Tag Archives: oral cancer screening

Life Saving Preventative Dentistry Helps Diagnose Disease & Cancer Early

What is Life Saving Preventative Dentistry and how can it save your life? In simple terms, your dental exam can expose and help diagnose gum disease and oral cancer early. Let’s discuss.

Your Dentist is a Super Hero

You know that seeing your dentist is important and helps keep your mouth healthy and clean, but did you know that getting regular dental checkups is the most important procedure against oral cancer? Your dentist is doing a lot more than just checking up on your smile and cavities.

Dr. Skrobanek is a Super Hero. The preventative dentistry he provides can detect early signs of cancer, gum disease, and other major health problems; not to mention the little problems that can be treated. All in all, preventative dentistry could just save your life.

The Test of Time with Life Saving Preventative Dentistry

Your smile was meant to last a lifetime. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your teeth, so they can function well and last as long as they’re supposed to. Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your teeth’s durability is seeing your dentist for life saving preventative dentistry that includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and oral cancer screenings.

According to the Oral Health Foundation, “Dental appointments shouldn’t just be made when you have a problem that needs to be addressed. Prevention is always better than needing a cure and there are plenty more reasons why it’s important to maintain regular visits to your local dental practice.”

Some of these reasons include:

  • Prevention of plaque, tartar, decay
  • Helps keep gum disease away
  • Checking for oral cancer and other health issues
  • Getting advice on your specific needs/oral health goals

Preventative dentistry focuses on dental care practices, good oral health, oral hygiene education, and early detection – which is what’s happening during your routine dental exam. So, your dentist may talk with you about what steps to take to avoid cavities, tooth decay, best oral health practices, and so on.

Oral Cancer Screenings

When your dentist does an oral cancer screening, they’re looking for abnormalities in the mouth tissue. This can be lumps, pimples, patches that are rough, or teeth placement changes. This is done both visually and by feeling around the mouth. Diagnosing oral cancer in its very early stages is critical because each year, over 7,500 deaths are caused by oral cancer alone.

The screening will be painless and easy, and it could be the difference of early detection or not. If something looks like it may be oral cancer, your dentist may suggest a biopsy of some tissue. Early detection can significantly increase the chances for a full recovery and can make treatment easier as well. 

Learn more from The American Dental Association about Detecting Oral Cancer Early.

Your mouth is the gateway to your entire body and its health determines your overall health. We believe that brushing and flossing daily, and regular dental exams and cleanings are key to a beautiful smile and a happy, healthy you!

Overall Checkup and The Importance of Oral Health

Oftentimes, we don’t notice some oral health problems unless they cause us pain or discomfort. Maybe we have a signs and symptoms of a problem that we never would’ve noticed until later on, when issues have progressed. 

Related Article: 11 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Do Differently

The good news is, your dentist can look for multiple signs and symptoms that show in our mouths – such as oral cancer, Crohn’s Disease, and other serious health problems. So, when you get your regular dental exam, you’re doing so much more for your overall health and wellbeing than just getting your teeth cleaned. How amazing is that?

Early diagnosis through dental exams can sometimes determine health issues such as:

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Oral Cancer
  • Anemia
  • GERD
  • Intense stress
  • Osteoporosis
  • Dementia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Heart Disease

As you can see, Dr. Skrobanek offers life saving preventative dentistry each time you visit his office. That’s one of the main reasons we schedule your next appointment after your dental exam and cleaning, so we can help you manage your oral health and stay healthy.

10 Easy Steps to Improve Your Smile

A healthy smile isn’t always achieved overnight, but takes a variety of methods to help create and maintain. Here are 10 easy steps you can take to help improve the appearance and health of your teeth, mouth, and gums.

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day
  2. Floss every day
  3. See your Hygienist twice each year
  4. Stop Smoking
  5. Drink plenty of water
  6. Buy a quality toothbrush
  7. Limit coffee, tea, and red wine
  8. Choose whitening products carefully
  9. Improve other health conditions
  10. Get dental treatment in a timely manner

It can take some time before you start to notice changes from whitening or improved oral hygiene. While these changes don’t come overnight, they are certainly worth the time and effort, both for the sake of your smile and your overall health. You should also have regular dental checkups and cleanings. Why? Read more about “Why it’s important to schedule your dental exam twice a year”.

A Healthy Smile Can BOOST Your Immune System

You may not realize that a healthy smile can boost your immune system and don’t forget about the importance of healthy gums! They may not seem like the star of the show, but they’re just as important as every other part of your mouth, and have to be taken care of to maintain a bright and healthy smile. Even if you take care of your teeth and don’t have any cavities to worry about, you’re not immune to gum disease. 

