During a comprehensive dental examination, our Trumbull dentist 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 dentist in Trumbull 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 Trumbull dentist 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 Pearl Dental in Trumbull, CT 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.
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 Trumbull dentist 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 Trumbull dentist to schedule a comprehensive oral examination.
“Tooth worms” are the cause of tooth decay. That was the headline of a Sumerian text from around 5,000 B.C.E. Fortunately, the dental industry has evolved since then and we know “tooth worms” don’t exist. Here’s how dentistry has evolved into the comfortable, safe, and beneficial science of today.
In the Beginning
Did you know that the ancient Egyptians had designated doctors for teeth? Evidence has been uncovered suggesting the Chinese used acupuncture to treat pain associated with tooth decay as early as 2700 B.C.E.
Additionally, in 500 B.C.E., Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote of treating teeth and oral diseases by using sterilization procedures and red-hot wires. They also spoke of using these red-hot wires to stabilize jaw fractures and bind loose teeth.
The Visionary Thoughts of the 1600s-1700s
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the 1600s and 1700s were a gold mine of innovation in the dental world. In 1695, Charles Allen published the first ever English dental textbook entitled The Operator of Teeth. In the book, he advises using a homemade toothpaste from powdered coal, rose-water, and “dragon’s blood” to keep teeth clean and white. Allen also suggests using dog’s teeth for transplants and even references wisdom teeth in his book.
In the 18th century, Pierre Fauchard was well ahead of his time in the medical practice when his master work The Surgeon Dentist was published. For the first time, dentistry was described as a modern profession. Some notable highlights in the book include sugar being the cause of dental caries (cavities), braces being used to correct teeth position, and the concept of a dentist’s chair light.
The Progressive 1800s
The discoveries and inventions of the 1800s were significant. In 1816, Auguste Taveau developed the first form of dental fillings made out of silver coins and mercury. In 1840, Horace Wells demonstrated the use of nitrous oxide to sedate patients and Thomas Morton employed the use of ether anesthesia for surgery.
That same year, Horace Hayden and Chapin Harris boosted modern dentistry by opening the first dental school, inventing the modern Doctor of Dental Surgery, and starting the first dental society. By the end of the 1800’s, porcelain inlays, the first mechanized dental drill, and the toothpaste tube had all been invented.
Scientific Advancement of the 1900s
The scientific development of the 1900s gave birth to some amazing advancements in the dental industry. Electric drills became available due to the invention of electricity. In 1907, precision case fillings made by a “lost wax” casting machine was invented to fill cavities, and Novocain was introduced into US dental offices.
In 1955, Michael Buonocore described the method of tooth bonding to repair cracked enamel on teeth. Years later, the first fully reclining dental chair is introduced to put patients and dentists at ease. By the 1990s, “invisible” braces were introduced, along with the first at-home tooth bleaching system.
What Will the Future of Dentistry Hold?
Today, dental professionals are investigating the links between oral health and overall health. The use of gene-mediated therapeutics to alter the genetic structure of teeth to increase resistance to tooth decay is receiving attention. Some researchers believe that there may be a way to grow a new tooth structure around weakened enamel. Only time will tell what the future of dentistry will bring, but our Trumbull dental office is dedicated to seeking the most effective modern technologies as they arise.
Our Trumbull dentist is pleased to provide high-quality removable dentures to new and existing patients who have experienced the loss of some or all of their teeth. These dentures are custom crafted to fit the individual patient’s mouth and specific tooth replacement needs. They provide both a cosmetic and functional replacement solution for tooth loss.
To make the dentures, we will make a series of impressions of the patient’s jaw, teeth, and gums, including several measurements. A model will be crafted, tested, and adjusted until the color, shape, and fit of the denture are right for the patient’s unique needs. Once the model is ready, it is sent to the dental lab and used to cast the permanent denture. Finally, the patient will receive the permanent denture and minor adjustments will be made, if necessary, to ensure comfort and fit.
There are two basic types of dentures: Conventional Full Dentures and Partial Dentures. Each of these meets a different teeth replacement need.
