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

Ditch the Dental AnxietyIf the thought of your regular dentist visits gives you anxiety, you’re not alone. Surveys show that 9 to 15 percent of Americans, around 40 million people, face anxiety when it comes to their oral health. The severity may range from anxiety and stress to full blown panic attacks at the thought of going to their dental appointments.

Some common reasons people may get anxious at the thought of going to the dentist include:

  • Fear of Pain. Many people are afraid that cleanings or procedures will cause discomfort or pain. In a survey of people who haven’t seen a dentist in over 12 months, 6% of people said fear of pain was the reason.
  • Control Issues. For chronic sufferers of anxiety, situations where there is a loss of control is a major trigger. This is true for people who fear elevators, airplanes, and yes, leaning back in that dental chair.
  • Past Experiences. Many people get anxious going to the dentist due to bad prior experiences. They may have had a painful experience in the past, and haven’t gone back, or seen the improvements made in the field of dentistry to help prevent those experiences.
  • Many people feel embarrassed at the thought of someone closely examining their mouth, making them feel like all their faults are under a microscope. Oftentimes there is a particular dental issue that makes them feel self-conscious and unwilling to face a dentist. This forms a vicious cycle because avoiding dental exams may exacerbate the problem and make the person even more embarrassed than before.

Those are all normal reasons for feeling anxious, but they shouldn’t stop you from taking care of your oral health. For those people who are anxious at the thought of pain, there are methods to help reduce or eliminate those painful experiences. Many procedures are now done with lasers dentistry which can provide short, pain-free healing times. Making a point to maintain an oral health routine can help reduce sensitivity in the gums and the potential for pain, as well.

As far as feeling embarrassed, it’s important to understand that your dental team is not there to judge you. They care about your general health and understand that you’re nervous. Your dentist has seen many of the issues you may be embarrassed about and treated those issues with compassion. After all, they wouldn’t have picked a field based on a passion for helping people if they saw it any other way. Speak up about being nervous or embarrassed, and without a doubt, you will be treated with compassion rather than judgment.

If those reasons weren’t enough to help you ditch the dental anxiety, remember that your kids learn from watching you. You may be taking your kids to their regular dental visits, but if they see you blanching at the thought of going to your dental appointments, they may start to fear their own appointments. As adults, they may feel that same dental anxiety and embarrassment that you’re currently fighting. As parents, we want better for our kids and I’m sure we’d never want them to deal with the same fears and anxiety.

Remember, you’re not alone!  Your dental team can help you with any dental anxiety you may have. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment, and see just how caring your dentistry can be, at (586) 247-3500!




Categories: Dental fear

Shelby Twp Dentist Gives Tips for Healthy Summer SmilesIn Michigan we are just weeks away from the end of the school year. And with summer just around the corner, there will be less routines such as evening homework, early bedtimes and hectic mornings rushing to the bus stop.

However, there is one routine you need to keep in place for your children this summer – oral hygiene.  Here are a few summer oral health tips to keep your kids’ developing teeth from any damage.

Keep Oral Hygiene Routines

As stated earlier, you must stay with your oral hygiene routine throughout the summer fun. Resist the temptation to skip brushing before a late bedtime.  Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is still important. But with all of the excitement of summer actives, don’t be surprised if you have to remind your children to brush and floss more than once.

Stick to Healthy Foods and Avoid Sugars

With the kids home all day and their friends coming and going, there certainly will be an increased amount of snacking.  But be sure to keep healthy options ready and available. Make it easy for the kids to reach for fruits and vegetables instead of candy and other sugary foods.

Also, limit sugary pops, lemonades, and other fruit juices. It is alright to enjoy these drinks once in awhile but try drink mainly water and milk.  Not to mention, water will ultimately keep the kids more hydrated than sugary beverages. If they do enjoy a soda once in awhile, immediately follow that drink with a glass of water to help wash the teeth and remove any sugary residue.

Make your Back-to-School Dental Visit Early

Parents often schedule checkups in August or September, right before school starts. Instead, schedule a check-up as soon as summer begins. This way, the kids will have a clean bill of dental health for summer.

Plus, you will beat the back-to-school rush and prevent your child from missing class due to dental visits.

Avoid Dental Emergencies

With summer comes pool time, bike rides, sports and other fun outdoor activities.  But sometimes this fun and excitement can also create a sudden dental emergency

First, be sure to enforce common safety rules. No running on slippery pool decks and wear a helmet when biking. For sports, you may want to invest in a mouthguard to prevent injuries.

Try to keep an emergency dental care kit at home and in your vehicle at all times. Items in this kit can include, gauze, a container with a lid (in case you need to preserve part of a broken tooth), and pain reliever.

Schedule Your Summer Checkup with a Shelby Twp. Dentist

Summer sun brings summer fun. But don’t forget to eat healthy and maintain oral hygiene.

If you are looking for a Shelby Twp. dentist to perform a summer checkup for you and your family, contact Dr. Antolak from The Gentle Dentist today at 586-247-3500. Or visit us at our website at thegentledentist.com to learn more about our Shelby Twp dental practice or to read additional dental hygiene tips.



