Is It Safe to Get a Dental X-Ray?

It can be stressful to undergo any medical procedure. But in order to correctly diagnose the problem, an x-ray is required. That is exactly what dental x-rays do. They help your dentist have a look at your condition in a deeper way.

Is It Safe to Get a Dental X-Ray?

A lot of people have concerns when it comes to getting an x-ray taken. They are afraid that the amount of radiation from the x-ray could be harmful. Let us go on record and say that dental records are considered very safe. X-rays and all the other imaging procedures only use a fraction of radiation. That low dose of radiation will not cause you any harm.

In this article, we will tell you how a dental x-ray works and tell you whether or not it is safe. Once you have all the information, you will not be on the fence on getting an x-ray.

Who Needs Dental X-Rays?

Dentists all over the world use x-ray to diagnose dental issues that are not visible to the naked eye. With the help of these dental images, the dentist can come up with an action plan on how to treat your condition.

Your dentist can x-ray your mouth to diagnose the following issues:

  • Area of teeth that have decayed, including those under a filling or in between teeth
  • Bone loss due to a gum disease
  • Infections or abscesses at the root of a tooth
  • Tumor
  • Changes or damage in the root canal

All these conditions will be almost impossible to diagnose without a dental x-ray. If the condition remains undiagnosed, you might face more issues and pain in the future.

The x-ray reference also helps your dentist prepare braces, dentures, tooth implants, and other similar treatments for you.

Children and Dental X-Rays

Children are more sensitive than adults, that is why a lot of parents are reluctant to get a dental x-ray done on their kids. Parents are worried about the impact of radiation on kids. However, the amount of radiation in x-rays is so low that it does not affect children. It is perfectly okay for children to have a dental x-ray.

Pregnancy and Dental X-Rays

Generally, pregnant women are advised against dental x-rays. Even though the radiation is slight, it can still be harmful to the fetus. If you are pregnant or suspect you are pregnant, make sure you inform your dentist.

However, in some cases dental x-rays are unavoidable. But your dentist can take all the necessary precautions to make sure the health and development of the fetus are not affected.

Having a healthy oral routine is the main key here. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. These habits will keep most of the periodontal diseases away from you. Regular visits to your dentist are also necessary. Early detection of the problem will mean less painful procedures in the future.

Contact The Gentle Dentist in Shelby Township, MI today!  We would love to take a look at your smile and make sure it’s as healthy as possible.  We can be reached at (586) 247-3500!  We hope to hear from you soon!



Categories: X-rays

Oral Cancer: What You Need to KnowThe prevalence of oral cancer is high on a global level. Nearly 657,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year around the world, according to the World Health Organization.

If not diagnosed early, oral cancer can be life-threatening. In this article, you will learn important information about oral cancer including the risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment options.

About Oral Cancer

Oral cancer refers to the cancer of the lips, tongue, hard and soft palate, the floor of the mouth, throat, sinuses, and cheeks. The cancer is caused due to uncontrollable growth of cells that cause damage to the surrounding tissues.

Various risk factors have been identified for oral cancer apart from genetic predisposition.

Among other health complications, excessive use of alcohol and tobacco also increases the risk of oral cancer. Heavy and moderate drinkers are said to be three to nine times greater risk of developing alcohol content as compared to non-drinkers. Moreover, individuals who chew or snuff tobacco are at about four times greater risk of developing oral cancer as compared to non-users.

Studies have also found that long-term exposure to sun leads to increased risk of lip cancer.  Sexually active individuals are also at risk of developing oral cancer. STIs such as herpes, HPV, Syphilis, and gonorrhea can result in oral cancer.

Diagnosis of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can be diagnosed through physical inspection and imaging techniques. Some of the symptoms that indicate the presence of oral cancer include.

  • Prolonged tongue pain
  • Bleeding sores that don’t heal
  • Difficulty or pain in swallowing or chewing
  • A chronic sore throat
  • Lump or growth of the skin of the mouth
  • Jaw stiffness or pain

FDA has approved different devices and techniques for carrying out a diagnosis. These include brush biopsy (cytology), tolonium chloride (tissue staining), light reflections, and fluorescence. These techniques are helpful in confirming the presence of oral cancer. The preferred method for detecting lesions is biopsy involving tissue sampling.

Doctors also use imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to know about the level of cancer.  However, these techniques don’t replace biopsy for investigating the suspicious tissue.

Treatment of Oral Cancer

The treatment of oral cancer is formulated depending on the stage of cancer. The treatment plan generally consists of chemotherapy or radiation. Sometimes surgery is recommended for the treatment of cancer.

Typically, the treatment plan involves different medical specialists such as dental hygienists, dentists, surgeons, and oncologists.  All treatment plan emphasizes the protection of the teeth from decay, gum infections, and mouth dryness.

In conclusion, oral cancer is one of the most prevalent conditions,particularly in the developed world. It’s important to take precaution to avoid the risk of developing cancer.

The American Cancer Society recommends annual oral check-up for individuals aged 40 and above and every three years for individuals aged between 20 and 29 years. A regular checkup will help in early diagnosis of oral cancer. This will increase the chances of recovery from oral cancer.

If you have any questions regarding Oral Cancer, or any other Oral Health topics, give The Gentle Dentist a call.  We are located in Shelby Township, MI and can be reached at (586) 247-3500!



