Oral Cancer: Early Diagnosis Makes A Big Difference

oral cancer screening Charlotte

Here is some important information from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte: when it comes to oral cancer statistics, two numbers are key: 40% and 90%.

40% of men and women who receive a late-stage diagnosis die within five years. However, the survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.

Oral Cavity and Oropharynx—Mouth and Throat

Cancers that begin in the mouth (or oral cavity) are called oral cancers. The oral cavity is composed of the inside tissue of the mouth and cheeks, the lips, the tissue below the tongue, the roof of the mouth, and the front two-thirds of the tongue. “Why only two-thirds of the tongue?” you might ask. Because the back third of the tongue is considered part of the throat. Throat cancers, or oropharyngeal cancers, start in the oropharynx, the part of the mouth behind the parts considered part of the oral cavity. The oropharynx is comprised of the soft palate, the tonsils, and the throat.

How Are Oral Cancers Diagnosed?

Some oral cancers create symptoms which prompt the patient to see a doctor and others are found by dentists and doctors during exams. Thousands of lives could be saved every year if more people received regular screenings.

A visual oral cancer exam is relatively quick and convenient, especially as compared to other cancer screening tests such as colonoscopies and mammograms. If an abnormality is discovered during an exam, the patient is referred to an appropriate specialist for further testing and diagnosis.

Be proactive. Ask us to perform an oral cancer screening during each evaluation. If you have one or more risk factors, it’s vital to communicate with your healthcare provider for guidance on oral cancer screenings and prevention.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

  • Tobacco use (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or snuff)
  • Heavy drinking
  • Unhealthy diet
  • HPV infection
  • Weak immune system
  • Frequent exposure to UV light (a risk factor for cancers of the lips)

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we want all our patients to have excellent physical and dental health. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Call us to schedule your next cleaning and checkup today.

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 7428

Not Your Mother’s Jewelry: 5 Reasons Tongue Piercings Are Dangerous

lip piercings Charlotte

In this post from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we’ll get right to it. While tongue, cheek, and lip piercings are popular and even commonplace, there are lots of reasons to keep piercings where they belong—in your ears.

Here are five really good ones:

  • Excessive drooling—YIKES!
  • Chipped teeth
  • Infection (some even in places you wouldn’t think can get infected)
  • Hypersensitivity to metal
  • Nerve damage

Drooling

Lip and tongue piercings may make you look cool and edgy. They may express your personality and creativity. But they can cause frequent drooling. That may not be the look you’re going for.

Chipped Teeth

Having any metal in your mouth can chip your teeth. It could  happen while eating, drinking, or sleeping.

Do you already have a tooth that’s weakened? These cracks can then be repaired before further damage or decay occurs.

Infection

Beware of infection. When it comes to oral piercings, you have to really watch the pierced area. Your mouth is teeming with bacteria. Upon piercing anything in your mouth, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream. Neglecting proper brushing habits can lead to infection. So can touching the piercing with dirty hands.

Hypersensitivity or Allergic Reaction to Metal

Many people love body jewelry. But too much of a good thing (like metal) can be bad. Having metal piercings can lead to hypersensitivity to any metal in your mouth, such as silverware. This is problematic for most people.

There is also the risk of an allergic reaction at the piercing site. If you know of a sensitivity to certain metals, you can get your piercing in a metal you aren’t allergic to. But you are still at risk of the other hazards discussed here.

Nerve Damage

Finally, there’s the risk of permanent nerve damage. If the previous dangers don’t convince you, this one should. Experiencing a numb tongue is usually temporary. But in extreme cases, it can be permanent

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we understand the popularity of oral piercings. But fashions change, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and we have extended evening and Saturday hours. Schedule your next checkup with us today!

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 8156

15 Things You Didn’t Know About Teeth

suprising tooth facts Charlotte

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we find teeth endlessly fascinating. Since we’re a dental practice, that probably doesn’t surprise you. But think about it: while we use them every day to smile and eat, there is more to our teeth than meets the eye.

Here are fifteen things you might not know about teeth.

