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How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?

How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?

Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 at 5:00 am.

Nobody wants to hear they have oral cancer. The good news is that preventive care includes oral cancer screenings to detect the early stages of this disease, potentially saving your life. That’s why it is essential to keep up with your routine checkups and cleanings twice a year so that we can identify any problem before it progresses.

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer can occur in different areas of the mouth including the tongue, lips, gums, cheeks, the roof or floor of the mouth, in the tonsils, and in the salivary glands. 

In the earliest stages of oral cancer, there are often no signs of symptoms. However, routine dental checkups can help identify early signs. Some signs and symptoms include red or red and white patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue, ulcers or sores that do not heal, persistent swelling, lumps or thickening of the skin or the lining of the mouth, or pain when swallowing. 

Symptoms may also include a painful tongue, jaw pain or stiffness, a hoarse voice, or a sensation that something is stuck in the throat. These symptoms do not necessarily indicate oral cancer but should be examined to rule out any potential problems.

How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?

First, we will perform a physical exam to look for abnormalities including sores and white patches. If we find a suspicious area, we may remove a sample of cells for laboratory in a procedure called a biopsy. The sample is examined for cancer or precancerous changes that may indicate future cancer.

If cancer is diagnosed, we will work to determine the stage of the disease and will determine the best course of treatment. We cannot begin to overemphasize the need for keeping up with your routine checkups because identifying oral cancer in its early stages allows for much better chances of full recovery.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Contact us at May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry to learn more about oral cancer screening. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, this quick and simple procedure can potentially be a life saver. We are committed to keeping your smile healthy for a lifetime. Call us today.

What Are My Options If My Root Canal Therapy Fails?

What Are My Options If My Root Canal Therapy Fails?

Posted on Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 at 5:00 pm.

With proper care, a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy can last a lifetime. At times, a tooth that has been treated becomes infected at the root months or even years after treatment. In the unlikely event your tooth failed to heal or develops new problems, there are options available to restore your oral health.

What Are the Causes of Root Canal Therapy Failure?

As with any dental procedure, a tooth may not heal as intended after root canal therapy.  At times, a patient’s tooth may have canals hidden behind others. If one of these canals are missed during root canal treatment, an infection may develop, potentially causing an abscess. 

An obstruction such as a tooth or filling material may make it impossible to reach and thoroughly clean the affected canals. Additionally, cracks in the roots of the tooth make it challenging to fully seal the canal, which may lead to an infection.

In some cases, new problems can jeopardize a tooth that was treated successfully. Further decay or fractures in the tooth, or loose cracked or broken fillings can also expose the treated tooth to bacteria, resulting in a new infection. 

Options for Failed Root Canal Therapy

The first course of treatment with the highest rate of success is retreatment. The procedure involves removing the filling, cleaning and disinfecting the canals, then sealing them once again to prevent exposure to bacteria. 

Apicoectomy is recommended when a blockage is present which prevents access to the canal, or if the original root canal treatment included a post and crown restoration. In this minor surgical procedure, we will remove all the inflamed or infected tissue, along with the root tip, or apex, and sealing the end of the root using a filling. 

In the event that retreatment is not effective or the tooth cannot be successfully restored, extraction may be the only viable option. In this case, we will likely recommend a dental implant to restore the function and appearance of the missing tooth.

Quality Care Near Me

Contact us at May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry to learn more about your options in the event of a failed root canal procedure. Depending on the condition of your tooth, we will consider all available options and make the most conservative decision regarding treatment. With quality care designed to keep your teeth strong and healthy, you can trust that your smile is in capable hands. Call us today!

11 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

11 Ways to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Posted on Monday, February 11th, 2019 at 3:39 am.

Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Setting a few minutes aside each day to care for your teeth and being mindful of your daily habits are the best ways you can maintain your healthy smile. Following are 11 tips to keep your teeth healthy and bright.

1. Brush Your Teeth at Least Twice a Day

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Brushing cleans food and bacteria from your mouth and washes away particles that eat away at your teeth and cause cavities. Brushing also removes plaque which can harden into tartar, potentially leading to gum disease.

2. Brush Your Tongue

Brushing your tongue first thing in the morning helps remove plaque buildup on your tongue which can lead to bad breath, along with other oral health problems.

3. Floss Your Teeth Daily

Flossing every day loosens the particles that brushing misses, and removes plaque between your teeth. This helps reduce your risk of developing cavities or gum disease.

4. Use Mouthwash Daily

Mouthwash tames bad breath, reduces the amount of acid in your mouth, cleans hard to reach areas in and around the gums, and remineralizes your teeth. Using mouthwash on a regular basis reduces plaque, and helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay. 

5. Drink Lots of Water

Drinking water is beneficial for your oral and your overall health. Make sure to drink a glass of water after every meal to help wash out any food or bacteria left in your mouth.

6. Limit Intake of Sugary and Acidic Foods

Sugar in foods converts into acid which can erode the enamel of your teeth, leading to cavities. Acidic foods can also wear down your tooth enamel.