Categories: Oral Cancer

Haiti Missions Trip 2018 – Robert Antolak, DDS

Dr. Antolak:           Hi, this is Dr. Antolak from The Gentle Dentist.  Each year for the last 17 years I’ve been coming to Haiti and helping out with a obviously dentistry and but more even have a gift of that is you oura patient who have agreed to donate. Like for example, after we do a crown or a dental extraction, it has a crown on it. We’ve been able to use the scrap metal for that to generate money to help kids in Haiti.  I have been doing that, this our fifth year of doing this. And this year we’re in Jacmel. We’re south of Port au Prince, right on the water. And right now we’re working with an orphanage that has around 30 if not more children and  Ruthsmie is the Director here at the orphanage. And lastly, I have Jackie Rychel, who I’ll let her tell her story a little bit about the support of the orphans were doing.

But first of all, I want to donate. I have $1,500 from people who’ve donated. Once again, their things. And this is for her, this is for the orphanage, for the children. And, I like to just thank you for, for all that. Um, and so what I want to also do is to ask Jackie. Jackie’s is from Ohio and she’s one of the people who started this. Just give a brief history of how this orphanage here is taking care of these children.

Jackie:  Thank you Robert. And we’re so grateful for Robert giving us this opportunity and giving this to the children. This is a very wonderful orphanage that has a lot of need. It came about after the earthquake in 2010 and these children were living in a school where Ruthsmie it was her own school and she was the administrator of it.  And it just so happened that these kids came to pick up supplies, water, clothes, food, and they stayed.They didn’t leave. And some of the missionaries that came to visit would go to the orphanage and help the kids and help Ruthsmie. And it came to my knowledge through those visionaries that there was really extreme need here. And when we went to visit, we saw that these children were not, in fact living in an orphanage. They were living in a school that was used as an orphanage in the evening and all of the sheets that were on the floor, there were no beds, they were pushed aside and the kids would sit at their desks during the day. So from the generosity of Ruthsmie and her husband, Joseph, they decided that they would help these children. And so when we came upon the orphanage, we saw a great need. Our charity is Ministry in Mission and we started raising money and with our partners in Haiti testimony, Sydney Kesa, we began constructing the orphanage that you may see in the background behind this.

And so now we’re about three years from that and we have seen children graduate out of the orphanage and go live on their own and more children in need come in. And these kids come in through social services in Haiti. So we know that they have no families and they have no one to take care of them. And we are delighted that Ruthsmie has such a kind heart that she will do this and this is her mission and we help her.

Dr. Antolak:  So I just want to thank you for being able to be a participant in this process. I will continue to do this over the years and if you want more information on how to maybe support this orphanage, how would they do that?

Jackie:  Go to our website ministry and Mission Dot Org and you can donate on the website or you can see all of the projects that we have ongoing. And also our contact information is there. My name, I’m the president of Our Name and phone number, all of our board members and email addresses as well.

Dr. Antolak:  And so by being supportive of what’s happening here in Haiti, really giving to the greater good, you know, Jesus told us to go and make disciples of all and also to take care of the orphans and the widows. And so by doing that we’re trying to do our part of what he’s asked us to do too. So thank you. God bless you. And please be generous in your  offerings and we thank you once again from Haiti, so thank you. God bless.

Thank you.

The Impact That Alcohol Has on Oral HealthIt’s common practice for many people to enjoy drinks with family and friends. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing and having fun with friends over drinks. In fact, most people know how to practice safe drinking habits in order to prevent any issues from arising. More people are calling Uber’s and being mindful of their surroundings while drinking than in previous years.

These are both great ways to stay safe while drinking, but what about the effect of alcohol on our bodies over time? One area that many people overlook is the impact of alcohol on their oral health.

The Main Problem with Consuming Alcohol

The main issue with drinking alcohol and our oral health is that alcohol affects the balance of good and bad bacteria in our mouths. Disrupting the balance of the bacteria can cause some major issues.

According to a study published in the journal Microbiome, people who consume one or more alcoholic beverages daily will offset the balance of bacteria in their mouths, which can lead to gingivitis, gum infections, cancer, or cardiovascular disease.

The study also states that in heavy alcohol drinkers the beneficial bacteria disappeared and that inflammatory bacteria counts increased. Without the good bacteria in our mouths, those inflammatory bacteria are able to wreak havoc on our immune system and general health. The study defines a heavy drinker as a person who consumes one or more alcoholic beverages per day.

Preventing These Changes

When asked if better oral hygiene would help drinkers maintain the balance of healthy bacteria in their mouths, Dr. Jiyoung Ahn stated that the research so far did not have the answers. However, she stressed that the fact that changes of the flora of the mouth could potentially cause or prevent diseases is a huge breakthrough.

The first step towards maintaining the balance in your mouth is to limit or avoid drinking alcohol. Since the study focused on people who drank one or two glasses of alcohol per day, it can be construed that lowering your alcohol intake could help you maintain the balance of good bacteria in your mouth.

The Importance of Regular Check-Ups

While studies haven’t confirmed that better oral hygiene can prevent the imbalance of bacteria in our mouths, it’s still important to stay on top of your regular dental check-ups. During your routine dental check-ups, your dentist will clean and check your teeth for signs of gum disease and gingivitis. Gum disease that is caught early can often be treated with minimally invasive procedures. Most dentists recommend that you have a routine dental check-up every six months to prevent cavities or the spread of gum disease.

Schedule Your Check-Up Today

Just because you drink doesn’t mean that you have gum disease. It does, however, increase your chances of developing it due to an imbalance of bacteria in your mouth. Along with lowering your alcohol intake, you should take your routine dental check-ups seriously. Don’t wait until gum disease and gingivitis cause you pain. Instead, give The Gentle Dentist a call today at (586) 247-3500 to schedule your dental check-up today!





Categories: Oral Health

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