Every April, the dental community observes Oral Cancer Awareness Month and works to increase public awareness about a dangerous and deadly disease. The truth is, according to the American Dental Association, an estimated 42,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. With a number this high, I want to take this opportunity to educate the patients of my Douglasville dental office on the risk factors and symptoms of oral cancer as well as how early detection can help save your life.
When talking about something as serious as oral cancer, I want to make sure my patients understand that, while this disease can be fatal, it’s not because the disease is difficult to treat. Many oral cancer cases are not diagnosed until the cancer is later in development and more widespread, which results in a high percentage of fatalities. That’s why I try to encourage my patients to not only limit their exposure to the risk factors that can contribute to oral cancer, but also to perform at-home checks and, most importantly, keep up with their regular checkups at my Douglasville dental office.
There are several risks factors that can increase someone’s chance of developing oral cancer. It’s probably no surprise that tobacco use is the number one leading cause of oral cancer. However, what may not be so well known is that an individual’s chance of developing oral cancer greatly increases if they’re both a tobacco user and a heavy drinker. Additionally, the sexually transmitted disease known as the human papilloma virus (HPV) can also lead to oral cancer.
In addition to avoiding the risks associated with oral cancer, performing self-exams each month is a great way to catch any potential problems early. When examining your mouth for signs of oral cancer, simply find a mirror and a bright light and look at the inside of your mouth, including the cheeks, roof of the mouth, lips, and gums. What are you looking for exactly? Some of the most common signs include white or red patches of oral tissue, a sore that doesn’t heal on its own, an abnormal lump or thickening of the mouth tissues, and difficulty swallowing.
While checking your own mouth for signs of oral cancer is helpful, it’s still very important to maintain regular checkups with your Douglasville dentist. Sometimes oral cancer may not seem to show any signs in its early stages. However, our team is trained to know what to look for to catch oral cancer early, and early detection gives you the best chance of survival.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, or if you’re due for a checkup, call my Douglasville dental office right away. After all, it just might save your life.
At the Douglasville dental office of Dr. Jim Williams, we always like to educate our patients on their oral health, so we talk a lot about periodontal disease, cavities, and the proper at-home care for a healthy mouth. Today we’re going to share some little known fun facts.
The average person produces around 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. How much is that exactly? Well, it’s enough to fill 2 swimming pools! And it’s a good thing that we tend to produce so much. Saliva can help neutralize acid and fight tooth decay.
Any guess as to what the hardest substance is in the body? It’s your tooth enamel! But that doesn’t mean you should use your pearly whites to open pesky packaging — doing that can lead to chipped or broken teeth in Douglasville.
On average, most people spend only about 48 seconds brushing their teeth everyday. You really should be doing it for much longer. Take our word for it. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry recommends that you spend at least 2 minutes every time you brush.
Say cheese! This common pizza topping is good for your grin since the calcium and phosphorus reduces the pH level in plaque and re-mineralizes tooth enamel. And speaking of pizza: You know when you burn your mouth with hot food? It’s actually called pizza palate!
Dr. Jim Williams’ Douglasville dental office is here to help you understand your dental health and to educate you on the best at-home routine for a bright and healthy smile. But we’re also here to make dentistry interesting and fun. If you’re overdue for a checkup, call your Douglasville dentist today!
Cavities. Nobody wants them, yet a lot of us get them. And while most of us know that cavities aren’t a good thing, many people can be confused about what really causes cavities. At the Douglasville dental office of Dr. Jim Williams, we’d like to debunk some of the most widely accepted cavity myths so our patients can understand what causes these pockets of decay.
Myth 1 – Sugar is the Prime Cause of Cavities
There is some truth behind this statement, and maybe that’s what causes the confusion. While sugar itself doesn’t cause cavities, carbohydrates like sugar cause bacteria in your mouth to produce acid. It’s this acid that actually eats into your teeth and causes cavities.
Myth 2 – Sensitivity in Teeth Means You Have A Cavity
Not necessarily. Tooth sensitivity doesn’t always mean that you have a cavity. It could be that you just have sensitive teeth or perhaps a gum has receded and exposed the root. Whatever the reason, if you’re experiencing sensitive tooth pain, it’s important that you visit your Douglasville dentist as soon as possible so we can work together to correct the sensitivity.
Myth 3 – If You Have a Cavity in Douglasville, You’ll Know It
This myth is one that’s most concerning to us. Mild tooth decay doesn’t cause any symptoms. It’s when the decay becomes more advanced that we begin to experience the pain associated with a cavity. When the decay is advanced enough to cause pain, you may often need more extensive treatment like a root canal. This is one reason why keeping up with your dental exams is so important — so we can catch any problems before they become big problems.
