Man Hand writing Oral Cancer with black marker on visual screen. Isolated on background. Business, technology, internet concept. Stock Photo

Oral Cancer Awareness

Oral and pharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat) collectively kills nearly one person every hour of every day of the year. Of the people newly diagnosed with these cancers, only about 60% will live longer than 5 years. Moreover, many who do survive suffer long-term problems such as severe facial disfigurement or difficulties eating and speaking. The death rate associated with oral and pharyngeal cancers remains particularly high due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

This month, we want to remind you that regular oral cancer examinations from your dental professional are the best methods to detect oral cancer in its early stages. Regular dental visits can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. Knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

  • Tobacco Smoking
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption
  • Gender (twice as common in men)
  • Prolonged sun exposure
  • Age
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Oral HPV infection

Oral Cancer Signs & Symptoms

The earliest signs of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer may be mistaken for other problems, such as a toothache or cold. If symptoms persist for several days or weeks, it is important to see your doctor so that, if oral cancer is present, it can be diagnosed as soon as possible. Many of these symptoms can be due to other, less serious problems or other cancers.

  • Unusual lumps or bumps in the mouth, wart-like masses, mouth sores that do not heal
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Unusual nosebleeds or other bleeding from oral cavity
  • Distortion of any of the senses, numbness in oral or facial regions
  • Sore throat, hoarseness, ear pain
  • Progressive swelling, enlarged lymph nodes, shifting of teeth

HPV and Oral Cancer

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is an infection that can be transmitted through sexual contact, unwashed hands and saliva. HPV 16 and 18 have been linked to oral cancer. It is estimated that over 50% of all oral cancers are associated with HPV lesions. A vaccine is now available to prevent infections from HPV 16 and 18.

Help Raise Awareness

If you’d like to help us raise oral cancer awareness this month, feel free to share this blog with your friends on social media. And remember to ask for an oral cancer screening at your next dental checkup!

 

Girl with braces takes selfie in field

The Best Time for Braces

Are you wondering what’s the best time for braces? It might be earlier than you think! For adults and kids alike, there are plenty of reasons people might want braces – and it’s not just cosmetic. Having straighter teeth can have some health benefits too.

For Kids: No Later than Age 7

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a checkup with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.

  • Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
  • While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
  • Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated.
  • In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

Additionally, early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to guide jaw growth, lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth, correct harmful oral habits, improve appearance, guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position and improve the way lips meet.

For Adults: Anytime!

Teeth can shift at any age – maybe due to an injury, a health condition or just natural growth. Some people who had braces as a child might even need them a second time when they get older, especially if they neglected to wear their retainer after their braces were removed. If you have any of the following issues, you might want to consider braces:

  • If you have a crossbite or misaligned teeth
  • If you are experience headaches, ear pain or stomach issues related to your oral health
  • If you’re not confident about your smile

Orthodontics have come a long way in just the last decade. If you’re concerned about the appearance of braces, be sure to take a look at Invisalign® clear aligners. These “invisible” braces can discreetly straighten your teeth and be removed for eating and cleaning at anytime. If you’re unhappy or concerned about your teeth, we’d love to schedule a free consultation with you to discuss your options.

Schedule Your Free Consultation Today

Schedule your free consultation at one of our BracesBracesBraces locations in Texas:

Big Spring

307 W. 16th Street
Suite D
Big Spring, TX 79720
Phone: (432) 267-3657

Lubbock

3801 50Th Street
Suite 15
Lubbock, TX 79413
Phone: (806) 833-5437

Midland

3401 Greenbriar
Suite 300
Midland, TX 79707
Phone: (432) 682-1614

Odessa

2631 Faudree Road
Suite B
Odessa, TX 79765
Phone: (432) 339-4444

 

Two Friends Whispering Secrets in the Ear.

