Outlay of multiracial faces printed

How to Prevent Oral Cancer

 

Oral cancer kills someone in the U.S. every hour.

 

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth or throat, sometimes connected to head and neck cancer. It is more prevalent in men than in women and can develop in lips, cheek lining, salivary glands, hard palate, soft palate, uvula, the area under your tongue, gums, tongue and tonsils. Despite being mostly preventable, an estimated 49,670 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year and more than 9,700 will die of the disease.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

  1. Tobacco: The greatest risk factor for oral cancer is tobacco, accounting for about 60% of oral cancer diagnoses. Smokers are 3 times more likely to lose teeth than non-smokers and people who use chewing tobacco are still at risk for cancers of the cheek, gums, and inner surface of the lips. If you are using other smoking alternatives like vaporizers, be warned – no smoking alternative has been proven to be more healthy than cigarettes.
  2. Alcohol: Oral cancers are about six times more common in drinkers than in nondrinkers. When tobacco and alcohol use are combined, the risk of oral cancer increases 15 times more than non-users of tobacco and alcohol products.
  3. Diet: Refined sugars, oils and carbohydrates and dairy products have been shown to increase inflammation in the body as well as risk for oral cancer. The main culprits are bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, muffins, cakes, boxed cereals, frozen treats, pretzels, soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages and candy.
  4. Age: 86% of the people diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 50, but lifestyle and environmental factors are generally the greatest risk factors.
  5. Excessive Exposure to Sunlight: Excessive and unprotected exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet radiation (UV) like tanning beds is linked with cancer in the lip area. The skin on lips is actually much thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of the face. Men who work outside are 5 times more likely to develop oral cancer than those with jobs inside.
  6. Human Papilloma virus (HPV): Human papilloma virus is a common sexually transmitted infection. For many people, HPV causes no harm and goes away without treatment. Only a very small percentage of people with HPV develop mouth or oropharyngeal cancer, but the risks are very real – especially for current smokers and people who are frequently subjected to secondhand smoke.

How to Prevent Oral Cancer

  1. Brush, Floss, Rinse & Chew Every Day: Are you doing your Daily 4? Brushing twice a day for 2 minutes, flossing once, rinsing and chewing gum after meals is recommended.
  2. Don’t Smoke or Chew Tobacco: Research has shown that ex-smokers reduce their risk of mouth cancer by more than a third.
  3. Drink Alcohol in Moderation: If you are going to drink, try to limit yourself to your one serving per day. For men on average, this means 24 ounces of beer or 10 ounces of wine. For women on average, this means only 12 ounces of beer or 5 ounces of wine. Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to many health problems, not just oral cancer.
  4. Eat More Cancer-Fighting Foods: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cancer, as well as a healthy intake of Vitamin C and calcium. Try incorporating as many “cancer-fighting” foods into your diet as you can – kale, broccoli, blueberries, sweet potatoes, turmeric, yogurt, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, mushrooms and green tea are pretty easy to find at your local grocery.
  5. Don’t Fry Foods. Bake, Boil or Steam Instead: Frying your food increases the formation of acrylamide, a cancer-causing chemical also found in cigarettes. It is most commonly found in fried potatoes. If you are eating frozen foods, it is very important to follow the cooking instructions – or replace your frozen veggies with fresh ingredients from the produce section!
  6. Use Lip Balm with SPF: If you work outside, protecting your lips should be a priority. This means you too, men! Invest in a fragrance-free lip balm with SPF 15 or higher and apply throughout the day. This also goes for people who like to spend their afternoons gardening, swimming, skiing or sunbathing – protecting your lips is one of the easiest ways to prevent oral cancer.
  7.  Practice Safe Sex: If you are sexually active, you know it’s important for you to be safe. Contraceptives do not provide 100% protection against HPV, which is why vaccines are recommended. If you have any symptoms of HPV or think you might’ve been exposed, be sure to talk with your doctor about your health.
  8. Check Your Mouth Regularly for Symptoms: Purchase a small mirror and take a look around your mouth. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, make an appointment with your dentist or doctor soon.
  9. Schedule an Oral Cancer Screening: At your next regular checkup, remember to ask your dentist about oral cancer. If you feel you have symptoms of oral cancer, make an appointment with your regular dentist for an oral cancer screening.
Two Friends Whispering Secrets in the Ear.

