Category Archives: Preventative Dentistry

It’s All About Getting a Good Night’s Sleep | Dallas Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-453253687November is National Sleep Comfort Month. Science has yet to understand why we sleep, but we know that proper sleep improves your brain function, memory, heart health, longevity, weight loss, and overall well-being. According the American Psychological Association, almost two-thirds of all adults have trouble sleeping several nights a week. But teeth are associated with several common sleep issues, so if you’re waking up exhausted or lose energy you need throughout the day, it may be time to see your dentist.

Snoring. Many people believe snoring is caused primarily by nasal blockages, but the most common source is a misalignment of the soft tissue far back on the roof of your mouth. When air can’t pass freely through your mouth and throat to your lungs, this area can bump up against your uvula, creating that snore sound. Wearing a mouth guard can slightly shift your jaw so air flows properly to your lungs.

Grinding. Due to stress, anxiety, malocclusion (improper teeth alignment), or aging, some people unconsciously grate their upper and lower teeth together, interfere with sleep as facial muscles may become sore and pull you out of a more restful cycle. Wearing a mouth guard will prevent damage to your teeth.

Sleep apnea. If you are one of the 12 million Americans with sleep apnea, your airways become so obstructed during sleep that you stop getting adequate oxygen to your brain, forcing your mouth open to gasp for air, and you wake up, preventing a deep sleep.

 

Baby Teeth and Back-to-School | Dallas Dentist

Baby Teeth and Back to School

As we are wrapping up the final days of summer, it’s time to start preparing your little one’s from the upcoming school year. We should not only prepare them to expand their minds, but their bodies too. So, how does one keep an eye on the oral health of a little human during this time of year?

iStock_000020358353_SmallIt’s important to consider your child’s diet as they transition to the new school schedule. When it comes to the sweet snacks in their lunch, keep the same rule of thumb in mind. Opt for a singular snack they have to eat at once, like a fun-size candy bar. When it comes to snacks, there are loads of options that not only taste yummy, but also help fight against cavity-causing bacteria.

The act of chewing automatically produces saliva production, so handy snacks like popcorn or pretzels are great options when you just want to have something to nosh on. They may not love them the most, but fruits and veggies with high water content, like pears and celery sticks, are also great at keeping their little mouth’s healthy. Protein is also excellent at getting rid of the acids in your mouth so pack turkey sandwiches, cheese & nuts to your heart’s content. There are so many tasty options to divert their attention away from the junk food. Back to school time is always a kid’s least favorite time of year…make it as painless as you possibly can.

To learn more about pediatric dental care, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month | Dallas Dentist

skd284147sdcOral cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. Oral cancer is one of several types of cancer grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly. The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40. If you notice any of the below changes, contact your dentist or health care professional immediately:

  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

Your dentist may perform an oral brush biopsy if tissue in your mouth looks suspicious. This test is painless and involves taking a small sample of the tissue and analyzing it for abnormal cells. Alternatively, if the tissue looks more suspicious, your dentist may recommend a scalpel biopsy. This procedure usually requires local anesthesia and may be performed by your dentist or a specialist. These tests are necessary to detect oral cancer early, and early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.

To learn more about oral cancer screenings, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

How Is Tartar Actually Controlled? | Dallas Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669If you’ve purchased a toothbrush or mouthwash lately, you’ve probably seen the phrase “tartar control”. And while you may not know what it is, the average person enjoys anything that says it is controlling a bad dental visit. However, many patients don’t realize what tartar actually is, or why simple brushing, flossing, and mouthwash may not entirely eliminate tartar. But to help keep your mouth healthy, it’s important to know the ABCs of tartar.

As you eat, bacteria and food particles combine to form a sticky yellow film known as plaque. Plaque coats your teeth – it’s difficult to clean, and it accumulates in cracks, crevices, and beneath the gum line even as you brush it off of the exposed surfaces of your teeth. The bacteria contained in plaque creates acids that damage your tooth enamel and cavities. If plaque is allowed to stay on your teeth, it hardens into a calcified substance known as tartar.

Typically, tartar will need to be removed with professional cleaning, which is one of the reasons dentists recommend professional cleaning every 6 months. Because tartar is so difficult to remove, it’s often best to avoid allowing plaque to harden into tartar by brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and using antibacterial mouthwash. Because tartar takes 12-24 hours to harden, brushing twice a day – or after each meal – gives you multiple opportunities to catch plaque before it becomes tartar. For any tartar you miss, you’ll need to rely on your routine professional cleaning to remove.