To learn more about Gum Disease, enjoy our blog: BOOST Your Immune System thru Oral Care and Gum Health

GPS Dental Offers Life Saving Preventative Care

That’s why our expert team at GPS Dental strives to educate our patients on healthy habits that can do more than keep your smile bright. Life saving preventative care is one of the main reasons it’s always important to see Dr. Skrobanek every 6 months for proper checkups at GPS Dental, so your he can check for all the signs of a healthy mouth. A healthy mouth, teeth and gums has all the makings for a beautiful smile!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment. 

Maximize Dental Insurance Benefits before December 31st

Use Your Dental Benefits Before It’s Too Late!

We can help you maximize dental insurance benefts! Did you know that your dental insurance plan will automatically reset on December 31 every year? That date is approaching quickly, so it’s time to start thinking about making the most of your dental benefits before time runs out. Call us today to get your end-of-the-year appointments scheduled and on the books for peace of mind, and to get the most out of the dental insurance you pay for.

Learn More about dental insurance from the American Dental Association: “Use it or Lose it”

What Should I Make an Appointment For?

This will vary from person to person, depending on what unique services you need to make your oral health 100 percent. Talk with your dentist to determine what services you need to stay healthy. More than likely, a routine dental exam and cleaning is an appointment almost everyone can make before the end of the year – this is a preventive care appointment.

Check over your insurance plan to learn if your insurance covers multiple cleanings every year. If so, make the most of your benefits by getting your cleaning in before the holiday-craziness begins and schedules tighten. Also, if you have questions for your dentist or curious about the status of your oral health, a routine check-up is the perfect way to learn about your teeth’s health and ask questions.

Appointment Types – Preventative and Elective Services

Appointments can often be categorized into two groupings – preventative and elective services.

Preventative Dentistry Services

Preventative dentistry is all about maintaining oral care and preventing oral health problems down the line. This often includes regular cleanings, regular oral exams, routine x-rays, and a oral cancer screening. Dental insurance plans often fully cover preventative care services and appointments. You can also help maintain your oral health at home by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.

Related Articles:

Elective Dentistry Services

Elective dental services often fall under the cosmetic category. They are services you often elect to have done, rather than routine services or preventative services that maintain oral health. Veneers, teeth-whitening, and other smile-enhancing services are often elective services, and insurance coverage may vary between each provider. Check with your insurance provider to see what elective coverage you have and schedule these big appointments at the end of the year!

Learn more about the Dental Services we offer at GPS Dental HERE.

Large Treatments

If you need restorative dental treatments, otherwise known as large dental treatments, because they are more extensive, and you’ve met your deductible, the end of the year is the perfect time to get these treatments completed! Restorative treatments can include dental implants, dentures, or other services to help restore your smile. Once you reach your deductible, out-of-pocket expenses drop dramatically, so treatments are easier to get done and less expensive for your wallet.

If you’re getting close to reaching your annual maximum, talk with us at GPS Dental and we can help create a plan to split treatments between year to year if needed and maximize dental insurance benefits. We would love to work with you and your insurance to create the perfect plan for your treatments to get you and your family the services you want and need!

Related Article: Tooth Replacement: Choosing Between Dental Implants and Dentures

Maximize your FSA now!

Also … REMEMBER to check your dental insurance plan to see if your FSA funds rollover. Most likely, they don’t! Check with our office today to schedule your appointments before the end of the year to make the most of your FSA plan. Your oral health, and your wallet, will thank you.

Know the Basics of an FSA … learn more HERE.

GPS Dental Can Help You Maximize Dental Insurance Benefits

Now you know you can save possibly thousands of dollars by using your dental insurance benefits before the end of the year! Deductibles are often met, annual maximums won’t roll over, and premiums may increase. So, it’s more important than ever to use your dental insurance benefits to the maximum now. Don’t let your 2021 dental insurance benefits go to waste! Call and make your appointments today to get on the books before the holiday season begins and schedules get busier! GPS Dental can help you maximize dental insurance benefits! We can’t wait to see you.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Dental Exams Can Lead to Early Diagnosis of Disease

Most Oral Problems Don’t Cause Pain, Unless it’s Serious. Your Dental Exam can detect issues and lead to early diagnosis!

Dentists can do so much more for us than find cavities or tell us how to properly brush our teeth! In fact, dental exams can provide us with detection and early diagnosis for multiple diseases and health issues. Our dentists are really our first line of defense and diagnosis for our overall health and our oral health – which go hand in hand. 

According to Nico Geurs, DDS, chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Periodontology, and director of the UAB Dentistry Wellness Clinic…

“Diabetes, leukemia, and immune compromised patients will exhibit oral signs [of disease]. Many times, these are the first outward signs of the disease and a keen eye could facilitate the diagnosis. Oral health is not separate from overall health.” 

