When I remind you that you need to come in for an examination every six months, you may think, ‘Six months, eight months … what’s the difference?’ The truth is, two months could make a difference when it comes to your health. I’m not just talking about tooth decay or gum disease, either. There is a very real danger that could be avoided by being seen by me semi-annually, without fail. What is it? Oral Cancer.
The Risk of Oral Cancer
Despite what you may think, oral cancer doesn’t just affect those who use tobacco products. While that certainly increases your risk, there are other risk factors, as well, including:
- Heavy drinking (particularly when combined with tobacco use)
- Gender, as oral cancers tend to affect more men than women
- The human papillomavirus
- Prolonged sun exposure, particularly without sunscreen
- A weakened immune system
What to Look For
Only the well-trained eye of a professional can detect suspicious spots, but if you have any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with me sooner rather than later:
- A mouth sore that doesn’t go away
- Persistent pain in the oral tissues
- A lump or thickened area on the cheek
- A red or white patch in the oral tissues
Some of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions, but don’t ignore them for too long; after all, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.
The Benefits of Early Diagnosis
Like many cancers, oral cancer is highly treatable when detected early. This is exactly why I like to see you every six months. Not only do I conduct a thorough visual examination of your oral tissues, but I palpate the tissue as well to make sure everything feels as it should. If anything appears abnormal — which I will only know if I see you regularly — we’ll proceed with the next step, which in most cases is a biopsy. Whatever the case may be, early diagnosis increases your chances of survival.
If you’re even a little bit late for your semi-annual appointment, call today to schedule your next exam. From oral cancer to gum disease, oral health is connected to overall health; keeping you healthy is my priority.
How do you feel about your smile? Are you happy with the color of your teeth? Are you okay with their shape and placement? Are you missing teeth but haven’t placed a priority on restorative options? Whatever the case may be, there is one thing you can do to increase your chances of having the smile of your dreams. It won’t take much time, it can be done in the comfort of your own home (or office, or café, etc.), and it can change your perception of what a smile is worth. What is it and how can you get started?
Our Smile Analysis is the perfect first step to get you on the road to having your perfect grin. Sometimes, we’re unaware of how much we think about our smiles until we’re forced to bring the subconscious to the forefront of our minds. For example, do you cover your mouth when you laugh? Have you thought about why or which occasions you’re most likely to do so? These are the types of questions that are addressed through our Smile Analysis.
The truth is, I can’t think of a single dental imperfection that cannot be corrected through dentistry. From the purely cosmetic concerns to the conditions that are detrimental to your health, there is a solution. The only way for me to determine which treatment plan is best is by discussing the results of your Smile Analysis with you.
If there is anything you don’t like about your smile, what are you waiting for? Why spend another day, month, or year dreading social events and photo opportunities when you can take control of your smile and your confidence by completing a Smile Analysis. When you’re ready to take the next step, I’ll be right here waiting.
You wake up to excruciating jaw pain — again. You think about what your day has in store and cringe. How will you interact with co-workers, clients, and even the Starbucks barista when it physically hurts you to smile? If this scenario is familiar, you may have a problem with your TMD.
The temporomandibular joint connects your lower jaw to your upper. When this joint becomes inflamed or irritated, it results in TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder. For some, TMD pain can be debilitating, preventing them from enjoying social situations. The following symptoms are the most common:
- Facial swelling
- Jaw clicking or popping sounds
- Ear, neck, or shoulder pain
- Ringing of the ears or dizziness
- Jaw pain, particularly when talking, chewing, or yawning
The problem with TMD is that many of the symptoms can be explained by other health conditions. You don’t inherently suspect a misaligned jaw when you have chronic shoulder pain.
TMD can be caused by a number of things, from arthritis of the temporomandibular joint to trauma such as whiplash. Whatever the cause, Dr. Angela Britt can use Physiologic Dentistry identify the source of your pain. The technology we utilize, such as Myotronics (bite evaluation system), allows Dr. Britt to view how your facial muscles, jaw joints, and soft tissues work together. This information is then used to develop a personalized treatment plan that will finally put an end to your pain. Types of treatment include:
- Physical therapy and stretching exercises to strengthen jaw muscles
- Occlusal appliances such as splints to place your jaw in the proper position or mouth guards to prevent jaw clenching and grinding
There is no need to suffer from TMD symptoms when help is just a phone call away. If you live in Brunswick, Georgia, or the surrounding communities, contact Dentistry by Angela Britt to schedule a consultation. Your smile and your comfort matter to us.