Members Only: 25% Off Dentures

What if you could save 25% on full or partial dentures and all you had to do was come in for a dental checkup? At Mortenson Family Dental, you can! Sign up for our Comprehensive Dental Plan and you won’t just be saving money on dentures – you’ll also receive free or discounted dental care for an entire year.

One Membership Pays for Itself

The Comprehensive Dental Plan is exclusively for patients without dental insurance. There is no waiting period, no yearly maximums, no deductibles and no pre-existing condition limitations. New patients will start saving on dental care as soon as you sign up! At just the cost of an initial visit—consisting of an exam & X-rays, teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment—you’ll have access to lots of exclusive member benefits like:

  • 25% Off Dentures and Partials
  • 25% Off Fillings
  • 50% Off Sealants
  • 2 Free Teeth Cleanings & Exams Each Year

Save Thousands for the Cost of a Single Checkup

No typos here. For just $227.00, the Comprehensive Dental Plan is already less expensive than the cost of an average dental checkup, which includes a doctor exam & X-rays, teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment. And when you consider the average cost of full dentures is around $3000, the savings are unbelievable! If you are a patient without dental insurance who plans on getting new dentures soon, the Comprehensive Dental Plan sounds like the plan for you.

Click here to download the Comprehensive Dental Plan Application.

Schedule a denture consultation at any Mortenson Family Dental location today!

More About Dentures

Dentures and partial dentures are used when there are numerous teeth, or all teeth, need to be replaced. Partial dentures vary depending on the number of teeth missing as well as where in the mouth they are missing. A full denture contains all of the teeth for the arch (top of the mouth or bottom of the mouth) where it is being placed. A denture should fit securely over your gums and remain secure throughout daily activities.
Portrait of senior woman relaxing at park. Close up face of happy senior woman looking at camera. Portrait of a smiling mature woman with grey hair.

Are Dentures Right For Me?

When you picture dentures, do you picture older adults? Most people are not aware that dentures are for anyone who is missing one or more teeth! Mortenson Family Dental offers a variety of dentures and partial denture solutions. We’ll provide a recommended treatment plan based on your needs, and your budget. Did you know that most of our locations in Louisville offer denture services? If a specialty service is needed, we can also refer you to one of our two Denture Care Center locations.

Continue reading for our conversation with Phil Mortenson, our expert dentures tech. With 20 years of experience, Phil is our Director of the Denture Care Center. He can answer all your questions about dentures, even before your consultation, and make you feel like part of a team when making denture decisions.

 

Who is a candidate for dentures?

Any person missing one or more teeth is a candidate for at least partial dentures.

What different types of dentures are there?

There are many types of dentures and partials out there. Some are flexible, some made of acrylic, and some made with metal.

What is the price range for dentures?

The price ranges from around $650-$1800, depending on what materials the dentures are made out of and how many teeth you are replacing.

How have dentures changed in the last 20 years? How has technology improved the fit and feel of dentures?

In the last 20 years there have been many advancements in dentures materials. We get a much better fit with the type of dental impressions we take. We also use softer and more flexible partials that make them a more comfortable fit. We use advancements in minimum black technology to tightly secure the dentures.

Is there anything new and interesting related to dentures?

We now have denture cloning. This is where we can copy your existing dentures and store it, in case something happens to your dentures. Also, there is a new soft liner that remains soft and doesn’t pull away from the dentures, ensuring the dentures remain in the mouth with a comfortable fit. And now there are many implants that can be placed in only a day – you leave with your dentures secured in your mouth in no time.

How do you eat with dentures?

Everyone is a little different and you definitely have to learn to eat with your dentures. It is a great feeling when you no longer are missing teeth – food won’t get trapped or packed into those once missing places.

Can I sleep in my dentures?

It is a personal preference if you want to sleep in your dentures, but it is always good to let your gums take a break.

Will people be able to tell I am wearing dentures?

People will not notice you have dentures. You can have a beautiful smile that looks very natural.

