Friday, May 19, 2017

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, which is why our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry want to take this opportunity to discuss the dangers of this type of cancer. Mouth cancer, or oral cancer, can develop anywhere in the mouth, including the surface of the tongue, the lips, the cheeks, and even in the tonsils. Next time you schedule your appointment with us, we encourage you to inquire about oral cancer screening. Oral cancer screening helps detect symptoms that the human eye may not see and helps our doctors stop oral cancer in its tracks.

Oral cancer can appear as a red or white patch in the mouth or as a sore that won’t heal. Other symptoms may include bleeding in your mouth, loose teeth, problems eating, speaking, or swallowing, and/or a lump in the neck. Oral cancer screenings are quick and painless and help detect oral cancer in its earliest stages when it’s the most treatable. Treatment will depend on the patient, but methods may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

If you have questions or concerns about oral cancer, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Thank You for Your Testimonials!

Here at Garrison Family Dentistry, our staff appreciates feedback from patients because it teaches us how to improve as a team. Our staff would not only like to thank Angie Olson for this positive review, but we would like to thank her for being an excellent patient. If you recently experienced exceptional service from our office, please let us know! 

"I always have a good time when visiting your office, which is funny because it's not necessarily a place at which most people think of having a good time. The staff, from the moment I walk in the door until the time I leave, are all so very courteous, kind, informational, helpful and understanding. The encouragement I have received during longer dental procedures keeps me calm and collected during the procedure as well as helps me through the recovery period after I leave the office. Overall, Garrison Family Dentistry is a great place to go for dental work and the staff makes the trip as sweet as possible! Thanks all!" –Angie Olson

If you would like to leave a testimonial or are interested in learning more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

What to do if You Lose a Permanent Tooth

Losing a permanent tooth is an emergency which requires immediate treatment from a dentist, but if the tooth is intact, it may be possible to save. At Garrison Family Dentistry, we want our patients to be informed about how to give their teeth the best odds in case of a disaster.

The American Dental Association endorses first aid kits which contain saline solutions which can be used to clean and transport a tooth. But when these are not readily at hand, the patient should rinse the tooth off with milk or saltwater, and then put it back in its socket. (A tooth from the upper jaw can be held in place by biting on gauze.) The tooth should only be held by the crown and the patient should take care not to scrub at the root. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, the patients should hold it in their cheek or move it in a container filled with milk or saltwater (not freshwater).

A tooth’s chances of being saved are greatest if treated by a dentist within an hour. However, since a lost tooth is not life-threatening, a patient should call an ambulance or go to the emergency room if they have suffered severe bleeding. Furthermore, a lost implant cannot be saved, and a lost baby tooth should not be because doing so could cause problems for the permanent tooth which is supposed to replace it. When a baby tooth is lost too soon, a child can be given an orthodontic device to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts.

Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.

Effects of Thumb Sucking

The patients at Garrison Family Dentistry include families’ newest additions. Often, parents want to know whether their children’s thumb sucking is going to harm their oral development. Usually, this is not the case, but if the behavior continues past the age of five, when the child’s permanent teeth start erupting, they may experience bite problems.

Toddlers find it soothing to suck on something, and because their skull bones are not fully fused together, they usually do not experience problems as a result. But their faces solidify just as their first baby teeth fall out, and the continued pressure of thumb sucking could result in their front teeth or the fronts of their jaws being pulled forward. This results in misalignment which has to be corrected through orthodontics, and until then, the child may suffer difficulty speaking and maintaining oral hygiene.

When thumb sucking is a deep-seated nervous response, a child will not only have difficulty breaking the habit but could develop an equally harmful substitute habit of pushing against their teeth their tongue. Help from a psychologist may be helpful, but children old enough for thumb sucking to be a problem may be mature enough to be included in strategizing ways to change their behavior.

Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.

The Difficulty of Detecting Oral HPV

It’s oral cancer awareness month, and we at Garrison Family Dentistry want our patients to be on the lookout for signs they need a screening. Last year, new diagnoses of oral cancer associated with the human papilloma virus (HPV) outpaced diagnoses of smoking-associated cancer for the first time, and because HPV cancer occurs further back in the throat, we depend on reports from our patients to find it.

Doctors call the back of the mouth and top of the throat the oropharynx, so throat cancer is also called oropharyngeal cancer. This part of the body cannot easily be observed with the tools we use to detect mouth cancer and sliding a camera down patients’ throats is obviously intrusive. Additionally, the skin of the throat is so creviced that it is unlikely that scraping random parts of it to test for cancer would find any unless the cancer had already progressed.

There is currently no test for oral HPV, and only one strain of HPV is known to cause oral cancer. Therefore, patients should understand that pain, numbness, or swelling in the throat, as well as soreness in the jaw and ears, could be signs of oral cancer, even if they are not smokers. The good news is that HPV-associated throat cancer has a much higher survival rate than tobacco-associated cancer.

Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.

Leave Orthodontics to the Professionals

Nearly one year ago the American Association of Orthodontists issued a public service announcement warning people not to attempt orthodontics on themselves. The warning was issued in response to the popularity of a Buzzfeed article written by someone who 3D-printed his own aligners so he could change them out at his own pace. Earlier this year, the AAO released a study which found that 13% of its members had treated at least one patient who had experimented with orthodontics on themselves, which is why we at Garrison Family Dentistry want to educate our patients about why not to do this.

Teeth are living tissue and contain blood vessels. Tying them together may choke them. Additionally, people who attempt to make their own corrective wires often do not give themselves brackets (nor should they), allowing their improvised ties to slide into their gum pockets and get trapped. They also often use materials such as hair bands which will rot or release toxins into their mouths.

As for self-made aligners, there is a process to moving teeth which cannot be rushed. Teeth are bones, and moving them requires the jaw bone around them to dissolve and rebuild. If they are moved too quickly, the jaw bone will not be able to repair itself, and the teeth will become loose. We urge people not to harm themselves by taking matters into their own hands and to come to us for orthodontic help.

Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.

Dental Procedure for Repairing Rotten Teeth

Saving your smile is our top priority here at Garrison Family Dentistry which is why we offer a variety of restorative services to protect what is left of teeth that have become decayed or rotten. Tooth decay is damage that occurs when germs (bacteria) in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. Here at the office, a number of procedures for rotten teeth are used depending on the extent of the decay.
  • Root Canal – A root canal treats rotting teeth with extensive decay. If a dental cavity progresses through the dentin and into the pulp – the center of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels – the nerves in the teeth become infected and a root canal is needed to remove the affected tissue.

  • Tooth Extractions – If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp, bacteria in the mouth can enter the pulp, leading to infection. If the infection is so severe that antibiotics or a root canal cannot cure it, extraction may be needed to prevent the spread of infection.
These are just a couple of the restorative services we offer. To learn more about the services provided at Garrison Family Dentistry, visit www.garrisonfamilydentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Matthew Garrison in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.