December 10th, 2013
Nearly 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer annually in the United States, with more than 8,000 dying every year from the disease. Oral cancer has a higher death rate than many other common cancers, including cervical cancer, testicular cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and thyroid or skin cancers. The high death rate results from the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well advanced and has spread to another part of the body, most often, the lymph nodes in the neck.
Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut and our team want you to know that cancers of the mouth and throat, which account for about three percent of all cancers in the United States, are largely preventable. However, we want you to know about certain risk factors that affect the likelihood of developing the disease.
- Use of tobacco products including smoking cigarettes, cigars or a pipe, or chewing tobacco all elevate risk for developing oral cancer. Tobacco use especially, is a serious risk factor because it contains substances called carcinogens, which harm cells in your mouth.
- Consumption of alcohol in excess can also increase your risk. If you drink alcohol regularly, you have an elevated risk of getting oral cancer. Alcohol abuse (more than 21 drinks in one week) is the second largest risk factor for the development of oral cancer, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.
- Excessive sun exposure. People who spend lots of time outdoors and do not use proper amounts of sunscreen or lip balm have a greater risk for developing lip cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight may also cause melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.
If you notice unusual lumps, bumps, or red or white patches in your mouth that don’t go away, sores that won’t seem to heal, persistent soreness, or pain or difficulty swallowing please consult Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut and our team immediately.
Other factors that may influence your risk for developing oral cancer include:
- Age: Oral cancer is typically a disease that affects older people, usually because of their longer exposure to other risk factors. Most patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over the age of 40.
- Gender: Oral cancer strikes men twice as often as it does women.
- A history with viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV)
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables
During your next visit, Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. If you have been putting off a visit to our Stanwood, Marysville, Granite Falls, or Everett, WA office for your regular checkup, now is an excellent time to schedule one. Regular visits can be the first line of defense against oral cancer because we can identify early warning signs of the disease. Give us a call today!
December 3rd, 2013
Many dentists and hygienists recommend fluoride treatments for their adult patients. You might ask yourself, “Do I really need a fluoride treatment? I thought those were just for my kids.” After all, most insurance plans cover fluoride treatments only up to the age of 18.
What you need to know as a dental consumer is that studies have shown topical fluoride applications performed by a dental professional create a significant benefit for adults who have moderate to high risk for cavities.
There are several circumstances that warrant extra fluoride protection among adults. Many prescription medications reduce saliva flow or otherwise create dry mouth. A reduction in saliva increases cavity risk.
Adults often experience gum recession, which exposes part of the root surface of teeth. These areas are softer than the hard enamel at the top of the tooth, which makes them more susceptible to decay.
In addition, adults often get restorative work such as crowns or bridges. Fluoride can help protect the margins of these restorations, ultimately protecting your investment.
Today many people opt for orthodontic treatment (braces) as adults. Braces make it more challenging for patients to maintain good oral hygiene. Just ask your kids! Fluoride can keep the teeth strong and cavity-free even with the obstacle of orthodontic appliances.
Have you had a restoration done within the last year due to new decay? If you have, that puts you at a higher risk for cavities. Fluoride treatments are a great way to prevent more cavities in patients who are already prone to them.
How is that flossing coming along? You know you should floss daily, but do you? If your oral hygiene is not ideal, fluoride could be just the thing to keep your neglect from leading to cavities between your teeth.
Fluoride can also help with the growing problem of sensitive teeth. Diets high in acidic foods and beverages, general gum recession, and increased use of whitening products all tend to produce sensitive teeth. Fluoride treatments re-mineralize tooth enamel and reduce that sensitivity.
Patients who undergo radiation treatment for cancer also benefit from topical fluoride applications. Radiation damages saliva glands, thus greatly reducing the flow of saliva. Saliva acts as a buffer against the foods we eat and beverages we drink. Once again, less saliva greatly increases the risk of cavities.
If one or more of these conditions applies to you, consider requesting a topical fluoride treatment. Be sure to ask Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut at your next appointment whether you might benefit from a topical fluoride application.
December 1st, 2013
During the month of December, our teams will be collecting donations for Toys-For-Tots! Our offices will be accepting new (and unwrapped) toys for all age ranges at our office. Every child needs to have the joy of the holidays and know that they are not forgotten. Our team is passionate about EVERY child! Let’s do our part as a community and bring smiles to as many children as we can this holiday season!
November 26th, 2013
At The Snohomish Dental Care Family we love learning trivia and interesting facts about Thanksgiving! This year, Drs. Hyodo, Lee, Yi, Magelsen, Everett, Tremblay, and Dr. Peanut wanted to share some trivia that might help you feel a bit smarter at the holiday dinner table and help create some great conversation with friends and family.
There is no historical evidence that turkey was eaten at the first Thanksgiving dinner. It was a three-day party shared by the Wamponoag Indians and the pilgrims in 1621. Historians say they likely ate venison and seafood.
According to National Geographic, the dinner at the Plymouth colony was in October and included about 50 English colonists and 90 American Indian men. The first Thanksgiving dinner could have included corn, geese, and pumpkin.
Today, turkey is the meat of choice. According to the National Turkey Association, about 690 million pounds of turkey are consumed during Thanksgiving, or about 46 million turkeys.
The Side Dishes
The green bean casserole became popular about 50 years ago. Created by the Campbell Soup Company, it remains a popular side dish. According to Campbell’s, it was developed when the company was creating an annual holiday cookbook. The company now sells about $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup each year, which is a major part of the recipe.
While there were likely plenty of cranberries for the pilgrims and Indians to enjoy, sugar was a luxury. What we know today as cranberry sauce was not around in those early Thanksgiving days. About 750 million pounds of cranberries are produced each year in the US, with about 30 percent consumed on Thanksgiving.
Since Thanksgiving did not become a national holiday until Lincoln declared it in 1863, the annual parades were not yearly events until much later. The biggest parade that continues to draw crowds is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Beginning in 1924 with about 400 employees, they marched from Convent Avenue to 145th Street in New York City. Famous for the huge hot-air balloons today, it was actually live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo that were the stars of the show then.
However you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday, we wish you a safe, happy and healthy holiday with those you love.