  1. Children’s teeth are soft until about age 10.
  2. A tooth with a crown can get a cavity.
  3. Your gum tissue is as vital as your teeth.
  4. Some prescription drugs can increase your risk of tooth decay.
  5. Some home faucet water filters remove fluoride.
  6. 19 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 19 have untreated cavities.
  7. Heartburn can be damaging for teeth.
  8. Allergies can cause tooth grinding.
  9. Dried fruit is just as adverse for teeth as sticky candy.
  10. Tooth enamel cannot repair itself, though dentin and cementum (the substance that surrounds the tooth root) are capable of partial regeneration.
  11. A Harvard-led team used low-powered lasers to activate stem cells and stimulate the growth of teeth in rats and human dental tissue in a lab.
  12. There are about 300 types of bacteria in your mouth.
  13. Chewing sugarless gum after meals can help remove food particles on your teeth. You still need to brush, but if you can’t brush immediately after meals, sugarless gum can help keep your teeth clean.
  14. Cavities often don’t cause pain until they have reached the root and nerve of the tooth. Visit us regularly to prevent cavities or at least to detect them when they are small.
  15. Bone recession can cause tooth loss even if no decay is present.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we want all of our patients to have clean and healthy teeth, along with beautiful smiles. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today!

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 7003

Don’t Let A Simple Problem Become Serious

canker sore treatment CharlotteIn this post from the The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we are going to discuss those small irritations in the mouth that have the potential to become big problems.

Injuries, sores, or inflammation in the mouth can be very uncomfortable. These non-specific irritations, called stomatitis, have many different causes.

They may be caused by cold sores, gum disease, teeth grinding, or biting the inside of your mouth. They may also be triggered by broken teeth or braces.

In fact, any inflammation of the membranes in the mouth can be classified as stomatitis. Stomatitis can impact a person’s ability to speak, eat, and even to fall asleep at night.

In most cases, these sores clear up on their own within a few weeks. However, a viral or bacterial infection could occur. It’s important to let us know about these sores if they don’t clear up.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we want the best possible dental health for all of our patients. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule cleaning and checkup with us today!

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 5204

Been A While Since You Had Your Teeth Cleaned?

Charlotte Tooth Whitening

How long has it been since your last cleaning from a dental hygienist? You don’t have to answer that. At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we provide our patients with cleanings and checkups to ensure they have healthy teeth and great smiles.

We are devoted to giving each patient personalized care in our state-of-the-art office.

Maintaining your dental health is something that you have to work at every day. It can be a real balancing act: using the right oral care products, your personal oral care habits, and seeing us for regular checkups and cleanings.

Your dental health strategy should include:

  • Daily brushing and flossing. You should brush and floss twice a day. Just before bedtime is especially important, because it cleans out the germs and plaque that build up during the course of the day.
  • Proper brushing. It’s important not only to brush, but to brush properly. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush in a gentle, circular motion along the gum line. Use a fluoridated toothpaste and take your time; a minimum of two minutes is recommended.
  • Seeing the dentist twice a year. We have to include this one. A professional teeth cleaning alone is worth the trip to our office, but the dentist can also identify issues before they become serious, and treat them.

If you’re due for a cleaning, please call us at The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte. Our team works hard to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schecule an appointment with us today!

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 1467

Find A Few Minutes To Floss

Charlotte family dentistry

One of the reasons people say they don’t floss their teeth every day is that it’s hard to find the time. If you’ve found this to be true, the team at The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte reminds you how important flossing is to your dental health. In this blog post we offer up some thoughts about the importance of flossing.

Right before bedtime is the most common time people floss. It’s the best time, too, because it’s a good idea to sleep with a clean mouth.

Should you floss before you brush your teeth, or afterward? This may be a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other. On one hand, we think flossing the gunk from between your teeth before you brush is a good idea. That way, the fluoride in the toothpaste can bathe your teeth in their entirety.

When all is said and done, though, it really doesn’t make much difference. The important thing is that you floss every day, and that you do a good job of it. Remember, it’s the best way to get plaque and food debris from between your teeth – and plaque is what causes cavities.

There are lots of different kinds of floss to choose from. At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we think it’s a good idea to shop around, and find the kind of floss you like best. Then make sure to use it! Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today!

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 4602

Gum Disease And Tooth Loss

treatment for bleeding gums Steele Creek

Do you know that the most common cause of tooth loss among adults is gum disease? The good news is that gum disease is easy to treat at The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, if it is detected in the early stages.

Regular check-ups are important, but there are warning signs for gum disease that everyone should be looking for.

  1. Gums that bleed frequently
  2. Gums that are tender, swollen, or very red, or gums that have visible pus in between them when they are pushed
  3. A bite that changes suddenly so that your teeth don’t seem to fit together correctly
  4. Detached gums
  5. A bad taste in the mouth or chronic bad breath
  6. Loose or separating teeth

If you are experiencing these symptoms, talk to us today. Since plaque causes gum disease, removing plaque through regular flossing is the key to healthy gums.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we take gum disease very seriously. Not only is it a leading cause of tooth loss, it is also associated with health issues like diabetes and heart disease. So brush and floss your teeth twice each day, and see us for regular cleanings and checkups. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call for an appointment today!

