Oral Cancer: Early Diagnosis Makes A Big Difference

oral cancer screening La Mesa

When it comes to oral cancer survival outcomes, two numbers are key: 40% and 90%.

40% of individuals 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 start in the mouth (or oral cavity) are termed oral cancers. The oral cavity is comprised of the inside tissue of the mouth and cheeks, the lips, the tissue underneath 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 consists of the soft palate, the tonsils, and the throat.

How Are Oral Cancers Diagnosed?

Some oral cancers produce symptoms which prompt the patient to see a doctor and others are caught by your La Mesa dentist or doctor during exams. Thousands of lives could be saved every year if more individuals 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 your dentist or doctor to complete an oral cancer screening during each examination or physical. If you have one or more risk factors, it’s essential to meet with your health care provider for counsel 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)

To set up a dental oral cancer exam and general dentistry checkup, I invite you to call 619-717-8560.

Sources:
http://www.dentistrytoday.com/news/todays-dental-news/item/1882-awareness-is-the-key-to-fighting-oral-cancer#sthash.HhX8jCtf.dpuf
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/about/what-is-oral-cavity-cancer.html

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-717-8560

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942


3 Reasons Not To Skip A Dental Checkup

cosmetic dental La Mesa

Life gets busy. Sometimes it seems impossible to keep up with everything you “gotta do”. At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we understand that. But we encourage you to think twice before you cancel or postpone a general dentistry checkup because you think it’s less important than the other twenty items on your to-do list.

Twice-yearly dental exams are indispensable for keeping your smile in ideal shape!

“But my teeth feel fine.”
We’ve heard this excuse. The fact is that no news isn’t necessarily good news. Dental troubles can be progressing without you being aware of it.

1. Your Gums May Be Receding
Gum recession doesn’t happen all at once. Gum tissue can move back almost imperceptibly until teeth and bone are at risk.

2. Decay May Be Lurking
When the acids in plaque start drilling into a tooth, we usually don’t feel it until it has passed through the enamel and dentin and hits the nerve. Ouch! By that time, there is a crater in the tooth. Regular cleanings remove plaque before it can do any damage.

3. Prevent Oral Cancer
About 50,000 men and women will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.1 Dr. Gray will screen for oral cancer during your exam. As with all types of cancer, early diagnosis is indispensable.

After your entire mouth has been examined, Dr. Gray will detail what is necessary moving forward. Whether that’s flossing more often or discussing major fixes such as invisible braces, we will be sure that you get all the information you need to ensure your smile is bright and beautiful! Scheduling twice-yearly exams with Jeff Gray at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry will ensure you avoid extreme dental troubles.

1http://oralcancerfoundation.org/

 

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-717-8560

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942


Teen Teeth: Adolescent Oral Health

 adolescent dental issues

If you are a teenager or the parent of a teenager, today’s Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry post is for you. Today’s post discusses dental issues of special concern to adolescents. Dental risks for La Mesa teens include both developmental and lifestyle-related factors.

At Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry, we see cavities and gum disease far too often in teens. Possible causes and complicating circumstances include insufficient dental hygiene, unhealthy diet, malocclusion (misaligned bite), smoking, hormonal changes, tooth grinding, mouth breathing, eating disorders, and side effects of medications.

As children become more independent, some get lax about brushing and flossing. Furthermore, some teens’ diets become worse when they have more freedom to choose what to eat. Few parents let their four year-old drink an energy drink, but they are consumed frequently by La Mesa teenagers – presumably without their parents’ knowledge.

Malocclusion can make proper brushing and flossing problematic, leaving even vigilant brushers with decay from food particles that are almost impossible to remove. Malocclusion can also trigger TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) issues. If you suspect that your teen’s bite is not aligned properly, or if your teen notices a clicking sound in the jaw joint, call Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry at 619-717-8560 to schedule a general dentistry exam.

In spite of numerous California public service campaigns aimed at preventing teen smoking, many adolescents take up the dangerous habit even before they graduate from high school. Smoking wrecks teeth as surely as it wrecks lungs.

La Mesa parents of teenagers are well aware that puberty has a significant impact on physical and emotional health. Puberty causes all sorts of changes in the body, and the mouth is no exception. Increased hormone levels (especially in females) can cause the body to react to a very small amount of plaque, triggering inflammation of gum tissue and increased risk of the more advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Your dentist can guide you if more frequent professional cleanings are required to preserve gum health.

If you visit any soccer field or basketball court in California, you will see that many young athletes fail to protect their teeth. If your adolescent participates in a contact sport, communicate with us about custom athletic mouthguards.