Members Only: 25% Off Dentures

What if you could save 25% on full or partial dentures and all you had to do was come in for a dental checkup? At Abbeville Dentistry, you can! Sign up for our Comprehensive Dental Plan and you won’t just be saving money on dentures – you’ll also receive free or discounted dental care for an entire year.

One Membership Pays for Itself

The Comprehensive Dental Plan is exclusively for patients without dental insurance. There is no waiting period, no yearly maximums, no deductibles and no pre-existing condition limitations. New patients will start saving on dental care as soon as you sign up! At just the cost of an initial visit—consisting of an exam & X-rays, teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment—you’ll have access to lots of exclusive member benefits like:

  • 25% Off Dentures and Partials
  • 25% Off Fillings
  • 50% Off Sealants
  • 2 Free Teeth Cleanings & Exams Each Year

Save Thousands for the Cost of a Single Checkup

No typos here. For just $247.00, the Comprehensive Dental Plan is already less expensive than the cost of an average dental checkup, which includes a doctor exam & X-rays, teeth cleaning and fluoride treatment. And when you consider the average cost of full dentures is around $3000, the savings are unbelievable! If you are a patient without dental insurance who plans on getting new dentures soon, the Comprehensive Dental Plan sounds like the plan for you.

Schedule a denture consultation at any Abbeville Dentistry location today!

Portrait of senior woman relaxing at park. Close up face of happy senior woman looking at camera. Portrait of a smiling mature woman with grey hair.

Are Dentures Right For Me?

When you picture dentures, do you picture older adults? Most people are not aware that dentures are for anyone who is missing one or more teeth! Abbeville Dentistry offers a variety of dentures and partial denture solutions. We’ll provide a recommended treatment plan based on your needs, and your budget. If a specialty service is needed, we can also refer you to one of our two Denture Care Center locations.

Continue reading for our conversation with Phil Mortenson, our expert dentures tech. With 20 years of experience, Phil is our Director of the Denture Care Centers in Kentucky. He can answer all your questions about dentures, even before your consultation, and make you feel like part of a team when making denture decisions.

 

Who is a candidate for dentures?

Any person missing one or more teeth is a candidate for at least partial dentures.

What different types of dentures are there?

There are many types of dentures and partials out there. Some are flexible, some made of acrylic, and some made with metal.

What is the price range for dentures?

The price ranges from around $650-$1800, depending on what materials the dentures are made out of and how many teeth you are replacing.

How have dentures changed in the last 20 years? How has technology improved the fit and feel of dentures?

In the last 20 years there have been many advancements in dentures materials. We get a much better fit with the type of dental impressions we take. We also use softer and more flexible partials that make them a more comfortable fit. We use advancements in minimum black technology to tightly secure the dentures.

Is there anything new and interesting related to dentures?

We now have denture cloning. This is where we can copy your existing dentures and store it, in case something happens to your dentures. Also, there is a new soft liner that remains soft and doesn’t pull away from the dentures, ensuring the dentures remain in the mouth with a comfortable fit. And now there are many implants that can be placed in only a day – you leave with your dentures secured in your mouth in no time.

How do you eat with dentures?

Everyone is a little different and you definitely have to learn to eat with your dentures. It is a great feeling when you no longer are missing teeth – food won’t get trapped or packed into those once missing places.

Can I sleep in my dentures?

It is a personal preference if you want to sleep in your dentures, but it is always good to let your gums take a break.

Will people be able to tell I am wearing dentures?

People will not notice you have dentures. You can have a beautiful smile that looks very natural.

How often do the dentures need to be replaced or realigned?

Your dentures or partial should be replaced every five years due to the bacteria in the mouth that can get in the denture. Dentures that are 5 years old or older can show wear on the teeth and make it difficult to chew. Realigning is only needed when the dentures feel loose and want to fall out. This is mainly caused by bone resorption.

What is the process for getting dentures?

