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What to Know About Oral Cancer, Eating Disorders & Decalcification

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

eating disorders and oral health

More than 10 million Americans are affected by serious eating disorders. These disorders can have serious ramifications for your overall health, as well as your oral health!2

A Serious Subject: Eating Disorders & Your Health

Two of the most common eating disorders are bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by repeated, excessive eating, followed by self-induced vomiting, also known as purging. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an extreme fear of gaining weight, a desire to be thin, self-induced starvation, and the inability to maintain a normal weight.

Both conditions deprive the body of crucial vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients required to maintain good health, including oral health. These deficiencies can lead to decalcification of the teeth.3

Decalcification is an early form of tooth decay and damage that can lead to further injuries or breakdown of teeth, more serious tooth decay, and cavities.

Eating disorders can also cause bad breath, tenderness of the mouth and throat, as well as swelling in the salivary glands. These disorders can lead to dry mouth, cracked lips, sores in the mouth, bleeding gums, and sensitivity of the teeth.1,2

The self-induced vomiting that occurs with bulimia nervosa causes powerful digestive acids from the stomach (that normally aren’t found in the mouth) to come in contact with the teeth. This acid attacks and wears away at the tooth enamel, causing erosion. This frequent purging can also change the color, shape, or even length of the teeth!1

Those with anorexia nervosa can experience osteoporosis and severe malnutrition, leading to weakening of the bones. This includes weakening of the jaw bone as well as weakening of the teeth and enamel, or even tooth breakage or loss.1

Long-Term Negative Health Effects

Long term malnutrition from eating disorders can lead to increased susceptibility to infections and other negative health effects.

The repeated vomiting of bulimia can damage the lining of the esophagus because of the repeated contact with the strong stomach acid and the micro-traumas of the tissue associated with the purging. A very small percentage of bulimics can develop bulimia-related cancer due to the damage to the esophagus.4

What to Know About Oral Cancer

Concerned about oral cancer? Early warning signs include lumps or growths in the mouth, throat or neck, patchy areas or lesions in the tissues of the mouth, hoarseness or difficulty swallowing, unusual bleeding, or persistent sores that don’t heal. Recall that when you come in for your regular visit, we look for signs of cancer—after all, we’re trained to do so.

Prevention and regular dental checkups are key when it comes to proper oral health as well as preventing oral cancer! Additionally, a healthy, nourishing diet is important to give your mouth and teeth the building blocks it needs to stay healthy.

prevention at hagen dds practice in cincinnati

Set Up Your Next Dental Visit at Hagen Dental Practice

If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, it is important that you seek professional help as soon as possible. Overcoming the eating disorder is the first step to healing the effects of the acid and nutrient deficiencies that come along with these conditions.

We can help you restore and work with some of the problems created from eating disorders (and that’s part of why we want to know about your health history, too.) Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

References/Sources:

  1. http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/eating-disorder/
  2. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/Teens/concerns
  3. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/decalcification
  4. http://www.bulimiahelp.org/articles/bulimia-and-cancer-what-you-need-know
  5. http://www.atooth.com/oral-cancer/

 

A Dentist’s Perspective: 6 Frequently Asked Questions

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

questions for hagen1. Why are we supposed to go to the dentist every six months?

By visiting the dentist twice a year, we’re ideally able to catch issues before anything potentially serious changes with our oral health.

Over time, most of us have grown accustomed to hearing how twice a year, or every six months, we need to visit the dentist! The reality is, no two patients are alike, and we all have a different health background, so this isn’t always what’s recommended…

In certain cases, we will actually recommend people to come in and see us more often, but the typical duration between visits is 6 months. (For those who need to visit more than twice a year, keep this in mind: your health and wellness should not be determined solely by what your dental plan covers!)

We do this so we are able to combat the tartar buildup during that timeframe, and use our diagnostic tools to make sure nothing is abnormal.

2. Hagen Dental offers the latest technology, including Zoom! Teeth Whitening. What’s the difference between this form of whitening and the store-purchased, at-home kit?

As you may or may not know, store-purchased, at-home kits have varying levels of success for people in terms of how much they whiten. Your whitening toothpastes help keep your teeth white on the surface, for the most part! Store-bought bleaching kits do have a stronger amount of bleach in them than whitening toothpastes.

However, when we use the Zoom! Whitening, we apply hydrogen-peroxide formula to teeth, covering up the surrounding gum to avoid any sensitivity you may have. (That’s a key difference right there!) Next, we shine ultraviolet light onto the teeth. It’s an ideal choice for those of you who are busy, but still want the latest and greatest to fight discoloration.

We are happy to offer this procedure, since in just over an hour, you can have a safe and effective tooth whitening procedure that gets rid of the DEEP stains on your teeth, unlike certain, store-bought, at-home kits. Ask us if you still have questions about the safety or efficacy of an at-home whitening kit bought from a store.

3. Hagen also offers CEREC. What is CEREC and what can it do for me?

CEREC is the term that stands for the ceramic reconstruction of your teeth. CEREC is the only method that offers single-visit chair-side restoration—meaning you can just come in once and be done with your procedure. That’s pretty big news for a lot of us!

