Meet Dr. Razzak!

There is a new face at our dental office!

Dr. Razzak grew up in Flint, Michigan and completed dental school at University of Detroit Mercy after graduating from Wayne State. He practiced dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona before returning to the Detroit area in 2008.

Dr. Razzak enjoys all phases of dentistry, particularly cosmetic dentistry, surgical procedures and root canal therapy. He is a perfect fit for our patients with his gentle touch, pleasant chairside manner and commitment to excellence.

Dr. Razzak is looking forward to meeting you! Call 1-866-9-Smiles for a new patient appointment or a no-cost consultation.

Oral Cancer Can Be Disfiguring, Deadly!

Recently, actor Michael Douglas revealed that his former claim of having, and conquering, throat cancer was false. He admitted to actually having cancer of the tongue, a form of oral cancer, sharing his reason for hiding the true diagnosis was to protect his career. Because of the radical surgery requirements to remove oral cancer, he feared his acting career would be negatively impacted, regardless of the treatment outcome.

Now that Mr. Douglas has been able to recoup and rebound, which is not always the case with oral cancer, he is being more open and forthright about his ordeal. Oral cancer kills about 1 person each hour, 24 hours every day. Of those newly diagnosed, approximately 57% (or a little over half) will be alive in 5 years, a percentage that has not improved by much in decades.

Not many could blame Mr. Douglas for his concerns. For movie fans, many still remember the film critic duo of Siskel & Ebert. After a 9-year battle with cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands, Roger Ebert succumbed in 2013. Pictures of his disfigured face were far from how he once appeared.

From the mid-1970’s through 2004, the National Cancer Institute reveals a 15% increase in oral cancer rates. While men between the age of 60 – 79 have the highest risk, both sexes and all adults are susceptible. Recent facts show:
•    For every 100,000 adults, 10.5 will develop oral cancer.
•    Oral cancer rates are significantly higher for males than for females.
•    Oral cancer rates are higher for Hispanic and Black males than White males.
•    Oral cancer rates increase with age, with a more rapid increase after age 50, peaking between ages 60 – 70.

Survival rates for oral cancer CAN be improved with greater awareness. The following symptoms should be closely monitored and, if still present after 7 to 10 days, checked immediately.

 – white or red patch of tissue in the mouth or lips
 – small ulcer similar to a common canker sore
 – tissue changes that mimic a bite on the inside of your cheek
 – any sore or discolored area of your mouth
 – lump or mass that can be felt inside the mouth or neck
 – pain or difficulty swallowing, speaking or chewing
 – wart-like mass
 – persistent hoarseness
 – numbness in the oral/facial region
 – persistent ear ache in both ears

Because symptoms can be painless and are minimally visible or changing, these signs are often ignored or the individual chooses to delay having them checked until their 6-month dental exam. In our office, the exam is quick and painless. A swabbed sample is sent to a lab if warranted and results are sent back promptly, usually within a week’s time.

Delays can be deadly. Take charge of your well-being and be proactive when it comes to your oral health. We’d much rather give you good news than have you amidst the terrible statistics of oral cancer. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for more information.

Some Causes of Bad Breath

You’ve probably run into someone who has “morning breath,” (the result of not brushing after the mouth has been closed all night while bacteria accumulates, developing a sticky film known as plaque). “Coffee breath” is another odor that can be offensive, which is the result of coffee’s drying tendency to oral tissues. Without sufficient saliva flow to give the mouth a natural cleansing, bacteria build and mix with the coffee scent to create a strong, unpleasant scent.

Dry mouth may also be a result of smoking or drinking alcohol. Other culprits are some medications, a problem with the salivary glands, or continual breathing through the mouth. Some diseases and illnesses can contribute to bad breath as well, including pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, diabetes, acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.

Morning breath, coffee breath and odors from eating foods like onions and garlic are temporary. Once you brush and rinse thoroughly, you can expect your breath to become more pleasant. Persistent bad breath, however, may be the a side effect of medication, an illness, or periodontal (gum) disease.

As a dentist, I’m very much aware of the distinct odor produced by gum disease. Although it varies slightly from person to person, it has a different scent than that of typical bad breath. The best way to determine gum disease as the true source is through an examination.

In addition to persistent bad breath, periodontal disease symptoms include gum tenderness, gums that bleed when brushing, and gums that are red in color rather than a healthy pink.

