Preventive Care

The Preventive Dental Program

Del Ray Alexandria preventive care

Both natural teeth and teeth with restorations survive best in an oral environment that is clean and where the intake of harmful foods is controlled. Our program is designed to help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored and manage periodontal disease. Your initial visit at our dental office in Del Ray, Alexandria, oral hygiene instructions are reviewed and are reinforced at subsequent recall visits. The following are helpful recommendations:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day in a circular motion with a soft bristled toothbrush aimed at the gum
  • Floss every night in an up and down motion while keeping the floss in a U-shape and against the tooth surface
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid sticky sugary foods
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Use antiseptic and fluoride rinses as directed
  • Sealants placed on young permanent teeth

Oral DNA Testing

Del Ray Alexandria dna testing

Gum disease can range from just bothersome for some patients, all the way to chronic and dangerous for others. Advanced gum disease can cause such symptoms as persistent bad breath, receding gums, and loose teeth. And in the worst case scenario, you could end up losing vital gum and bone tissue, and possibly even teeth. Gum infections are very serious and are responsible for many of the worst consequence of gum disease. But thanks to Oral DNA Testing, there is a breakthrough that can lead to greater hope and better outcomes.

The traditional way of addressing gum disease is based on an examination and determination of symptoms, but since each person is different and brings with them a unique set of circumstances and challenges, the effectiveness of this approach can vary. Modern advancements in periodontal technology, however, have given us Oral DNA Testing, in which you undergo a simple, quick, non-invasive, and pain-free process. It’s as simple as having the inside of your cheek swabbed. That swab will then be sent off to a laboratory, analyzed, and the results returned.

What comes back is a report that shows what kind of oral bacteria you have. It is armed with this essential data, that a dentist or periodontist can efficiently develop a targeted strategy for combating your gum disease. Oral DNA Testing by Dr. Salartash in Del Ray, Alexandria takes the benefits of what science has learned about human genes, and applies it to the field of periodontics. The result is stronger gums and a healthier mouth for you.

Oral Cancer Screening

About Oral Cancer

Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth and the pharynx (the back of the throat). Oral cancer accounts for roughly two percent of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States. Approximately 35,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer each year and about 7,600 will die from the disease. On average, 60 percent of those with the disease will survive more than 5 years. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40 and affects more than twice as many men as women.

What Puts Someone at Risk?

Tobacco and alcohol use.

Most cases of oral cancer are linked to cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol use, or the use of both tobacco and alcohol together. Using tobacco plus alcohol poses a much greater risk than using either substance alone.

HPV. Infection with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (specifically the HPV 16 type) has been linked to a subset of oral cancers.

Age. Risk increases with age. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40.

Sun Exposure. Cancer of the lip can be caused by sun exposure.

Diet. A diet low in fruits and vegetables may play a role in oral cancer development.

Possible Signs & Symptoms

See a dentist or physician if any of the following symptoms lasts for more than 2 weeks:

  • A sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in your mouth, lip, or throat
  • A white or red patch in your mouth
  • A feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
  • Numbness in your tongue or other areas of your mouth
  • Swelling of your jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
  • Pain in one ear without hearing loss

Early Detection

It is important to find oral cancer as early as possible when it can be treated more successfully. An oral cancer examination by Dr. Salartash in Del Ray, Alexandria can detect early signs of cancer. The exam is painless and takes only a few minutes. Your regular dental check-up is an excellent opportunity to have an exam. During the exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will check your face, neck, lips andentire mouth for signs of cancer.