Because only one procedure is needed, it’s ideal because it is fast, safe, and provides a natural-looking restoration that will stand the test of time. How so? Well, as you may have guessed, it is made of ceramic materials. If you have a decayed or broken tooth, this offers a metal-free solution, and no need to wait 2-4 weeks to get it!

Last, many people are excited about CEREC since it will match the color of your teeth. So your teeth will look great and they will last longer with this technology!

4. What should I know about my child’s oral health? 

One of the great things about starting dental care early is that your children will be accustomed to the process sooner! Typically it is recommended to have your first dental visit around age 3. At Hagen, we make sure your child is as comfortable as possible—we know they might be anxious when they first come in.

We like to say that if your child has not been to the dentist yet, but is old enough to know how to tie their shoe, you should know your child also has the ability, and should know how to brush their teeth as well.

5. Why do we need X-rays at the dentist?

Recall that X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation. For dentists, we see them as another diagnostic tool to watch the ongoing status of your oral health. (For those worried about radiation specifically, as a comparison, you can get more radiation from your every day background radiation that you would get from an average X-ray today in our office. That’s because we use digital X-rays which have less radiation than traditional X-rays.)

X-rays are an extremely effective way to show decay and infections beneath the surface. We’re better able to see any issues with bone loss, your jaw, and anything unusual happening with the soft tissues with X-rays. If you have a cavity or tooth decay, for example, we are able to see this when we read your X-ray. Again, how often you need them will vary by patient, especially if you have any issues going on with your oral health/jaw, or if you tell us you are having any specific problems.

6. I’m an athlete. Why do you recommend I wear a mouth guard?

It’s not just a coincidence that NBA players and other professional athletes wear mouth guards—they do this because a mouth guard can save your teeth!

While losing a tooth might be the worst outcome you can imagine, actually other dental injuries from sports include broken teeth, nerve damage, concussions, and you can even break your jaw. Wearing a mouth guard today is becoming more and more of the norm because of these potential consequences.

Now, on to the part that is a little less scary…mouth guards—which we can make right here in the office—greatly absorb the shock that your teeth or jaw can encounter in sports. Having the right kind of mouth guard, and making sure it fits are really the crucial things you need to know.

Part of what sets Hagen apart is our comfortable, but positive, environment where people feel safe to ask any questions they have. When you come here you can feel it!

And what about questions you should ask YOURSELF before visiting the dentist? Just make sure you ask yourself if you are willing to do your part to make sure your mouth stays—or gets back to—being healthy! So what do we mean by this statement? This translates to being proactive and telling us when something is wrong, justly preparing for any procedures, or just being honest about your health when we ask. We have a feeling this isn’t a problem for our readers. For more on our services, visit our Services tab here.

Your Question Answered: How Often Do We Need X-Rays?

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

X-Rays: Why We Use Them As Diagnostic Tools

X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation. They were discovered way back in 1895.

We use them as diagnostic tools since they can penetrate our body tissues. Because different tissues in our body (gums versus our bones, for example) are penetrated at different degrees, we see “shadows” on the film produced by X-rays, as a result.

Our dental x-ray machines are quite sensitive, so you don’t need to worry about the amount of radiation needed to use them as a tool in this way! For comparison’s sake, you get more radiation from your every day background radiation.

As you know, we can see a lot when you come in to visit us by just examining your teeth, but X-rays show decay and infections beneath the surface. We’re better able to see any issues with bone loss, your jaw, and anything unusual happening with the soft tissues. If you have a cavity or tooth decay, for example, it shows up as darker on a radiograph.

So, How Often Are They Needed?

How often we need to get x-rays depends on your age, your ongoing oral health status, your risk level and of course if you have had any issues you report to us.

In general, we advise patients to have bitewing X-rays (see below for more!) every year, and Panorex X-rays every three years. A simple cavity between your teeth can turn into a root canal if not detected—so we simply work to prevent this from happening.

Keep in mind when you are a new patient at a dental practice, it may be recommended to get X-rays to know the status of your gums and teeth. Think of this as your new baseline!

If those X-rays were just done by another dentist, they can simply be forwarded to your new dentist.

Then What Are the Types of X-Rays I’m Receiving?

Bitewing: these show the upper and lower back teeth. They are usually done to check for any bone loss and decay between our teeth and to show how well our upper and lower teeth are lining up.

Periapical: with a person’s first visit to the dentist, these might be done. These show the entire tooth, and they can show if there are any infections/disease, specifically any issues below our gum line or in our jaw.

Occlusal: these who the roof and the floor of our mouth. Any cysts or abnormal growths would be evident through this kind of x-ray. 

Panoramic: when a wide-range view of the health of our mouth is needed—jaw, teeth, sinus, and nasal area—this is used. If there are fractions, infections, cysts, bone abnormalities or some kind of growth, it would be shown here.

Ready to get your dentist appointment setup at Hagen Dental? Get in touch with us today

Take a Look at Hagen Dental!

