5 Critical Oral Cancer Facts

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we want to see our patients at least twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. A checkup can give you real peace of mind, especially since every one we do includes an oral cancer screening.

Lung and breast cancer get a lot of public attention, and rightfully so. But there is less awareness of oral cancer, even though it claims almost 10,000 lives in the United States every year.

We want to broaden awareness of oral cancer and the significance of early diagnosis.Here are five important things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.

  1. About 80% of men and women with oral cancer use some type of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
  2. 40% of men and women who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer pass away within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
  3. In many cases, it is extremely challenging for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce indistinct symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be evaluated by a dentist or doctor.
  4. HPV (the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the many strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most often linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
  5. African American men have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than do whites.

At Stewart and Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park we use the VELscope Oral Cancer Screening system for highly accurate oral cancer screenings and diagnoses, as part of our general and family dentistry. Schedule your next checkup today!

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 

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How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

When they are properly cared for, dental implants from Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park can last a lifetime. That’s just one of the reasons why they have become the tooth replacement option of choice.

A dental implant, in case you haven’t heard, is a titanium post that is secured to your jaw bone. One dental implant can support a single artificial tooth. Several implants can support a dental bridge, or even a set of dentures.

FUSING TO BONE

Dental implants become replacement tooth roots. What makes them so secure is a process called osseointegration. That means the titanium fuses with the jaw.

Once an artificial tooth, called a crown, is attached to the implant, it looks and functions like a natural tooth. Most patients say their biting and chewing ability is normal. Just as important, of course, is getting your smile back.

LONG LASTING

As for their longevity, there are several factors involved. Cleaning a dental implant and crown is just as important as cleaning your natural teeth, and the process is about the same. You’ll need to brush away the filmy plaque that can build up on it, and floss between the implant and the neighboring teeth.

We also recommend that you avoid things like using your implant like a tool. In other words, don’t use it to open things. You should also avoid biting down on hard things like shelled nuts, and pen or pencil tips. Of course, you should never do any of those things with your natural teeth, either.

If you are missing one or more of your teeth, dental implants may be just what you’ve been hoping for. We also offer a full complement of general, family and cosmetic dentistry. Call our office to schedule an appointment today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

What Is Restorative Dentistry?

“Restorative dentistry” is a term dentists use to describe the way damaged or missing teeth can be fixed or replaced. At Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park MI, our goal is always to improve your smile – in short, to maintain or restore your dental health.

Restorative dentistry covers everything from filling cavities to dental implants. Filling a cavity can stop tooth decay in its tracks. And replacing a lost tooth with an implant prevents bone loss and facial sag, keeps remaining teeth from moving around, and restores chewing power and smiles.

Other restorative dentistry procedures include:

  • Dental crowns – Cover a tooth to strengthen and improve the structure of a tooth.
  • Bridges – A dental bridge is a tooth replacement procedure in which an artificial tooth is anchored on either side of the space where a tooth is missing to “bridge” the area and fill in the space.

Before we wrap up this short article, we’d like to offer a word on categories. Some practices will call dental implants restorative dentistry. Some will call them cosmetic dentistry. Others still will put them in a category all their own. As Shakespeare said, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

At Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park MI, our services include restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and Invisalign orthodontics. Call our office today to schedule an appointment!

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 

Gum Disease And Tooth Loss

One out of every ten American adults is likely to get some form of gum disease by the time they’re sixty-four years old. At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we provide treatment for gum disease.

First things first. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, and is associated with health issues like diabetes and heart disease. So brush and floss your teeth every day – twice a day, in fact. If you don’t, your chances of getting gum disease increase.

In addition to age, other risk factors for gum disease include tobacco use. Health experts say that tobacco is one of the most significant risk factors for getting gum disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and if you do smoke (or chew), quit.

It appears some people are genetically predisposed to gum disease. Even when they take great care of their teeth, such people may still be more likely to get it. If you think it runs in your family, don’t despair.  Getting early intervention treatment may help.

Stress, too, is another risk factor for gum disease. Stress may make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection.

Poor nutrition and teeth grinding or clenching can also put you at greater risk of developing gum disease.

Finally, certain medications can affect your oral health and make you more prone to gum disease. If you have any concerns, ask us at your next appointment.