● Conventional Full Dentures are a great option if a patient needs replacement for all of the upper and/or lower teeth. Once the gums have fully healed from any extractions, we will take impressions and measurements of the jaws and gums. These are used in crafting a custom model of the future denture. The model will be adjusted for fit, then sent to the lab for the denture to be made. Once complete, our Trumbull dentist will fit the denture to the patient’s mouth, making any minor adjustments needed to ensure a secure, comfortable fit.
● Partial Dentures, also known as Dental Bridges, are a replacement for one or more missing teeth. Besides the aesthetic reason for bridges, patients often choose to have a bridge to prevent teeth from rotating or shifting into the empty spaces caused by tooth loss. A standard bridge places a crown on the teeth surrounding the empty space, then attaches a replacement tooth to those crowns. We will match the replacement to the patient’s natural teeth for a consistent look to their smile.
With any form of dentures, the patient should follow up with the dentist in Trumbull as recommended. We may need to make adjustments to dentures over time to keep proper fit and full comfort. Dentures should be cleaned regularly using a soft bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive cleanser to avoid buildup of plaque. Generally, dentures should be replaced every 5-10 years. Ask our dentist in Trumbull to evaluate whether your dentures should be refit or replaced.
Don’t wait until you’re in pain to see your Trumbull dentist! Most people make time to clean out the house, car, garage, or closets at least twice a year. Why not include your oral health on your “to do” list?
Schedule an Appointment Now!
Regular professional cleaning and examinations are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. These routine visits are your first line of defense against tooth decay, periodontal disease, oral cancers, and more. Early identification and treatment of any oral illness improves outcomes and allows for less-invasive treatment options. Don’t wait until it hurts!
Why Do We Avoid Going?
The HDI institute, in a study done with the American Dental Association, lists some of the main reasons we sometimes delay going to the dentist. Cost, low perceived need, time, and anxiety are the most common causes. However, if we allow these concerns to interfere with oral care, we may allow more serious issues to develop.
When Should We See the Dentist?
The ADA or American Dental Society recommends maintaining twice yearly visits for cleaning and examinations. In addition, they advise making an appointment for any of the following concerns:
1. Pain in your mouth, teeth, or face
2. Injury to your mouth, teeth, or face
3. Conditions that can affect oral health, such as diabetes
5. Jaw pain or stiffness
6. Bleeding, swelling, or redness in your gums
7. Recent dental treatment, such as fillings, crowns, implants, or root canal
8. Pain or difficulty eating or drinking
9. Chronic dry mouth
10. Smoking or tobacco use
11. Sores in your mouth that are not healing
12. You have questions or concerns about your oral health or hygiene
About 1 in 4 adults in the United States feels embarrassed by the look of their smile. Our dental office is proud to offer porcelain dental veneers to new and existing patients. Our doctor has the training and experience to provide porcelain veneers to patients who wish to restore a whiter, healthier, more even look to their smile.
Porcelain veneers are a cosmetic and restorative dental solution that mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Veneers create an immediate improvement in the appearance of a smile. They are a minimally invasive treatment option and can be more cost-effective than many other cosmetic improvement options.
Patients whose teeth are healthy, but are chipped, cracked, crooked, or mildly stained can benefit from veneers. Patients whose teeth are uneven or have gaps may also find veneers are a great solution for improving the look of their smile.
We offer custom-crafted porcelain veneers that are fitted precisely to cover the front surface of the tooth. Because porcelain is a semi-translucent material, the tooth continues to have a natural healthy appearance with the veneer in place. Veneers are chosen with care to match the natural teeth around them, to ensure optimal aesthetic results.
Once placed, porcelain veneers are a strong, stain-resistant, and long-lasting cosmetic dental solution. However, porcelain dental veneers need ongoing dental care, just like natural teeth. They should be brushed and flossed regularly, and normal dental exam and cleaning schedules should be maintained. When cared for properly, veneers can last a lifetime.
There are some additional factors to consider before choosing veneers. First, it is common to experience some sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages for a few days following the placement of veneers. This is generally mild and unlikely to last more than about a week.
Second, while porcelain is a strong and durable material, it is recommended to avoid activities that will put great stress on the veneers, such as chewing excessively hard foods or using the teeth to attempt to open a nut or bottle. Finally, any patient who has issues with bruxism (grinding) should discuss this with our Trumbull dentist before deciding whether to have dental veneers placed.
For more information or to schedule a consultation with our expert dentist, contact our Trumbull dental office today. We’re here to give you a smile that you can show with pride.