First you’ll need a consultation with your dentist to see whether you need full dentures or a partial. Secondly we take impressions and send them to a lab. We start by making what is called a bite block to reestablish your bite and to show the lab how your mouth comes together. Then, we take measurements to help pick the right size and shade of the teeth. We send those measurements to the lab where they will wax up dentures for you to try on. After we do the try-on and make sure everything is how we would like, such as the bite and teeth color, we return it to the lab for processing. Finally, we deliver the dentures. After that, it is up to the patient to come back for minor adjustments and to get a custom fit to their mouth. This entire process normally takes between 3 and 4 weeks.

Does it hurt to get dentures?

It can be painful getting dentures if you have had extractions or your gums are tender and sore. However, if the patient is experiencing discomfort they need to return for adjustments to make the denture fit comfortably again.

I have heard that dentures can cause bone loss. Should I be concerned?

Every case is unique. Women who have osteoporosis will experience bone loss, which can affect the dentures. Everyone can experience bone loss. And when this happens, the denture becomes loose. We will realign the dentures to make them fit again.

I know someone with dentures. Their teeth click when they talk. Will this happen to me?

The cause of clicking dentures is that they are ill-fitting and need to be realigned or refitted to the gums. This is a simple procedure that can be done at the office.

Ready to put your best smile forward? Schedule a consultation today at one of the following locations:

Central Lubbock

3801 50th Street, Suite 13A
Lubbock, TX, 79413

(432) 614-2906

Odessa

2631 Faudree Road, Suite B
Odessa, TX 79765

(432) 614-2906

Amarillo

3630 SW 45th Avenue
Amarillo, TX 79109

(432) 614-2906

Big Spring

307 West 16th Street
Big Spring, TX 79720

(432) 614-2906

Outdoors portrait of a pretty girl eating an apple

Apples: Dental Hygiene Facts

We’ve all heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But apples may keep the dentist away too. Apples are a naturally sweet, low-calorie alternative to cavity-causing, sugary snacks like candy and fruit juice – plus they clean your teeth while you eat them!

Benefits of Apples

  • Apples make your gums healthier. Apples contain about 15% of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, which helps keep your gums healthy. Without this vitamin, your gums become more vulnerable to infection, bleeding and gum disease. If you have periodontal disease, a lack of vitamin C increases bleeding and swelling.
  • Apples are nature’s toothbrush.  Chewing the fibrous texture of the fruit and its skin can stimulate your gums, reduce cavity-causing bacteria and increase saliva flow. Like other crisp, raw vegetables and fruits, apples can also gently remove plaque trapped between teeth.
  • Apples strengthen your bones. Apples have potassium. Potassium improves bone mineral density. Your teeth are made from bone. ‘Nuff said.
  • Apples help weight loss. Loaded with soluble fiber, apples can help lower your cholesterol and improve your blood sugar regulation.
  • Apples fight heart disease. Although the research hasn’t proven it yet, there’s an apparent link between gum health and heart health. Periodontitis and heart disease share risk factors such as smoking, age and diabetes, and both contribute to inflammation in the body. Apples contain antioxidants that lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer and stroke.

Is the acidity in apples bad for my teeth?

According to a study published in the Journal of Dentistry, apples may be even more acidic than soda. But the negative effects of acidity in any foods you eat, like processed meats and coffee, can easily be prevented if you follow these tips:

  • Eat your apple with another snack. Maybe you’d like a small serving of cheese, a glass of milk or crackers. Whatever you choose, other foods will help neutralize the acid in the apple – especially if they’re high in calcium.
  • Rinse with a glass of water. In general, it’s just a good idea to drink a glass of water or rinse after eating. Water helps rinse away acid and food particles that have collected between your teeth.
  • Wait to brush. Brushing immediately after eating any sugary food is not a good idea. The sugar will act like sandpaper and damage your tooth enamel. Wait at least 30 minutes after sugary snacks to brush.

