Signature

 Oriana Biela Lieu is a registered dental hygienist and the wife of Dr. Anthony Lieu. Being part of the amazing team at her husband’s dental practice in Rohnert Park, California, is an important part of her life. Teaching chivalry and a balanced life to her two sons, Isaac and Logan, is also a priority, as is creative expression and keeping positive in a crazy world.

 

 

 

Protecting Yourself Against Oral Cancer

2018-04-13 08:31:23 admin

 

Protecting Yourself Against Oral CancerIf there were a quick and painless way to identify pre-cancerous cells in the mouth of someone you loved, would you want them to try it? What if that person were you? The truth is, as uncomfortable as it may be to even think of the word “cancer,” thinking about it, and thus detecting it early, is key. That’s why, if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you should schedule a visit. The oral exam that accompanies your cleaning may not be noticeable to you, it’s often your earliest line of defense in the detection of oral cancer. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the risk factors and symptoms, and consider a few options you may have to help reduce risk. Keep in mind that no list is exhaustive, and to always share with each of your health care providers your concerns and strategies regarding your oral health.

Those at Risk for Oral Cancer

Passing certain age thresholds and engaging in certain lifestyle habits can place you at increased risk for oral cancer. For example, men tend to have higher rates of oral cancers than women.

Here is the short list:

  • Patients age 40 and older (95% of all oral cancer cases)
  • Patients age 18-39 who use tobacco, are heavy drinkers, or may have a previously diagnosed oral HPV infection.

Warning Signs

If you experience any of the below symptoms lasting more than 7-10 days, please seek the advice of your doctor. Also, keep in mind that aside from an obviously sore throat, the below symptoms can present themselves in the absence of pain. Look out for changes that can be detected on the lips, inside the cheeks, palate, and gum tissue surrounding your teeth and tongue. At Blue Apple Dental Group, we occasionally run across such concerns a few times a year, and are able to help patients get treatment early.

  • Reddish or whitish patches in the mouth
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth

Reducing risk

If you do not visit the dentist regularly, you could be missing out on the benefits of early cancer detection. Currently, just over half of all those diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years – a statistic driven by late diagnosis – so please visit your dentist and get an oral exam at least once a year. If you are considered “high risk,” (see list above) you should be receiving an oral exam at least every six months, if not more frequently.

Below is a short list of healthy habits you can start doing now, which may reduce your risk.

  • Avoid all tobacco products
  • Avoid or reduce your consumption of alcohol
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables (good for everything, of course)
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure that can result in cancer of the lip (using lip balm with an SPF of at least 30 can be helpful)
  • Avoid exposure to environmental hazards (wood dust, formaldehyde, printing chemicals)
  • Conduct a self-exam monthly so you can catch any of the symptoms listed above. Use a small hand-held mirror so you can see the back of your mouth and tongue. Our hygienists, Sara, Marsha and Oriana are always looking for signs and are the people to ask for instructions on this sort of home exam. If you haven’t been in to see us in a while, give us a ring at 707-795-4523, and we’ll show you how to perform this exam in between visits.
  • Consider coffee. While the jury is still out, some research suggests coffee may help protect the mouth from oral cancer.

Oral cancer is serious business. Yet, it can be managed when caught early. So, do the right thing

and visit your dentist regularly, and get that screening.

Be Well,

Oriana

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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Invisalign Day April 2018!

2018-04-13 07:44:19 admin

Invisalign Day April 2018!If you have been wishing for straighter teeth to help with better looking smile, Invisalign is now the go-to option for many teens and adults.

DID YOU KNOW?

There are many links between crooked teeth, gum disease and general body health? Straighter teeth are easier to clean and there are more ways Invisalign can help you to have better overall wellness by fixing malocclusion.

Malocclusion affects 74% of American adults. If you have malocclusion, it may affect your periodontal health, because it is difficult to remove plaque when teeth are ot aligned. Periodontal disease can begin as gum redness or bleeding while brushing your teeth or using dental floss, and you may notice halitosis or bad breath. If not treated, gum inflammation can become worse, leading to soft tissue damage, receding gums, the formation of pockets between teeth and gums, bone loss and eventually tooth loss.

Severe periodontal infections, if left untreated, increase the risk for:

  • Coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Makes it harder to manage diabetes
  • Low birth-weight babies

WEAR AND TRAUMA

Poorly aligned teeth can also crate unnatural stress and pressure on teeth and jaws. Teeth that are subject to excessive pressure can develop chipping and notches at the gum line called abfractions. Early and excessive wear can lead to poor root support, loose teeth and eventual tooth loss.