How often do the dentures need to be replaced or realigned?

Your dentures or partial should be replaced every five years due to the bacteria in the mouth that can get in the denture. Dentures that are 5 years old or older can show wear on the teeth and make it difficult to chew. Realigning is only needed when the dentures feel loose and want to fall out. This is mainly caused by bone resorption.

What is the process for getting dentures?

First you’ll need a consultation with your dentist to see whether you need full dentures or a partial. Secondly we take impressions and send them to a lab. We start by making what is called a bite block to reestablish your bite and to show the lab how your mouth comes together. Then, we take measurements to help pick the right size and shade of the teeth. We send those measurements to the lab where they will wax up dentures for you to try on. After we do the try-on and make sure everything is how we would like, such as the bite and teeth color, we return it to the lab for processing. Finally, we deliver the dentures. After that, it is up to the patient to come back for minor adjustments and to get a custom fit to their mouth. This entire process normally takes between 3 and 4 weeks.

Does it hurt to get dentures?

It can be painful getting dentures if you have had extractions or your gums are tender and sore. However, if the patient is experiencing discomfort they need to return for adjustments to make the denture fit comfortably again.

I have heard that dentures can cause bone loss. Should I be concerned?

Every case is unique. Women who have osteoporosis will experience bone loss, which can affect the dentures. Everyone can experience bone loss. And when this happens, the denture becomes loose. We will realign the dentures to make them fit again.

I know someone with dentures. Their teeth click when they talk. Will this happen to me?

The cause of clicking dentures is that they are ill-fitting and need to be realigned or refitted to the gums. This is a simple procedure that can be done at the office.

 

Ready to put your best smile forward? Schedule a consultation today at one of the following locations:

Iroquois Park

911 Palatka Road


Louisville, KY 40214

(502) 366-2448

LaGrange

2005 South Highway 53


LaGrange, KY 40031

(502) 225-0074

Apples: Dental Hygiene Facts

We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But apples may keep the dentist away too. Apples are a naturally sweet, low-calorie alternative to cavity-causing, sugary snacks like candy and fruit juice – plus they clean your teeth while you eat them!

Benefits of Apples

  • Apples make your gums healthier. Apples contain about 15% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, which helps keep your gums healthy. Without this vitamin, your gums become more vulnerable to infection, bleeding and gum disease. If you have periodontal disease, a lack of vitamin C increases bleeding and swelling.
  • Apples are nature’s toothbrush.  Chewing the fibrous texture of the fruit and its skin can stimulate your gums, reduce cavity-causing bacteria and increase saliva flow. Like other crisp, raw vegetables and fruits, apples can also gently remove plaque trapped between teeth.
  • Apples strengthen your bones. Apples have potassium. Potassium improves bone mineral density. Your teeth are made from bone. ‘Nuff said.
  • Apples help weight loss. Loaded with soluble fiber, apples can help lower your cholesterol and improve your blood sugar regulation.
  • Apples fight heart disease. Although the research hasn’t proven it yet, there’s an apparent link between gum health and heart health. Periodontitis and heart disease share risk factors such as smoking, age and diabetes, and both contribute to inflammation in the body. Apples contain antioxidants that lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Is the acidity in apples bad for my teeth?

According to a study published in the Journal of Dentistry, apples may be even more acidic than soda. But the negative effects of acidity in any foods you eat, like processed meats and coffee, can easily be prevented if you follow these tips:

  • Eat your apple with another snack. Maybe you’d like a small serving of cheese, a glass of milk or crackers. Whatever you choose, other foods will help neutralize the acid in the apple – especially if they’re high in calcium.
  • Rinse with a glass of water. In general, it’s just a good idea to drink a glass of water or rinse after eating. Water helps rinse away acid and food particles that have collected between your teeth.
  • Wait to brush. Brushing immediately after eating any sugary food is not a good idea. The sugar will act like sandpaper and damage your tooth enamel. Wait at least 30 minutes after sugary snacks to brush.

 

 

Call (502) 244-9595
to make an appointment

Online appointment request are unavailable at this time.

Please call one of our offices to make an appointment.