Posted in dental health, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know April is Oral Cancer Awareness month? About 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and nearly 10,860 people die annually. It is twice as common in men as women. Oral cancer can affect any part of the oral cavity. Which is the lip, tongue, mouth, and throat. Through visual inspection, your dentist can detect abnormalities at an early stage resulting in less extensive and more successful treatment.

5 Myths and The Actual Facts

  1. Oral Cancer is rare.

Fact: More people are diagnosed with oral cancer than stomach cancer.

  1. I’m too young to get oral cancer.

Fact: It’s now more common for our younger patients to develop oral cancer because of the link to human papillomavirus (HPV.)

  1. I don’t smoke so I can’t get oral cancer.

Fact: Smoking does increase your risk for oral cancer but it isn’t the only factor. Drinking alcohol, HPV, and genetics play a role in developing the disease.

  1. No pain, no problem.

Fact: Not all cancer spots can cause pain.

  1. I will know when I have oral cancer.

Fact: It’s not easy to identify, it can go undetected in your tonsils, lymph nodes, and the base of your tongue.

Causes

The exact cause of oral cancer is unknown, but here are some things that can put people more at risk.

  • Tobacco of any form – cigarettes/ e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless tobacco.
  • Alcohol
  • Excessive sun exposure on your lips
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Weakened immune system

Signs and Symptoms or Oral Cancer

  • Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing and moving the jaw and tongue
  • Jaw swelling
  • Lump in the neck
  • Constant bad breathcta.png

A lot of these signs and symptoms can be caused by other things, schedule an appointment if any of these conditions go on for more than two weeks.

Prevention

Stop using tobacco or don’t start. It exposes the cells in your mouth to dangerous cancer-causing chemicals. Drink alcohol in moderation. Excessive alcohol can aggravate cells and make them more susceptible to cancer.

Protect your lips from the sun! Constant exposure increases the risk of cancer. Be sure to use lip balm with SPF!

Last but not least, see your dentist regularly! It’s recommended to have an exam and cleaning every six months. Schedule yours today!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

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Posted in Gum disease, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Spark Joy In Your Smile

As you get ready for your day, look in your mirror, smile and ask yourself “does this spark joy?” This can be part of your spring cleaning routine. It’s time to get rid of any clutter, throw out broken or non-working items, and remember to get a breath of fresh air – literally or figuratively.

Make your smile spark joy!

Obviously, we have teeth to chew our food but they do much more than that. They shape your face and help you speak, healthy teeth and gums are just as important as a healthy body.

Teeth Whitening – Nothing sparks joy like a sparkling smile. It’s a completely safe, life brightening process that can positively change your physical appearance and enhance your mental health. blog.png

Veneers- Do you want to make your teeth more attractive? If you want to fix crooked, discolored, uneven, and unsightly teeth, the solution is porcelain veneers!

Dental Implants– Fill the missing gap in your smile. Implants involve putting a new “root” into the bone of your jaw. The success rate is high because they feel and look like your natural teeth.

Orthodontics – Always wanted that straight smile? You might also have the option to straighten your teeth with a clear aligner. That means you can eat all the foods you want and not worry about it being stuck in your braces because they are removable!

Oral Health and Overall Health

Your teeth are more than just how you and others see them. How does oral health affect my heart? The bacteria infects your gums causing gingivitis that leads to periodontitis. It can also get into your bloodstream. Our gums protect our teeth and bone. If they aren’t properly cleaned and maintained it can lead to tooth loss as well as other medical complications.

What exactly is gum disease? Some signs are bleeding gums when you brush and floss, persistent bad breath, and your teeth look longer because your gums are beginning to recede. The only for sure way to know if you have gum disease is a visit to your dentist.

Does gum disease go away on its own? No, brushing and flossing will not make it go away. The best way is getting it professionally cleaned, your dentist can deep clean below your gum line to remove the built-up plaque and tartar. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. It’s treatable, don’t ignore it!

Can impacted wisdom teeth affect my health? They are the last teeth to come in and there isn’t enough room for them to erupt normally. Most people have four, two on top and on the bottom, Because they are hard to clean, they are more likely to have tooth decay and gum disease, Some people are lucky enough to not get painful symptoms. Others might have swelling around the jaw, tender, or bleeding gums, bad breath, or trouble opening your mouth.

Can I prevent my wisdom teeth from erupting sideways? No, the best way to monitor your teeth us by going to your 6-month dental check-up. X-rays can show if your wisdom teeth are impacted or not before you suffer from any symptoms.

A spring cleaning is more than just your closets and cabinets. Be sure to clean out your mouth too! Schedule your appointment today to spark joy in your smile.

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

 

Posted in Gum disease, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Show Love To Your Oral Health

February is American Heart Month and the month of love. Did you know there’s a connection between your heart and oral health? If you plan on stuffing yourself with a ton of sweets, you should be careful! Your teeth need love as well, don’t forget about them.

