Dentist Baltimore | Help Us Stop Cancer Before it Starts!

Dentist in Baltimore Dentist in Baltimore Did you know that regular screening can allow Dr. Garcia to identify and treat oral cancers even before you develop any symptoms? In an oral cancer screening, Dr. Garcia will use his expert training and technology to check your mouth for any abnormal or potentially pre-cancerous cells, as well as any actual cancerous growths. Once identified, Dr. Garcia may recommend a biopsy to be certain whether cancer is present. Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, can occur in any part of the mouth, such as in the lips or gums, the surface of the tongue, or the roof and floor of the mouth. A person suffering from oral cancer may experience mouth ulcers, swelling, lumping or thickening of the skin in any part of the mouth, or patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue. Pain in swallowing, jaw pain or stiffness, sore throat and loosening of teeth are also symptoms of oral cancer. Oral cancer is typically caused by unhealthy habits such as smoking, chewing, or sniffing tobacco, consuming alcohol, unhealthy diet, or excessive exposure to sun and certain chemicals. People with GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) digestive condition and those who have undergone radiation treatments of the head or neck areas are also at a high risk for developing oral cancer. Oral cancer can be diagnosed by various examinations such as biopsy, endoscopy, or imaging tests. If found, receiving proper treatment is imperative. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 9,570 people will die of oral cancers this year alone. That’s about one person every hour!Let us help you prevent oral cancer by scheduling an oral cancer screening. As with any form of cancer, early detection and treatment plays an essential role in ensuring that oral cancer can be stopped before it fully takes hold. For more information or to schedule an oral cancer screening, please call Dr. Garcia General & Cosmetic Dentistry today.

Baltimore, MD Dentist | Do You Brush Your Teeth Too Much?

Dentist in Baltimore, MD

Dentist BaltimoreBrushing your teeth is a vital step in maintaining good oral health. However, is there such a thing as over-brushing? The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. People sometimes brush after every meal, or brush midday to freshen up. Although this is not always a bad thing, when you start brushing too much or for too long, you can ultimately damage your teeth. Brushing more than three times a day, and for longer than 2 minutes, can sometimes lead to your tooth enamel wearing down as well as cause damage to your gums. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and helps fight against tooth decay. Over-brushing can damage this shield and cause teeth to become sensitive and prone to cavities. Practicing proper oral hygiene care at home is an important part of your overall oral health. However, being aware of how much is too much is equally important in keeping your smile healthy. Using the right kind of toothbrush helps prevent unnecessary enamel erosion. It is recommended you use a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The Seal of Acceptance shows that: All of the toothbrush components are safe for use in the mouth. Bristles are free of sharp or jagged edges (a soft-bristled toothbrush helps prevent the wearing down of enamel). The toothbrush can be used to provide a significant decrease in mild gum disease and plaque. Scheduling regular professional cleanings and exams with our dentist will keep your mouth healthy. Contact our office today to schedule a cleaning and comprehensive exam with our dentist.

Dentist in Baltimore | Decrease Your Odds of Hypertension

Dentist in Baltimore, MD

dentist baltimoreYou may be unaware of how your oral health can be an indicator of your overall health. The warning signs of systemic health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, can often be found by during a routine examination at our dental office. You may be surprised to find out that hypertension (high blood pressure) may also be linked to your oral health habits. A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that there is a link between oral hygiene and high blood pressure, based on the results of almost 20,000 adults surveyed in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES). It was found that individuals with poor oral hygiene habits, such as infrequent brushing of teeth, were more likely to suffer from hypertension. Individuals that brushed their teeth more than once daily and also utilized other oral health products such as floss or mouthwash were less likely to suffer from hypertension. The study concluded that maintaining good oral hygiene habits may help prevent or control high blood pressure. Good oral hygiene is essential to a healthy life and regular dental visits are important in maintaining good oral heath. Contact our office to schedule your appointment for an examination and cleaning.

Baltimore, MD Dentist | Can Exercise Damage Your Teeth?

