When you have a dental examination in Lake Stevens, WA, one of the things your dentist will do is look for signs of oral cancer. Although anyone can get oral cancer, some people have risk factors that increase their chances of developing it. At your dental check-up, talk to your dentist about your risk factors and the things you can do to reduce your chances of getting oral cancer. Here is a look at some of the things that could impact your oral cancer risk.
Using tobacco products is the biggest risk factor for oral cancer. Cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and chewing tobacco all increase the risk. Pipe smoking is closely linked to cancers of the lips, while chewing tobacco users are more prone to getting cancer on the insides of their cheeks, gums, and the inner part of the lips. Heavy alcohol consumption while using tobacco products increases the risk of cancer even more. It isn’t just tobacco users who have an increased risk of oral cancer. Regular exposure to secondhand smoke also boosts your cancer risk.
Excessive sun exposure can lead to oral cancer on the lips. You can reduce this chance by wearing a lip balm that contains sun protection daily and reapplying it every two hours when you are out in the sun for a prolonged period of time. Wearing a brimmed hat will also help to protect your lips from the sun’s rays.
HPV, or human papillomavirus, has more than 100 different strains, some of which are linked to an increase in oral cancer. HPV is passed on through sexual contact, including oral sex, and typically causes oral cancers on the tonsil and around the base of the tongue. You can reduce your risk of HPV infection by limiting your number of sexual partners. Preteens may also benefit from the HPV vaccine. If you have been diagnosed with HPV in the past, make sure your dentist knows, so that he or she can be alert to the signs of a problem.
If you have missing teeth, dentures could be the ideal solution for restoring your smile. Today’s dentures are nothing like the false teeth of the past. They are durable and look natural, so you can wear them with confidence. During your next visit to your dental office in Lake Stevens, WA , talk to your dentist about your treatment options for missing teeth, including whether dentures could be right for you.
Dentures fall into two categories: complete and partial. Complete dentures are used in cases when all of a person’s teeth are missing, whereas partial dentures are used to replace areas where only some of the teeth are gone. If you get complete dentures, you can get either conventional or immediate dentures. With conventional dentures, you will have one visit to the dental office to have your damaged teeth removed and then another visit to receive your dentures, after your gums have healed. Immediate dentures are made in advance and are placed at your dental office during a single visit. Whatever type of dentures you get, you will need multiple appointments after getting them as you and your dentist make adjustments to get the perfect fit.
During your dental examination, your dentist may recommend a night guard if he or she sees any signs that you are grinding your teeth. Although night guards can be important for your oral health, adjusting to wearing one isn’t always easy. Ask for advice on wearing a night guard at your dental office in Lake Stevens, WA . These tips will also help.
Get a Custom Fit
Although you can buy night guards over the counter, you’ll find yours much more comfortable if you have your dentist make you one with a custom fit. At your dental office, your dentist can take a mold of your mouth and craft a night guard that is specifically designed to fit you, so you don’t have to deal with guards that are too big or too small or that cut into the soft tissue of your mouth. Your dental office can also demonstrate how to wear the night guard and give you tips on getting used to it, so you can have a smoother transition to sleeping while wearing it.
Ease into It
If you find that your night guard is bothering you when you go to bed, try wearing it for short periods of time during the day, so that you get used to the feel of it and breathing while it’s in your mouth. When you get ready for bed, put your night guard in last, right before you’re ready to fall asleep. If you’re ready for sleep when you put in your night guard, you’re less likely to let it keep you awake.
Keep It Clean
Make cleaning your night guard part of your dental care routine, just like brushing and flossing. Failing to do so will allow your guard to become covered in bacteria, which will cause it to have an odor that makes it unappealing to put in your mouth. Some night guards can even grow mold when not cleaned regularly. Ask your dentist for advice on the best way to care for your guard.
Sports drinks may give you the boost you need in the gym, but it could come at the price of your smile. At your next dental checkup in Lake Stevens, WA, ask your dentist if your favorite sports drinks could be having a negative impact on your smile. This video examines some popular drinks and the way they could affect your teeth.
Sports drinks are harmful for your teeth because they contain a large amount of sugar and acid. The sugar can cause decay, which leads to cavities and tooth loss—and then the need for dental implants. Acids can wear away your tooth enamel, causing tooth sensitivity and making your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Choose water instead of sports drinks to stay hydrated without risking your oral health.