Yes, it’s true, gum disease increases your risk for heart disease. Lack of care for your teeth and gums can lead to gum disease. If it’s not treated, plaque and bacteria can make its way to your bloodstream and travel through your body to your heart which can lead to blood clots or possibly heart attacks.

Tips For Healthy Living

Going out on date night this Valentine’s day? Even if you’re not, use these tips for whenever you go out and eat.

  • Keep some floss in your bag or pocket. The quicker you get rid of the food particles and bacteria the better! (But don’t floss at the table!) Also, water is the best drink for your teeth, it rinses away acids from your teeth. Pro Tip: order water with your meals.
  • If you have to choose between Milk or Dark chocolate, dark chocolate is better for your teeth! It contains less sugar than milk chocolate and can help with preventing cavities and tooth decay. Chocolates that have a chewy sugary center cling to your teeth. It’s best to limit to a couple rather than the whole box.
  • CandyGummy candy, you want to try to avoid them! They are the worst candy for your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth sets off a chemical reaction that turns the sugar into an acidic form that eats away at the enamel of your teeth. This is known as demineralization. Also, gummy candy sticks to your teeth. When you think about saliva you might get grossed out but when it comes to your mouth, it’s a good thing. It neutralizes acids that come from sugars and protects your teeth.

Xylitol is a great alternative to gummy candy. Xylitol is a sugar replacement that bacteria doesn’t recognize or turn the sugar into acid. Save your teeth from an attack and read the ingredients!

It’s always a good time for sweets! – WRONG. For some of us, we can’t say no to candy. Eat them after a meal to limit the exposure of sugar and bacteria! Be sure to wash them down with water.

Love Your Teeth

  • Brush twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • Schedule bi-annual teeth cleanings

Those are the basics! Here are a few changes that might benefit you:

  • BrushNew toothbrush – your toothbrush should get replaced every 3 months and after a sickness. Use soft bristles, don’t be rough with your gums and teeth.
  • New floss? There a bunch of floss out there, don’t be afraid to try something new! Or if you are new to flossing try something and fall in love with how it makes your mouth feel!
  • Toothpaste – Are you loyal to a certain brand? If you can never settle on a certain brand, look for one with an ADA seal! They help remove the plaque from your teeth and protect them from decay and gum disease.
  • Time – sleep in too long or too tired at night to brush your teeth? It’s recommended to brush your teeth for two minutes. Make this change, your mouth and dentist will love you for it! Use a timer while brushing or play your favorite song! It’ll make the time fly

Are you wondering if this check-list applies to you if you have dental implants? The answer is: YES, they feel and function like your natural teeth. Which means there shouldn’t be a change in your dental routine.

Treat your heart how it deserves to be treated! Limit your sugar intake, walk or take the stairs, and take care of your teeth and gums.

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in Gum disease, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

6 Common Dental Habits

cta - appointment2Is it cliché to have a New Year’s Resolution? Probably, but there are a few habits you’d like to kick to the curb! It’s common for people to want to start living a healthy lifestyle. Why not be completely healthy and improve your dental health too? Poor oral health can put you at risk for heart disease and stroke.

6 Habits That Harm Your Teeth

Nail biting can chip or crack teeth. It can even fracture the enamel on your teeth from chewing on hard surfaces. Also, it has an impact on your jaw and as a result, you can develop TMJ. Even though we wash our hands, it’s hard to keep them clean. Nail biting may also lead to gingivitis: there is a lot of dirt under our fingernails we aren’t aware of!

Are you grossed out yet? Need tips to stop the biting? Cut them short! If you prefer the longer nail look, paint it with bitter-tasting nail polish. If you don’t like color, you can always opt for a clear coat! Because nail biting is often stress-induced, get a tiny stress ball or something to fidget with to keep your hands busy.

Chewing on ice can break your tooth or filling. While your teeth are far stronger than ice, there are instances where ice can break your teeth. If your enamel is weakened by decay or injury (that you may not be aware of), you are even more likely to fracture teeth. Slow down the chewing, and try drinks without ice so you won’t be tempted. If you insist on ice, drink with a straw and a lid to keep the ice out of sight.

Teeth as tools may seem convenient at the time but are not good for your teeth. They aren’t supposed to open bags, rip tags off, hold things, or open bottles. They are strong, but using them as tools can result in cracks and fracture or even worse, oral and facial injuries. Biting or chewing metal can cause serious damage. We already have real tools made especially for different tasks, so you don’t have to use your teeth. Teeth are not bottle openers, scissors, or bags – teeth are for chewing and smiling!

soft bristlesHard brushing can cause damage to your gums. Soft bristles are the best for your gums. This can be tricky because it’s good to brush twice a day, but how do you know if you are brushing too hard?  One sign is a frayed or flattened toothbrush.  You should not need any more pressure than you can provide with two fingers.  If you also begin to notice your gums receding, soften up on the brushing, and get an evaluation! Don’t scrub or do circular movements with the bristles against your gums! Think about brushing as a gentle massage, and look at the brushing instruction video on my website!

