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Ask Dr. Slocum!

If you have a question about an appointment or fees please call the office. If you have a dental question, email us, Terry and Beth Slocum at terryslocum@gmail.com. I will answer emails Monday through Thursday and on the weekend if I happen to look.

Get Your Oral Cancer Screening!

Oral cancer is the largest group of cancers which fall into the head and neck cancer category. Common names for it include mouth cancer, tongue cancer, tonsil cancer, and throat cancer. While some think this is a rare cancer, mouth cancer will be newly diagnosed in about 100 individuals each day in the US alone, and a person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day.There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long term historic problem and cause, and the other is through exposure to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), an identified etiology, and the same one which is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. When found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80 to 90 % survival rate. Unfortunately at this time, the majority are found as late stage cancers, and this accounts for the very high death rate of about 45% at five years from diagnosis, and high treatment related morbidity in survivors. Late stage diagnosis is not occurring because most of these cancers are hard to discover, it is because of a lack of public awareness.

During your routine visits and at the initial exam, oral cancer screenings are performed.

Candy does not cause cavities

You don’t get cavities from not coming to the dentist and it is not hereditary. There’s no such thing as bad teeth or soft teeth. It’s not because you don’t brush or floss. Cavities don’t come from sweet tea, coffee with sugar, pie, cookies or cake.

Cavities only come from sipping on sugary drinks. I drink each of these drinks. Sodas, diet sodas, energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster Energy, sports drinks like Gatorade, juices, apple, cranberry or orange and milk cause cavities. You have likely heard to not put a baby to bed with a milk bottle because it will rot his or her teeth. It’s the same thing with the drinks mentioned. It’s sipping these drinks that causes cavities. A good example is a kid who drinks a two liter Mountain Dew at lunch will not hurt his teeth, but if he sips on that two liter drink from noon to dinner, it will destroy his teeth. It’s sipping that’s the problem.

All cavities are formed by a sticky plaque that one bacteria forms, Streptococcus mutans. This bacteria when fed sugar often, throughout the day, grows in number and produces a lot of the acidic plaque, that eats through the enamel, first making a white spot on the tooth and later it turns yellow or brown.

Remember, if you never want to get another cavity, and who does, don’t sip on sugary drinks. You don’t have to drink water all the time. Enjoy a sugary drink, but infrequently and don’t do two or more a day.

I have never seen a Halloween candy cavity!