It’s not unusual for adults to avoid much-needed dental care because of dental fears. Many adults carry with them traumatic dental experiences from the past all of their lives. Although new techniques and technology now create more comfortable procedures, a relationship of trust between the patient and his or her dentist is needed.

Oral sedation is one option that can help fearful patients have the dental treatment they need. This places the patient in a totally relaxed state and erases most memory of the procedure afterward. For some people, we offer I.V. sedation, which places the patient in a “twilight sleep” state.

Regardless of the source of unpleasant breath odor, it is imperative to one’s overall health to have and maintain good oral health. The bacteria of gum disease has been linked to serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, memory loss, diabetes, impotency and others.

If you’re past due for dental care, call us toll free 1-866-9-Smiles. You can begin with a no-cost Consultation to discuss your symptoms and have all your questions answered.

Tips For Dental Emergencies!

When school resumes, contact sports rev up! Soccer, football, basketball, and even competitive swimming can all result in blows to the mouth.

As ‘Mom’ to two active sons, I realize a mouthguard is not always a priority with players. However, wise parents and coaches insist on mouthguards for those in their care. The alternative can be costly and have permanent impact!

If a dental mishap does occur, below are guidelines to follow:

CUT OR BITTEN TONGUE, LIP OR CHEEK – Apply cold compress to bruised areas. If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth. If bleeding does not stop within 15 minutes or cannot be controlled by simple pressure, take the child to a hospital emergency room.

KNOCKED OUT PERMANENT TOOTH – Handle the tooth by the top portion rather than the root. Rinse the tooth, but do not clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket and have the child hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, place the tooth in a cup of milk or water and call us immediately. Time is a critical factor in saving a tooth.

BROKEN TOOTH – Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the area of the injury. Save any broken tooth fragments and call our office immediately.

POSSIBLE BROKEN JAW – If a fractured jaw is suspected, use a tie, towel or handkerchief to tie underneath the chin and over the top of the head. This will help to keep the jaws from moving. Take the child to the nearest emergency room.

BROKEN BRACES & WIRES – Fortunately, most loose or broken appliances do not require emergency room attention. If the appliance can be removed easily, take it out. If not, cover sharp or protruding portions with cotton balls, gauze, or chewing gum. If a wire is stuck in the gums, cheek, or tongue, do not remove it. Take the child to the orthodontist immediately.

BLEEDING AFTER BABY TOOTH FALLS OUT – Pack the bleeding area with a folded, clean gauze or cloth. Have the child bite on this with mild pressure for 15 minutes. Repeat for another 15 minutes if necessary. If bleeding persists, call us immediately.

TOOTHACHE – Clean the area around the sore tooth thoroughly. Rinse the mouth thoroughly with warm, salt water or use dental floss to gently dislodge trapped food or debris. If the face is swollen, apply a cold compress. Take acetaminophen for pain and call to be seen as soon as possible. Do not place aspirin on the gum or the aching tooth.

Please remember that we make custom-fitted mouthguards, which are more comfortable and have a better fit. This means your child is more likely to wear it! Call us at 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange an appointment.

Advice For Ice-Chewers

Although the summer season is over, there are still people who will be crunching ice throughout the day. Why?

Some people just enjoy the coolness ice chewing provides to their mouth and the satisfaction of a rigorous crunch. It is also suspected that an iron deficiency may create the urge.

If you are a frequent ice chewer, traditional freezer ice cubes can be as hard as jawbreakers (the candy, that is, but named so for good reasons!). It’s not unusual for adults to break teeth while chewing ice, along with causing tooth fractures. When a fracture goes below the gum line, the tooth is susceptible to break at that depth. When this happens, the tooth must be removed since a crown can no longer protect it.

If chewing ice is something you don’t want to (or just can’t) give up, consider purchasing an ice-maker that makes shaved or ‘nugget’ ice. Also, some Sonic drive-ins sell 10 lb. bags of ‘pellet’ ice that is cheap and easy to chew.

Ice chewers should also be very committed to their 6-month check-ups so tooth fractures can be caught early. Losing a tooth can require time and expense far beyond the cost of purchasing more-chewable ice.

If you’re due for a dental exam, call us toll free 1-866-9-Smiles. New patients are always welcome!