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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White Fillings

Tooth-Colored Fillings in Grand Rapids

Filling cavities with a resin composite material is increasingly popular in dentistry. They are commonly referred to as “white fillings,” and they are available at Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park.

One of the things that makes composite fillings so attractive is the color. They easily blend with the color of your natural teeth.

A second advantage to composite fillings is that they do not require as much cavity preparation as traditional silver fillings. Less tooth structure has to be removed before the tooth is filled. And because they bond directly to the tooth, the tooth becomes stronger than it would with a silver filling.

White fillings from Stewart and Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park are state of the art. We offer Invisalign orthodonticsfamily, cosmetic and implant 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

 

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Periodontal Disease Is Linked To Systemic Diseases

gum disease treatment Comstock Park

Nearly half of all Americans over the age of thirty have some form of gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss. That works out to about sixty-five million people. But at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park gum disease can be treated, and does not have to result in the loss of teeth.

What do your gums do?

The soft tissue in your mouth has a key job: it protects the roots of your teeth. It also provides a barrier for the connective tissues and ligaments that hold your teeth in their sockets, and the alveolar bone in which your teeth are anchored.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease starts with inflammation. Gums become swollen and tender. In its early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. As the disease advances, the gums pull away from the teeth, developing pockets. This is called periodontitis or periodontal disease.

What causes periodontitis?

Bacteria are always present in the oral cavity. When it is left on the teeth and gums, it turns into plaque. Plaque is a coating of bacteria on your gums and teeth. If it is not removed by rinsing, brushing, and flossing it accumulates. If plaque multiplies in the pockets around the teeth, the gum will start pulling away.

When plaque hardens, it is called tartar or calculus. You can’t brush away tartar with your toothbrush. You need to have a professional dental cleaning.

What are signs of gum disease?

  • Inflamed gums
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • A change in the color of gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Teeth that appear longer
  • Growing spaces between teeth
  • Changes in your bite

How does gum disease threaten your health?

Gum disease increases your risk of:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Heart attacks
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Asthma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Low infant birth weight

Can periodontitis be prevented?

Yes. Thorough, daily oral hygiene, professional dental cleanings, and a sensible diet can keep gums healthy.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park we treat gum disease, and also offer family dentistry. Regular checkups help keep your teeth and gums in great shape. Call to 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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Our Standard of Excellence

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we are dedicated to the dental health of each one of our patients. We want everyone who settles into one of our chairs to have a good experience. But more important, we want our work to result in healthy teeth and gums. That is our standard of excellence.

We offer comprehensive services to treat your dental issues, whatever they may be. We promote preventative dental care and education, and view them as the keys to good dental health. That is why we encourage all our patients to see us for a cleaning and checkup every six months.

REGULAR CHECKUPS

Twice-yearly dental appointments allow us to keep track of the overall health of your teeth and gums. Just as important, we can do regular screenings for oral cancer, and in our younger patients, make sure their teeth are coming in as they should.

If the eyes are the window to the soul, your dental health is a window to your overall health. Knowing your overall medical history helps us to be informed of your general health.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, our entire staff wants each one of our patients to have a positive experience in our office. We are all committed to the highest standard of excellence in dentistry. Our services include family, cosmetic, Invisalign and implant dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and 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

Think You Know How To Brush? Think Again.

Comstock Park tooth brushing tips

ESSENTIAL DENTAL HEALTH

Brushing your teeth is an important part of any daily health care routine. We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, and with a soft-bristled toothbrush. We strongly recommend flossing, too. Before or after you brush? The jury remains out on that one. We think before is better, but the most important thing is that you do it.

Be sure to get all over your teeth: the front and the sides, inside and out, and the tops. When you brush the sides, be sure you brush along the gumline. Use a gentle touch, and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle.

As you brush the front and side surfaces, move the brush in gentle, circular strokes.

TOOTHPASTE

Use a pea-sized blob of fluoridated toothpaste – or more than a pea-sized, if you’re so inclined. Too much toothpaste is no big deal, but be sure to use enough.

Be sure the head of the toothbrush isn’t too big, especially if you have a smaller mouth. It needs to fit easily between your cheeks and gums. The handle is less important. Make sure it feels comfortable in your hand. Replace your toothbrush every three months, if not more often.

TOOTH MASSAGE

We mentioned using a gentle touch. Plaque is soft and loose, so you don’t have to scrub really hard to remove it. Think of it not so much as brushing, but massaging your teeth. Keeping that in mind should help you keep that light touch.

Finally, brush for at least two minutes. If you’re running late, and are tempted to cut it short, resist. If it helps, use a stopwatch. You’ve probably got one on your smart phone.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we want the best possible dental health for all of our patients. We offer family 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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Dental Health And You

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we emphasize the importance of good dental health to each one of our patients, every time one of them sits down for a checkup. We stick to the basics: brush and floss twice a day, and see us for a checkup twice a year. But there’s more to it than that.

