal function of gum tissue cells; this can make smokers more susceptible to infections, gum disease, or even periodontal disease. The problem can be further exacerbated when proper dental health care is not followed. The excess of harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke makes smokers twice more likely to suffer tooth loss than non-smokers.

Keep your winning smile and kick the smoking habit. For help to quit smoking, please contact Jamaica Hospital’s smoking cessation support group at 718-206-8494.

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 Dentures

Dentures isolated on a white background.

Dentures have been around for thousands of years. It is believed that they were first used around 700 B.C. by the Etruscans in ancient Italy. These were made from either human teeth or animal teeth.

Until the 1,800’s the most commonly used material for making dentures was ivory that came from elephants, walruses, and hippos. In fact, it has been found that the first U.S. President George Washington’s dentures were also made of ivory, although many have mistakenly believed they were made of wood.

In the late 1700’s a man by the name of Alexis Duchâteau crafted the first porcelain dentures, however these were not popular as they were not sturdy and often chipped. People were also not happy with the fact that they were too white and didn’t look real.

In the 1820’s an English silversmith named Claudius Ash developed a set of dentures that were made of porcelain teeth mounted on 18-karat gold plates, with gold springs and swivels. This was a large improvement to the dentures that had been made previously.

In the 1850’s craftsmen began to make dentures from a hardened rubber called vulcanite into which porcelain teeth were inserted. During the twentieth century other materials came in to use such as acrylic resin and plastics.

Jamaica Hospital’s Department of Dentistry provides the community with the latest and innovative technologies in dental care.  Our inter-disciplinary staff is specially trained to provide the highest quality care and is dedicated to making your visit as comfortable as possible.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-6982.

 

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.