To learn more about tartar control, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Rinse Your Mouth Out Immediately | Dallas Dentist

skd284147sdcWe all love that fresh feeling you get after rinsing with mouthwash. Did you know your mouthwash is doing more than just giving your breath a boost? Rinsing daily with certain mouthwashes can improve your oral health. We’re talking whitening your teeth, helping to prevent gum disease and fighting plaque. Need more? Check it out:

Freshens breath. First and most obviously, mouthwash temporarily reduces bad breath. Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath leaving you with minty fresh breath.

Removes particles. Most people use mouthwash only after brushing. This is a perfectly fine practice, but used before brushing to rinse out loose particles in your mouth will make the brushing and flossing more effective.

Prevents plaque build-up. Various mouthwashes help prevent plaque build-up on your gums, in-between teeth, and on the surface of your teeth. Although it prevents the build-up of plague, it cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth. So, remember to always brush and floss before plaque becomes a problem.

Cavity prevention. Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride can prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel. Remember, not all mouthwashes contain fluoride. web services Be sure to check the label on your mouthwash before purchasing.

Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing and should be used in conjunction with good oral health habits. It takes a moment to rinse but the positive impact on your oral health is long-lasting. With rinsing daily, you can successfully navigate around dental problems.

To learn more about the benefits of mouthwash, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Sleep Apnea and Cancer

snoringIt has been proven that over 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a shallow breathing condition that inhibits sleep. The non-breathing pauses one can take whilst sleeping can happen as often as 30 times in a sleep session, with each pause lasting as long as a few minutes. Various causes lead to this condition, like smoking, alcohol use, obesity, and dental issues. But now there is one more thing we have to be careful of when it comes to sleep apnea: it can also increase your cancer risks.

Recent studies have concluded that intermittent hypoxia, or oxygen reduction to the body tissues caused by sleep apnea, may be the cause of growing cancer tumors. The experiments have only been conducted on lab mice, but those with the simulated intermittent hypoxia developed more vascular progenitor cells and endothelial cells than those mice unexposed. These cells can go on to mature and create blood vessels, which feeds cancer tumors. There has also been evidence that intermittent hypoxia can also lead increase vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and it is that protein that is also known to boost blood vessel formations.

At the European Association of Urology (EAU) Congress in Munich, Germany, lead researcher Dr. Antoni Vilaseca, of the Hospital Clinic De Barcelona in Spain, and colleagues recently presented their findings. Found to be remarkable, many believe these results definitely show that oxygen deficiency is affecting renal tumor growth. Vilaseca says, “Patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea usually suffer from intermittent hypoxia at night. This work shows that intermittent hypoxia has the potential to promote the formation of blood vessels within tumors, meaning that the tumors have access to more nutrients.

This is of course an early animal study, so we need to be cautious in applying this to humans. Nevertheless, this work indicates a plausible mechanism for just why conditions which restrict oxygen flow to tissues, like sleep apnea, may promote cancers.”

Because there are so many factors that cause sleeping disorders, and so many variations of sleep, misdiagnosis is often common when it comes to those with sleep apnea. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent further complications to your sleep, but getting yourself checked is the only real way to know for sure. You may or may not have sleep apnea, but the best way to rule it out and come up with a definite diagnosis is to have yourself checked by a sleep professional. Free yourself from sleep apnea and its many effects on your health!

If you think that you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS to schedule a consult today. Visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com to learn more about sleep apnea.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

166219324April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40.

Oral cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. Oral cancer is one of several types of cancer grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly.

If you notice any of the below changes, contact your dentist or health care professional immediately.

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?

As part of your routine dental exam, your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening exam. More specifically, your dentist will feel for any lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and oral cavity. When examining your mouth, your dentist will look for any sores or discolored tissue as well as check for any signs and symptoms mentioned above.

Your dentist may perform an oral brush biopsy if he or she sees tissue in your mouth that looks suspicious. This test is painless and involves taking a small sample of the tissue and analyzing it for abnormal cells. Alternatively, if the tissue looks more suspicious, your dentist may recommend a scalpel biopsy. This procedure usually requires local anesthesia and may be performed by your dentist or a specialist. These tests are necessary to detect oral cancer early, before it has had a chance to progress and spread.

How Is Oral Cancer Treated?

Oral cancer is treated the same way many other cancers are treated — with surgery to remove the cancerous growth, followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

What Can I Do to Prevent Oral Cancer?

To prevent oral cancer:

  • Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation (and refrain from binge drinking).
  • Eat a well balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lip, especially the lower lip. When in the sun, use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin, as well as your lips.

See your dentist on a regular schedule. Even though you may be conducting frequent self exams, sometimes dangerous spots or sores in the mouth can be very tiny and difficult to see on your own.

Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment. During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam.

For more information on your oral health contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS. Make an appointment by calling 469-718-0128 or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.