Dentist in Baltimore, MD

Dentist in BaltimoreExercise is important to good health, but can it have a detrimental effect on our teeth? Studies have shown that exercise and fitness habits can result in an increase in dental decay and tooth erosion. Exercise can impact our oral health in many ways, including:

Decreased Saliva Flow: Breathing heavily through the mouth during exercise can result in a reduction in saliva and cause the mouth to dry out. Saliva is filled with minerals that work to fight bacteria, protect tooth enamel, and prevent decay. To prevent decay caused by a dry mouth, learn to breathe through the nose during exercise and hydrate with water before, during, and after your workout. You can also brush your teeth before you exercise to reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque.

Jaw Clenching: Athletes often clench their jaw when straining to lift weights. This pressure can result in wear and even cracked teeth. To protect teeth from the effects of clenching, consider using a mouth guard. These can be purchase at most drugstores or sporting goods stores or our dentist can make a custom fitted mouth guard for you.

Consuming Sports Drinks: Studies have shown that sugary sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to the teeth than water. The citric acid they contain can soften the tooth enamel so much that even brushing can cause tooth damage. Taking frequent, small sips of sugary liquids increases the chance of tooth decay. Avoiding the use of sports drinks and hydrating with water instead can prevent these negative effects. If you feel you must use sports drinks, don’t drink small amounts over an extended period of time, rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and avoid brushing immediately after consuming.

Contact our office to schedule your next preventative dental appointment.

Dentist Baltimore | Why Regular Dental Care Now Can Save You Big Later

Baltimore Dentist

Proper at-home dental care and regular preventive dental visits can help you save money! See below for interesting information comparing the costs of dental care and see how the average person’s at-home care differs from the American Dental Association recommendations. Dentist Baltimore MD

Dentist Baltimore | The Truth Behind 5 Popular Dental Misconceptions

Dentist in Baltimore

Clearing up misconceptions about oral health can help improve personal oral hygiene efforts for a beautiful and healthier smile. If you keep up with your oral hygiene regimen, dental visits are significantly easier and dental care is more manageable. Misconception #1 – My teeth are fine if I have no pain Tooth decay (cavities) usually doesn’t cause pain until they become very severe. Once it gets to this stage, the amount of decay could lead to more invasive and costly treatments. Some of the most dangerous oral disorders, such as oral cancer and gum disease, typically don’t cause pain at all. It is important to keep up with scheduled dental appointments. Our dentist can diagnose problems even at its earliest stages when there is no pain. Misconception #2 – Cavities are only caused by sweets When you eat sweets, the bacteria in your mouth start consuming it and produce acid. This acid dissolves the enamel of the tooth, which results in tooth decay or cavities. However, this process happens when you eat anything that is a starch or carbohydrate. Food and snacks, such as crackers, bread, potato chips, fruit, peanut butter and pasta, have the same effect on your teeth. Misconception #3 – If my gums bleed, I should stop flossing Bleeding gums are often the first sign of gum disease. This happens when bacterial infections inflame your gums due to a lack of efficient cleaning. With regular brushing and flossing, gums will be much healthier and should rarely bleed. However, gum inflammation can occur despite best oral hygiene habits. In such instances, you should see improvement if you rinse with warm salt water and continuing to brush and floss. Misconception #4 – Whiter teeth are healthier teeth Healthy teeth come in a wide range of natural shades. Whiter teeth cannot show if there is an infection or cavity between the teeth. Although pure white teeth do not equate to healthier teeth, they should still be naturally on the whiter side. Misconception #5 – Children are more prone to tooth decay Tooth decay (cavities) can develop at any age. People assume children have poor brushing habits and are more prone to tooth decay. Cavities form when bacteria cause a loss or weakening in tooth enamel and eventually decay forms a hole in the tooth. This is usually seen in people with poor brushing and flossing habits, regardless of age. Excellent oral health promotes overall good health and is definitely not a misconception. It is important to practice good oral hygiene habits. If you have any questions regarding your dental health, please contact our dentist.