Learn what The Mayo Clinic has to say about Dental Exams

Oral Care Impacts Diabetes and Heart Disease

Did you know that, according to Mayo Clinic…

“Poor dental health increases the risk of a bacterial infection in the blood stream, which can affect the heart valves. There is also a strong connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease and evidence that people with diabetes benefit from periodontal treatment.”

The proof is in the pudding, as they say! A healthy mouth helps contribute to whole body health and vice versa. So, while you may just be brushing and flossing your teeth, you’re also helping the rest of you stay healthy. Learn more about Whole Body Health.

Overall Checkup and The Importance of Oral Health

Oftentimes, we don’t even notice some oral health problems unless they cause us pain or discomfort. Maybe we have a signs and symptoms of a problem that we never would’ve noticed until later on, when issues have progressed. 

Related Article: 11 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Do Differently

The good news is, your dentists can look for multiple signs and symptoms that show signs in our mouths – such as oral cancer, Crohn’s Disease, and other serious health problems. So, when you get your regular dental checkups, you’re doing so much more for your overall health and wellbeing. How amazing is that? Early diagnosis through dental exams can sometimes determine health issues such as:

  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Oral Cancer
  • Anemia
  • GERD
  • Intense stress
  • Osteoporosis
  • Dementia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Heart Disease

According to Gigi Meinecke, DMD, spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry and a dentist in private practice in Potomac, Maryland…

“People think we’re only looking at teeth. But typically, we’re looking at all of the soft tissues in the mouth. If I can’t find a reasonable explanation for the symptoms (that I see), I’ll recommend my patient see their regular doctor.”

Don’t Wait for a Toothache

Experiencing tooth pain is no small thing. In fact, tooth pain can ruin your day or put you in a bad mood. Sharp pain can make it difficult to concentrate at school or work, and extreme sensitivity can ruin mealtimes. What causes these frustrating tooth pains? Let’s take a closer look at the top five reasons for tooth pain and see when it’s time to visit your dentist!

Top 5 Reasons for a Toothache

  • Sensitivity: Has a certain tooth developed sensitivity to cold and/or hot temperatures? Tooth sensitivity can happen for a myriad of reasons and is often the indicator of an underlying symptom, so it’s important to let your dentist know if you’re experiencing extreme sensitivity.  
  • Chipped Tooth: Although enamel is extremely tough and durable, sometimes we experience a chipped or broken tooth whether it be from an injury or whatnot. Try to not chew on ice, pens, open packages with your teeth, and so on to prevent any breakage. A crack in the tooth can cause extreme sensitivity and pain. Sometimes, a crack may not be clearly visible to you and may be in the back area of the tooth. If you think you may have a crack, visit your dentist right away. Treatment options often include crowns and root canals, depending on severity.
  • Decay: Plaque and bacteria in the mouth do more than just bother your gums, they also begin to dissolve your enamel on your teeth. When your enamel gets broken down, your teeth aren’t as strong anymore and are more susceptible to weak spots and pain. When bacteria concentrate in an area, you can experience a cavity/holes in the teeth. When this happens, your teeth may feel sore and sensitive.
  • Dental Abscess: Also caused from an excess of bacteria, an abscess forms when bacteria builds up inside your tooth’s pulp. This causes an infection and leads to swelling and soreness, or a toothache. Pus can also develop around the tooth, so it’s important to visit your dentist right away if you see these symptoms. An x-ray can confirm the diagnosis and often antibiotics are used to fight the infection.
  • Gum Disease: Gum disease is as worrisome as it sounds and affects many adults every year. Gum disease, or periodontitis, is when bacteria eat away at your gums. This is most often caused from bad dental hygiene and excess bacteria in the mouth. Gum disease can make your gums feel tender, or sometimes bleed, and cause tooth pain. The earlier you catch gum disease and begin treatment and better dental hygiene, the better. If you notice a toothache and swollen or red gums, come in and see your dentist quickly for an examination.

Oral Bacteria and Health

Bacteria in the mouth cause tooth decay – by feeding on the sugars in the foods and drinks we consume – they leave behind the waste, in the form of a biofilm known as dental plaque.

Our mouths have lots of bacteria that is usually harmless. (Did you know that the bacteria in our body aids with digestion and other biological tasks?) However, if you do not brush or floss regularly, oral bacteria can reach dangerously high levels. When this happens, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections can be the nasty result.

Bacteria and Decay Create Health Risks Throughout the Body

We talk a lot about the early diagnosis of disease during dental exams, here is evidence that the oral bacteria and high level of inflammation associated with the serious gum disease known as periodontitis can play a role in diseases in other parts of the body.