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 6724

Why It’s Crucial To Replace Missing Back Teeth

dental implants Charlotte

Sometimes people who lose a back tooth wonder whether they should bother replacing it. After all, it doesn’t show when you smile and there are other teeth to do the chewing. Why not leave it be and save some money? Actually, there are several very good reasons to replace a back tooth with a dental implant from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte:

1. The adjacent tooth (or teeth) may start shifting.

If a tooth tips, moves, or rotates, it can impact the bite. The unopposed tooth can also move, though it generally moves outward from the bone (over-eruption). Teeth that are displaced can become more vulnerable to gum disease, decay, or TMJ pain.

2. The underlying bone will eventually pull back.

Without the tooth root, the jaw bone shrinks. This changes the dimensions of the face and gives it a sunk-in look due to a decline in supporting bone. The vertical shortening progresses and becomes more pronounced as you get older.

3. There will be additional stress on the teeth that take over the chewing functions.

This can bring about excessive wear, fracture, or pain.

If you have a missing back tooth and want to learn about dental implants, please call us at The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry, with extended evening and weekend hours. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 7455

Debunking Dental Myths

Hemby Bridge cosmetic dental and tooth implants

This post from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte focuses on three all-too-common dental myths.

All Sugar Is Equally Bad For Teeth
We all know that sugar increases our risk of tooth decay, but some types are worse than others. Sugar-based foods that sit on the teeth are more dangerous than those that are swallowed immediately. For example, sipping a soda or sucking on a mint can be worse than eating a candy bar all at once.

You Don’t Need To Worry About Baby Teeth Because They Will Fall Out Anyway
Healthy primary teeth serve several important purposes. They allow the child to eat and speak properly. They retain proper spacing of teeth. A healthy smile instills confidence and self-esteem. Healthy baby teeth eliminate the pain of decay which disrupts normal daily activity.

Pulling A Tooth Is Just As Good As A Root Canal
We will let the American Associate of Endodontists explain this one:

Saving your natural teeth, if possible, is the very best option. Nothing can completely replace your natural tooth. An artificial tooth can sometimes cause you to avoid certain foods. Keeping your own teeth is important so that you can continue to enjoy the wide variety of foods necessary to maintain the proper nutrient balance in your diet. Endodontic treatment, along with appropriate restoration, is a cost-effective way to treat teeth with damaged pulp and is usually less expensive than extraction and placement of a bridge or an implant. Endodontic treatment also has a very high success rate. Many root canal-treated teeth last a lifetime.

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we provide accurate answers to all of your dental questions. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 6498

Getting Ready For A Dental Implant?

dental implant cost Steele Creek

At The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte, we believe everyone deserves a beautiful smile.

This post will focus on the preparation required for a dental implant.

What is a dental implant?

Simply stated, a dental implant is a titanium post inserted into the jawbone as a replacement tooth root. One implant can also one artificial tooth, while several can support a dental bridge or denture.

Who can benefit from dental implants?

Ideal candidates for dental implants include patients with missing teeth, dentures, or bridges who have healthy oral tissue, adequate bone structure, and proper health for bone healing. For most of our patients who seek tooth restoration, a dental implant is a great option.

What preparation is needed?

An initial consultation is the first step. For this evaluation be sure to bring pertinent medical information, your current medication list, and questions you have about the process. Dental implants take multiple visits and the process is different for each person, so be sure you understand all the specifics. If we determine that you don’t have enough bone structure at the implant site, bone grafting may be necessary.

How do I ensure successful healing?

Abstain from drugs or medications not approved by your dental caregiver. Eat soft foods for a while to give your mouth time to heal after the implant is inserted. Keep the mouth cleaned properly around the site. Follow the instructions given at each visit. Stay healthy by eating a nutritious diet and getting proper rest. Stay away from tobacco products.

How do I care for dental implants?

Caring for implants is not much different than caring for existing teeth. Be sure to skip damaging, harmful habits such as chewing hard items (ice or candy), and seek treatment for teeth grinding if it is a problem for you. Keep the implant and gum tissue around the implant clean just as you (hopefully) do with your existing teeth.

The complete schedule of treatment can take a few months from initial visit to the placement of the abutment and artificial tooth. At your initial consultation, we can discuss the cost of  and think about financing options.

A dental implant from The Steele Creek Dentist in Charlotte can restore your life. We offer a wide range of general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact The Steele Creek Dentist:

704-800-0252

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4815 Berewick Town Center Dr
Charlotte, North Carolina
28273

 

ArticleID 6858