At every checkup, we examine you for any signs of gum disease. In its mildest form, gum disease is known as gingivitis and is easily treated. Stepping up your dental care routine at home is often enough to do the trick.

In its more severe form, gum disease is called periodontal disease, and it’s one of the leading causes of tooth loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control, half of all Americans over the age of thirty have periodontal disease. That’s nearly sixty-five million people! It can be still be brought under control, but it takes more aggressive treatment.

What Else?

Good dental health means you probably don’t have much of a problem with bad breath. Of course, most of us have yukky breath when we first wake up in the morning. But brush your teeth after breakfast and you should be good to go. In most cases of chronic bad breath – about eighty-five percent of them – poor dental health is to blame.

Every dental checkup includes a screening for oral cancer. The American Cancer Society projects that about 53,000 people will get a form of oral cancer this year. Of those, nearly eleven thousand cases will be terminal.

As with any cancer, the earlier the detection and diagnosis, the better the chances of beating it. That fact alone should be enough to get most people in to see us every six months.

Finally, when it comes to dental health, your toothbrush and dental floss are your best friends. Brush and floss at least twice a day. When you brush, you remove the plaque that builds up on your teeth and causes cavities. Flossing gets out the gunk that builds up between the teeth.

And there you have it: a more detailed discussion on the importance of dental health, and seeing us twice a year at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic and General Dentistry in Comstock Park. Our services include family and restorative 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

 

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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How To Beat Plaque

Plaque is that sticky, filmy stuff that forms on teeth. It is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. And that, in turn, is why the team at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park reminds all of our patients to brush and floss their teeth twice a day.

Plaque forms when foods with sugars and starches are not brushed away. The bacteria that naturally occurs in your mouth, thrive on these sugars and starches and produce acids. Over time these acids destroy tooth enamel, leaving you with a cavity. Or maybe two.

Plaque is mostly colorless. When it isn’t brushed away, it leaves you with that rough or fuzzy feeling on the surface of your teeth.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH!

Keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing.

  • Brush at least twice each day, for two minutes.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush.
  • Be sure to get along the gumline, that place where your teeth and gums meet.
  • Use a toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Floss between the teeth to get bacteria and food debris.
  • Ask us whether dental sealants are a good idea for you.

Plaque is always going to be there. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can keep it under control and greatly reduce your chances of developing cavities and gum disease. If it hardens into tartar it can only be removed with a professional cleaning.

Having your teeth cleaned and examined at Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park should be part of your strategy for beating plaque and having a beautiful, healthy smile. Our services include family, cosmetic and restorative dentistry. Call our office today to schedule your next 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

 

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

 

The Techno-Toothbrush

Are electric toothbrushes any better at cleaning your teeth than manual toothbrushes? The answer depends on who you ask because both have their advocates. In this article from Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, we aren’t going to recommend one over the other. We’re just going to take a look at the world of the electric toothbrush.

Electric toothbrushes have been commercially available in the United States since the 1960s. They first appeared in Switzerland, where they were invented. They caught on quickly, and have evolved considerably since then. When it comes to electric toothbrushes, there is a lot of choose from.

THE MODERN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH

Those earliest electric toothbrushes did not have rechargeable batteries; you had to plug them in. That wasn’t really much of an issue, unless you like to walk away from the sink while you brush.

Rechargeable batteries are standard in most modern electric toothbrushes. In fact, they have features that those 1960s inventors probably never dreamed of. Some models have:

  • Timers, so you can make sure you brush at least two minutes
  • Digital alerts, to remind you it’s time for a new brush head
  • Pressure sensors that tell you if you’re brushing too hard
  • Multiple brush head capability, so different types fit
  • Variable brushing features like pulsing and oscillating capability

SONIC

And then there’s the sonic toothbrush. Sonic toothbrushes take electric brushes to a whole new level. Toothbrush manufacturers consider them a subset of electric brushes, but we think they are in a class by themselves.

Sonic toothbrushes can deliver up to 40,000 strokes per minute. Compare that to an ordinary electric toothbrush, which deliver between 2,500 and 7,000 strokes per minute. That’s quite a difference. For some people, that’s over the top. But advocates say that sonic toothbrushes out-perform any other type of toothbrush you can find.

When all is said and done, it depends on the person doing the brushing. A manual toothbrush, used properly, does a fine job cleaning your teeth. But you can always take it to the next level with a standard electric, or even a sonic, toothbrush.

At Stewart & Hull Aesthetic & General Dentistry in Comstock Park, what we really want is for each of our patients to brush and floss their teeth twice a day. It’s the best way to ensure good dental health. 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