Posts for category: Oral Health
How your dentist in Chehalis, WA, can help you keep your smile healthy
An important part of having a beautiful smile is having a healthy smile. You can do a lot to keep your smile healthy by developing a good oral care routine. Dr. Michael A. White in Chehalis, WA, offers a wide range of preventive dentistry services to help you maintain great oral health.
When you keep your smile healthy, it helps your body stay healthy too. According to the Mayo Clinic, an unhealthy mouth has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, endocarditis, diabetes, and other conditions.
Keeping your smile healthy is easy, but it requires thoroughly cleaning away the plaque every day. This is important because plaque contains millions of harmful bacteria that can destroy the health and beauty of your smile.
You can remove plaque effectively if you:
- Brush after meals and before you go to bed, using a gentle, circular motion to clean all the surfaces of your teeth and along the gumline. Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your gums and teeth.
- Floss every day, and make sure to wrap the floss around the widest part of your tooth as you floss down in between your teeth. This helps to keep the floss snugly against the tooth surface, so it cleans more thoroughly.
- You also need to visit your dentist at least every six to twelve months for a thorough dental examination, including x-rays. Your dentist uses all of the latest diagnostic tools to find dental problems early, when they are easily treatable.
- You should also visit your dental hygienist every six to twelve months for a professional dental cleaning. Your dental hygienist can provide all of the latest information, tools, and techniques to help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful.
Your smile is your greatest asset, and you want a smile that is beautiful and strong. Developing a good oral care routine can help you enjoy a healthy smile for life. To find out more about preventive dental care, talk with an expert. Call Dr. Michael A. White in Chehalis, WA, at (360) 748-0168.
Maintaining dental hygiene can help you avoid bad breath, decay, and tooth sensitivity. Dr. Michael A. White, DDS can show you the importance of a good oral care routine and the steps to put it in place.
Between visits to a dentist's Chehalis, WA, office, there are some things you can do at home to keep great dental health. Patients can protect their smile by doing the following:
Mind your diet
Maintain your oral hygiene by not overindulging on sweets or harsh beverages. Try drinking less coffee, swapping water for soda, and forgoing dessert. Too many sugars cause cavities in the enamel of the teeth, and if left untreated, can cause severe pain, tooth loss, and even jawbone degradation.
Brush teeth at least two times each day
Brushing removes the bacteria and food that adhere to the teeth after you’ve eaten. Brush your teeth at an angle along the gum line, on the insides of your teeth, and on the surfaces that chew food. Take care to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day.
Avoid tooth decay and oral cancer by stopping this bad habit. Smoking and other methods of tobacco-consumption ruin your lungs and dental health, as well. Quitting tobacco also improves breath odor.
Food particles get stuck in places where it is difficult to brush, and this debris increases the formation of cavities and bad breath. Flossing prevents gingivitis and this formation of pockets around teeth. On a daily basis, floss between teeth with water picks or with manual floss.
Are you ready to learn more?
Although home oral care with these tips is simple, a professional cleaning from your dentist makes your smile stand out. To learn more, visit Dr. Micheal A. White’s practice in Chehalis, WA. Contact us at (360) 748-0168 to schedule a consultation with your dentist.
Our Chehalis, WA, dentist Dr. Michael White encourages everyone to get oral cancer screenings once a year. If you don’t remember the last time you came in for a cleaning and checkup, then it’s time you did. After all, these six-month appointments aren’t just for the prevention and early detection of decay and gum disease, it could also catch oral cancer early on when it’s highly treatable.
What goes into an oral cancer screening?
This screening is simple and is often performed during a routine dental checkup. Our dental team will look for any abnormal tissue, lumps or lesions. Any changes to the overall color or texture of the oral tissue are potential warning signs. Since oral cancer can be found just about anywhere in the mouth we will take time to examine all areas thoroughly.
If there is something that requires further testing we will sit down and discuss it with you. Otherwise, this screening is quick, painless and the best tool we have for detecting oral cancer early.
Who is at risk for oral cancer?
As with most forms of cancer, many people assume that older individuals are more susceptible; however, over the last few years, there have been more cases of younger individuals developing oral cancer. This is due to the HPV virus. The HPV virus can be contracted as early as someone’s teens, and it can happen to both men and women.
