Is Vaping Hazardous For Your Teeth and Gums? Ask A Dentist

What Impact Does Vaping E-Cigarettes Have on Your Oral Health?

You already know smoking stains your teeth and causes cancer, but do you know how vaping impacts your oral health?

Whether you’ve been vaping for years or you just got your first electronic cigarette, it’s a good idea for you to know how this habit affects your teeth and gums.

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are becoming more and more popular as an alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes.

As a society, we are becoming more aware of the dangers of smoking tobacco. We now know that smoking tobacco can cause cancer in your lungs, throat, liver, stomach and much more.

According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly half a million people die per year as a direct result of smoking tobacco. And, that’s just in the United States alone.

Because of this unsettling statistic, people are turning to vape instead of smoking cigarettes. Many believe vaping is healthier than smoking cigarettes because there isn’t tobacco involved.

But is it really that much healthier? Are there still health risks?

vaping oral health

In this article, you will learn…

  • What are e-cigarettes?
  • Critical differences between vaping and smoking traditional cigarettes.
  • How vaping impacts your health and more specifically, your dental health.

And, much more.

First, let’s explore what e-cigarettes are and how to use them.

What Are E-Cigarettes?

An electronic cigarette, also known as an e-cigarette or e-cig, is a battery-operated handheld device used as an alternative to smoking tobacco.

Like conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes contain nicotine, but unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco and the tar.

Each cartridge holds liquid commonly referred to as “e-juice.” This mixture is typically made up of nicotine, glycerine, propylene glycol, and flavoring.

Instead of producing tar or smoke, e-cigarettes produce an aerosol. As a result, vapor from e-cigarettes does not smell like traditional cigarette smoke.

To use an e-cigarette, you press a button to heat the mixture and inhale. Some devices don’t require you to press a button at all.

People are turning to e-cigarettes because they are convenient and tobacco-free. But is vaping better for you than smoking?

Keep reading to get all the details. 

vaping bad for oral health

Is Vaping Better For You Than Smoking Traditional Cigarettes?

Some believe vaping is less harmful to your health compared to smoking conventional cigarettes because e-cigarettes vaporize nicotine instead of burning tobacco.

After all, tobacco is the primary ingredient responsible for premature deaths due to smoking. Tobacco is one of the leading causes of cancer.

Because e-cigarettes lack tobacco, they do not contain the same level of toxic chemicals that cigarettes do.

But Still, Is Vaping Really Better For You?

Let’s dig into some of the most recent research.

According to a review by the National Society of Sciences, vaping is less harmful to your oral health than smoking cigarettes.

Vaping causes less damage to your oral cavity, reducing your risk of oral cancer and other diseases.

Moreover, a recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine found vaping has helped some people quit smoking tobacco altogether. Vaping has proved to be more effective than nicotine-replacement therapy.

While vaping may be better for you than smoking, that doesn’t mean vaping doesn’t come with its own set of adverse side-effects.

Are you wondering how vaping impacts your overall health?

Keep reading to find out the truth!

Vaping stain your teeth

Is Vaping Bad for Your Overall Health?

Vaping poses significant and dangerous health risks not widely known to the public.

  1. Because e-cigs still contain nicotine, you still put yourself at risk of developing cancer.
  2. Nicotine is a well-known carcinogen proven to promote tumor growth in the lungs, stomach, pancreas, and breasts.
  3. Vaping causes unnecessary cell damage to healthy cells.
  4. Weakens your immune system.
  5. According to a recent published Surgeon General Advisory, the nicotine found in e-cigarette aerosols can impact learning, memory, and cause attention issues.
  6. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can also harm the developing brain, which is not fully developed until age 25.
  7. Harmful substances found in e-cigs, including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and ultrafine particles, which are inhaled deeply into the lungs and can lead to breathing problems.
  8. As well as a host of oral health issues, which we will cover in a second.

On the surface, vaping does not pose as many health risks as smoking tobacco; however, as you now can see, vaping e-cigs has its fair share of inherent health risks.

While many consider it to be safe when compared to smoking traditional cigarettes, researchers now are finding that it’s not necessarily good for you. And, a lot more research is needed to confirm whether vaping is actually “safe.”