Straight Teeth are Healthy Teeth

Healthier Gums

Properly aligned teeth are easier to brush and floss than crowded or crooked teeth. Properly positioned teeth can help gums “fit” more tightly around them, which can lead to better gum health.

Improved Hygiene

With good Oral Hygiene, the chances of having plaque retention, tooth decay, and periodontal disease can be reduced.

Decrease the risk of abnormal wear

Properly aligned teeth also reduce the risk of expensive peoceedures required to repair the effects of abnormal force, such as tooth chipping, breaking or wear, and can be less stressful on teh supporting jaw bone and joints. 

A Straightforward Solution

Straightening your teeth can make a significant difference to having a healthy mouth and keeping your teeth or life. Ask your dentist or hygienist about straightening your teeth using Invisalign. Invisalign clear aligners are custom-made to gradually straighten your teeth. Start on the road to a healthy mouth today.

Now thru April 30 we are having our Invisalign Day special. Get $500 off for Invisalign treatment. No more messy goopy impressions and we can show you what your outcome would look like within a day!

Call us today to take advantage of this limited time offer!

Be Well!

 

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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Is Kombutcha All It’s Kracked Up to Be?

2017-10-26 19:21:33 admin

Here’s a recipe for you…take your grandmother’s home-brewed sweet tea, sitting in the sun in the backyard. Now add some bacteria and yeast. Leave it for a couple weeks. Now take a big gulp. Mmm, vinegary! Kombucha has been made for centuries, but only recently has it been available commercially in all sorts of forms. It looks like juice, or yummy sparkling water, but tastes a bit like vinegar. So why are people into it? And…is it worth the taste? 

First, what is it, exactly?

Kombucha is a beverage made from fermented black or green tea. In the presence of sugar and a SCOBY (a gelatinous pad of bacteria and yeast) that tea is transformed into a slightly carbonated, slightly alcoholic (due to the fermentation process) drink. It contains B vitamins and antioxidants from the tea leaves and probiotics from the bacteria. It also, of course, has a little zing of vinegar. So why do people drink it?

Well, because Kombucha is believed to have all sorts of health benefits. Believers will tell you it prevents or stalls cancer, boosts the immune system, detoxes your liver, and more. Consumers also appreciate an edgy drink that has less sugar than soda and no artificial flavors or colors.

Why You Should Be Cautious

First, don’t trust any health claim that doesn’t provide for the scientific basis of its claim. While there are some studies on mice to indicate a potential benefit to the liver from kombucha, overall the scientific evidence supporting kombucha’s claims is lacking. Second, brewing the tea at home can introduce all sorts of malignant contaminants such as dangerous bacteria or fungi that can make you sick. There have also been reports of lead poisoning from brewing the tea in ceramic pots. Even if you don’t brew at home, there have been reports of metabolic acidosis, hepatotoxicity, upset stomach, and more after people drink the tea.  Not good.

The Bottom Line?

If you are an adult and neither pregnant nor immunocompromised, it’s likely okay to drink in moderation. But choose store-bought over home-brewed. Because of its acidity, though, you also don’t want to sip it all day long. (Bad for the teeth, and all.) And you’ll want to swish with water so that you protect your tooth enamel. If you don’t enjoy it, then certainly don’t waste your money. You’re better off sipping sparkling water or tea, or whatever beverage of your choice that doesn’t wreck your teeth.

So, there you have it! Until we see more scientific evidence, we can neither confirm nor deny that kombucha is all it’s “kracked” up to be. If you’re into it, maybe have at it! If not, we don’t think you’re missing out 😉

 

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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Can a Mindful Diet Be Bad for Your Teeth?

2017-10-26 19:13:14 admin

In America, we’re blessed with a wonderful selection of food to fuel our bodies. Crops are plentiful, and what doesn’t grow here arrives via ship or air, creating food lifestyle choices not possible a generation ago. So, if you’re more of a fruit and vegetables person, and are either a vegan or vegetarian – or considering these options – we wanted to take a look at how following that lifestyle can affect your teeth. You might be surprised to learn what seems like the best possible choice for the earth, your animal friends, and yourself, comes with a few caveats with regard to your oral health.