 

Two pink happy smiling hearts on wooden background

3 Reasons to Love Your Smile

Unfortunately a lot of people are self-conscious about their smiles. From tutorials on how to smile better and what seems like every celebrity opting for veneers nowadays, there seems to be a lot of pressure on us to have perfect teeth! But just because your teeth aren’t perfectly straight or perfectly white does not mean they aren’t perfectly healthy and beautiful. Don’t believe us? Here are 3 reasons you should love your smile.

1. It’s uniquely yours.

Just like a fingerprint, no two people in the world have the same set of teeth. So if you feel self-conscious over crooked or discolored teeth – Don’t be! Each tooth has a particular size, a particular placement, and a certain distance from its neighbor, which makes the whole set unique. Even identical twins do not have exactly the same set of teeth, because a set of teeth is not only determined by genes, but also by clenching, grinding or thumb sucking.

Michael Strahan laughs and reveals his famous gap

Retired NFL Star & talk show host Michael Strahan—who has one of the most unique smiles we can think of—once considered closing his famous gap at one point. “I made the conscious effort to say, ‘This is who I am,'” he explains of why he didn’t and won’t close up his teeth. “I’m not perfect. I don’t want to try to be perfect.” We think you’re perfect exactly as you are, Michael, and we love your unique smile!

2. Less-than-perfect teeth are beautiful!

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” says a well-known proverb, and we don’t disagree. Crooked teeth aren’t necessarily unhealthy or bad for any reason—despite some people’s obsession with straight teeth—so if you have a few crooked or discolored teeth, don’t stop loving your smile! Believe it or not, in Japan, crooked teeth are ideal. And they even have a specific word “yaeba” for their cute obsession with lengthier canines and less-than-straight smiles.

kate moss is smiling

Anna Paquin, Kate Moss and Kirsten Dunst are three stars who didn’t “fix” their teeth, but we think their smiles make them even more beautiful because they’re natural. If everyone had identical straight teeth, the world would be a boring place. Celebrate your uniqueness today and see your teeth in a new light.

3. It makes other people happy!

Ever seen a smile from a toddler or a happy puppy and had your day made? It turns out there is some science behind the happy feeling we get when we smile and see others smiling. Not only do our brains want to smile when we see someone else smile, research suggests that smiling leads to decrease in the stress-induced hormones that negatively affect your physical and mental health. One study even found that people who smile more lead happier and healthier lives than those who smile less.

So what’s the biggest takeaway here? Smile more! You’ll be happier. The people around you will be happier. And even if you’re self-conscious about your smile, who knows? Someone watching might think it is the most absolutely perfect smile they’ve ever seen. Gaps, snaggleteeth, yaeba, braces, whatever – smile a little more today and see what happens.

Man telling a secret to an astonished woman

This dental insurance secret will blow your mind

Did you know: Most dental benefits are only available for one year?

Unused benefits — like FSA balances — from the prior year don’t necessarily roll over at the end of the calendar year. Many dental plans provide coverage up to a certain dollar amount annually, which means you could be missing out on free or discounted dental care. In fact, dental insurance companies count on making millions off of patients who never use their insurance benefits.

At Abbeville Dentistry, we are committed to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams and making dental care attainable, which includes utilizing your dental benefits. If you have been putting off a trip to the dentist or dental treatment, now is a great time to come in! We will review your dental benefits with you and show you how to maximize your benefits so that you can complete any outstanding treatment.

We also offer Payment Options and CareCredit if you need help covering any out-of-pocket expenses.

Give us a call today to see how we can help you use your benefits before you lose them!

Dentist With Patient in Surgery

Help Dental Phobia with Oral Sedation

Do you hate going to the dentist so much that you avoid going at all? You’re not the only one. It is estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety or fear. A lot of them are worried about pain or feeling embarrassed. Others have dental phobia. No matter what is causing you stress, oral sedation dentistry can help.

 

What is Oral Sedation Dentistry?

 

Sedation dentistry is when patients take medication to relax during dental procedures. There are different levels of sedation from minimal sedation, where you are still awake but relaxed, to general anesthesia, when you are unconscious. There are several different types of sedation dentistry. At Abbeville Dentistry, we offer IV sedation and oral sedation.

