You probably know practicing healthy dietary and lifestyle habits can help prevent tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. But good habits could also lower your risk for a more dangerous type of disease — oral cancer.
There are several risk factors for oral cancer, including those you can't do much about like your genetic makeup or unknown elements in the environment. But there are factors you can influence with your actions.
You're probably familiar with the links between tobacco use (both smoked and smokeless) and oral cancer. But excessive alcohol use could also increase your risk, as can risky sexual behavior that could expose you to human papilloma virus (HPV) 16.
And what you eat — or don't eat — could also influence your cancer risk. Research over the last half century has uncovered a link between diet and cancer. Cancer development seems to begin with damage to DNA, the genetic material that “tells” each of our cells what it is and what it does in the body. Substances called carcinogens found in the environment — including the foods we eat — can damage our DNA and open the door for cancer to development.
But some foods also contain elements that protect our DNA from carcinogenic damage. Some of these are known as antioxidants, which protect cells from unstable molecules called free radicals. You'll find antioxidants, as well as other protective substances like fiber, vitamins and lycopene in plant-based foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.
Eating a plant-based diet also means you'll eat fewer foods that contribute to the rise of free radicals like saturated fat, animal protein and nitrates (a chemical that occurs in some food processing). A healthy diet, along with quitting tobacco use and moderating alcohol consumption, will help not only preventing decay or gum disease, it will also drastically lower your risk for oral cancer.
If you would like more information on oral cancer prevention, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Diet and Prevention of Oral Cancer.”
What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.
"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."
But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.
"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."
What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.
Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.
To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.
Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?
"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.
Cosmetic dentistry is one of the most popular branches of the dental field. It's estimated that Americans spend $2.75 billion each year seeking cosmetic help to improve their smiles. Survey after survey shows that a nice smile is at the top of the list when ranking the most important physical features. A number of cosmetic dental treatments are available that can help you get the smile that you've always wanted. Find out what a cosmetic dentist at Frechtman Family Dental in Edison, NJ can do for you.
Close Gaps or Replace Missing Teeth
Many people are unhappy with the gaps between their teeth. Sometimes the gaps are caused by teeth that are too small and sometimes the teeth are crowded together in one place, leaving spaces. Your cosmetic dentist can close these gaps with orthodontic treatments like metal braces and Invisalign plastic aligner trays. A faster solution for small gaps is veneers or a cap (crown). When a whole tooth is missing, dental implants, partial dentures or bridges can fill in the space.
Brighten Your Smile
Another popular service offered by the cosmetic dentists at Frechtman Family Dental in Edison is teeth whitening. In fact, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, whitening is the most requested cosmetic treatment requested by patients. It's a quick appointment, usually taking about 60 minutes to complete. Patients who can't benefit from professional bleaching gels can get a brighter smile with the help of veneers.
Smooth and Contour Your Teeth
Sometimes jagged, cracked, chipped or crooked teeth are the problem. Teeth can get worn down with age or become damaged due to injury. Your dentist can fix these cosmetic problems in just a few minutes with cosmetic bonding and contouring. A special tooth-colored material is applied to the enamel. When it hardens, your dentist can shape and contour it to give the tooth a better appearance for five or more years. Another potential solution is a veneer or crown—these treatments take longer to complete but they will keep your teeth looking beautiful for 10-20 years or longer.
Call for Cosmetic Help Today
You may find that your best smile is just one appointment away. Call (732) 548-8600 today to schedule a consultation with your cosmetic dentists Dr. Saul Frechtman and Dr. David Frechtman at Frechtman Family Dental in Edison, NJ.