One of the teen dental issues that impacts most young men and women is wisdom teeth. It’s best to start monitoring your teen’s wisdom teeth early so they can be treated before they lead to troubles with the jaw or surrounding teeth. And you certainly don’t want to send your high-school grad to an out-of-state college without addressing his or her third molars. If problems appear, your youth won’t be near their regular dentist, will probably miss class, and will either need to come home or use an out-of-network dentist or oral surgeon. If you don’t have a family dentist, Dr. Jeff Gray of Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry can examine your teen and evaluate X-rays to guide you on the best course of action for his or her wisdom teeth.

This article is by no means exhaustive on the vital subject of adolescent oral health. Future posts will discuss orthodontia, oral piercings, eating disorders, and abnormal teeth growth.

If you are looking for a family dentist in the La Mesa area, I invite you to schedule an appointment at Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry by calling 619-717-8560. We have been providing unmatched dental care to La Mesa families since 1986.  For more information about teen dental health or Invisalign, porcelain veneers, or teeth whitening, call today.

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-717-8560

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942


The Unsung Heroes Of Dentistry

forensic dentistry La Mesa

In today’s cosmetic dentistry post, we will veer a bit off the beaten path, so to speak, and discuss an important dental specialty; forensic dentistry. The official term for the use of dentistry in criminal cases and post mortem identification is forensic odontology. These experts are rarely recognized but play a crucial role in crime and disaster investigations.

Dental X-rays, dentures, and bite marks are all used to provide clues about the victim’s identity and/or the manner of death. A person’s teeth are as singular as fingerprints and can often sustain forces such as fire, explosions, submersion in water, and natural decay without being destroyed.

Identifying One Victim
Identifying a victim through general dentistry records is aided immensely when authorities have narrowed down a group of suspected victims to just a few people (or, ideally, just one) and can consult the dentists who had treated them. When the identity is totally unknown, a forensic dentist combs other databases such as those maintained by the armed forces and prisons.3

“Dental identifications are so much quicker and so much less expensive than DNA.” -Dr. Mark Bernstein, dentist and forensic dental consultant1

Identifying Hundreds of Victims
While identifying one victim of a homicide or accident can be more or less manageable, natural disasters, plane crashes, and other large-scale tragedies are exponentially more involved.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Burkes, chief forensic dental consultant for the 9/11 attacks, over 140 dentists labored to identify the fragments of remains that were recovered from the scene of the terrorist attacks. The identification effort was an extremely painstaking and complicated operation. First, the dentists were assigned to one of four teams. The Go Team gathered evidence from the scene, the Antemortem Team analyzed existing dental records of suspected victims, the Postmortem Team X-rayed the salvaged dental evidence, and the Comparison Team compared the digital X-rays of the remains of unidentified victims to the charts of missing people presumed to have been at the scene.2

“Dentistry fulfills one of its most important social, moral, and professional obligations by applying its unique knowledge and expertise to the task of identifying countless persons who are tragic victims of fires, catastrophes, disasters, and homicides.”

1Ashley Hayes, “How authorities identify a burned body,” CNN, February 13, 2013, http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/13/health/burned-body-id/, accessed February 20, 2017
2James Berry, Clayton Luz, Arlene Furlong, Craig Palmer, “Forensic Dentistry: Identifying the Victims of 9/11” Dental Practice Management, December 1, 2001,http://www.oralhealthgroup.com/features/forensic-dentistry-identifying-the-victims-of-9-11/, accessed February 20, 2017
3Dr. Vincent Funaro, “Charts, Radiographs, Study Models: A Forensic Trilogy, January 1, 2006, Dentistry Today, http://www.dentistrytoday.com/forensic-dentistry/1159-, accessed February 20, 2017
3

Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:

619-717-8560

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
91942


A Dentist’s Indispensable Tool

Alpine cosmetic dental and tooth implants

Providing quality dental care is much easier for San Diego area dentists when they have extensive, comprehensive information about their patients’ oral health – and pictures are far more accurate than written notes. To go a step further: pictures that show what’s going on below the visible surface of your teeth and gums are worth even more than a thousand words. So, along with a thorough oral exam, most dentists want complete and up-to-date x-rays.

The frequency of x-rays is largely determined by your age as well as the state of your oral health. Because children are growing and they experience more changes to their teeth, they usually need x-rays more often.

X-rays also help Alpine, Jamul, and Santee dentists find cavities, evaluate gum health, and identify any major changes to your teeth and mouth.

Safety is an important issue that all dentists consider when ordering x-rays, because low levels of radiation are used to obtain the images. Many vital precautions are taken to limit exposure, such as putting leaded aprons and collars on the patients.

It is critical that women in La Mesa inform their dentist if they are pregnant because special considerations should be taken.

