Types of Oral Cancer Screening Tests | Issaquah Dentist

There are many important reasons to keep up with your regular dental exams, and oral cancer screening is one of the most important.

Everyone should have regular oral cancer screenings, but if you smoke, drink regularly, spend a lot of time in the sun, or have a history of oral cancer, you will be at a heightened risk for this disease. Fortunately, there are screening methods that can detect problems early.

Basic Oral Cancer Screening Test

Our basic oral cancer screening tests involve a thorough look at the inside of the mouth. This includes the lips, gums, tongue, and all sides of the mouth. In some cases, we may feel around the inside of the mouth to look for bumps or lumps, and we will also examine for changes in color or spots. At times, we may also utilize a mouth rinse with a blue dye, which further highlights any suspicious cells.

Advanced Oral Cancer Screening Test

Should we notice anything unusual, we will work with you to determine the best way to proceed. We may have you return to the office in a few weeks to see if anything has changed. In some cases, we will suggest a biopsy, removing a small piece of tissue from the area of concern and sending it to a lab for further testing.

Keep in mind that not all areas of concern or further testing turn out to be cancerous. In fact, few of them do, but in the event that cancer is detected, catching the problem early will give you more treatment options and the greatest chance for a successful outcome.

It is crucial that you keep up with your regular appointments with us so that we can monitor your mouth for any potential problems. Give us a call today to set up your next screening.

For more information about oral cancer screenings, call Dr. Frank S. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Sciabica proudly serve patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Top Reasons Intraoral Cameras Improve Your Oral Health | Issaquah Dentist

Have you ever wondered why we sometimes stick a thermometer sized tube inside your mouth, and then turn away to stare at a computer monitor while fiddling with it, instead of watching you?

It isn’t out of rudeness or lack of compassion, but rather that technology has advanced to the point that our own eyes are not always the best for probing your mouth. For those deep, precise examinations of every nook and cranny inside of your mouth, we break out the intraoral camera.

With Great Power Comes Great Resolution

One of the major reasons why we use these cameras is because they are adroit at maneuvering inside of your mouth and revealing what they see, far better than our own fingers, tiny mirror, and eyeballs. With an intraoral camera, we can check for a suspected fracture and see exactly how deep it runs down the tooth, and immediately begin preparing our treatment plan.

Rather than press around uncomfortably on diseased or injured gums, we can just point the camera in the direction and see exactly where the disease is, what stage it is at, and anything that may not have been apparent during the routine exam. This saves you time, comfort and allows us to focus our attention on providing care, when before we would still have to spend more time diagnosing the root of the issue.

Lastly, it helps provide comprehensive care, by allowing us to see places we might normally not check on first pass, detect issues too small to be easily seen with the naked eye, and provide an easier way to document and keep records of discoveries during your care, for this and future visits..

All in all, intraoral cameras are a marvelous piece of technology that has revolutionized and streamlined oral care, allowing us to see patients and treat them more efficiently during every visit. If you are interested in knowing more about the device or would like to confirm it will be in use during your next visit, give us a call and speak to us about the tools we use to provide the best possible care for you and your mouth!

For more information about intraoral cameras, call Dr. Frank S. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Sciabica proudly serve patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Which Sports Are Known for Dental Damage? | Issaquah Dentist

It’s common knowledge that cheerleaders and gymnasts are at highest risk for back injuries, and boxers and football players are high risk for brain injuries? But which sports are infamous for dental injuries, and lead to the horrifying statistic that 5 million teeth are popped out each year?

Better Wear a Mouthguard

Dental injuries in sports are normally preventable with the right gear, but some damage can slip through. There are several sports that put you at higher risk of toothaches and jaw injuries, some which may seem surprising.

Sports with balls in play top the list, with football, basketball, tennis, and baseball on the list. It makes sense, in any game where high speed objects flying at your face, occasionally one will connect and leave the victim with a nasty welt at best and spitting out teeth at worst.

Other high-speed objects to avoid include pucks, gloves, and even bare fists, for the respective sports of hockey, boxing, and martial arts. These tend to be moving faster, and thus extra care should be taken to avoid them!

It’s not just violent, contact-oriented sports, either. Falls and collisions can occur that impact teeth if you are a marathon runner, jogger, skater, or cyclist. Dental trauma can even be caused by no-contact sports: for example, the tooth grinding stress of winning a game of chess (which the International Olympic Committee recognizes as a sport), planning out a fantasy football league, or solo activities like squash and swimming can lead to lost or damaged teeth.

If you have experienced dental trauma while exercising or participating in sports, don’t panic! In some cases, the teeth can be reimplanted and put back without lingering issue. In other cases, you’ll have a smile with character that serves as a warning for other sportsmen to follow.

In either case, the best contact sport is contacting us, so we can help you form a sporting solution to your dental needs!

For more information about dental damages from sports, call Dr. Frank S. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Sciabica proudly serve patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Which Nutrients Do Your Teeth Need Most to Stay Healthy? | Issaquah Dentist

There are many things that you have to do to keep your teeth healthy. Of course, you must brush your teeth. It would help your teeth if you brushed them when you wake and when you go to sleep. Flossing after brushing helps to ferret out food particles stuck between your teeth.

