Chicago, IL Dentist | Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Dentist 60608

chicago dentist bridgeportDuring a comprehensive dental examination, our team will look for signs of oral cancer. Early detection is key with oral cancer. If caught early, most forms of oral cancer are treatable. Our dental team is trained and educated to identify oral cancer.

Everyone is susceptible to the disease, but some groups of people are at a higher risk level than others. Here are the top seven risk factors for oral cancer.

Age

Are you in your mid 40s? Your risk of developing oral cancer increases with age. A noticeable increase is evident in people in their 40s and older. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the majority of diagnosed cases occur around the age of 62, but the average age is declining. The recent increase in Human Papillomavirus (HPV) related cases is causing more people to be diagnosed for oral cancers between the ages of 52 and 56. As the average age for oral cancer cases decreases, it is vital that you receive regular oral cancer screenings at any age.

Gender

Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer compared to women. Part of this difference may be related to regular intake of alcohol and tobacco. According to the American Cancer Society, the gender difference is decreasing since more women are drinking and using tobacco today than in previous generations. There has also been a trend in recent years of younger men being diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer. Both men and women should schedule regular oral health examinations to detect oral cancer early.

Tobacco

Smoking or chewing tobacco can greatly increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Tobacco can lead to cancer of the mouth or throat. Additionally, oral tobacco products cause cancers associated with the cheeks, gums, and inner surface of the lips. Development of these cancers depend on the duration and frequency of tobacco use. Non-smokers are not immune to oral cancer, so be sure to schedule an appointment with our team for an examination.

Alcohol

Among those that are diagnosed with oral cancer, about 70% of people are characterized as heavy drinkers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heavy drinking is defined as having an average of two or more drinks per day for men, and one or more drinks per day for women. People who drink heavily can be more than twice as likely to develop oral cancers than people who do not drink. Oral cancer can still occur in people who have never had an alcoholic drink. Contact our team to schedule an examination.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

This sexually transmitted disease is associated with at least 10,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year in the United States. People who have HPV-related oral cancers tend to be younger and are unlikely to smoke or drink. Typically, those diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancers are at a much lower risk of death or reoccurrence. We suggest a proactive approach by maintaining regular visits to our dental office.

Sunlight

People who work outside or with prolonged exposure to sunlight have a higher risk of developing lip cancer. It is vital to use UV protection when under the sun. Many lip balms offer UV protection. If you work outdoors frequently, schedule an additional examination with our team.

Diet

Poor nutrition can increase your risk for developing oral cancer. According to the American Dental Association, reports have shown that a link exists between diets low in fruits and vegetables and a higher risk for oral cancers. However, oral cancer can develop in healthy individuals. No matter your diet, schedule a visit with our team for a comprehensive oral examination.

Oral cancer does not discriminate. While these seven factors have been tied to an increased risk of oral cancer, that does not diminish the importance of regular oral examinations for everyone regardless of their age, gender, or other factors. Regular dental examinations make it possible for our team to detect oral cancer early.

Contact our dentist to schedule a comprehensive oral examination.

3014 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 291-9283

Dentist in Chicago | Health Link: Oral Hygiene and Heart Disease

Chicago Dentist

The human body is a network of interconnected systems and organs. Unfortunately, issues that impact one particular area of your body can also effect the health and function of other areas. Recently, studies have highlighted evidence for links between gum disease and heart disease.

While the exact nature of the connection is still being researched, heart disease is almost twice as likely to occur in people who have gum disease. Nearly half of all Americans have undiagnosed gum disease. In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death, making it pertinent that you maintain a healthy heart. The first key to doing so might lie in keeping your gums healthy.

While gum disease may be a contributing factor to heart disease, it is not the only cause. It is essential that you maintain regular visits to your primary care physician as well to measure your overall health. Other factors and lifestyle choices can impact your heart health.

Diet and exercise. Maintain an active lifestyle with activities you enjoy, such as taking walks, riding bikes, playing sports, or doing yoga. Avoid foods high in starches and sugars, including carbonated soft drinks, as they can also damage your teeth.