Hi. My name is Jeff Gray and my practice Jeff Gray DDS is currently accepting new patients. If you are looking for a friendly, skilled, and experienced dentist and are living in La Mesa or the San Diego area, we hope you will schedule a consultation. We are located at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102 in La Mesa, California, and our friendly and professional staff is second-to-none.

Along with basic dental health issues, we are happy to discuss the many cosmetic dentistry procedures available, such as dental implants, teeth whitening, and full smile makeovers. We want you to have the healthy, sensational smile that you deserve!

Our top services here at Jeff Gray DDS are:

 

Invisalign
porcelain veneers
teeth whitening
laser dentistry

Please call us at 619-717-8560 today!

Dr. Jeff Gray
Jeff Gray DDS
8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
619-717-8560
https://www.smilesandiego.com/ourdoctor.html

The following website was used as source material for this blog: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/x/x-rays, accessed on August. 1, 2014


San Diego Dentists Know When A Simple Problem Can Become Serious

canker sore treatment San Diego

Today in the La Mesa family dentist blog 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 cause by cold sores, gum disease, or biting the inside of your mouth. They may also be cause by the irritation that results from broken teeth or braces.

In fact, any inflammation of the membranes in the mouth can be classified as stomatitis. Stomatitis can affect a person’s ability to speak, eat, and even to fall asleep at night. These pests can really have an impact on the lives of Alpine, Jamul, and Santee residents!

The good news is that most of these irritations clear up on their own in less than two weeks. However, there is a possibility that a viral or bacterial infection can occur, so it’s important to let your San Diego dentist know about these sores. Even if there are no complications, your dentist can help you treat the symptoms of stomatitis with pain relievers and at-home remedies such as salt water rinses.

Hi, my name is Dr. Jeff Gray. I take care of patients in the San Diego area at my comfortable and friendly La Mesa dental office. I want my patients to have the best oral health possible. I also want them to look their best, so if you have any questions about a smile makeover, give us a call at 619-717-8560.

Common cosmetic dentistry procedures used in smile makeovers include teeth whitening, gum contouring, veneers, dental bonding, and dental implants.

We hope to see you in our La Mesa office soon!

Dr. Jeff Gray
Jeff Gray DDS
8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
619-717-8560
https://www.smilesandiego.com/ourdoctor.html

The following online article was used as source material for this blog:
“Stomatitis”, WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/stomatitis-causes-treatment, accessed on September 11, 2013


Why Is Dry Mouth Dangerous For La Mesa Dental Patients?

Why Is Dry Mouth Dangerous For La Mesa Dental Patients?Hello, welcome to the Jeff Gray DDS blog. Today we are going to talk about Dry Mouth, an unpleasant condition that can actually endanger the oral health of La Mesa dentistry patients.

Reduction of saliva flow resulting in a dry mouth is a more common problem among older La Mesa adults, however, people of all ages in the San Diego area may experience the symptoms of dry mouth at one time or another. These symptoms include a dry, red tongue, difficulty swallowing, and persistent sore throat.

Sometimes dry mouth in La Mesa dental patients is caused by a disease or infection, but a more frequent cause of dry mouth for patients in San Diego is prescription medications.

Decongestants, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and painkillers (all used extensively in La Mesa) are just some of the drugs that list ‘dry mouth’ as a common side effect.

It is common for allergy-prone dental patients to complain of dry mouth when they start taking antihistamines during the San Diego hay fever season.

Aside from being an uncomfortable nuisance, untreated dry mouth can cause tooth damage for La Mesa dental patients. Adequate saliva is necessary to keep the mouth lubricated, wash the food from teeth, and neutralize the acidic environment caused by plaque. Extensive tooth decay can occur in the absence of saliva for San Diego dental patients with chronic dry mouth.

If you are unsure of the cause of your dry mouth, or if you are looking for dry mouth treatments, call Jeff Gray DDS to schedule an appointment.

When you visit Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa, please be sure to bring a list of medications you are taking so Dr. Jeff Gray can give you an accurate diagnosis.

Jeff Gray DDS
8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa California
(619) 337-7700
https://www.smilesandiego.com/meet-dr-jeff-gray/


Pregnancy And Oral Health In La Mesa

Pregnant In La Mesa Make Sure To Visit Your Cosmetic Dentist

In today’s Jeff Gray DDS blog we will discuss how pregnancy impacts your dental health. I am Dr. Jeff Gray and I want all California expectant mothers to realize the importance of good oral hygiene during pregnancy. Because of the changes going on in a pregnant woman’s body there are potential dental health issues that may arise.

Many La Mesa women experience morning sickness accompanied with vomiting. The gastric acid increases the acidity in the mouth which can easily lead to enamel loss and tooth decay. Heightened levels of progesterone and estrogen may relax the ligaments that support the teeth causing them to loosen.