The food children eat affects their long-term oral health. Some foods have nutrients teeth need. Others are full of acids and sugars that are harmful to teeth. With so many unhealthy food choices being marketed to children every day, it is vital that you take a stand. Offer fun, healthy snacks and model the better food choices you want your kids to make.
Offer healthy snack choices. Kids should have a well-balanced and nutritional diet. This not only promotes overall health but also helps build a strong healthy smile. Nutrition is an important part of oral health. Teaching your kids about eating healthy and limiting sugary foods will help foster a balanced diet from an early age. This will form habits that will result in a lifetime of strong teeth and better overall health.
Have fun with snacks. Promote a nutritious diet by getting creative with snack choices. If you show your kids that healthy snacks are fun, they will be more likely to eat them. Apple slices with peanut butter, fruit smoothies, and yogurt with granola or fruit are great examples of fun, yet healthy combinations. Remember to avoid soda and sugary drinks. These can leave sugars on teeth and can increase the risk of plaque and tooth decay. Water is always the best solution! Eating a well-balanced lunch and dinner is important as well. Make sure to add a variety of fruits and vegetables to every meal so that your kids become accustomed to them.
Be a good role model. Children learn habits by following the example set by their parents. Send your kids the right message by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables yourself. Avoid sugary snacks that can cause cavities or gum disease. Be sure to practice good oral hygiene in front of your kids. If you brush and floss after meals and snacks, your kids will follow the example. Consider brushing together with your child to reinforce good brushing skills and habits. Make sure to brush at least twice a day, after breakfast and before bedtime. If it is possible, try to encourage your child to brush after lunch or after sweet snacks.
Follow up. Don’t forget it is also very important to have regular dental appointments for your child, and model healthy habits by seeing your own dentist regularly. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us at Pearl Dental in Trumbull for more ideas on how to promote healthy snacking for great long term dental health!
In our mouths, we have numerous forms of bacteria. Some are helpful and some are harmful. Bacteria in the mouth can be helpful because it helps to sanitize the mouth and breaks down food particles. However, too much bacteria can lead to the development of gum disease which can be damaging to your oral health.
When the bacteria start to collect in the mouth, it can create a sticky colorless substance known as “plaque” that sticks on to your teeth. If the plaque is not removed during brushing or flossing, the particle can harden and turn into tartar. Over time, plaque and tartar becomes more difficult to remove at home so a professional cleaning with your Trumbull dentist is important for maintaining your oral health and preventing decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
The longer the plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the more harm they can cause to your oral health. Eventually plaque and tartar will create a mild form of gum disease called Gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gum tissue. Ideally, routine cleanings and proper oral care can prevent gingivitis from developing. Once gum disease is prevalent, only your dentist can help to maintain the disease and prevent it from progressing.
In cases where gingivitis is not treated, it can then advance to periodontal disease. With periodontal disease, the inflammation now affects the soft tissue (gums) and the tooth and if left unattended, it can cause the tooth to loosen or fall out.
Having periodontal disease also can affect your overall bodily health. In many studies, there have been connections with periodontal disease to diabetes and heart disease. It is important to regularly see the dentist for a routine, professional cleaning and examination to prevent gum disease.
With periodontal disease, the dentist has solutions to help you prevent and maintain gum disease. A common solution for controlling periodontal disease is a deep dental cleaning, which can be performed by your dentist or certified hygienist. Contact Pearl Dental in Trumbull to schedule your next visit today.
About 1 in 4 adults experience tooth loss between the ages of 21 and 30. Dental implants are a safe and long-term option for tooth replacement that improve the appearance and functionality of your smile.
A dental implant can be paired with a replacement crown for single tooth replacement or can be used in small groups to anchor a denture or dental bridge. Dental implants are a strong, long-lasting solution for tooth loss and serve to prevent jawbone loss in the same manner as a natural tooth root.
● Natural looking smile: Dental implants are crafted to closely resemble your natural teeth, restoring a natural-looking smile.
● Improved oral health: Since there is no need to alter surrounding teeth to anchor implants, more of your natural teeth are preserved intact, improving long-term oral health.
● Improved speech: With removable, non-anchored dentures, teeth can slip within the mouth, causing slurred or mumbled speech. Dental Implants remove that concern.