What could be better than eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables? After all, every doctor seems to suggest we include more leafy greens and antioxidant-rich fruits into our diets. What could possibly be wrong with just eating food from these two groups? More of the same has to be better, right?  Well, yes, and no.  And, as with everything, it depends on who you ask. Since we’re in the dental profession, and concerned about your teeth, that’s the perspective we’re going to examine. There are three main concerns when a diet lacks meat and dairy: snacking, acid, and a lack of re-mineralizing food products. Let’s take a look:

  1. Snacking: Most of us are familiar with the old rule of thumb that says we should have three square meals a day, and some prefer five to six to spread calories out more evenly. Vegans and vegetarians, however usually find themselves snacking constantly to meet their body’s need for energy. And constant snacking is not good at all for your teeth. From the moment you put food into your mouth, the pH level in your oral cavity drops, creating a more acidic environment that wears down tooth enamel and provides a breeding ground for the bacteria that cause tooth decay. For those of us who eat 3-6 meals a day, this setback is temporary, and only lasts for about a half hour beyond a meal. For snackers, though, this acidic environment continues, on and on, until the snacking ceases.
  2. Acid: What further complicates this approach to eating is the type of food vegetarians and vegans (particularly raw vegans), are prone to snack on – carbohydrate-rich acidic fruit, or dry sticky fruits. This double-whammy of a constantly acidic mouth from snacking doused with even more acid from fruit is a recipe for weak enamel and cavities. To counter this effect, snack less, avoid sticky fruits, choose more firm, less-acidic fruits, chew gum with Xylitol, and keep a bottle of water nearby to continually rinse your mouth. Also, don’t rush to brush your teeth until a half hour after snacking. Doing so while the enamel is temporarily softened due to its acidic environment, can only make things worse. You may also want to seek out more filling carbohydrate choices such as whole grains. Nuts, which can protect your teeth, can also be a good choice, and provide healthy fats your body needs.
  3. A Lack of Re-mineralizing Foods: And that brings us to the final big hurdle for our vegan and vegetarian friends out there – the general absence of remineralizing foods. Research suggests that meat, dairy and seafood help teeth in two ways. They may help counteract acidity in the mouth, and aid in the remineralization of teeth that have been demineralized in an acidic environment. Meat-free dieters lack these beneficial side-effects of a more omnivorous meal plan. That said, nuts, green leafy vegetables (without too much focus on spinach, which isn’t good for your teeth), and sea vegetables can help with remineralization. You may also wish to consider supplements that provide you with the proper balance of vitamins and minerals you may be lacking in your diet. Doing so also ensures the proper absorption of all those great nutrients you are getting from your diet. Consumption without absorption can defeat the goal of a healthy diet.

Maintaining good healthy teeth is an important part of healthy living. That’s why it is critical to understand how changes made to our diets affect our teeth. Surely, you will have more questions after reading this article. Conduct some more research on your own to learn more. There is a lot to cover when it comes to these concerns. Also, be sure to speak with your dentist and physician about your lifestyle choices and how to ensure you enjoy a long and happy life – and one that includes keeping all of your teeth as well!

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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Beer, Wine and Whisky? Good or Bad for Your Mouth?

2017-10-26 19:09:29 admin


Those of us who enjoy an adult beverage from time to time are, no doubt, privy research that suggests such consumption is, surprisingly – good for us!

Of course, with every endorsement that seems too good to be true, there’s normally a caveat somewhere. With regards to alcohol, it’s that booze simply isn’t great for your oral health.

So, if you’re drinking more to help your heart, you may want to re-think that strategy a bit. Let’s look at why.

Drying effect

Unlike water, which hydrates your mouth and protects it from cavity-causing bacteria and acid, alcohol dries out the mouth.

When paired with alcohol’s acidic nature, this drying effect provides the perfect low pH environment for bacteria to feast.

And if that weren’t all, because we’re prone to sip alcoholic beverages for hours on end, doing so keeps the pH in our mouths low for hours at a time – not a good scenario for our teeth and gums.

Staining

Wine, like coffee, can stain your teeth. In most cases, the staining is temporary.

Staining is caused by a number of things, such as acidity, which etches the teeth allowing color to stick. There are also tannins, which love teeth so much they bind to the enamel and trap the wine’s color along with it.

The good thing is, you can keep discoloration at bay by munching on food while drinking, and chewing gum once you’re done consuming for the night. This will bathe your mouth in saliva, and bring your pH back to normal.

Also, as an aside, hold off on brushing your teeth until at least a half hour after you’re done consuming. If done too early, the soft nature of your enamel after drinking can cause unwanted abrasion.

Long term effects

If your alcohol consumption habits are more frequent, and larger than what’s recommended, you should be aware that these effects are compounding. There is a risk of oral cancer.

In fact, if you are prone to combining alcohol with smoking, your oral cancer risk is six times greater than if you just smoked, or just drank.

Scientists believe the effects of alcohol on the mouth enable cancer-causing agents in cigarette smoke greater access to our oral tissues resulting in a favorable environment for cancer to develop.

As is often the case, your health is within your control. Therefore, choosing habits wisely, and being informed of their consequences, is always knowledge worth possessing.

As the sage is known to say … everything in moderation. 

Family dental care and cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.

Blue Apple Dental Group
6230 State Farm Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
(707) 795-4523

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