Don’t smoke. Whether you’re smoking or vaping, nicotine has a detrimental effect on your cardiovascular system and can damage teeth, gums, and lungs. Recent studies have connected vaping to a rapid loss in healthy cells that line the top layer of your mouth. These cells play an essential role in keeping your mouth healthy.

Brush your teeth. The most basic part of oral hygiene is also the most effective. Make sure you brush and floss at least twice a day.

By keeping a balanced, exercising regularly, and taking care of your teeth, you’re taking a holistic approach to your well-being and minimizing your risk of developing heart disease.

As with other diseases, preventing gum disease alone will not completely remove the risk of developing heart disease. However, you can take a proactive approach to keeping your body healthy, starting with your oral health.

To schedule a cleaning and examination, please contact our office.

3014 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60608
(312) 291-9283

Don’t Let Fear Ruin Your Healthy Smile

Dentist in Bridgeport Chicago

Dentist in Bridgeport ChicagoHave you ever skipped or rescheduled a dental appointment due to fear or anxiety? Does the idea of having dental treatment fill you with dread? Do you worry about pain, embarrassment, or loss of control every time you sit down in a dental examination chair? You are not alone. And even better, we can help.

Most people experience some level of nervousness when going to the dentist. For about 10-20% of people, though, going to the dentist causes such anxiety that they will avoid going much longer than they should, sometimes leaving problems untreated for years. This can affect not only your oral health, but your overall health and self-esteem as well.

So, how does this happen? In most cases, dental fear is caused by either previous bad dental experiences or by indirect experiences, such as witnessing a parent with dental fear avoiding treatment. Once dental fear begins, it can be self-reinforcing and difficult to overcome.

We can help. The first step in overcoming dental fear and regaining your oral health is to let us know that this fear is an issue for you. There are a variety of techniques we can use to help make your visit comfortable and reassuring and to help you feel safe. Dr. Modi and our whole team are happy to speak with you about your specific concerns and anxieties and help you have more control over your own treatment plan. We will start with short, easy consultation and treatments and progress at the pace that feels right to you. When you feel safe and comfortable, your body is more able to relax during treatments, allowing greater anesthetic effectiveness.

So if dental anxiety has forced you to put off the treatments you need to regain or maintain your healthy smile, give Dr. Modi a call and let us show you why we’re known for compassionate, patient-centric dental care.

Do You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?

Dentist in Bridgeport Chicago, IL

Bridgeport Chicago dentistBrushing your teeth is a vital step in maintaining good oral health. However, is there such a thing as over-brushing?

The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. People sometimes brush after every meal, or brush midday to freshen up. Although this is not always a bad thing, when you start brushing too much or for too long, you can ultimately damage your teeth.

Brushing more than three times a day, and for longer than 2 minutes, can sometimes lead to your tooth enamel wearing down as well as cause damage to your gums. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and helps fight against tooth decay. Over-brushing can damage this shield and cause teeth to become sensitive and prone to cavities.

Practicing proper oral hygiene care at home is an important part of your overall oral health. However, being aware of how much is too much is equally important in keeping your smile healthy.

Using the right kind of toothbrush helps prevent unnecessary enamel erosion. It is recommended you use a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Seal of Acceptance shows that:

-All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth.

-Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges (a soft-bristled toothbrush helps prevent the wearing down of enamel).The toothbrush can be used to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque.

-Scheduling regular professional cleanings and exams with our dentist will keep your mouth healthy.

Contact our office today to schedule a cleaning and comprehensive exam with our dentist.

Decrease Your Odds of Hypertension

Dentist in Bridgeport Chicago, IL

dentist Bridgeport ChicagoYou may be unaware of how your oral health can be an indicator of your overall health. The warning signs of systemic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, can often be found by during a routine examination at our dental office. You may be surprised to find out that hypertension (high blood pressure) may also be linked to your oral health habits.