You probably do all of things, do you? Well, how balanced is your diet?

Your teeth also require a lot of nutrients to stay their healthiest. Do you eat the right kids of foods to give your teeth the kinds of nutrients that they need? Your teeth need nutrients just as much as they need a strict oral hygiene schedule. Here is a list of nutrients that your teeth need to be their healthiest.

Vitamin D. Your body requires vitamin D to allow calcium to be properly absorbed into your bones and teeth. Vitamin D makes bones and teeth strong. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, then your body will actually strip the calcium from your bones and teeth. You can get vitamin D from direct sunlight, orange juice, eggs, dairy products, fatty fish, mushrooms, and vitamin D fortified cereal.

Calcium. Calcium and vitamin D work together to make your bones healthy. However, your teeth really need calcium to remain strong. You can acquire your calcium needs from dairy products, fatty fish, and leafy green vegetables.

Potassium. Potassium contributes to make the enamel of your teeth both dense and strong. There are a variety of potassium-rich foods like bananas, fish, beef, pork, soybeans and lentils, and dairy products.

Take a supplement. Taking a daily supplement can also help you get the nutrients that you need to keep your teeth healthy. Always stick to your oral hygiene regimens. Also remember that your teeth need nutrients to keep them strong. For more information, make sure to call our office!

For more information about nutrition, call Dr. Frank S. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Sciabica proudly serve patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

If You Struggle with Depression, Your Teeth May Show It | Issaquah Dentist

In recent years, scientific research has discovered a close link between your oral health and your overall health. There are many conditions we can identify during a visual examination of your oral cavity, even if you don’t know you suffer from them.

This includes mental health problems such as depression. Recent studies suggest that depression conclude depression is closely related to poor oral health.

Signs of Depression in Your Oral Health

When someone is depressed, they lose interest in everyday activities, and in many cases, the person stops taking care of themselves, including neglecting his or her oral health in general. Not brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once per day can be extremely detrimental to your mouth and set the stage for serious dental conditions in the future.

When you struggle with depression or other emotional condition your teeth will also suffer. Some signs of depression that will show in your teeth are:

  • General dental neglect. If you stop brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, you may have more cavities than usual, and your gums may be tender or swollen without the stimulation from brushing.
  • Periodontal disease. There is a close connection between depression and periodontal disease. Depression can affect your oral health through the salivary glands. When the production of saliva is restricted, you can have dry mouth which results in a higher risk for tooth decay.
  • Oral pain. Many people who have recurrent pain from conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) also suffer from depression. There is a clear connection between pain and depression, according to scientific studies.

Keeping your regular checkups will let us identify any potential problems that may develop in the future. If you struggle with depression, your teeth may show it at different levels. The health of your mouth, in general, will suffer from the effects of depression.

For more information about depression, call Dr. Frank S. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Sciabica proudly serve patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

How Water Impacts Your Oral Health | Issaquah Dentist

Food, water, air – the basics to life. And while food is delicious, water is the more vital of the two. Water is vital to many of your body’s natural functions by keeping your body hydrated and free from many illnesses. But water is also very important for your oral health. Without clean water, you’ll begin to experience a number of different issues with your teeth and gums.

In the U.S. and many other countries, the city drinking water includes fluoride. This helps to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Without clean drinking water, your teeth will be exposed to a number of bacteria. These bacteria will attach themselves to your teeth and begin to eat away at the enamel there, especially if you don’t brush your teeth regularly. They can also lead to gum disease.

In areas without clean drinking water, it’s also common to find manganese and other elements in the water. Continued exposure to high levels of some of these elements, especially those that are highly acidic, can cause damage to your teeth and gums.

Water also helps keep your mouth clean by washing away some of the bacteria and food particles that have become stuck in your teeth. While it’s no substitution for brushing or flossing, drinking plenty of water will help your mouth clean, especially if the water is clean.

Overall, drinking water keeps you healthy in multiple ways and protects your teeth. If you haven’t had access to clean drinking water for some time, you need to come in to see us for a checkup and a cleaning as soon as you can.

For more information about water, call Dr. Frank S. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Sciabica proudly serve patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Bottled Water Is Not as Good as You Think It Is | Issaquah Dentist

Bottled water is more popular than ever for a variety of reasons. Some people simply don’t have access to clean drinking water, but for others, claims of fresh spring water have them opting for bottled versions over the water in their own tap.

The big problem with the switch to bottled water is a lack of fluoride, and the consequences could be detrimental to your teeth.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that has been established as a way to prevent decay. Research is so supportive of this claim that most communities have added it to their public drinking water. Fluoride is especially important for children, as it is easily absorbed into the enamel. Once the teeth are fully developed, fluoride makes the structure resistant to decay.

Are People Getting Less Fluoride?