Now that you know how vaping impacts your overall health let’s look at the oral health dangers of using e-cigarettes.

vaping and dental health

The Oral Health Dangers of Vaping

Vaping can cause dental health issues, including but not limited to:

  • Dry Mouth or Vape Mouth: propylene glycol, one of the main ingredients in e-juice, pulls water from your saliva, causing your mouth, nose, and throat to feel dry and uncomfortable.
  • Bad Breath: nicotine, the key ingredient in e-juice, also inhibits your body’s natural ability to produce saliva, which makes it easier for bacteria to accumulate. This can result in bad breath and at times, tooth decay.
  • Tooth Decay: without the proper amount of saliva, your oral cavity is more likely to develop bacteria. When your mouth has excess bacteria, you increase your likelihood of developing cavities and tooth decay.
  • Gum Recession and Inflammation: nicotine not only limits saliva production, but it also restricts blood flow. This can result in gum recession, inflammation, and periodontitis.
  • Canker Sores: vaping damages the cell lining of your mouth, which makes you susceptible to mouth sores and a sore throat.

As you can see, vaping is also bad news for your teeth and gums.

Vaping is indeed the lesser of two evils. When it comes to smoking vs. vaping, vaping is a clear choice.

But, is vaping good for your teeth, gums and oral cavity?

While vaping may do less harm to your oral health than smoking tobacco does, it certainly has its drawbacks, and therefore, it should give you pause.

But, Does Vaping Stain Your Teeth?

Fortunately, vaping is less likely to stain your teeth because you are ingesting steam instead of tar. As a result, vaping your e-cigarette probably won’t cause yellow teeth the way smoking a conventional cigarette would.

That said, vaping can still ruin your teeth. Not only can this habit cause discomfort in your mouth, but it can lead to serious oral health complications like mouth sores, tooth decay, and gum disease.

So how can you keep your teeth and gums healthy?

The best way to ensure optimal oral health is to see your trusted Corpus Christi family dentist regularly.

Are YOU due for a dental visit?

visit your corpus christi dentist

Prevent Tooth Decay & Gum Disease From Happening To You

Schedule Your Visit With The Most Trusted Corpus Christi Dentist Now

If you smoke or vape regularly, your oral health care should be a top priority.

Smoking and vaping put you at risk of tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and more, which is why it’s so important to keep up with regular dental visits.

Want to find a dentist who won’t make you feel bad about your teeth?

At Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry, we will never chastise you for your lifestyle. You will always be greeted with a smile, and you can trust that we will take good care of your teeth.

Don’t wait. Make sure your teeth and gums are healthy today.

Click here to or call us now at 361-992-7631 to schedule your appointment with the best Corpus Christi dentist right now.

Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry is conveniently located near the major intersection of Everhart Road and S. Staples Street in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Six Not-So-Well-Known Natural Oral Home Remedies To Keep Your Teeth In Tip-Top Shape

Are you looking for new ways to improve your dental health naturally?

Luckily, there are many household super foods and ingredients you can use to strengthen your teeth and gums.

Get ready to discover how you can create a natural at-home dental care routine that actually works.

In this article you will learn…

  • Home remedies to improve your dental health
  • Natural ways to prevent gum disease and tooth decay
  • What to eat, drink, chew and take for optimal oral health

Are you ready to get your teeth healthy again, or do you simply want to add effective natural methods to your dental care routine?

Keep reading to discover 6 natural dental health secrets you may not know about yet.

#1. Wheatgrass For Dental Health

 Did you know a shot of wheatgrass can help you prevent cavities and gum disease?

Wheatgrass is a super-sprout packed with antibacterial properties that have the power to stop plaque in its tracks.

On top of that, this superfood has anti-inflammatory nutrients like chlorophyll that relieve swollen gums and fight against gingivitis and periodontal disease.

As a result, this little green plant is great for your oral health.

Do you want to add wheatgrass to your natural dental health care routine?

There are many ways for you to absorb the health benefits of wheatgrass: you can eat it, drink it, or take it as a supplement.

Here’s how to consume wheatgrass for dental health:

  • Drink it: You can take a wheatgrass shot or blend the raw plant into a green smoothie.
  • Eat it: It’s safe to eat raw wheatgrass, so feel free to eat this sprout just as it is.
  • Take it as a supplement: since it can have a strong taste, some people prefer to take wheatgrass as a supplement.

Did you know… wheatgrass is rich in vitamins A, C and E. As a result, it has health benefits that extend beyond your teeth and gums. Add wheatgrass to your diet for a great natural way to maintain optimal health.

little glasses of wheatgrass for dental health

#2. Dental Benefits Of Xylitol

Have you ever heard of a sweetener that is actually good for your teeth?

It’s called xylitol, and it’s a natural plant-based ingredient that actually helps your teeth rather than hurting them.

While it tastes like sugar, xylitol does not cause the same harm that sugar does.

On the contrary, this natural dental remedy helps keep your mouth bacteria-free. Unlike sugar, xylitol reduces acidity and neutralizes the pH level in your mouth.