The following health issues and diseases are linked with poor gum health:

  • Infections from Abscesses: In some rare instances, severe tooth decay can lead to an abscess. The infection can travel to the heart, brain, or lungs, causing severe illness or even death.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: There are researchers who suggest that heart disease, stroke and clogged arteries are linked to the inflammation and infections caused by too much oral bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and Birth Complications: Severe gum infection has been linked to premature births and low birth weight.
  • Endocarditis: This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart. This can occur when bacteria from other parts of your body, such as your mouth, move through your bloodstream and become attached to damaged areas in the heart.

Read More: Oral Bacteria: Are Healthy Teeth Just About a Pretty Smile?

Here are nine reasons professional cleanings are so important:

  1. Your dental hygienist can remove most of the stains that dull and discolor your teeth, so you’ll be left with a brighter, whiter, healthy smile.
  2. Having your teeth cleaned can prevent gum disease, which leads to early tooth loss.
  3. In America alone, one person dies from oral cancer every hour, but many of these cancers are curable with early diagnosis when detected at an early stage during routine cleanings that includes oral cancer screenings.
  4. A strong link exists between cardiovascular disease and gum disease. Because getting your teeth cleaned twice a year helps prevent gum disease, it can also reduce your chances of potentially deadly heart attacks and strokes.
  5. During a professional dental cleaning, it’s easy for your dentist to detect early signs of problems such as broken fillings and tooth fractures.
  6. Many dental insurance plans cover cleanings, and you’ll save money on dental expenses in the long run by taking advantage of your policy.
  7. If your dentist finds any serious problems during a teeth cleaning or exam, the office can help you make financial arrangements to cover the necessary procedures.
  8. Professional dental cleanings give your dentist or hygienist an opportunity to compare the state of your oral health to that of previous visits. If you’re moving in the wrong direction, immediate intervention can put you back on track.
  9. Regular check-ups and dental cleanings help prevent and resolve persistent bad breath. 

Are you looking for a dentist in San Antonio? Learn more about how GPS Dental Offers Affordable Dental Care.

Nearly all oral diseases don’t cause pain until they are very advanced, so early detection is key to stopping/helping any health problem. Make sure to see your dentist once every 6 months to stay on top of your overall health and wellbeing.  Give us a call today to make your appointment! 

GPS Dental is Accepting New Patients

If you’re looking for a new dental home, Dr. Skrobanek and his Team at GPS Dental look forward to meeting you during your dental exam and cleaning. Dental Exams Can Detect Signs of Disease Elsewhere in the Body. Experts say infections inside your mouth can cause health problems in other parts of the body and signal diseases such as leukemia and diabetes. You may want to think twice before delaying your dental checkup, as you could be delaying early diagnosis.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Oral Cancer Screenings are Completed During Every Dental Exam

When you come in to see your dentist for a dental exam, you may think of getting your teeth cleaned, maybe an x-ray, and a general checkup. Actually, dental exams include so much for your wellbeing! When we conduct our dental exams, we also look for any warning signs of decay, disease, oral cancer, and anything else that may look out of the norm by completing simple oral cancer screenings on each patient.

This is great news for you! At GPS Dental, we take pride in taking care of our patients, so it’s more important than ever to schedule your twice-a-year checkups today. 

Oral Cancer Awareness Month 

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time for us to remind ourselves of the importance of dental checkups that include oral cancer screenings and our oral health. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Oral cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth (oral cavity). Mouth cancer can occur on the lips, gum, tongue, the inner lining of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth, and floor of the mouth (under the tongue). Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is sometimes called oral cancer or oral cavity cancer.”

Learn More about mouth cancer from Mayo Clinic HERE.

Oral cancer often affects men more than women, and also affects young people who are non-smoking. It’s important to catch oral cancer in its early stages, so frequent dental checkups where your dentist can look for any signs or symptoms of oral cancer through oral cancer screenings are imperative. Make sure to inform your dentist if you have anything out of the ordinary happening in or around your mouth. We’re also happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Early detection and diagnosis is imperative, learn more HERE.

Stopping Oral Cancer

While oral cancer cannot be completely prevented, there are some things you can do to greatly reduce your risks and amp up your oral health. 

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat healthy diet
  • Limit your alcohol intake
  • Use SPF outside
  • Maintain a health exercise schedule
  • Maintain good oral health habits and attend twice-a-year dental checkups 

More about Oral Cancer Awareness from the Oral Cancer Foundation.

What to Look For

There are certain signs and symptoms that you can watch out for in-between your dental checkups. If you are experiencing any of these, please call us today for an appointment. 