Researchers believe that as more consumers drink bottled water, fewer ingest the amount of fluoride needed to prevent cavities. The American Dental Association states that if bottled water is your primary source of drinking water, you are likely missing out on the important decay-prevention of fluoride. In fact, this concern was discussed at the World Dental Congress, which identified it as a possible reason tooth decay is on the rise among children.

Are There Other Ways to Get Fluoride?

If you tend to drink bottled water more often than tap water, it is important that you get fluoride in other ways. Some bottled waters include fluoride, and most commercial toothpastes contain fluoride. You might also want to ask your dentist or doctor about fluoride supplements.

In addition to getting enough fluoride, visiting your dentist regularly is an important step to maintain strong, healthy teeth. Regardless of whether you drink tap or bottled water, we can get a better idea about the health of your mouth. Give us a call today to set up your next dental cleaning and check-up.

For more information about bottled water, call Dr. Frank S. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Sciabica proudly serve patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Snacks that Help Clean Your Teeth | Issaquah Dentist

Well, here we are – on the brink of a whole new decade. And if you are like the rest of us, you have taken some stock on how you are living and the changes you’d like to make in this upcoming year. Yes folks, it’s resolution time. For some, it brings hope to a new lease on life, for others, it causes anxiety for the change. But before you close the book on making resolutions, why not keep it simple – snack better.

Yes, just snacks. We all do it, but we don’t always make the best choices. Here are few great options that will not only work on your resolution list, but will also improve your smile’s health:

A carrot a day. Carrots are full of fiber and help keep teeth clean by scrubbing the plaque off as you eat. Due to the fact that they’re not a juicy vegetable, they stimulate saliva production. Bonus? Vitamin B is in fighting gingivitis.

Eat your greens. Leafy greens are high in fiber and low in calories, so not only are they good for your body, they’re great for your teeth. Kale and spinach contain vitamin B and calcium, which helps strengthen your teeth. Also, like carrots, the fiber-packed kale and spinach help scrub away plaque and food debris as you eat them.

The apple of my eye. You’ve heard the old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, well it also keeps the plaque at bay! They help with saliva production, scrub away plaque and debris and the acidity of an apple helps kill the bad bacteria that encourages bad breath.

For more information about teeth-friendly snacks, call Dr. Frank S. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Sciabica proudly serve patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Reasons Why Wisdom Teeth Often Hurt | Issaquah Dentist

If we are lucky, we only need to experience new teeth twice in our lives – when we are babies and as our permanent teeth come in. It isn’t a comfortable time in our lives at either point. Both happen during a formative time in our lives, when life is anything but normal. But for some of us, a third “teething” process takes place – wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth generally come in during our late adolescent years and turn up as molars in the back of your mouth. For some, it isn’t an issue. For most, it can be a very painful time. Here’s why:

Eruption. The top of your gums is full of nerves. When wisdom teeth erupt through the skin, they are breaking those nerves and the result is pain. Because teeth don’t grow in quickly, the pain can last for a lot longer than anyone wants until the tooth is fully grown.

Impaction. There are times when the tooth grows at the wrong angle, gets stuck in the gum and becomes impacted. The pain from an impacted wisdom tooth is felt in many places. It can affect the area of impaction, the teeth surrounding the impaction, the gums and the jaw.

Infection. Like any other infection of the teeth or gums, the infected wisdom tooth cause pain.

We can’t predict if your wisdom teeth will cause you pain. What we can be sure of is that pain from a wisdom tooth is normal. It is something that plenty of people deal with. The good news is that there are things to do about the pain. Medications can help manage the pain until the tooth grows in.

For more information about wisdom teeth, call Dr. Frank S. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit  www.issaquahdentists.com .

Dr. Sciabica proudly serve patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Reasons Your Teeth May Hurt Following a Root Canal | Issaquah Dentist

If there is one thing we are sure of, it’s that we do not want to hear the words root canal coming out during a dental visit. And while there lots of treatment options done to make sure it goes as quickly and painlessly as possible, there is residual pain. After all, it’s surgery – your body needs time to heal after something like that. But there is natural pain and pain that denotes something is wrong. Here is how to break it all down:

A root canal is a surgical procedure. Some pain or discomfort is normal after this type of procedure. There are some things that will subside with a little time and go away in a few days:

  • Inflammation and swelling. Surrounding tissue and nerves can become inflamed after a root canal.
  • Collateral damage. Instruments may cause a little damage to tissue around the area.
  • High temporary filling. Temporary filling may not be smoothed down enough, creating spot sensitive to touch.

There are also times when the pain is related to something else. Pain for these reasons will require a return to the dentist for more treatment.

  • Infection in the bone. It is possible for the infection to include some of the bone, along with the tooth, and the root canal may not have cleaned out this infection.
  • Excess cement or air on the root tip. This is a result of the way the root canal was done.
  • Missed canal. Your tooth has more than one root canal. It is possible to miss a canal during this procedure.

For more information about root canal pain, call Dr. Frank S. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit  www.issaquahdentists.com .

Dr. Sciabica proudly serve patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.