If you’re due for an exam, call our Douglasville dental office to schedule an appointment today. We’ll perform an in depth exam, work together to fix any issues we may find, and make sure to get your smile in its best shape.
We all know that February is the month when we all feel a bit more in love. We hug more, cuddle more, and kiss more. At the Douglasville dental office of Dr. Jim Williams, we’d like to take you away from your partner for just a minute to talk a bit about the pros and cons of kissing, and how it can affect your oral health.
When you want to know more about kissing, your dentist in Douglasville may not be the first person you think to turn to for advice. But we’re the experts in everything oral health related so there’s actually nobody better!
Kissing, like almost anything, not only has its benefits, it also has some disadvantages. Since we’re feeling the love that February brings, let’s cover the positives first. Kissing is actually good for your teeth. Smooching increases saliva production, and saliva helps remove food particles and cavity-causing bacteria, so it protects teeth from decay and neutralizes acids.
But kissing also has some dangers lurking behind those locked lips. We all know that kissing is a great way to spread germs, colds, and the flu. What some people may not know is that kissing can also share cold sores, Mononucleosis (Mono, or the kissing disease), and even gum disease.
Does that mean we recommend no more kissing? Of course not! But we do recommend keeping your mouth healthy and free of gum disease and dangerous bacteria that can be easily transferred from one person to another. The best way to make sure your mouth is kissable is to keep up with your professional cleanings and checkups with your Douglasville dentist. If you’re in need of a cleaning or checkup during this kiss-filled holiday, call Dr. Jim Williams today!
Every year on February 9th, we commemorate National Toothache Day. And while having a toothache is no holiday, being toothache free is something we can definitely celebrate. The Douglasville dental office of Dr. Jim Williams likes to use National Toothache Day to remind all of our patients how to stay toothache free and why keeping up with your dental care is so important.
In fact, avoiding toothaches isn’t all that difficult, and it starts with a good dental hygiene protocol at home. By making sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes each time, and by flossing at least once a day, you’re already taking the first steps to being toothache free. Flossing and brushing away the day’s bacteria aids in keeping your pearly whites clean and germ free. And if your teeth are clean, there’s less chance for plaque and bacteria to get comfortable and start causing problems.
In addition to your at-home hygiene routine, keeping up with professional cleanings and checkups with Dr. Jim Williams in Douglasville is just as important for a toothache free mouth. Professional hygiene visits take your teeth to a whole new level of clean, and our hygienists work deep below the gum line to remove anything you may have missed. Your regular checkups are also a great time for Dr. Jim Williams to catch any potential problems before they turn into major issues.
If you are experiencing a toothache in Douglasville, don’t wait for the pain to pass. A toothache is your body’s way of telling you that something’s not quite right, and you should listen. Don’t live with the discomfort of a toothache. Give Dr. Jim Williams a call and we’ll work together to determine the cause of the pain and get you back to being toothache free and smiling.
We all get stressed. It’s a part of life. And while we’re all familiar with what stress does to our bodies –anxiety disorders, panic attacks, irritability – our mouths can also be affected by stress. In fact, researchers have found a significant link between stress and certain oral health conditions. At the Douglasville dental office of Dr. Jim Williams, we’d like to talk a little bit about why staying calm isn’t just important for your mind and body, but why it’s also crucial to the health of your mouth.
Stress can cause us to grind our teeth at night, and sometimes, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Nighttime tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can lead to tooth damage and even problems with your TMJ (jaw) joint.
Additionally, several studies have confirmed that long-term stress affects our immune systems which can increase our susceptibility to infections. This is especially concerning for your Douglasville dentist as a lowered immune system can increase your chance of periodontal disease.
Dry mouth also often results from conditions caused by stress or can be a side effect of some medicines used to treat depression and other diseases. Dry mouth may sound like it’s just uncomfortable, but it can actually lead to a chronic sore throat, difficulty swallowing and speaking, and can even increase the risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth infections.
Although avoiding all stress isn’t possible, learning to handle it and relieve it in healthy ways can help keep your mouth, and your body, in good shape. However, if you have, or even think you have, any of the conditions or symptoms we discussed above, don’t hesitate to call the dental office of Dr. Jim Williams in Douglasville. We can discuss what’s going on in your mouth and work together to fix it.
For a lot of us, the new year means making resolutions to look better, get healthier, be happier, or improve life as a whole. Whatever specifics your resolutions may include, don’t overlook the chance to enhance your smile with cosmetic dentistry from Dr. Jim Williams in Douglasville.