If you are showing any signs of gum disease at all, such as bleeding when you brush your teeth, let us know at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park. We also offer a full range of family and cosmetic dentistry services. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 

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Watch Out For Hidden Sugar

Family Dentist Comstock Park

Most of us consume far too much sugar. That isn’t exactly a news flash, but at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we want to remind you what sugar can do to your teeth, and what you can do about it.

We get cavities when acids in the mouth attack the enamel and dentin of the teeth. The acid is produced by bacteria in plaque, that sticky film that forms on the surfaces of teeth. When sugar is introduced it interacts with the bacteria in the plaque, and makes the acids, which attack the teeth and cause cavities.

That’s why it is so important to choose food and drink wisely. But it isn’t easy, is it? Sugar seems to be in just about everything, even things you wouldn’t suspect, like ketchup. Health experts say the average person in the United States consumes about 19.5 teaspoons of sugar every single day. That is twice as much as recommended by the American Heart Association!

Knowing how much sugar is in the food that you buy is vital: not just to your teeth, but to your overall health. Reading ingredient labels on processed foods is essential.

Of course, some things are obvious. Eliminate or minimize the sweet stuff, like soda, candy, cookies, cakes, and donuts. Sweet things may seem to make life worthwhile, but there is a high cost.

If you have an incurable sweet tooth, you might try softening the blow by eating more fruit. The natural sugars in fruit aren’t as harmful as those in processed foods. And remember this: a very wise person once said that we like the things that we learn to like.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park we care about the dental health of each of our patients. So cut back on sugar, brush your teeth at least twice a day, don’t forget to floss, and see us for a professional cleaning and checkup every six months. Our services include general, cosmetic and family dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 

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Have You Neglected Your Dental Health?

Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day is something we stress to all of our patients, at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park. Coupled with twice-a-year checkups and cleanings, it’s the best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and your beautiful smile.

A good dental hygiene routine, something you do every single day without fail, is essential to your dental health. It’s related to your overall health, too. We understand that some people, for whatever reason, let it slip. Some have even been known to skip brushing and flossing so often, you could say they rarely do it at all.

 THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE

In cases like that, some people may think their teeth are too far gone – that no amount of treatment can restore their dental health. If that sounds like you or someone you love, we’re here to tell you it isn’t so. There is always a way to make your teeth look and feel better.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but it will be worth it. In cases of neglected teeth, initial treatment begins with a thorough examination in our office. At that time we will  evaluate for signs of gum disease, which is common in cases of neglected teeth. If we find it, we’ll begin a sequence of cleanings and treatments to revive your gum health.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we want the best possible dental health for all of our patients. Our services include family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 

Dental Floss: Which Type is Best?

Along with brushing, flossing is the most important thing you can do for healthy teeth and gums. There’s a variety of floss types to choose from. Which one is best for you? It depends. At Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we’re using this space to summarize what’s available, and what might influence your choice of dental floss.

The reason that flossing is so important is that it removes plaque and food debris from between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Left on the teeth, plaque hardens and contributes to tooth decay. The Academy of General Dentistry goes so far as to call flossing the most important thing you can do to fight plaque.

When it comes to what dental floss to use, there is a lot to choose from. Flavored or unflavored? Waxed or unwaxed? Wide or thin?

No single type of floss is right for everyone. You might even benefit from having more than one kind in your medicine chest. With a little trial and error, you can narrow down your choices to find what works best for you.

A recent study shows there really isn’t much difference, if any, in the effectiveness of the different types of dental floss. Here are some things to consider:

  • Waxed floss fits more easily into tight spaces.
  • Unwaxed floss tends to squeak against clean teeth, an indicator that plaque is gone.
  • Wider dental tape may work better in gaps between teeth, and on bridgework.

One word of caution: we recommend traditional string floss that you can pull out in a long strand, as opposed to a flossing pick. Those little picks are popular, but they only have a tight strand of less than an inch of floss. That makes it all but impossible to wrap any floss around your teeth – and flossing is far more effective when you do that. The little picks are fine for a purse or backpack when you’re on the go. Just be sure to use regular floss as part of your dental hygiene routine before bedtime.