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

What’s In a Smile?

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Ever wonder what it is that people notice when they look at you?

Photo courtesy of Diva Village

Well, believe it or not, here is breakdown we recently heard on the radio:

5. Nose

4. Hair

3. Weight

2. Eyes

1. Your smile!

With your smile being the number one thing people notice, just image the impact having a healthy smile, and how that can positively affect the way people perceive you!

Not only this, we’ve even recently read how the Academy of General Dentistry has reported that 40 percent of people notice a smile first when it comes to their co-workers! Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when it comes to the health of your smile: Are you happy with the color of your teeth? Are you happy with how your teeth are shaped? Do you normally feel you have fresh breath?

If you don’t feel positive about your answers to these questions, it could be affecting not only how others see you, but how much confidence you have in yourself…Here are a few more questions to ask yourself about your current habits:

  • Do you brush your teeth twice a day, being mindful about not brushing too hard in the process?
  • Do you see your dentist regularly and setup your next appointment while you are there so you are more likely to come in?

No matter how you feel about your teeth and your habits currently, come visit Hagen Dental! It will be your first step towards having that enviable, radiant smile–and a healthy mouth–that you deserve to have.

Make Your Smile More Kissable Basket Contest

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Last month many of you likely made New Year’s resolutions to be healthier, more productive, to move forward with your goals, and other positive promises. Hagen’s resolution was to continue to put our patients first, give back to them for being so great, show them we really care about their teeth and oral hygiene. Well, it’s February and we’re not breaking our promise!

We’ve decided to dedicate our most current contest giveaway to Valentine’s Day. So, of course, what better way to celebrate than giving one lucky patient a basket full of dentist-approved goodies to make your smile more kissable! Our “Make Your Smile More Kissable” basket includes, Oxyfresh toothpaste and mouth rinse, toothbrushes, floss, tongue cleaner, chapstick, calendar, coffee mug, chocolate, gum, and a $25.00 gift card for Zoom! Teeth Whitening.

The Zoom! Teeth Whitening gift card can be applied to a $399.00 Zoom! special we are currently running.

To enter the contest, post your name in the comment box below or visit us on Facebook
and do the same! We will draw one name on Monday, February 20, 2012 and will notify the winner via Facebook message. Good luck!

If you’d like to setup an appointment with Hagen Dental, visit the About Us page on our website or stop in our office. Or, “follow” us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Top Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Why do teeth stain? Teeth enamel have pores just like your skin. Your teeth expand and contract with temperature change, which make more pores exposed. These pores are, in turn, what pick up stains!

It’s best to avoid foods and liquids that are intensely colored because these colors affect your teeth more so than diluted liquids and foods. Chromogens are the cause of these deep hues. They are pigmented molecules that latch onto your enamel – and therefore seep into your pores!

Examples of foods and liquids that have abundant chromogens are:

  • Black coffee
  • Dyed sweets
  • Red wine
  • Pop
  • Blueberries
  • Soy sauce
  • Curry

Another type of food and liquid you should try to avoid (if you’re concerned about teeth staining) would be foods high in acidity or tannins. Acidic foods soften tooth enamel, which make them more susceptible to damage. Tannins elevate the chromogens ability to latch onto enamel, which advances staining of teeth.

Examples of foods and liquids that are acidic or have tannins include:

  • Tea
  • Pop
  • Sports drinks
  • Citrus fruit

Another notorious ingredient that causes bad teeth stains is nicotine! Unlike most stains, which stain teeth yellow, smoking cigarettes promotes browning. Nicotine is extremely sticky so it adheres easily to tooth enamel and sinks its way into the grooves of teeth. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that Nicotine stains in particular are extremely difficult to remove by brushing alone.

Hagen offers a Zoom! Teeth Whitening treatment, which is completed in one visit and offers immediate results. Zoom! whitens teeth an average of 6–10 shades, and teeth typically become whiter during the days following the treatment. This treatment helps to remove deep and set-in stains so that your smile stays white for years! For our patients, we are currently offering Zoom! for $399.

If you’d like more information check out our services page, give us a call, or leave a comment.

Welcome to the Hagen Dental Blog!

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Welcome!

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Hagen Dental blog!

Our patients are the best and we love connecting with you. As so many of you are online these days, we thought it was time to take a step beyond our e-newsletter and into social media. We want our communications to be as state-of-the-art as the technology in our office.

We’re proud of our practice and our ability to treat patients of all ages with a variety of services. Currently, we’re working on expanding the treatments we offer and are growing with new additions to our staff.

With this blog, we’re going to keep you up-to-date on new innovations in dentistry and share our own personal stories. The office dog, our miniature Daschund, Spencer, will probably show up here from time to time, too.

If you haven’t visited our page on Facebook yet, come by and check it out since we’re adding some exciting new features. We’ve joined Twitter and invite you to follow us there. Also, we thought it was high time we set up a YouTube channel as well.

Have questions, stories to share, or suggestions for topics you’d like us to address?

We invite you to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or through email, and the comments section here on the blog. We also look forward to your stopping by to just say “hello!”