There’s a lot to say about a healthy, beautiful smile. Some people are lucky to have been born with one. Others have to battle against genetics, accidents, or aging. When time, or life itself, takes a toll on your teeth, your confidence can dwindle and it’s common to begin hiding your smile. However, you don’t need to hide forever. Dr. Jim Williams can help.
Our Douglasville cosmetic dentistry options can get you smiling again, help boost your confidence, and fulfill your New Year’s resolution to look better, feel better, and be happier. Whether you need a professional whitening to brighten your smile, veneers to enhance the aesthetics of your teeth, or a complete smile makeover, we’re here to make it all possible.
There’s never been a better time to get healthy and confident for life. If you’re ready to stop hiding and start smiling, give us a call to schedule an appointment today. We’ll work with you to find the best cosmetic dentistry treatment for you. This is the year, ring in the New Year with a new smile from Dr. Jim Williams.
Do you hide your smile because your teeth aren’t as bright or white as you’d like? You’re not alone. Many people don’t like the color of their smiles and are turning towards teeth whitening as a fix.With so many whitening options available, choosing the right one for you can be confusing. From professional whitenings to over-the-counter, drugstore kits, how do you know if one is better than other? Where do you start?
You start with Dr. Jim Williams!
All of us at our dental office in Douglasville want to encourage our patients to come see us before deciding on a whitening treatment. Although whitening your smile may seem simple and harmless, there are a few things to consider before taking the leap.
Over-the-counter whitening kits may seem like the ideal solution with their slim price tags and convenience, but it’s important to be aware of their potential dangers. Since many of these kits provide a whitening tray that isn’t custom fitted to your smile, the bleaching solution can easily sit on the gums for a prolonged period of time and cause irritation. Additionally, some products that you find at your local drugstore can lead to tooth pain or can be too mild to yield desired results.
An alternative to these kits is a professional whitening with your Douglasville dentist. This option is safer as custom trays are used and protective measures are taken to avoid any gum irritation. You’re also often able to keep your smile whiter for longer.
Whichever choice you make, make sure to visit Dr. Jim Williams for an initial smile whitening consultation. We’ll help you choose the best option for you and your teeth and make sure you’re a candidate for a smile whitening procedure. If smile whitening isn’t your best option, we can discuss alternatives like veneers or bonding. Don’t remain tight-lipped! Show your smile to the world. Start by calling us today!
In order to maintain a healthy mouth, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you visit your dentist at least twice a year, and we agree. All of us at the dental office of Dr. Jim Williams in Douglasville want to express the importance of visiting us at least every six months for optimum oral and overall health.
When you maintain regular visits with your Douglasville dentist, you can avoid certain dental issues like tooth decay and swollen gums. While these may not seem problematic at first, they can lead to other major dental problems such as gum disease, abscesses, and sometimes even tooth loss if left untreated. During biannual visits, we not only conduct a thorough cleaning, we can also help diagnose any lurking problems and treat them before they become dangerous to your smile, and your health.
Many dental issues can lead to other serious health conditions like strokes, heart disease, and even certain cancers. Regular dental visits help prevent these scary health problems with early diagnosis and treatment. At your six month checkups, we’ll look for gum disease, oral cancer, evaluate your bite, and perform other preventive screenings. If you’re at higher risk for gum disease or decay, we’ll often recommend that you make appointments more frequently than every six months.
Don’t wait for dental problems to creep up on your or cause serious health problems. Be proactive with your health and call Dr. Jim Williams in Douglasville to schedule an appointment today. We’d love to meet you and help keep your smile, and your body, healthy.
A lot of times we are presented with the question, “Do I really need to floss, or is brushing enough?” Dr. Jim Williams in Douglasville wants you to know that flossing isn’t just a suggestion; it’s an essential part of a healthy oral-wellness routine.
Proper flossing can help reduce the risk of gum disease and cavities, and is an important step toward having an overall healthy mouth. In fact, The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once a day in order to achieve optimal oral health.
Daily flossing removes plaque and bacteria from between the teeth — where a toothbrush can’t reach. If you’re just starting to adopt a good flossing habit, you may experience minor discomfort. It’s important that you don’t stop. If the discomfort doesn’t go away after a week or two of daily flossing, be sure to visit our Douglasville dental office as soon as possible.
Flossing Tips for Healthy Gums
Floss before brushing your teeth
Glide the floss in between each tooth using a sawing motion
Angle the floss in a “c” shape around the tooth and slightly below the gumline
Repeat on the opposite tooth
Unravel the floss from your fingers, supplying fresh floss for each set of teeth
Finish up with a proper brushing
Even if you do floss habitually and correctly, it’s still very important to maintain regular visits with your dentist in Douglasville. If you’re in need of a professional cleaning or check up, or if you just want to show off your healthy gums, call us to schedule an appointment today.