  • Weight loss
  • Numbness, pain/tenderness around the mouth or neck 
  • White, red, or speckled patches in the mouth
  • Any crusty, eroded areas in or around the mouth, or lumps
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness, changes in voice
  • Trouble chewing or swallowing
  • Trouble speaking or moving your jaw or tongue
  • Changes in the way your teeth or dentures fit when closing mouth
  • Bleeding in the mouth

Regular Dental Exams Keep MORE than Your smile Healthy!

Professional dental exams and cleanings aren’t just for keeping your smile bright; they can have a significant impact on your general health.

Insufficient oral hygiene has been linked to several serious illnesses. Associated medical and dental issues include bone loss, cardiovascular disease, strokes, cancers, and many other problems. Brushing and flossing at home are essential, but to ensure teeth are healthy and thoroughly clean, you should schedule regular check-ups and oral cancer screenings with your dentist and annual dental cleanings with your dental hygienist.

Related Article: Oral Disease: The Top 3 that Could Impact Your Health

Here are nine reasons professional cleanings are so important:

  1. Your dental hygienist can remove most of the stains that dull and discolor your teeth, so you’ll be left with a brighter, whiter, healthy smile.
  2. Having your teeth cleaned can prevent gum disease, which leads to early tooth loss.
  3. In America alone, one person dies from oral cancer every hour, but many of these cancers are curable if detected at an early stage during routine cleanings that includes oral cancer screenings.
  4. A strong link exists between cardiovascular disease and gum disease. Because getting your teeth cleaned twice a year helps prevent gum disease, it can also reduce your chances of potentially deadly heart attacks and strokes.
  5. During a professional dental cleaning, it’s easy for your dentist to detect early signs of problems such as broken fillings and tooth fractures.
  6. Many dental insurance plans cover cleanings, and you’ll save money on dental expenses in the long run by taking advantage of your policy.
  7. If your dentist finds any serious problems during a teeth cleaning or exam, the office can help you make financial arrangements to cover the necessary procedures.
  8. Professional dental cleanings give your dentist or hygienist an opportunity to compare the state of your oral health to that of previous visits. If you’re moving in the wrong direction, immediate intervention can put you back on track.
  9. Regular check-ups and dental cleanings help prevent and resolve persistent bad breath. 

Check out this article about how often you should see your dentist in SELF MagazineDo I Really Need Teeth Cleanings Twice a Year?

Are you looking for a dentist in San Antonio? Learn more about how GPS Dental Offers Affordable Dental Care.

GPS Dental Can Help

Dental professionals are true advocates of oral care. We are not only adamant about keeping teeth clean, but we­ are also concerned with your overall dental health. Checking for defects, abnormalities, and indications of severe issues in the bone, teeth, or gums are also at the forefront of our practice. Similarly, offering advice on how to properly care for teeth and correct certain habits is also a part of the patient education that we offer. Should you be looking for a dentist that is serious about oral care, contact our dental office to book your dental appointment.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Dental Exams are Important for SO Many Reasons …

We ALL need to visit our Dentist every 6 months!!

Every person, whether you have good teeth or not, whether your gums are healthy or not, whether you build up a lot of plaque and tartar or not, whether you are the world’s best brusher and flosser, or not.

That’s right, everyone needs to see the dentist every 6 months.

Regular dental exams are essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends a visit to the dentist at least once a year but making an appointment once in six months prevents a host of oral related problems.

Regular Dental Exams Keep MORE than Your smile Healthy!

Have you had a dental cleaning and exam this year? Professional dental exams and cleanings aren’t just for keeping your smile bright; they can have a significant impact on your general health.

Insufficient oral hygiene has been linked to several serious illnesses. Associated medical and dental issues include bone loss, cardiovascular disease, strokes, cancers, and many other problems. Brushing and flossing at home are essential, but to ensure teeth are healthy and thoroughly clean, you should schedule regular check-ups with your dentist and annual dental cleanings with your dental hygienist.

Here are nine reasons professional cleanings are so important.

  1. Your dental hygienist can remove most of the stains that dull and discolor your teeth, so you’ll be left with a brighter, whiter smile.
  2. Having your teeth cleaned can prevent gum disease, which leads to early tooth loss. We’ll discuss more about this later…
  3. In America alone, one person dies from oral cancer every hour, but many of these cancers are curable if detected at an early stage during a routine cleaning.
  4. A strong link exists between cardiovascular disease and gum disease. Because getting your teeth cleaned twice a year helps prevent gum disease, it can also reduce your chances of potentially deadly heart attacks and strokes.
  5. During a professional dental cleaning, it’s easy for your dentist to detect early signs of problems such as broken fillings and fractures.
  6. Many dental plans cover cleanings, and you’ll save money on dental expenses in the long run by taking advantage of your policy.
  7. If your dentist finds any serious problems during a teeth cleaning or exam, the office can help you make financial arrangements to cover the necessary procedures.
  8. Professional dental cleanings give your dentist or hygienist an opportunity to compare the state of your oral health to that of previous visits. If you’re moving in the wrong direction, immediate intervention can put you back on track.
  9. Regular check-ups and dental cleanings help prevent and resolve persistent bad breath. 