7. Stay Away from Sodas

Acids in soft drinks including diet sodas can harm your teeth. Not only do these beverages cause cavities, but also leave stains on your tooth surfaces.

8. Quit Smoking

Smoking has been shown to cause gum disease. It weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight off gum infection. Smoking makes it difficult for your gums to heal once they have been damaged.

9. Consume a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Consuming a nutritious, balanced diet will help you get the nutrients you need to promote oral health.

10. Consider Adding Supplements to Your Diet

Minerals are necessary for your overall and oral health. To ensure you receive the nutrients you need, you may want to consider supplements. Talk to a medical professional before adding supplements to your diet.

11. See Your Dentist Regularly

Even with the most meticulous oral care, it’s important to see your dentist regularly for a checkup and professional cleaning at least twice a year. During your visit, we will remove tartar deposits, and will identify and treat any potential issues as they arise.

Preventive Care Near Me

Visit us at May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry to learn more about preventive care designed to keep your teeth bright and healthy. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy, confident smile for a lifetime!

What Is a Dental Bridge?

What Is a Dental Bridge?

Posted on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 at 5:00 pm.

Have you been hiding your smile due to missing teeth? If so, you may want to consider completing your smile with our natural-looking, affordable bridges. With our commitment to excellence, you can rest assured that your smile is in capable hands.

What Is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge is a restoration that works to bridge any gaps created by one or more missing teeth. Bridges are usually attached to crowns placed on neighboring natural teeth or dental implants. These anchoring teeth are also known as abutments. The replacement teeth on the dental bridge are called pontics.

What Are the Benefits?

A dental bridge will restore your ability to chew properly and to speak clearly. Your restoration will maintain the shape of your face and can help prevent neighboring teeth from shifting out of position. Missing teeth may result in changes to your bite which may pose an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Dental bridges promote your oral and overall health and well being. You can enjoy a healthy, confident smile once again.

What Is the Procedure?

First, we will prepare the anchoring teeth by recontouring them to make room for a crown. If you are in need of implant-supported bridges, we will first place dental implants to support your restoration. The next step involves taking impressions of your mouth to serve as models for the bridge and the crowns. We will place a temporary bridge while your permanent one is being made.

During a follow-up visit, we will fit you with the new bridge and will adjust it as necessary for a proper, comfortable fit. The resulting restoration will look just like your natural teeth!

Caring for Your Oral Health

Make sure to brush your teeth and floss regularly, and to use an antibacterial mouthwash daily. This will prevent tooth decay and gum disease which can potentially lead to tooth loss. Also, make sure you consume a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients to promote your dental health. It’s important to schedule your routine exams and cleanings so that we can keep your mouth clean, along with diagnosing and treating any conditions while in the early stages.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Visit us at May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, and Family Dentistry to learn more about restoring your teeth with dental bridges. We look forward to helping you smile with confidence once again!

What Are the Benefits of Preventive Dentistry?

What Are the Benefits of Preventive Dentistry?

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2018 at 5:00 am.

Our team at May Conte D.D.S. is proud to offer preventive dentistry services to families throughout the Valencia, CA and surrounding areas. We believe that the best approach to keeping your mouth healthy is preventing dental problems from occurring, or treating them quickly if they develop. You can always count on us for outstanding preventive care!

What Is Preventive Dentistry and What Are the Benefits?

Preventive dentistry focuses on ongoing dental hygiene practices and procedures to prevent a host of dental conditions from developing or progressing. Effective preventive dentistry combines at home care with treatments and counseling by dental professionals.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends at least two dental visits each year for professional cleaning and managing any developing conditions. These practices will help you enjoy better long-term oral health by preventing dental disease or treating it while in its earliest stages, protecting your smile and preventing expensive treatments down the road.

Preventive dentistry includes in-office and at-home care including the following:

Comprehensive Exams: These exams allow us to uncover any warning signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or other problems present. Early identification enables us to provide prompt treatment before any condition progresses and becomes a source of discomfort.

Gum Disease Prevention: Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a common problem that impacts most people at some point. Preventive cleanings can halt the progression of gum disease by removing plaque and tartar which, if left sitting, can cause gum disease.

Dental Sealants: This quick and simple treatment involves using a plastic-like coating to seal the crevices and ridges on the chewing surfaces of teeth to reduce the likelihood of you or your children developing cavities.

Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride treatments at our office are an important component of preventive dentistry because of how effectively fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay.

Mouthguards: Custom-fitted mouthguards work well to protect teeth from injury during sports activities, or to prevent damage to teeth caused by teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, which may wear down teeth and even result in a painful jaw condition known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

At Home Oral Hygiene: One of the most essential prevention techniques is brushing at least twice each day and flossing daily to remove plaque from your teeth which prevents tooth decay and gum disease from developing.

The Best Preventive Care Starts Here

Contact us at May Conte D.D.S. to learn more about preventive dentistry and how it can help keep your smile in tip-top shape. We are committed to providing you with quality treatments and the best care available. We look forward to caring for all your dental needs! Call today!