Most La Mesa residents have experienced gingivitis, but during pregnancy the hormonal changes increase your risk for gingivitis. Without proper dental care gingivitis can lead to gum disease.

If you are a pregnant California woman my staff and I at Jeff Gray DDS recommend using a soft bristled toothbrush for daily brushing. Floss carefully and rinse your mouth with a fluoride wash. If you experience morning sickness, clean your mouth with a baking soda and water mixture.

If you are planning to become pregnant, it is a good idea to have a cleaning and exam prior to your pregnancy. If you need any dental procedures, it is a good idea to get them done as soon as possible. If you experience any dental problems during your pregnancy please call and schedule an appointment at (619) 337-7700. Untreated dental disease can effect your overall health.

At Jeff Gray DDS we not only offer excellent dental care to our pregnant clients, we provide quality preventative care and San Diego sedation dentistry for the entire family. Our La Mesa patients can expect professional cosmetic and sedation dentistry.

Dr. Jeff Gray
Jeff Gray DDS
8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa California
(619) 337-7700
https://www.smilesandiego.com/meet-dr-jeff-gray/


3 Ways To Keep Your Mouth Happy, San Diego!

Cosmetic Dentist San Diego

Hi. I’m Dr. Jeff Gray, a general and cosmetic dentist here in La Mesa. It is my goal to help my patients have optimum oral health, and today I would like to talk about something else associated with our mouths that doesn’t get as much attention as cavities or cosmetic dentistry: it’s our sense of taste.

A happy mouth is not only a healthy mouth, but also a mouth that can enjoy the flavors of all types of foods. And it turns out that many of the habits that will keep your taste buds sensitive are those that will also be good for your teeth and gums. So here are a few tips to help you better enjoy the flavor of your food.

1) Treat dry mouth. Dry mouth can create a loss of taste sensitivity, so it should be treated quickly by your San Diego, La Mesa, or San Diego dentist. Plus, optimal levels of saliva are important to avoid cavities and keep gums healthy.

2) Avoid processed foods with fake flavors and too much sugar and salt. They will quickly desensitized you to more subtle, healthy flavors.

3) Don’t smoke! Cigarettes are responsible for so many horrible health issues, but many people don’t realize that their sense of taste is dulled while they smoke and the olfactory nerves can even be damaged permanently.

Thank you so much for visiting the La Mesa dentist blog. Along with dental health and a keen sense of taste, I want my patients to have the beautiful smile they have always desired. So, if you have any questions regarding cosmetic dentistry such as smile makeovers, dental implants or teeth whitening, please contact us. We are located at 8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102 and you can reach us for an appointment at (619) 337-7700.

Call a member of our friendly and professional staff today!

Dr. Jeff Gray
Jeff Gray DDS
8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
(619) 337-7700
https://www.smilesandiego.com/meet-dr-jeff-gray/

sedation dentistry
cosmetic dentistry
Invisalign
dental implants


4 Reasons To Look For The ADA Seal In San Diego

4 Reasons To Look For The ADA Seal From Your San Diego Cosmetic Dentist

When you go to your La Mesa or San Diego drugstore or supermarket looking for toothpaste, mouthwash, teeth whitener, or another oral care product, be sure that the product you choose carries the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.

Today in the La Mesa Dental Blog we are going to look at 4 ways the ADA seal can help you make good oral care choices for you and your family.

1. Products with the seal have to be safe and effective, so you won’t waste your money on something that won’t work, or worse, can harm you.

2. The American Dental Association (or ADA) only places their seal on a product after serious scientific testing. This usually means that manufacturers have to meet higher standards than those required by law.

3. When you purchase products with the ADA seal, it’s practically like shopping with your La Mesa dentist or dental hygienist right by your side! Who wouldn’t want that extra knowledge and information?

4. The ADA Seal is not an endorsement of one particular product or another, but rather is a verification of the claims made by said product, claims on which savvy consumers can rely.

Hi, I’m Dr. Jeff Gray of Jeff Gray DDS in
La Mesa. We serve the San Diego area. We take pride in caring for our patients and, like the ADA, want you to have a healthy, beautiful smile. Many of our patients wonder if a smile makeover is right for them. If you’d like to know, schedule an appointment and we’ll take a look! Even just one procedure such as porcelain veneers, tooth-colored fillings, or teeth whitening can significantly improve your smile.

Our practice specializes in:

sedation dentistry
cosmetic dentistry
Invisalign
dental implants

Contact us at 619-717-8560 to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Jeff Gray
Jeff Gray DDS
8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California
619-717-8560
https://www.smilesandiego.com/meet-dr-jeff-gray/

The following website was used as source material for this blog:
http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ada-seal-products/, accessed on June 5, 2013