Check out this article about how often you should see your dentist in SELF MagazineDo I Really Need Teeth Cleanings Twice a Year?

Don’t let oral bacteria (or cavities) get you down!

Bacteria is a sneaky opportunist that loves to break down your enamel and cause issues that can affect the health of your teeth and gums. When you get regular, professional cleanings, your dentist can help you avoid bacteria build up and catch any problems early on, including cavities – saving you time and money!

Cavities happen all the time. They’re an extremely common problem that most everyone faces when they’re a child, teen, or adult. When you sit in the dentist’s chair and find out you have a cavity, it can put a damper on your day. Cavities are often minor inconveniences, and annoying toothaches and tooth sensitivity are often associated with cavities.

Cavities are simply no fun at all. Nonetheless, with quick treatment by your dentist and oral hygiene diligence, cavities don’t have to form into bigger problems. If left untreated; however, cavities can form into much bigger oral complications, such as tooth loss, broken teeth, and gum disease.

Don’t forget, your dentist also performs an oral cancer screening during your dental exam as well!

More on Cavities and Tooth Decay from The Mayo Clinic.

Cavity Formation and Risk Factors

Cavities form because of tooth decay – often due to excess bacteria and plaque in the mouth. Once the tooth begins to decay, a cavity forms over time and creates little holes in teeth. Sometimes, when a cavity forms, you can experience a toothache or sensitivity to hot and cold. Some people may not experience any pain or discomfort from a cavity and that’s why it is so important to see your dentist for regular dental exams and cavity checks.  

Bacteria is a destructive force in the mouth. When bacteria are present, they begin breaking down enamel, causing a build-up of plaque and tartar, and irritate the gums. Everything in connected with your oral health and if bacteria begins affecting a tooth and causing a cavity, it could also be causing gum disease.

Here’s a deep dive into Gum Disease.

Gum Disease Causes and Treatment

Cavities are a tell-tale sign of excess bacteria in the mouth. This means that you probably need to ramp-up your oral hygiene routine. Maybe you need to spend more time brushing, add in more flossing, and so on. Talking with your dentist will help you pin-point what you can do to eliminate the risk of cavities and gum disease. When cavities are present and bacteria is left untreated in the mouth, your gums can begin to get inflamed, which is the basis of gum disease.

According to WebMD, gum disease begins with bacteria in the mouth and can lead to tooth loss because of the loss of gum tissue. Gum disease attacks the gums, making them recede and not hold on to your teeth as well as they should. Look for these signs and symptoms:

  • Swollen or sensitive gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Pockets between the gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath

Catching gum disease early is key to recovery, much like cavities. Proper plaque and bacteria control are key to eliminating gum disease and cavity risk! So, talk with your dentist to see what works best for you, and remember that proper oral healthcare, including dental exams twice each year, is the best defense against bacteria.

More on Gum Disease Treatment Options from WebMD.

Dental Benefits are on Your Side

Keeping up with a regular cleaning schedule helps you make the most of your dental benefits. Remember, prevention is always better than a treatment. Preventive Dental Care is almost always covered 100% by your insurance provider, so talk with your provider to understand the full benefits of your preventive care, and, once you know them, schedule dental exams with your dentist in advance.

When you make the most out of your benefits, you’re not leaving money on the table. Benefits will not roll over into next year, so once they are gone, they are gone for good! Make sure your oral health is on track and use your benefits to the maximum this year.

According to WebMD, read more about what is and is not (typically) covered by Dental Insurance. If you have questions about your dental insurance benefits or coverage, please give us a call at 210-633-3477 — we’d love to help you!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month: A Good Time to Visit Your Dentist for an Oral Cancer Screening

oral-cancer-screening

Oral health professionals and those affected by oral cancer work diligently to advocate for education and prevention; especially during April, as it is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Although this month is especially important in educating individuals on what oral cancer looks like and the available preventative steps that can lower risk, to include scheduling your oral cancer screening; it’s vital that people monitor their oral health year-round.

Oral cancer can affect anyone, making it critical that you know what warning signs and symptoms point to the early stages of various types of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer: The Statistics

Did you know that over 9,000 women and 21,000 men in the United States receive an oral cancer diagnoses each year; that statistic is according to the National Cancer Institute.

According to the American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for oral cancer diagnoses in 2019, just in the United States are:

  • Approximately 53,000 people will get oral cancer
  • An estimated 10,860 people will die from this disease

Oral cancer typically strikes in the mouth and throat beginning in the flat cells, or squamous cells, that cover the surfaces of the mouth, tongue and lips.