When you keep your mouth alkaline instead of acidic, you are less likely to develop tooth decay.

Do you think you would benefit from a little xylitol?

Here are the best ways to use xylitol for dental health:

  • Brush with it: Brush your teeth with a xylitol toothpaste twice a day.
  • Chew it: Chew a dentist-recommended xylitol gum.
  • Eat it: Bake with xylitol as a replacement for sugar, or sprinkle some xylitol powder on top of your food.

When purchasing xylitol, remember that quality varies. Be sure to ask your trusted family dentist which xylitol gum and toothpaste they recommend for you.

Xyliot natural oral remedies

#3. Onion Benefits For Teeth

 Did you know that people have been eating onions for thousands of years?

It’s no secret that this popular prehistoric vegetable exists, but were you aware that onion is actually great for your teeth?

This grocery store staple contains sulfur, which is a powerful antibacterial ingredient. As a result, eating an onion can help you fight plaque and tartar.

So, what’s the catch?

You need to consume it raw to gain all its healing benefits.

Here’s how to use raw onion for your oral health:

  • Eat it: Consume onion raw in order to gain all the antibacterial properties it has to offer. Add flavor to your favorite meal and strengthen your teeth at the same time.
  • Apply it: When applied topically, onion relieves toothaches. You can gently rub raw onion on a sensitive tooth to reduce pain and inflammation.

Did you know… Onion is only a temporary treatment to a toothache. If you have pain in your mouth, be sure to see your Corpus Christi dentist as soon as possible.

dental home remedies - onion

#4. Ginger For Gum Health

Looking for a great all-in-one oral home remedy?

If you want to whiten your teeth and strengthen your gums at the same time, you might want to consider adding ginger to your at-home dental routine.

Ginger is a super-root that keeps your mouth clean and healthy.

With anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, ginger can help alleviate a toothache, reduce plaque buildup, and prevent against oral disease all at once.

How to add ginger to your natural dental health routine:

  • Chew it: Alleviate a toothache and reduce inflammation by chewing a small piece of fresh ginger.
  • Brew it: Enjoy ginger tea and gain all the healing benefits of raw ginger.

Want to learn more about how ginger keeps your teeth strong and healthy? Click here.

ginger oral home remedy

#5. Turmeric For Your Teeth

Similar to ginger, turmeric is a super-root that whitens teeth, fights bacteria buildup and calms inflammation.

With its strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial nature, turmeric can even help treat the symptoms of oral thrush.

What’s more, this superfood contains Curcumin, an ingredient that helps combat gum disease.

Are you ready to benefit from turmeric?

Here’s how to use turmeric for your teeth:

  • Rinse with it: Try a turmeric rinse to fight off bacteria that causes plaque and gingivitis.
  • Brush with it: Create a turmeric-based paste and apply it to your teeth and gums.

Special note: turmeric should not replace any medication you’re taking for oral thrush. Consult your dentist before using it as a treatment.

tumeric uses - teeth

#6. Tea Tree Oil For At Home Oral Care

Like most of the natural oral remedies on this list, tea tree oil offers a host of healing benefits.

Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is an essential oil that contains antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

What that means for you?

This dental health elixir can help reduce gum inflammation and protect you from developing gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Here’s how you can use it at home:

  • Brush with it: Fight gum disease by brushing with a tea tree oil gel twice a day.
  • Apply it: Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil and apply it directly to your gums.

Did you know… tea tree oil can even stop receding gums from progressing. This essential oil helps gums regenerate, thus preventing tooth loss.

Oral Home Remedies Are Not Enough To Protect Your Teeth

Visit Your Corpus Christi Dentist On A Regular Basis

Keep in mind that the oral home remedies found above should not replace brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly.

To maintain optimal oral health, you should see your Corpus Christi dentist every 6 to 12 months.

mother and daughter baby girl brushing teeth together

Schedule Your Corpus Christi Dental Appointment Now

Is it time for you to visit the dentist?

Trust your smile in the hands of Dr. Chang, the best Corpus Christi dentist in the area.

Click here or call 361-992-7631 to schedule your oral exam with Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry right now.

The Dangers Of An Abscessed Tooth: How To Avoid Getting a Dental Abscess Before It Starts

Are you at risk of developing a dental abscess?

A dental abscess, also known as an abscessed tooth, is a bacterial infection in which a pocket of pus fills inside the teeth or gums.

It is a common dental condition that affects the tooth’s pulp, which is the area of the tooth that stores all your sensitive nerves and blood vessels. It’s also the connection between your tooth and the rest of your body.

As a result, an abscessed tooth has the potential to cause you extreme pain and discomfort.