A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that there is a link between oral hygiene and high blood pressure, based on the results of almost 20,000 adults surveyed in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). It was found that individuals with poor oral hygiene habits, such as infrequent brushing of teeth, were more likely to suffer from hypertension. Individuals that brushed their teeth more than once daily and also utilized other oral health products such as floss or mouthwash were less likely to suffer from hypertension. The study concluded that maintaining good oral hygiene habits may help prevent or control high blood pressure.

Good oral hygiene is essential to a healthy life and regular dental visits are important in maintaining good oral heath. Contact our office to schedule your appointment for an examination and cleaning.

 

Can Exercise Damage Your Teeth?

Dentist in Bridgeport Chicago

Dentist in Bridgeport ChicagoExercise is important to good health, but can it have a detrimental effect on our teeth? Studies have shown that exercise and fitness habits can result in an increase in dental decay and tooth erosion. Exercise can impact our oral health in many ways, including:

Decreased Saliva Flow: Breathing heavily through the mouth during exercise can result in a reduction in saliva and cause the mouth to dry out. Saliva is filled with minerals that work to fight bacteria, protect tooth enamel, and prevent decay. To prevent decay caused by a dry mouth, learn to breathe through the nose during exercise and hydrate with water before, during, and after your workout. You can also brush your teeth before you exercise to reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque.

Jaw Clenching: Athletes often clench their jaw when straining to lift weights. This pressure can result in wear and even cracked teeth. To protect teeth from the effects of clenching, consider using a mouth guard. These can be purchase at most drugstores or sporting goods stores or our dentist can make a custom fitted mouth guard for you.

Consuming Sports Drinks: Studies have shown that sugary sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to the teeth than water. The citric acid they contain can soften the tooth enamel so much that even brushing can cause tooth damage. Taking frequent, small sips of sugary liquids increases the chance of tooth decay. Avoiding the use of sports drinks and hydrating with water instead can prevent these negative effects. If you feel you must use sports drinks, don’t drink small amounts over an extended period of time, rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and avoid brushing immediately after consuming.

Contact our office to schedule your next preventative dental appointment.

Scare Away Tooth Decay

Dentist in Bridgeport Chicago ILHalloween is just around the corner, and everyone, both kids and adults, are excited to indulge in sweet treats. Although Trick-or-Treating may be a fun activity, don’t forget to consider the impact it has on your oral health.

As you check the candy loot, remove some of the following tooth decaying culprits from the stash:

  1. Candy Corn: This bite size candy seems harmless. However, some of us grab it by the handful. Candy corn contains a high amount of sugar and can often lead to tooth decay.   If you’re not careful, you could end up eating an entire bag.
  1. Chewy Sweets: Gummy candies and taffy can be difficult for children and adults to resist, but they are a serious source of tooth decay. It often gets stuck in the crevices between teeth, making it difficult to remove.
  1. Sour Treats: Sour candies, such as Warheads, Sour Patch Kids and Sour Skittles, have high acid levels that can break down tooth enamel quickly. The good news is that saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of acid in the mouth. It is recommended to wait 30 minutes to brush your teeth after consuming sour candies. Otherwise, you will be brushing acid onto more tooth surfaces, increasing erosive action.
  1. Hard Candy: Any candy that stays in your mouth for an extended period of time is more harmful for your teeth than candy that is quickly consumed. Examples of these candies include lollipops, Gobstobbers and Jolly Ranchers. Hard candy lowers the pH in your mouth, creating a more acidic environment that is more conducive to enamel erosion and decay.
  1. Caramel Chocolate: Candies, such as Milky Ways and Twix, contain caramel, a gooey substance that sticks to your teeth and is hard to rinse out when you get a drink or from the saliva in your mouth. That means that more harmful bacteria and acids grow, which put your teeth at an increased risk of decay.

By encouraging good oral hygiene, Halloween can be a fun, cavity-free holiday! If you forgot to schedule your last six-month check-up, now’s a good time to get back on track and contact us at Bridgeport Smiles. We also encourage you to schedule an extra post-Halloween dental cleaning to ensure healthy teeth after eating all that candy!