What Adds to the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?

  • Tobacco Use
  • Heavy Alcohol Consumption
  • Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Sun Exposure
  • Betel Nut Use
  • Personal History of Oral Cancer
Here’s a side-note … 
during my research for this blog, I had to ask,
“What is a Betel Nut?”
The information I discovered is disturbing:

Betel nuts are found across Asia, growing in palm trees. They’re used so widely, they’re one of the most popular mind-altering substances in the world. People chew on the nut and the leaf together to get high. Supposedly, it’s like a combination of tobacco and a lot of caffeine.

When they are chewed, the nuts give user a rush of stamina and euphoria. Excessive chewing causes discolored or even loss of teeth and oral cancer. Unfortunately, they’re not very difficult to purchase in the U.S. because they are not illegal or banned at this time.

Even though the betel nut is not a controlled substance, it can be illegal to import, especially wholesale. They can be dangerous, and the World Health Organization has labeled the betel nut as a carcinogen.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Patches inside the mouth or on the lips
  • Sore on the mouth or lips that just doesn’t heal
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Lump in the neck
  • Numbness of lower lip and chin
  • Difficulty wearing dentures
  • Persistent earache

Visit your dentist or physician immediately for an oral cancer screening if you have any of these symptoms.

The death rate associated with oral and oropharyngeal cancers remains particularly high because the cancers routinely are discovered late in their development. Fortunately, when oral and oropharyngeal cancers are detected (most commonly through an oral cancer screening) and treated early, mortality and treatment-related health problems are reduced.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Oral Cancer?

Your best bet in catching oral cancer during its early stages is with a regular oral cancer screening performed by a trusted oral health professional, like Dr. Gary Skrobanek and his expert team at GPS Dental in San Antonio. They have the knowledge and experience to identify potential symptoms of various types of oral cancer and can connect you with the medical services you need.

Related Article: Oral Cancer Screening – You Need to Know!

In addition to an oral cancer screening during each of your dental appointments from Dr. Skrobanek, you can complete self-directed oral inspections. Inspect your mouth monthly for the warning signs listed above. For a more complete and thorough inspection, you can use a small light and mirror to see otherwise blocked areas. Upon finding anything suspicious, immediately contact your oral health professional.

Related Article: Why We Perform Oral Cancer Screenings during Dental Checkups

Dentists and doctors alike will also recommend that people cut out tobacco use completely, as it is known to impact your overall health negatively. At GPS Dental, we’re dedicated to helping our patients maintain a healthy mouth and a healthy life. To schedule your oral cancer screening, contact us today.

Additional Resources:

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Get Your Oral Cancer Screening – April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

oral-cancer-screeningDon’t wait until April, Get Your Oral Cancer Screening Today!

During April oral health professionals and those affected by oral cancer work diligently to advocate for education and prevention; as its Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Although this month is especially important in educating individuals on what oral cancer looks like and the available preventative steps that can lower risk, it’s vital that people monitor their oral health year-round.

Oral cancer can affect anyone, making it critical that you know what warning signs and symptoms point to the early stages of various types of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Screening: Are There Detectable Early Signs of Oral Cancer?

There are a variety of different warning signs and early-stage symptoms associated with oral cancer. However, it’s important to note that oral cancer is a broad term for a wider range of cancer that occurs in the mouth. The common types of oral cancer include:

  •      Sinus cancer
  •      Throat cancer
  •      Lip cancer
  •      Tongue cancer
  •      Cancer in the cheeks
  •      Cancer in the hard and soft palates of the mouth

With regular oral cancer screening appointments, there are significant symptoms of oral cancer that can be detected by your oral health professional.

These warning signs and symptoms include:

  •      Oral bleeding in any area of the mouth.
  •      Irregular bumps or rough patches on the lips or inside the oral cavity.
  •      A loss of sensation or persistent numbness on the tongue, neck, face, or mouth.
  •      Difficulty chewing, swallowing, talking, or moving the jaw in any fashion.
  •      A recurring sore throat.
  •      Patches or areas of the mouth that are discolored.

Oral Cancer Screening: What Causes Oral Cancer?

Education is key and we like to take advantage of the additional emphasis that April has to focus on Oral Cancer Awareness Month, so let’s discuss the causes. There are many reasons that oral cancer can develop in a person, but there are some factors that can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Along with many other harmful diseases, tobacco use can negatively impact your health, including in your mouth. Regular and heavy alcohol consumption is another factor associated with an increased risk of oral cancer.

Poor diet, HIV infection, UV rays, and poor oral hygiene also negatively impact your health and increase your risk of developing oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Screening: What Can Be Done to Prevent Oral Cancer?