Smoking and use of other tobacco products increase your risk of oral cancer, and turn your teeth yellow or brown. You are also at much greater risk for tooth decay, gum disease, bone damage, and tooth loss. Over time, smoking will make your gums weaker, and cause great destruction to your jaw bone.  Smoking is toxic and destroys your circulation and immune system.  Don’t start, but if you are already hooked, get help, and quit today!

Not visiting your dentist is a no-brainer! It’s important to see your dentist at least every 6 months to avoid issues. Regular dental hygiene visits prevent tartar from eroding your teeth and helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Besides having all bacteria removed from your teeth professionally, you should get regular dental examination for other abnormalities that could be a larger health issue.

Repeat this to yourself: New Year, New Me! Cross things off your list, spice up your oral routine, go crazy at the gym, and eat healthy trendy foods. And most importantly, share how important a solid oral health routine is. Smile at all camera opportunities, and show the benefits of a healthy smile.

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in dental health, oral hygiene, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Be A Breath Of Fresh Air This Holiday Season

It’s the season to get together! As it gets closer to time with family, we may do our best to impress those around us. This extends to our breath too. If you are worried, here are some tips to help.

Did you know that over 40 million people in the U.S have bad breath? Most of the time you aren’t able to smell your own breath! Because of the embarrassment, often times we don’t mention it when we smell others breath.

What is Bad Breath?

It’s your oral bacteria which are living, eating, and breeding organisms. You know how all living things need food and needs to dispose of it? That’s what is happening in your mouth! Use this as motivation to start a better dental routine!

Typically, we all wake up with bad breath because there is no constant saliva flow as we sleep. Saliva helps wash away bacteria growth. A reminder to why we brush and floss before we go to bed and when we wake up.

What Causes Bad Breath?Brush

  • Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
  • Poor Dental Hygiene
  • Dry Mouth
  • Diet

The worst cause is smoking because it reduces saliva flow. Dry mouth occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. It is your mouth’s natural defense and without it plaque and bacteria build up faster.

Certain drinks like alcohol and coffee dry out your mouth as well. Sugary foods and drinks are bacteria’s favorite, it helps them grow and multiply faster. It’s important to brush and floss to help prevent plaque build-up.

Keep a close eye on your tongue as well. Your tongue doesn’t have a smooth surface; food debris, bacteria, and dead cells can be trapped there. Over time, a coating forms across and as it gets thicker, the odor will become stronger.

If you are stuck on what to bring for your gathering try peppermint bark. It’s a nice breath refresher for anyone that needs it! Pro Tip: Use dark chocolate chips – it’s good for your teeth (in moderation)!

If you are questioning, “How in the world is dark chocolate good for my teeth?” The answer is dark chocolate contains polyphenols which helps fight the growth of bacteria in your mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay. It can also offset bad breath!

Have a great holiday season!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in dental health, Gum disease, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Is it Genetic or Environmental

The air is becoming crisper, leaves are changing colors and falling off their trees. It’s that time of year when it’s appropriate to add pumpkin spice to any food or drink and not be judged. #PumpkinSpiceEverything

_Pumpkin PieWhat’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving gatherings? Do you consider yourself to have a sweet tooth? Here’s something mind-blowing: a sweet tooth might be genetic. So, when you are going for seconds on that pumpkin pie, be sure to show extra gratitude to your parents.

Some people are born with a weakened sweet taste, which means they need more sugar to taste the same level of sweetness. Studies propose that genes might explain up to 30 percent of how much sugar you can taste.

But wait… there’s more! Is it possible bad teeth run in the family as well?

Tooth Decay

The bacteria in our mouth that cause cavities aren’t there at birth. It most likely comes from family members who kiss their child’s lips, share utensils, or even blow on their foods. Studies show that this bacteria isn’t associated with tooth decay. It also revealed that bacteria that can form cavities were environmental. For example, eating sugary foods and lack of oral care.

Tooth decay is preventable but some people are more at risk. Yes, it’s confusing, but really, what isn’t? Jokes aside, genes control how teeth develop. Often times, dentists look into family history because it might help them understand why a child’s teeth have more decay than someone with a similar diet. You don’t get a say about how your teeth develop, but you can control how often you brush, floss, and visit your dentist!

Size, Shape, and Alignment

Are your teeth crooked because of genetics or environmental factors? If you said both, you’re correct! The size of your jaw, teeth, and mouth are typically decided by DNA. Thumb sucking, accidents, or an unbalanced diet are reasons for crooked teeth that you can’t blame your parents for.

