Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Screening for Oral Cancer

Being screened for oral cancer is an important part of maintaining your oral health and should be a regular part of your oral hygiene routine. At our practice in Smithville, MO, we take oral cancer seriously and are dedicated to keeping our patients safe with thorough screenings.

While everyone is at risk for oral cancer, certain factors can increase your risk in developing the disease. Lifestyle choices, such as heavy drinking or smoking, can greatly affect the health of tissues in the mouth, so it is especially important for you to receive regular screenings if you partake in these activities. If oral abnormalities are caught early, it will not only expand your treatment options, including less invasive and less radical treatments, but it will also increase your chances of beating oral cancer.

Screening for oral cancer can be done during routine checkups by Dr. Matthew Garrison, who uses ultraviolet light to help him spot abnormal tissue in your mouth. Abnormal tissue can then be tested to see if it is cancerous or not.

Oral cancer is a serious issue, and at our office, we strive to protect all our patients. To schedule an appointment, call (816) 532-8778. For more information, visit www.garrisondentistry.com.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Acid Reflux and Teeth

The enamel of your teeth is the thin, tough outer layer of your teeth. Enamel protects your teeth from daily activities like chewing, biting and grinding. The enamel of your teeth also protect against harmful temperatures and chemicals. Although enamel is a hard protector of your teeth, it can chip and crack. There are many factors that affect the health of your enamel, but one of the quickest ways to erode enamel comes from acid reflux disease.

If you suffer from consistent acid reflux, the health of your teeth probably isn’t one of the first things you’re thinking about. You’re probably reaching for an antacid or a glass of milk and moving on with your day. However, new research reveals how gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can severely damage your teeth thanks to an increase of acid in the mouth. The study concluded that acid reflux can ultimately lead to thin, sharp and pitted teeth.

GERD, better known as acid reflux disease, causes chronic heartburn. The stomach contents, including acid, leak into the esophagus and often work their way back up into the mouth, causing burning pain. The damage from acid reflux looks a lot like tooth wear because the acid dissolved the tooth surface directly, softening the surface. Once the surface is softened, it becomes worn down layer by layer. Once the enamel is eroded, it cannot come back. In that case, patients would need a crown, veneer or filling to replace their tooth.

If your teeth have been damaged by your condition, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. Matthew Garrison to discuss your treatment options.