Oral sedation involves taking a small pill an hour before your appointment. This pill, typically Halcion, is just as safe as taking a Valium. After you take the pill, someone else drives you to your appointment where we deliver exceptional care in a comfortable, anxiety-free atmosphere. Patients are awake during the procedure but many have very little memory of the visit. Some patients may fall asleep during the procedure, but can be woken with a gentle shake.

Reasons patients choose oral sedation:

 

Is Oral Sedation Dentistry Safe?

 

Oral sedation dentistry allows you the experience dental procedures feeling relaxed and comfortable. Time will pass by fast and many patients report an amnesic effect, meaning they don’t remember the visit at all! While you’re relaxed, your dentist can perform the procedure confidently because they know you’re safe and carefree.

Oral sedation dentistry is even safe enough for children. Parents will need to take a little extra care to ensure their child is relaxed, but we trust you’re already a pro at looking after your loved ones. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has posted some really helpful guidelines on preparing for your child’s sedation dentistry visit.

If your child experiences dental fear or anxiety, please call our pediatric dental specialists at Kid’s Dentistree. We offer a kid-friendly atmosphere, fun activities in the waiting room and team members trained especially for caring for children. Take a tour of one of our offices by clicking here!

 

Is Oral Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?

 

Oral sedation dentistry is a safe, minimal sedation method that can allow even the most anxious patients to have their dental needs taken care of. Most treatment plans are simple and take one or two appointments. But even the most extensive treatment can be provided using oral sedation dentistry. Don’t let fear or anxiety keep you and your family from having beautiful, healthy smiles.

 

Resources for People with Dental Anxiety and Dental Phobia

 

Friends having fun and celebrating US Independence Day

Four F’s for a Successful Fourth of July Weekend

This Monday is the Fourth of July, a day when we celebrate declaring our independence from Great Britain in 1776. In that Declaration of Independence we talked a lot about fairness and freedom, but our founding fathers probably didn’t foresee some other F’s that would make our Independence Day the awesome holiday it’s become.

What’s your favorite F? Let us know by voting in our poll on Twitter.

 

Family & Friends

Mixed Race young people making selfie at garden party. Man from Jamaica Playing Guitar. Man on right holding smart phone on selfie stick. In background people holding American flag.

Oops, look at us – already cheating.  This first F is a two-for-one because it’s really all about people. A lot of families plan road trips this weekend to visit other cities, go camping or hit a theme park like Joyland Amusement Park. And friends will get together for grilling out, lawn games or just hanging out enjoying the weather. Whatever you decide to do, remember to pack a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste or some mouthwash to help those relationships get even closer!

 

Food

A patriotic fruit tart.

This one’s a no-brainer. We’re talking Potlucks on patios with pounds of potato salad and pints of patriotic ice cream flavors. There is nothing quite like a hamburger, hot dog or veggies off the grill in the summer. Throw in an ice-cold glass of sweet tea to wash it down, and you’ll know you’re doing it right.

Don’t forget to drink a glass of water after your meal to wash some of that sugar off your teeth!

 

 

Fireworks

friend running with fireworks on a beach afer sunsetWho doesn’t love running around with sparklers after dark or shooting roman candles into the sky and hearing them pop? It really doesn’t matter how many times you’ve heard “I’m Proud to be an American” blaring over a loudspeaker as you watch fireworks light up your city, it’s awesome every time. ‘Nuff said.

 

 

Floss Fun

Group of teen girls laughing and eating ice cream at the beach together

You knew we were going to do it, didn’t you? Well here’s your reminder to floss every day. But the last one is not “Floss” and it’s actually the most important F of the weekend: FUN. Our country has come a long way in its short history and though we’ve been through a lot, we have a lot to be proud of! So let’s remember this weekend to enjoy good company, good food and have a great time celebrating what makes us unique.

 

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

 

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