While there are ways for you to heal this infection, it can be very dangerous if left untreated.

In this informative article, you will learn…

  • Key dangers of an abscessed tooth
  • The two main types of dental abscesses
  • The signs and stages of an abscessed tooth
  • What causes an abscessed tooth to form
  • Habits that put you at risk of a dental abscess
  • Methods for you to treat your dental abscess
  • How to prevent an abscessed tooth from happening to you

And much more…

dental abscess managements

Are you suffering from an abscessed tooth, or do you want to prevent it from ever happening to you?

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about an abscessed tooth, including signs to look for, preventative methods and much, much more.

Key Dangers When You Suffer from an Abscessed Tooth

Though common, an abscessed tooth can be incredibly dangerous and scary when left untreated.

If the infection kills all the pulp in your tooth, you might lose the tooth in question. Depending on the severity of the infection, tooth extraction may be your only way to keep the infection from spreading.

But a dental abscess can get even more serious than that.

The infection can spread to other teeth. And it can even spread to other areas of the body like your jaw, neck, and brain.

If you have an untreated dental abscess, you’re also at risk of developing sepsis, which occurs when the infection enters the bloodstream.

At this stage of the infection, your life may be in jeopardy.

Don’t let your abscessed tooth come to this. Don’t let an abscessed tooth happen to you at all.

Keep reading to learn all about dental abscesses so you can prevent them from wreaking havoc on your dental health.

Two Main Types of Dental Abscesses

Periapical and periodontal abscesses are the two main types of this dental disorder.

  1. A periapical dental abscess occurs towards the tip of your tooth’s root.
  2. A periodontal dental abscess occurs in the bone next to your tooth.

abscess tooth infection spread symptoms - shows periodontal abscess and periapical abscessNow let’s take a look at warning signs and symptoms that may indicate you have an abscessed tooth.

Signs and Symptoms of an Abscessed Tooth

Are you suffering from any of these symptoms of an abscessed tooth?

Here’s what you should look out for:

  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Gum sensitivity
  • Foul taste in your mouth
  • A severe toothache and oral pain
  • Swelling in and around your mouth
  • Tooth sensitivity to temperature and pressure
  • Swollen lymph nodes around your jaw or neck

If you are experiencing any of the warning signs above, you might be suffering from an abscessed tooth. Don’t wait. Visit your trusted Corpus Christi dentist right now.

Did you know… you might not experience any symptoms from an abscessed tooth. See your family dentist to know for sure.

Now that you know the main signs of this dental infection, let’s talk about what causes a dental abscess and why it might happen to you.

Main Causes of an Abscessed Tooth

So, what causes an abscessed tooth? Read on to find out now.

Tooth decay is the most common cause of an abscessed tooth. You might also suffer from an abscessed tooth if you have periodontal disease or if you experienced a mouth-related injury.

  • Severe cavities and tooth decay — Many dental abscesses occur when a cavity is left untreated. The cavity spreads deeper into the tooth, allowing bacteria to enter through the dental pulp.
  • Periodontal disease — Also known as gum disease, this dental condition can put you at risk of developing an abscessed tooth.
  • Dental injuries — Mouth-related injuries like chipped or cracked teeth can expose you to an abscess.

Are you at risk of an abscess?

Keep reading to find out.

Two Main Risk factors for Dental Abscess

  1. A diet high in sugary foods — When you eat sugary foods, the sugar eats away at your teeth. This makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay and infection.
  1. Poor dental hygiene — If you fail to maintain an at-home dental health care routine, you run the risk of experiencing tooth decay. Be sure to brush and floss regularly.

Special reminder: you should brush your teeth 2-3 times per day and floss your teeth once daily.

Are you experiencing a dental abscess?

Read on to learn how you can treat it.

Dental Abscess Treatment Methods

Depending on the severity of your abscess, your dentist may recommend medication, an invasive procedure or both.

tooth abscess stages - dentist examining a patients teeth at the dental clinic

Here are your options for treating your dental abscess:

Dental procedures for a tooth abscess

  • Root canal therapy
  • Tooth extraction
  • Dental filling
  • Drainage

Medications you can take to treat a tooth abscess

  • Analgesics
  • Penicillin and other antibiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

Want to make sure an abscessed tooth never happens to you?

Keep reading to discover powerful preventative methods to keep your teeth healthy and thriving.

How to Prevent an Abscessed Tooth from Happening to You

Preventative dental care for an abscessed tooth

Want to keep your smile in good health?

