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    Factors that May Increase Your Risk for Oral Cancer

    Last updated 7 months ago

    Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth, tongue, and throat. Since 2007, cases of oral cancer have been steadily on the increase in the US. Most people don’t know the signs of oral cancer or what ups their risk of developing the disease. However, your dentist will check for oral cancer during your regular appointments—one more reason why regular dental check-ups are so important. Are you at risk of getting oral cancer? Here are some factors that increase your odds:

    Tobacco Use
    Tobacco use increases your risk for most cancers, and it causes your chances of getting oral cancer to skyrocket. It is the biggest oral cancer risk factor. Different types of tobacco use are linked to different types of oral cancers. Pipe smokers have a high risk of getting cancer on their lips. If you use chewing tobacco or snuff, your risk of getting cancer on the inside of your cheeks or on your gums is much greater than that of a non-user. The majority of people with oral cancer are tobacco users.

    Alcohol Consumption
    Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of all kinds of oral cancers. When frequent, heavy drinking is combined with tobacco use, the risk goes up even more. According to the American Cancer Society, seven out of 10 people with oral cancer drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Being a heavy drinker and a smoker makes you as much as 100 times more likely to get oral cancer.

    HPV Infection
    There are more than 150 variants of human papilloma virus, or HPV. HPV16, one of these strains, is associated with oral cancer. HPV16 is most likely to cause throat cancer. Oral HPV infections can be passed through sexual contact and open-mouth kissing.

    Are you concerned about oral cancer? Discuss your risk factors with the team at South Riding Family Dentistry. Our dentists can perform oral cancer screenings to catch any issues in their early, most treatable stages. Schedule an appointment at our Herndon-area dental office by calling (888) 802-1571.   

    What Is Acid Erosion?

    Last updated 7 months ago

    Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity? Acid erosion could be to blame. This type of tooth wear is caused by acidic food and drinks. The acids in these foods and drinks soften teeth and demineralize the surfaces. The result is an increase in tooth sensitivity and decay.

    Minor acid erosion is common. Everything from your morning juice to enzymes from your stomach cause some degree of erosion. Salvia helps to neutralize this effect and re-mineralize the tooth enamel to prevent damage. However, the repair process is slow, and many people consume high-acid foods and drinks on such a frequent basis that the salvia doesn’t have chance to stop the damage. When this happens, significant erosion can occur. If you sip soda regularly, snack often, eat a large amount of citrus fruits, or have gastric reflux, you could be at risk for acid erosion.

    Talk to your dentist at South Riding Family Dentistry about your risk of acid erosion and what you can do to prevent it. Call us now at (888) 802-1571 to schedule a check-up and dental cleaning.

     

    A Look at the Different Materials Used for Dental Fillings

    Last updated 7 months ago

    When tooth decay leads to a cavity, your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and replace it with a dental filling. There are several different types of materials that can be used to make fillings. Here is a look at some of your dental filling options:

    Silver Amalgam
    Silver amalgam fillings are durable and cost-effective. Although they are very common, they are usually not the first choice for many patients since they are highly visible against teeth. Another downside of silver amalgam fillings is that they tend to contract and expand over the years. These changes can lead to tooth cracks that may need to be treated with additional fillings or a dental crown.

    Gold
    Gold is a non-corrosive metal, which makes it ideal for fillings. Some patients also prefer the look of gold fillings, particularly to silver amalgam. However, gold fillings can be extremely expensive. One gold filling costs approximately 10 times more than a silver amalgam filling. If you choose gold, you will need to have multiple dentist visits for it to be fit properly to your tooth.

    Composite
    If you prefer a natural-looking filling over silver or gold, composite is a good choice for you. Composite fillings are strong and can be matched exactly to your tooth color. Although they are more expensive than silver amalgam fillings, composite fillings are not as pricey as gold. Your dentist can match the composite material closely to your existing tooth color, so people will be unable to detect the filling in your mouth.

    If you need a filling, call South Riding Family Dentistry. We specialize in tooth-colored fillings so you can retain your natural, beautiful smile. We offer preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental care for your whole family in our Chantilly-area dentist office. Call (888) 802-1571 to schedule an appointment.

    What Is Dental Plaque?

    Last updated 8 months ago

    Dental plaque is a sticky film that clings to your teeth.  It is produced by acid-causing bacteria that eat away at tooth enamel, allowing decay to begin. Controlling plaque is an important part of keeping your smile healthy. Conscientious oral hygiene habits should keep plaque at bay.

    Watch this video to learn about the effects of plaque build-up and what you can do to prevent it. If allowed to grow, plaque turns into tartar, which can only be removed by your dentist. Tartar can cause periodontal disease that in turn can lead to tooth loss. Brushing twice daily, flossing at least once a day, and having twice-yearly dental cleanings will stop the spread of plaque on your teeth.

    To keep your teeth healthy, schedule a check-up at South Riding Family Dentistry. We offer a full range of preventative and cosmetic dentistry treatments for your family. Contact us today at (888) 802-1571 for an appointment. 

    Understanding How Dental Implants Can Benefit Your Oral Health

    Last updated 8 months ago

    If you have missing teeth, your dentist can offer many different options for restoring your smile. Bridges and dentures are fine choices for aesthetic purposes, but for the good of your oral health, your cosmetic dentist may recommend dental implants. Dental implants look and feel more like natural teeth than other tooth replacement options. As you’re weighing your choices for tooth replacement, consider these benefits of dental implants:

    Preserving Adjacent Tooth Health
    If you still have some of your teeth, protecting them is crucial to your future dental health. When you opt for a fixed bridge to replace lost teeth, pressure is put on the neighboring teeth. In the long term, this pressure may cause you to lose those teeth as well. Up to 30 percent of people with fixed bridges experience failure of adjacent teeth. Since dental implants are anchored into your jaw, they don’t require any support from adjacent teeth. That means the health of those teeth aren’t impacted by the dental implant.

    Maintaining Gum Health
    Many people who have experienced major or total tooth loss often consider dentures. Although dentures are a viable solution, the fit must be perfect for them to be effective. Poorly-fitted dentures slip and slide on the gums. This not only causes embarrassment, but also causes gum irritation. Inflamed gums can cause pain and become infected, which can lead to deterioration of the jaw. Dental implants sit on your gums like your natural teeth and don’t increase your risk of gum disease.

    Simplifying Oral Hygiene
    Unlike dentures and bridges, which need special attention, dental implants require no special care. You can floss and brush as normal and have regular cleanings at the dentist. As long as you maintain a conscientious oral care routine, you should have no hygiene-related health issues associated with your dental implants.

    If you have experienced tooth loss, work with the cosmetic dentists at South Riding Family Dentistry to choose your best treatment option. Our Herndon, VA team of cosmetic dentists is dedicated to restoring your confidence in your smile. Reserve your appointment by calling (888) 802-1571.

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All content and information available is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing dental advice. You should contact your dentist to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within this site does not create a dentist-client relationship.
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