● Improved comfort: Dental Implants avoid the slipping and discomfort of removable dentures.
● Improved function: Dental Implants function like your natural teeth, allowing you to eat without pain.
● Durability: Dental implants are stable, strong, and stain resistant.
● Protect healthy bone structure: Empty spaces caused by tooth loss can, over time, lead to deterioration of the jawbone. Since Dental Implants function like tooth roots, they are able to prevent this type of deterioration, just as natural teeth do.
● Long-term solution: Dentures must be replaced about every 5-7 years. Dental Implants, when cared for properly, can last a lifetime.
If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be right for you. We will consider your oral and overall health prior to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Some considerations include:
● Adequate bone support to anchor the implant
● Healthy gum tissue
● Sinus and nerve location
● Overall health, including any chronic illnesses
In some cases, we may recommend advance treatment for your upper or lower jaw to enable you to have the bone support needed for implantation. As always, your treatment plan is created based on your specific needs and goals for your healthy smile.
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, contact Pearl Dental of Trumbull today for an appointment. We’re here to help restore the health and beauty of your smile.
We often have visitors to our office ask about solutions for fixing stained teeth or filling in gaps between teeth. We sometimes suggest veneers. Veneers are one cosmetic option available for correcting your smile. Here’s what you should know about veneers, and whether they are right for you and your smile.
What Are Veneers?
A Veneer is a thin cover placed over the front of the tooth. Typically, they are made of dental porcelain and designed to cover your existing tooth, not replace it.
What They Do
Veneers are used to fix a broken or chipped tooth, shrink the noticeable gaps in between teeth, or reduce the visible stains on teeth. Our office specially sizes them to fit your teeth. Generally, the structure of your teeth is not altered since the veneers are placed over your teeth.
What You Need to Know
Those who get veneers sometimes experience a minor increase in sensitivity, particularly to hot or cold food and drinks. Veneers are typically nonreversible, as they often require a small amount of tooth enamel to be removed. After getting them, it is advisable to avoid drinks such as wine, coffee, or tea that are often culprits of causing staining. Taking care of them still requires you to brush twice each day and floss regularly as well. Your teeth are not invincible to staining or decay so be sure to continue to take care of them.
It is important to know that veneers are a solution to minor tooth issues such as discoloration, gaps, or misaligned teeth. They are not a substitute for braces, bridges, or other dental work. Schedule a visit to our office to meet with our dentist. Together our team can work with you to develop a plan to reach the goals and look you are hoping to achieve.
For more information on how to achieve the smile you have dreamed of, contact our Trumbull dental office. We look forward to seeing you during your next visit with us!
Even a healthy mouth is lined with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, it is possible to develop an excess of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to additional problems. Here’s what you should know about oral thrush and what you can do to prevent it.
What is it?
Oral thrush is caused by a collection of the fungus Candida in your mouth. Bacteria and fungi occur naturally in your mouth, but it is important that they are not permitted to build up. Thrush can appear as white, thick scrapes on your tongue or inner cheek. It may also look like patchy, white sores.
Who does it affect?
Young children, infants, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, it is even more important that you stay active to keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues like oral thrush. Smokers also tend to develop oral thrush more than other patients.
What can it do?
Oral thrush can lead to trouble swallowing and tasting. As it develops, it can become painful. Oral thrush can make affected areas feel like they are burning, and slight bleeding can occur if you are scraping your tongue or cheeks. Some describe the feeling as having cotton in their mouth.
Thrush can spread. If you have a weakened immune system, it is possible that thrush moves into your lungs, digestive tract, and even your heart.
How can I prevent It?
Our best recommendation for preventing oral thrush is a vigilant daily oral hygiene routine that includes a thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth, and includes your tongue. We sometimes recommend a patient use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Just like brushing your teeth, your tongue depends on daily cleaning to stay healthy and free of germs and bacteria.
The American Dental Association recommends that for some patients it might be helpful to consider an antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash. Check with our doctor to see which solutions might be best for you.
We cannot overstate the importance of regularly scheduled dental exams. If you are a diabetic, it is even more important that you schedule regular visits to our Trumbull dental office. By having your mouth checked by our staff, we can work with you to prevent oral health issues like thrush.
For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our Trumbull dental office.