Here’s what you can do to lower your risk of experiencing a painful, dangerous dental abscess:

  • Brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis
  • Maintain a healthy, low-sugar diet
  • Drink water that contains fluoride
  • Visit your trusted family dentist regularly

How long can a tooth infection go untreated - woman eating chocolate and tooth ache

Visit Your Corpus Christi Family Dentist Regularly

The Best Preventive Method For Dental Abscess

While an at-home dental health care routine is extremely important, it’s not enough to ensure optimal health for your smile.

You should visit your dentist on a regular basis to make sure your teeth and gums aren’t at risk of infection.

Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry is a Corpus Christi dental office you can trust.

Click here or call 361-992-7631 to schedule your appointment with the best Corpus Christi dentist right now.

Your Complete Teeth Brushing Guide: The Do’s And Don’ts Of Brushing Your Teeth

You’ve been brushing your teeth your whole life, but have you been brushing them the right way?

If you’re not brushing properly, you’re not protecting your teeth from cavities, gum disease, and other serious dental complications.

Improper teeth brushing can cause…

  • Cavities and tooth decay.
  • Gum damage and recession.
  • Periodontal disease and other oral diseases.

And much more.

Maybe you think you know everything you need to know about brushing your teeth. But we bet you don’t know at least one of the teeth brushing myths and tips we’re going to share with you.

In this comprehensive teeth brushing guide, you will learn…

  • Proper teeth brushing techniques
  • Teeth brushing myths debunked
  • 7 signs you’re brushing your teeth the wrong way
  • 6 signs you need to replace your toothbrush
  • The do’s and don’ts of brushing your teeth

And more.

Don’t wait any longer to give your smile the dental care it deserves.

Get ready to find out whether YOU are committing these teeth brushing don’ts.

But first, let’s look at how you can be sure to brush your teeth the right way starting right now.

Proper Teeth Brushing Techniques

Give Your Smile The Dental Care It Deserves

When you brush your teeth the right way, you give your smile all the attention it deserves.

Proper teeth brushing can result in…

  • Whiter teeth
  • Cleaner teeth
  • Healthier teeth and gums
  • Heightened self-confidence
  • An even happier, healthier YOU!

Don’t you want to make your smile the best it can be?

Check out the proper teeth brushing techniques below.

What You Need To Brush Your Teeth Properly:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental Floss
  • Your bathroom sink

Did you know… your teeth brushing tools matter! Be sure to ask your trusted family dentist about the best dental brands.

Technique #1: Brush Daily, 2-3 Times Per Day

Keeping your smile healthy means daily dedication. At Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry, we recommend brushing your teeth 2-3 times per day. It’s especially important to brush after eating sugary or acidic foods as these are major cavity culprits.

Technique #2: Floss Daily

Brushing your teeth is not enough. Your daily dental health care routine should include flossing. According to this Corpus Christi dental office, you should floss your teeth at least once per day.

The Great Debate: Should You Floss Before or After Brushing? The truth is… it doesn’t really matter, as long as you do a thorough job.

Technique #3: Brush On An Angle

If you’re brushing in long strokes from side to side or up and down, you’re not brushing the right way. To brush properly and avoid damaging your gums, brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle from your gumline. Keep brush strokes short – only as wide as a single tooth.

Now that you know the basics of brushing your teeth properly, it’s time to debunk common teeth brushing myths.

Teeth Brushing Myths Debunked

Did You Grow Up Believing Any of These Myths?

Myth #1: You Need To Brush Hard To Properly Clean Your Teeth

False! You can achieve the same results by brushing lightly. The same goes for toothbrush bristles. You don’t need hard bristles to brush well – soft bristles can do the same job. Plus, you won’t risk damaging your gums. Aggressive teeth brushing can cause gum recession and, in severe cases, tooth loss.

Myth #2: You Should Stop Flossing If Your Gums Bleed

Not true! In most cases, your gums bleed during flossing because you aren’t doing it often enough. Bleeding while flossing happens because the floss is reaching new places that your toothbrush can’t reach. You may have plaque build-up in that neglected area, which makes your gums swell and bleed.

Myth #3: Mouthwash Is A Perfect Substitute For Brushing Your Teeth

Absolutely not! Mouthwash can certainly assist in your oral health care routine, but it should not be used to replace brushing your teeth. Your toothbrush can remove stubborn food particles that mouthwash simply cannot. Ask your Corpus Christi family dentist if you should add mouthwash to your teeth brushing routine.

Have you been living by any of these myths?

Keep reading to find out sure-fire signs that you’re brushing your teeth the wrong way.