Categories: Dental Hygiene

The Gentle Dentist in Shelby Township, MI Gives an Office Tour

Hi, this is Doctor Antolak from thegentledentist.com in Shelby Township, Michigan. And what I’d like to do is to show you our office. So come on in. In our office, you’ll notice that we’re very warm, inviting, not only the environment and venue we have here, but our people are very friendly too. When you come in, you’ll notice that it’s very comfortable, it’s almost like a dining room. And what we want and a living room, also. So we have some nice comfortable chairs that you can sit if one of your loved ones or friends or having sedation dentistry, and you need to wait for a little while, you can relax in our chairs we have here, also you’re more than welcome to make any refreshments through our current coffee maker. We have an assortment of coffees and teas and that type of things, too.

And this is the rest of the area in here that you can be able to sit down and just enjoy yourself or relax. It also has some educational information here on a monitor, and you can enjoy it. Also I just want to point out over on this end here. We have a little prayer request area. So we have this, this nice box here. And what we do is, we believe in the power of prayer and we actually pray for our patients. And so if there are any requests for that, you can just take a prayer request card. Fill it out. Put it in a little box here. And we’ll pray for you on a regular basis. And what I’d like to do is to come around. And I’m going to just show you one other thing other thing that we do have is when you come in to the office. We have our computer here. And this is used to sign in after you go ahead and fill out your forms online. And this is how we do everything; paperless.

And so this is some of my team. This is Pam. Hi. I’m Pam. Welcome to the office. And I hope someday to, to meet you soon. I help Dr. Antolak manage the practice. And I also take care of any finances, or of any financial help that you may need. I also do the marketing for the office. Look forward to seeing you.

This is Jessica. I have two positions here. I am the patient coordinator, and also one of the dental hygienists. So I’ll either be making you an appointment, or cleaning your teeth.  Perfect, thank you. So come on in. I want to show you the rest of the office.

And so now when you come in, if you have questions about your insurance at all we have our insurance expert. Her name is Dana.  Hi. My name is Dana. I’m the insurance coordinator for Doctor Antolak with over 25 years’ experience in the dental field. I’d be happy to answer any dental questions that you have.  Thank you very much. And so now come on in a little further. When you walk in on your left hand side, you know, this is our consultation room that we have. And we will sit and discuss your treatment with you and your treatment plan. We also have some products that we resell that we think work very, very well for our patients. Now when you come on in you’re going to notice that in our office here we got before and after photos throughout the office of dental pieces that we’ve treated before in the past.  The befores are on the bottom, and then the afters are on top.  And this room here, we have Christine.

Hi, I’m Christine. I’m one of the hygienists here of the Gentle Dental team. We would love to have you come in and give you a thorough gentle cleaning in a caring environment. I feel that we give old-fashioned care in a high tech environment. And I think you’ll really, really like it here. We would love to have you come in soon.

So over here we have Margie. And Margie is one of our hygienists also. She’s masked for nice and secure.  And one of our patients, nice and clean teeth now, right?  Each of our rooms we have, have computers in each room. We also have x-rays in each room. So that makes it nice and convenient.

This is Nelly. I’m sterilizing instruments. This is the contaminated area. And we put them right here. Then we have Juberg. This is ultrasonic. And they get in here, vibration and water rinsed debris. We take them; rinse them in this sink with plain water. And then they go to the two sterilization units.  And so those sterilization units are what, every, we check them each month, correct?  We do. Yes, we do monitor the way they work every single month, for both of them.

Hi. My name’s Nicole. I’m one of doctor’s associates. I’m just getting our schedule ready for tomorrow. So we go over our schedule every day. And, we check medications. And what the patient’s going to have done next, so that we’re prepared.

We have actually five rooms total in our office. And as we keep coming back out, we’ll continue to show you some things. Each room is pretty much set up the same way, each one. So, as you come back, you’re going to, this is towards the back of the office. And this is my office here. And that’s where I do my work and Pam is also the manager there, too. And if you come back in here you’ll notice that we have an additional room right here that we actually use for ordering our supplies and our computer. That’s right there, actually starts to power up and serve our digital panoramic x-ray unit. Our digital Panorex is right here. And what it does is it takes an x-ray that goes around your head. And then we can see all of the sinuses and where the nerves are and everything else like that on this x-ray. And the nice is its digital. So if we have a specialist we need to refer to for a special case, we can just email that information to them.  That’s the beauty of our offices. Everything is digital. When it’s digital like that, it allows us to be much more up to date. And this extra unit actually uses significantly less radiation that a traditional film type of process.

This is our background drop here that I use for taking portraits for before and after photos for cosmetic dentistry cases. And right here at the very end is our restroom. And, in our restroom we have we try to make it nice and cozy. We have a free assortment of toothpastes, toothbrushes and mouthwash for use at your convenience. We really believe here at our office that we want you to make you feel like it’s your home when you come in. We are aware that a lot of times people are very nervous when they come into the office so we just really want to focus on you, our patient. We want to make sure that you do feel like you’re at home in a high tech environment. And you feel comfortable and you want to read for other people here. So if you have any questions or concerns you can give us a call at 586-247-3500. You’re on the website now so you can see the website. So if there’s any questions please give us a call. Thank you and God Bless.