It’s never too late to get your teeth in line! Why should you get them straightened? Crooked or crowded teeth can cause tooth decay, difficulty maintaining your daily oral care, and improper chewing.

Gum Disease

_ParentsDid you know half of our population has gum disease? Genetics also play a role in how likely you are to develop periodontal disease. There are tests to run to show if you are affected. The best way to keep your mouth healthy is brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups.

Why Are My Teeth Yellow?

It’s a mixture of genes and environment. Typically, if you have thin enamel your teeth will most likely look more yellow. You have no control over the growth of your tooth, but should be aware of what foods and drinks will contribute to the yellowing of your teeth. Example of tooth staining food and drinks are coffee, fruit juices, berries, and tomato sauce.

When it comes to our body developing its natural functions, it usually relies on genes. In conclusion, unhealthy teeth are controlled by both genes and the environment. And ultimately you are in complete control of your daily dental routine.

One of the most important things about knowledge is being able to share it. While you are devouring seconds or thirds you can enlighten everyone else at the table. You can also bring a bag of floss picks to share!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444

Posted in dental health, Gum disease, Periodontist in Virginia Beach

Why Sort Your Kid’s Halloween Candy

When you think of October, what comes to mind? Fall, pumpkins, or Halloween… Did you know that its National Dental Hygiene Month? It was created to increase awareness of the importance of oral care to your mouth and body.

The Daily 4

  • Brushing
  • Flossing
  • Rinsing
  • Chewing

Brushing

You’ve heard it before, brush twice a day. For best results, use a soft or ultra-soft bristled toothbrush, and use a rotational stroke, pushing the gum onto the teeth (please look at the demo on my website – much easier to understand).  Do NOT do circles or scrubbing or lateral motions with the brush – this will damage the gum around your teeth or implants.

Flossing

How important is flossing? Brushing your teeth doesn’t completely clean your teeth. Flossing removes about 65% of plaque from your teeth, brushing about 35%.  Do both carefully, and you can remove 100%!  To be really effective, brush first, then floss, then brush again, always using correct technique.  Don’t do anything else when flossing or brushing – look in the mirror to make sure that you are doing it correctly. Again, I ask that you look at flossing and brushing videos on my website.

Rinsing

Do you use mouthwash? It is no replacement for actually removing plaque with floss and brushing, but rinsing with any fluid is always beneficial.  No OTC mouthwash is superior to simple salt water rinses, but it tends to taste better.  If you use a rinse, fluoride is good, but avoid the tartar control rinses (and toothpaste).

Chewing

Chewing? Yeah, you’re probably thinking “how does that help my teeth?” Chewing sugar-free gum after snacks or meals stimulates saliva glands that help clean your teeth.

Also, this month is for giving our hygienists a special shout out! Every day they work hard to make our smiles healthy. Share your healthy smile, tag us and use #DentalHygieneMonth

Trick or TreatWith Halloween around the corner, you might be spooked on how to maintain your healthy smile. Of course, by now you know that candy isn’t good for your teeth. That doesn’t mean don’t have any, remember moderation is key! What are the chances of people giving out sugar-free candies?  Unlikely due to tradition, and some would say that no candy takes the fun out of trick-or-treating. Dr. Rogge gives packages of dry-roasted nuts and balloons and puzzles to kids on Halloween, and has never received one complaint!  In fact, he has had children return to get more treats and has received compliments from parents.  Some sugary candies are worse than others. You can separate the candy into piles to limit sugar intake.

Gummy candy sticks to the teeth longer, and it increases the risk for developing a cavity.  Some examples are taffy, gummy bears, or gummy worms. Sour candies are a double shock to your teeth, they have a lot of sugar and are highly acidic.

The number one concern for hard candy is biting into it breaking or damaging your teeth. Candy in your mouth for a long time can also bring more sugar into your mouth. Enjoy the Halloween treats in “bursts”, then brush well afterward.  Try to limit the amount of time sugar is in your mouth – the longer sugar and acid are in your mouth, the more cavities can occur.

Surprisingly, dark chocolate is a better choice since it has less sugar and dissolves quickly. It also contains some calcium, a beneficial nutrient.  Also, powdery candy is not sticky and dissolves quickly giving bacteria less time to cling to teeth.

Dental Hygiene MonthEven though the Halloween season is coming to an end, taking proper care of your teeth is never ending! Go through your kid’s pile of candy and make sure they are eating in moderation.  Parents should avoid eating too much of the leftover candy as well – we all know how tempting candy can be!

Be sure to always brush twice a day, floss, rinse, and keep sugary snacks to a minimum. To celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month with us, schedule your dental checkups today!

Rod M. Rogge, DDS

762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)
(757) 333-7444