Other risks for oral cancer include heavy alcohol consumption and smoking. If you have any of these risk factors that you should schedule an oral cancer screening with our Chehalis, WA, family dentist as soon as possible. We can also discuss how often you should come in for routine screenings.
What are the signs of oral cancer?
When we screen for oral cancer we are often looking for these warning signs,
- Hard and/or painful lump
- Red and white patches
- Lesions or sores that bleed or don’t heal
- Trouble moving the jaws or tongue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental cleaning then it’s time to schedule your next routine checkup. Call our Chehalis, WA, dental practice today at (360) 748-0168.
Approximately 47 percent of American adults over the age of 30 are in the early or advanced stages of periodontal disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 38 percent have moderate to severe periodontitis which requires urgent treatment. Are you wondering if you might be among the ranks of American adults who have periodontal disease? Find out for sure when you schedule a visit with Dr. Michael White at his dentist office in Chehalis, WA.
Periodontal Disease: What Is It?
The gums are a crucial part of your dental health, keeping your teeth firmly rooted. When they’re irritated, inflamed, and infect with bad bacteria, it leads to a condition called periodontal disease. The infected is usually caused by the bacteria that grows in plaque or calculus that hardens around the gums. Dental experts believe that a specific strain of bacteria called NI1060 may be cause of the most aggressive forms of gum disease.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
When examining your teeth for signs of periodontitis, your Chehalis, WA dentist will use a periodontal probe. This probe measures how deep the pockets are around your teeth. Other signs of periodontal disease include:
- Painful, bleeding gums (the more excessive the bleeding, the more advanced the gum disease).
- Gums are either bright red or black instead of pink.
- Bad breath with a distinctive odor.
- Receding gumline, exposing the tooth roots.
- Thick tartar buildup around the gumline.
- Loose teeth or tooth loss.
When it’s treated in the early to moderate stages, periodontal disease is manageable. Simple treatments like scaling and root planing or antibacterial medication may help. In more serious cases, laser or conventional periodontal surgery is required. Additional treatments include gum grafting (to restore lost gum tissue) and dental implants (to restore the smile after tooth loss).
Keep Your Gums Healthy
Take care of your gums if you want to keep your teeth for a lifetime. Next to dental decay, periodontal disease is a top cause of tooth loss. Call (360) 748-0168 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael White at his dentist office in Chehalis, WA.
Oral cancer--does it top your list of health concerns? It doesn't have to if you have routine oral cancer screenings with your Chehalis, WA, dentist, Dr. Michael White. Dr. White understands that oral cancer threatens the lives of millions of Americans, with new diagnoses reaching almost 50,000 cases every year in the US. Read here what oral cancer assessment entails (including how easy it is) and what the early signs of this potential killer are so you can be on the alert.
The details on oral cancer
Oral cancer lesions affect the tongue, lips, roof of the mouth, back of the throat, inside of the cheeks--in short, any and all of the soft tissues of the mouth and throat. Risk factors include age and gender (over 40 and being male), but also, the Mouth Cancer Foundation cites these issues as contributors:
- Use of smokeless tobacco and smoking
- Alcohol abuse
- Exposure to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted microorganism
- Excessive sun exposure
Unfortunately, when these factors lead to active malignancies, go undetected or are detected late, oral cancer deaths run high. In fact, 50 percent of these patients do not survive more than five years, says the Mouth Cancer Foundation.
What can you look for?
Here are the early signs of oral cancer. If you experience one or more, contact your primary care physician or your dentist in Chehalis. Watch for:
- White or red patches that do not heal
- Loose teeth
- Hoarseness of voice or a persistent sore throat
- Any unusual sores or lumps in the mouth
- Swellings at the angle of the jaw or neck
- Difficulty swallowing
Dr. White knows exactly what to look for when assessing for oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings at your dentist's office are simple, quick and totally painless.
After your hygienist cleans your teeth, your dentist checks for tooth decay, gums disease and other oral health concerns. Also, he inspects the inside your mouth, including under your tongue and at the back of your throat. When you receive these screenings every six months as the American Dental Association advises, any problems are caught early when treatment is most effective.
If it's time for your semi-annual visit with your dentist in Chehalis, WA, Dr. Michael White, please contact the office for an appointment at (360) 748-0168. Remember, that quality preventive dentistry always includes that important oral cancer assessment for your best smile and great overall health.