8 Signs You’re Brushing Your Teeth The Wrong Way

  1. You only pick up your toothbrush every so often
  2. Your gums bleed during flossing and/or brushing
  3. Your teeth feel gritty or grainy even after brushing
  4. You keep finding food particles in between your teeth
  5. Your breath is always sub-par no matter how often you brush
  6. You have stubborn stains on your teeth that are only getting worse
  7. Your dental health care routine lasts less than two minutes
  8. You don’t replace your toothbrush on a regular basis

Did you know… You should replace your toothbrush every 3 months.

How long has it been since you last replaced your toothbrush? Most dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush after 3 months of use. If you notice frayed bristles, be sure to replace your toothbrush right away.

Here are 5 signs you need to replace your toothbrush right now.

Replace your toothbrush if…

  1. You were recently sick
  2. Your toothbrush bristles are frayed
  3. Your toothbrush bristles make your gums bleed
  4. Your teeth don’t feel clean after brushing properly
  5. You’ve been using the same toothbrush for over 3 months

Now that you have a lot of knowledge on how to brush your teeth the right way, let’s tap into the do’s and don’ts of brushing your teeth.

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Brushing Your Teeth

Start Brushing The Right Way Right Now

Are you guilty of any of these teeth brushing don’ts? Read on to find out now.

Don’t: Brush in long strokes across multiple teeth.

Do: Brush in short strokes at a 45-degree angle from your gums.

Did you know… brushing in long strokes isn’t as efficient as brushing in short ones. Short brush strokes target teeth individually, which makes it easier for you to remove food buildup and prevent tooth decay.

Don’t: Apply extreme pressure when brushing.

Do: Apply gentle pressure when brushing.

Did you know… brushing with too much force can cause gum recession and enamel loss. You can brush your teeth just as well when you apply gentle pressure. The toothbrush bristles are powerful enough to get the job done without overdoing it.

Don’t: Use an old or frayed toothbrush.

Do:  Replace your toothbrush with a new one every 3-4 months.

Did you know… a frayed toothbrush is much less effective at removing stubborn food particles. When you neglect to replace your toothbrush, you put yourself at risk of developing plaque and tooth decay.

Don’t: Speed through your teeth brushing routine.

Do: Spend two full minutes brushing your teeth thoroughly.

Did you know… a proper teeth brushing session takes two minutes or more. This includes brushing, flossing and using mouthwash. Don’t rush the process.

Don’t: Skip the floss.

Do: Floss daily.

Did you know… flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth. Ask your Corpus Christi dentist about the best floss brands for you and your smile.

Don’t: Forget to brush before bed

Do: Brush at least twice per day

Did you know… most dentists recommend brushing 2-3 times per day depending on your diet and your oral health.

Don’t: Neglect your tongue

Do: Brush your tongue along with your teeth

Did you know… a white tongue is an unhealthy tongue. A clean tongue should look pink and hydrated. Be sure to remove bacteria by scraping or brushing your tongue during your dental health care routine.

Don’t: Keep your toothbrush close to the toilet

Do: Store your toothbrush a safe distance from the toilet

Did you know… microscopic bacteria can spray up to 10 feet when you flush the toilet. Keep your oral hygiene tools a safe distance away from the spray.

Don’t: Avoid the dentist for years.

Do: Visit your dentist every 6 to 12 months.

Did you know… this one might be the most important on this list. When you see your dentist on a regular basis, you are more likely to maintain a healthy smile for years to come.

Keep reading to find out why it’s vital to visit your dentist regularly.

Visit Your Corpus Christi Dentist Every 6 to 12 Months

Did you know your dentist can remove plaque and tartar that you can’t get to with your everyday teeth brushing tools?

When you visit the dentist regularly, you not only receive professional teeth cleaning, but you also make sure your teeth are healthy and thriving.

Plus, your Corpus Christi dentist can give you helpful tips to brush your teeth even more effectively. They can even recommend top dental products for you to use at home.

Find The Best Dentist In Corpus Christi Now

Are you looking for a reliable dentist in the Corpus Christi area?

Dr. Derek J Chang’s Family Dentistry is by far the best dental office in Corpus Christi, Texas.

From routine cleanings to professional teeth whitening and everything in between, the dental experts at Dr. Chang’s can help you.

Click here or call 361-992-7631 to schedule your dental appointment right now. 

Children’s Dental Health: Warning Signs Your Child Isn’t Brushing Their Teeth Regularly

Is your child brushing their teeth when you’re not looking?

If they aren’t brushing, do you know what signs to look for?

Dental health is important at every age. When children learn proper tooth brushing techniques at an early age, they are less likely to experience serious tooth-related problems in the future.

Plus, they will develop healthy dental habits to use throughout their entire life. Before long, their tooth brushing routine will come as naturally as riding a bike.