Whatever your preference may be, the important thing is to floss at least once each day.

At Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park we also like to see you for a thorough exam and cleaning every six months. Our services include family, cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today!

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

Common Dental Questions

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we strive for excellence in dentistry every day. Providing the best possible dental care goes beyond cleanings and exams. We like patients who ask a lot of questions, because that tells us they are taking a strong interest in their dental health.

One of the questions we’re frequently asked is whether it’s really necessary to have a cleaning and checkup every six months. Our short answer is, yes! But a more nuanced answer includes that time-honored truth that prevention is the best medicine.

Every appointment includes a thorough cleaning by a hygienist. The dentist examines your teeth and gums, looking for cavities and signs of gum disease. Every checkup also includes a screening for oral cancer.

Sometimes we need to see patients more frequently. Someone with gum disease, or who is undergoing orthodontic treatment, should have appointments more often than twice a year. We determine that on a case-by-case basis.

Patients often wonder how long a filling will last. Some people think they’ll last a lifetime but unfortunately that is not usually the case. Fillings can break down or become loose over time. If that happens, decay can get into the area around it and cause problems. You can extend the life of any restoration with good oral hygiene at home. If you have any questions about what that means, don’t hesitate to ask.

What kind of toothbrush is best? This is among the most-asked questions for any dentist. Manual and electric toothbrushes, used properly, both do an excellent job. We recommend soft bristles, with mixed bristle heights and angles. They do a better job getting between the teeth.

To really get between the teeth, we also recommend daily flossing. String floss is best, but whether it’s waxed or unwaxed, flavored or wide it is up to you.

These are just some of the common questions we get from our patients at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park. Have we missed anything you’ve wondered about? Never hesitate to bring your questions to your checkup. We offer family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

What Happens If You Keep Using an Old Toothbrush?

It’s easy to become attached to familiar objects, and that includes the tools you use to clean your teeth. Like a comfortable pair of slippers, that toothbrush you use every night may have an easy, cozy feel you’re not ready to give up just yet. But at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park we want you to think twice, because that familiar toothbrush can be a threat to your dental health.

To put it simply, your toothbrush should be replaced from time to time. We recommend a new one every three months or so. You don’t have to circle your calendar or set up an alert on your phone. But you do need to keep track of how long you’ve used a toothbrush and get a new one when the time comes.

If you keep using an old toothbrush, it is less effective at cleaning plaque off of your teeth and at the gumline. That much is obvious, because it’s easy to see the bristles bending out of shape.

But there are other things to consider. When you finish brushing your teeth, there is always some stuff that remains on your toothbrush. Over time it can breed and multiply. The average toothbrush, in fact, has more than one million bacteria particles. Most of them aren’t bad for you but some are. If you keep using that favorite old brush, you re-introduce it into your mouth over and over. Bacteria and food debris are what you are trying to get out of your mouth in the first place.

One more thing to think about: your toothbrush can grow mold. That’s why we recommend keeping your brush in an open place where it can air dry. Even so, time takes its toll and mold can grow. If you notice any black spots on your toothbrush, replace it right away. It might be mold.

The bottom line? Replace your toothbrush every three months, if not more often. Always use a soft-bristled brush. They are easier on your gums but rigid enough to get plaque off the surfaces of your teeth. And don’t forget to floss.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, our services include family and cosmetic dentistry. Call our office to schedule your next checkup today!

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

Preventive Dentistry At Stewart & Hull

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we have a prevention-oriented philosophy of dental health care.

Patients of all ages need to start with an exam to determine their current status. Your dental condition is influenced by your dietary habits, previous dental work, physical health, medications, lifestyle and family history. After a comprehensive analysis, we can establish a decay prevention plan just for you.

A prevention plan is a multi-faceted approach designed to maintain optimum dental health. Twice-yearly exams reveal early problems before they progress. Professional cleanings prevent a multitude of serious dental issues.

Oral health cannot be maintained solely in our office. Daily brushing and flossing is essential. A healthy diet is necessary and will deliver benefits to your whole body – not just your teeth.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, the dental health of each patient is our top priority. Services include family, cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today.

Contact Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

616-784-2377

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

769 York Creek Dr NW
Comstock Park, Michigan
49321

 

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