Your best bet in catching oral cancer during its early stages is with a regular oral cancer screening performed by a trusted oral health professional, like Dr. Gary Skrobanek and his expert team at GPS Dental in San Antonio. They have the knowledge and experience to identify potential symptoms of various types of oral cancer and can connect you with the medical services you need.

Related Article: Oral Cancer Screening – You Need to Know!

In addition to an oral cancer screening during each of your dental appointments from Dr. Skrobanek, you can complete self-directed oral inspections. Inspect your mouth monthly for the warning signs listed above. For a more complete and thorough inspection, you can use a small light and mirror to see otherwise blocked areas. Upon finding anything suspicious, immediately contact your oral health professional.

Related Article: Why We Perform Oral Cancer Screenings during Dental Checkups

Dentists and doctors alike will also recommend that people cut out tobacco use completely, as it is known to impact your overall health negatively. At GPS Dental, we’re dedicated to helping our patients maintain a healthy mouth and a healthy life. To schedule your oral cancer screening, contact us today.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Oral Cancer Screening at Your 6-Month Dental Appointment

oral-cancer-screening

Is November the Forgotten Month? 

As the eleventh month of the year, November is something of a time of transition and perhaps a pre-curser to the busy upcoming holiday season, thus November may resemble the proverbial “calm before the storm.” Apart from Thanksgiving of course, for many this might truly be the case as with Christmas and New Year’s on the horizon, November often seems to come and go without much notice.

However, this has recently began to change, as the dental industry has given the month of November a very important reason to be both noted and remembered by folks everywhere. Although this new distinction may still be catching on with the general public, thus far it has proven itself to be a worthy if not, a lifesaving cause!

Oral Cancer VS Professional Dentistry…

Oral Cancer Screening: Why Does It Matter?

As you probably know, cancer in all its forms is an extremely serious and potentially life-threatening illness; however, there are but few types of cancer that are more worrisome than that of oral cancer. Oral cancer is a particularly aggressive type of cancer that can manifest within the throat, cheeks, lips, or tongue, and may continue to spread throughout the body.

In response to this, as of 2003 November 1st through the 31st has been officially named “Mouth Cancer Action and Awareness Month” among the dental community. While this may be the first you’ve heard of this, it definitely won’t be the last and you can rest assured it is certainly a cause worth knowing about. With an annual death toll of approximately 7,500 deaths occurring within the U.S. alone, oral cancer is clearly a serious problem. However the field of professional dentistry has proven itself as something of a enemy to this treacherous illness, by providing patients with an oral cancer screening.

The oral cancer screening may in fact be the dental profession’s best kept secret, as many patients are unaware that they are receiving the screening even as it happens! An oral cancer screening, is a quick and painless procedure that Dr. Skrobanek at GPS Dental preforms as part of your standard dental exam. Therefore, when you come in for your routine dental checkup, you are simultaneously receiving an accurate screening for any early signs or symptoms of oral cancer, which is something that can be a deciding factor. Identifying and treating oral cancer within its earliest stages is often the best bet in fully overcoming the disease, as the cancer is not given the time to cause damage and spread, therefore it is paramount that you let Dr. Skrobanek take the time to give you that crucial oral cancer screening during your dental appointment!

Oral Cancer Screening: Related Articles

Dental Insurance Benefits: The Clock Is Ticking!

While November has been designated as oral health month, what you should also realize is that if you haven’t already, the sooner you schedule your routine dental exam/oral cancer screening the better!  While certainly all dental insurance companies provide their own individual health and/or dental plans, as a general rule of thumb the vast majority of insurance providers adhere to the recommended six-month appointment rule that Dr. Skrobanek encourages. The six-month dental appointment rule is the notion that in order to truly provide patients with the best possible care in preventative dentistry, that all patients should plan on having at least two routine dental exams per year, with an approximant six-month gap between appointments. In compliance with this, dental insurance companies typically provide coverage for the two yearly preventative exams, providing that the patient uses them. However, if the coverage for two appointments goes unused, you may find yourself spending extra money on something you didn’t even use, (as dental coverage does not carry over from year to year) and surely nobody likes to be wasteful! Therefore if you have yet to use one or both of your covered exams, using them now would probably be in your best interest, because they certainly won’t last forever!

What To Remember This November!

As the year begins to draw to a close, and we enter the holiday season, obviously there will much to do and think about. However, before November, (as it often does) slips by without so much as a peep, we highly encourage you to consider the significance of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, by taking the time (if you haven’t already) to schedule your routine checkup/oral cancer screening.

Remember while those precious insurance benefits won’t last for long, a healthy and cancer-free mouth will, so schedule your dental appointment now!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.