The Gentle Dentist in Shelby Township, MI Gives an Office Tour

If you have any questions for our staff, or would like to schedule an appointment with The Gentle Dentist in Shelby Township, Dr. Antolak, please call 586-247-3500.

The Gentle Dentist in Shelby Township, MI Gives an Office Tour

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Categories: Welcome

Hi, my name is Doctor Robert Antolak. I’m the owner of TheGentleDentist.com. I want to tell you one thing that makes us very unique. When you come into our dental office, you’re going to hear Christian music. Not only because it’s Christian music, but it’s because we have a deep heart love for the Lord. You know, I’ve been saved for the last, over 20-something years and, what we want to do is we want to help people who come in here and those who have fear, those who need prayers, I’d be more than happy to pray over you. I consider it a pure honor when I can do that and help the holy spirit experience coming into this office, and coming to the place and creating peace within your heart. And, allow him to work through me to help heal you.

You know, we are that way. That’s just who I am. And you know, I just want make sure that you know that you’re being treated by somebody who really cares. And somebody who honors the Lord. So, if that sounds like something that’s of interest you, and you’re located in the Shelby Township area, Michigan. You can give us a call at (586) 247-3500.

Hi, my name is Dr. Robert Antolak, the owner of thegentledentist.com located out in Shelby Township, Michigan. Our phone number is 586-247-3500. I want to talk to you about something that’s very personal. What happens when you wake up in the morning?  Your mouth tastes really bad, right?  Your breath is usually pretty bad too, so your spouse will remind you, brush your teeth. But what develops is something that is very intimate and close but something that’s not often talked about and that’s bad breath. What is it? What’s bad breath?

Well, bad breath basically an odor, a sulfur odor like bad and rotten eggs that you smell that’s created by the bacteria that live on your tongue. And what happens is, is when you eat food and things like that, the bacteria metabolizes that food and it creates these sulfur products. And usually, they are harbored and live in the very back of the tongue.

So food gets trapped it creates the bad breath as it gets trapped in the creases and the grooves in the tongue. And it becomes, like I said, the nutrition for the bacteria.  The sulfur compound is released and the smell comes out of your mouth. Usually at nighttime it develops more because as you have a reduction in your saliva in your mouth, which happens naturally as you sleep, the bacteria continue to repopulate and then that bad breath continues to get worse. So when you wake up in the morning you have that nasty bad breath or that taste. That’s why you need to usually take care of that.  About 90% of the bad breath does originate from the back of the tongue where bacteria are.

So, what’s important is that people who have chronic nasal drip are also more susceptible. At nighttime, if they have post-nasal drip and the dry mouth that’ll even make the situation worse. Dry mouth caused by medications- dry mouth that’s caused by, people who smoke, dry mouth caused by just as we get older. See, people battling cancer, are really at  reduced saliva flow.

There’s a few things we want to do to take care of that and if you’re a smoker.  You know, obviously it’s the best if you don’t smoke.  But if you have to, then make sure that you really brush your teeth well after you do so. Anybody, before you go to bed, make sure that you brush your teeth well and you can even use a tongue scraper to help remove some of this bacteria from the mouth.

There’s a couple few other things that will cause this. One is dieting. When people actually go on a diet, as they lose weight, their stomach actually starts producing something called ketones. It’s not from the bacteria but it’s from the fact that they’re dieting. So many people who do go on a strict diet and have lost weight will also start maybe smelling a little bit of a difference in their mouth. But that’s not a bad thing because they’re reducing their body weight which is better overall.

People who drink alcohol, they’ll also have bad breath because that dries the mouth out. So alcohol containing mouth rinses are really a negligent thing because that also continues the process of keeping the mouth dry. So even though you think you’re doing something great, it works just for the short term. But the dry mouth continues and therefore the bacteria doesn’t, they stay in the mouth. So what you can do for treatment for bad breath is have regular dental check-ups.

Of course that now, the way of if you do have cavities in your mouth which can also harbor the bacteria or gum disease which also is a big factor with bad breath because in the gums, these bacteria can live and it also produces the sulfur containing bacteria. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can also be very good to helping improve your nutrition. Chewing on sugarless gum that increases the saliva flow helps to flush away some of these foods and helps with the turnover so you keep things fresh in your mouth.

Also like I said before, using a tongue scraper, sticking your tongue straight out far and bringing that tongue scraper all the way to the back of your tongue as far as you can go and just scraping a few times removes a large volume of these bacteria. So using that, using a non-alcoholic mouth rinse, visiting your dentist, and brushing and flossing are one of the best ways of doing that. So, if you have any questions about that, you can feel free to call us at (586) 247-3500. Or you can visit us on our website, where I do have more information on this, which is thegentledentist.com. Thank you.

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