When your child brushes the right way, they will,

  • Maintain fresh breath.
  • Remove plaque and tartar.
  • Protect their teeth from tooth decay.
  • Reduce their chance of getting cavities.
  • Keep teeth and gums healthy for years to come.

And more.

Are you ready to find out if your child is brushing the right way?

In this article, you will find out six warning signs that your child is not following an effective dental health care routine.

Find out whether your kid is brushing their teeth right now…

6 Warning Signs That Your Child Isn’t Brushing Their Teeth

And What You Can Do To Get Them To Start Brushing Now

Cavities are a common problem

Is your family dentist always finding new cavities in your child’s mouth?

Cavities are the most common form of tooth decay, and tooth decay is a direct result of bad brushing habits.

If your child frequently gets new cavities or experiences pain in their mouth, this is a warning sign that they aren’t brushing properly or that they aren’t brushing at all.

While cavities are one of the less severe versions of tooth decay, they can quickly progress to more significant issues if left unaddressed. Don’t let your child’s bad brushing habits turn into a lifetime of dental problems.

The child-sized toothbrush is always dry

Do you know how long it takes for a toothbrush to thoroughly dry? Days.

If you’re finding that your child’s toothbrush is always dry, they probably aren’t brushing often enough.

A dry toothbrush translates into a less healthy mouth.

If your child is following a standard brushing procedure, you shouldn’t be finding a dry toothbrush in the bathroom. Check his or her toothbrush before bed and make sure it’s wet. This a clear indication that it was recently used.

You find food stuck in between your child’s teeth

When your child fails to brush and floss regularly, he or she creates visible buildup in the mouth. If you find food wedged in between their teeth, they probably aren’t brushing thoroughly if at all.

If this continues, stubborn food particles will transform into plaque and tartar, both of which can cause tooth decay and oral diseases.

Don’t let it come to that.

Sit down with your child and explain the importance of a healthy mouth and how to brush appropriately.

Your child’s tongue is always white

If you find that your child’s tongue is always white, they probably aren’t brushing correctly. Tongues turn white when bacteria and debris build on the surface.

As a rule of thumb, a clean tongue is a pink tongue.

Did you teach your child to brush their tongue as well as their teeth?

Brushing your tongue is just as important as brushing your teeth. It will help keep bad breath at bay. Plus, it minimizes your chances of tooth decay.

Your kid has bad breath

Do you ever notice a foul odor emanating from your child’s mouth?

If your kid has bad breath on a regular basis, they might not be brushing. Bad breath builds when oral health is left unattended. Often, it can become a sign of a much larger problem like tooth decay or periodontal disease.

Help your child achieve optimal oral health by keeping them on a regular teeth brushing schedule.

Are your child’s teeth squeaky clean?

The “squeak test” is real, and it works.

If your child brushes their teeth the right way, their teeth should be squeaky clean. Ask them to rub their finger across the tops of their teeth and listen for the squeak.

This could be a fun way for you to show your child what a clean mouth looks, feels and sounds like.

Teach Your Child How to Brush Their Teeth Properly

Maybe They’re Just Not Brushing Right

Did you teach your child how to brush their teeth properly?

As a reminder, you should brush your teeth 2-3 times per day. On top of that, you should floss daily. The same dental health rules apply to your child.

Even if your kid is brushing, maybe they’re not doing it right.

Every mouth deserves a full two minutes of teeth brushing. Make sure to emphasize the importance of brushing all areas of the mouth, including the tongue. Don’t let your child zip through this process.

You can even turn tooth brushing time into an interactive activity where you play music or provide a small reward for clean, glossy teeth.

Now that you know how to tell whether your child is brushing their teeth, isn’t it time to bring them in for a checkup with your family dentist?

Get the help of a dental professional now.

Bring Your Child To Your Corpus Christi Family Dentist Now

Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry Can Help You And Your Family!

Is your child due for professional teeth cleaning, or are they complaining of pain or discomfort in their mouth?

Don’t wait to address the problem. Bring your child to your trusted family dentist now.

Do you live in Corpus Christi? Are you looking for a family dentist?

Dr. Derek J Chang, DDS is the best Corpus Christi dentist in the area.

Corpus Christi Dr. Derek J Chang, DDS is accepting new patients like you

At this Corpus Christi dental office, we offer pediatric dental services as well as dental services for adults, seniors and your whole family.

Reach out to Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry to help you

  • Keep your child’s teeth in good health
  • Get teeth professionally examined and cleaned
  • Find new ways to make tooth brushing fun for your child

And so much more

Click here or call 361-992-7631 to schedule your next dental appointment right now.

Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry is located at the major intersection of Everhart Road and Staples Street in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Are you looking for more than a cleaning?

Check out what Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry can do for you and your family.

Advanced Dental Services Your Dental Health

  • Pediatric dentistry
  • Routine teeth cleanings
  • Cosmetic dentistry procedures
  • Sleep apnea and TMJ solutions
  • Caps, crowns, veneers and more
  • Professional teeth whitening
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Emergency dentistry
  • Tooth restoration

And much, much more!

Nothing But The Tooth: 7 Common Teeth Brushing Myths Busted

Are you taking care of your teeth the right way?

When it comes to dental care, there are many common misconceptions out there. Your entire life you have probably been told certain things about what’s bad for your teeth, how to brush them properly and much more.

Here are just a few examples of teeth brushing myths…

You should brush your teeth after every meal. Sugar will rot your teeth. Whitening your teeth might actually hurt them more than it helps.

But which of these myths are true and which are completely false?

In this article, you will find out the truth about 7 common teeth brushing myths you’ve probably been hearing your entire life. Plus, you will find out what to do instead. This way, you can ensure you are keeping your teeth healthy instead of accidentally harming them.

how to brush your teeth properly

Myth #1: Tooth Whitening Weakens Your Teeth

The verdict: false!

Are you afraid to whiten your teeth?

The common belief is that teeth whiteners will weaken your enamel. Enamel is the layer just underneath the tooth’s surface that gives teeth their smooth, glossy appearance.

While some teeth whiteners are better quality than others, there is no definitive proof that they actually weaken your enamel.

In fact, professional teeth whitening is very safe. If you are interested in professional teeth whitening, click here to learn more about this cosmetic dentistry procedure.

While teeth whitening does not weaken your enamel, you’ll be surprised by what does. Read myth #2 to find out now.

Myth #2: You Should Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal

The verdict: false!

Yes, it is important to brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis. But did you know there comes a point when you can brush your teeth too much?

Over-brushing is a real problem. Here’s why…

Your mouth is capable of self-cleaning. Between saliva and enamel, your mouth can naturally remove acidity and break down bad bacteria. When you brush too often, you neglect your body its ability to naturally clean your mouth.

In fact, over-brushing can actually lead to weakened enamel, which can be detrimental to your dental health.

So how often should you brush your teeth?

While you don’t need to brush your teeth after every meal, you should definitely brush them every day. For optimal dental health, most dentists recommend brushing two times per day.

how often should you brush your teeth

Myth #3: You Need a Hard Toothbrush to Clean Your Teeth Thoroughly

The verdict: false!

Have you heard this common dental myth?

Though hard bristle toothbrushes benefit some avid brushers, they can actually do more harm to your teeth than good.

In fact, soft bristle toothbrushes are better suited for children and anyone who has sensitive gums.

Since children’s mouths are still developing and they’re still learning the proper way to brush their teeth, don’t start them with a hard toothbrush. It can cause bleeding and discomfort if used the wrong way.

If you have sensitive gums or gum recession, a hard toothbrush can actually further aggravate the problem. Opt for a soft toothbrush, as it will still get the job done just fine.

hard or soft tooth brush

Myth #4: Everyone Needs to Get Their Wisdom Teeth Removed Eventually

The verdict: false!

Have you been told about the horrors of wisdom teeth removal?

Everyone goes through it, right?


Wisdom teeth, also known as your third molars, often grow in at the back of the mouth between the ages of 17 and 25. Most people have them removed if they cause pain, inflammation or discomfort. Your dentist can also tell by an X-ray whether this will occur later on in life.

But, the truth is…

Some people never need to get their wisdom teeth removed. If the teeth erupt without causing pain or crowding in your mouth, your dentist will probably leave them be. And some people’s wisdom teeth never grow in at all.

Let’s hope you’re one of the lucky ones.

oral hygiene routine healthy teeth

Myth #5: Too Much Sugar Will Rot Your Teeth

The verdict: false!

While sugar isn’t necessarily good for your teeth, it’s not the actual sugar itself that does the damage. The true issue is neglecting to brush regularly.

When left on your teeth for long periods of time, sugar becomes bad bacteria that build plaque. This can cause tooth decay and gum disease, to name a few dental problems.

The moral of the story?

Don’t outwardly blame sugar for your cavities. But be mindful when you eat it in heavy amounts and be sure to brush your teeth regularly. As a rule of thumb, dentists usually recommend brushing two times per day.

how often should you change your tooth brush

Myth #6: You Need to Avoid the Dentist if You’re Pregnant

The verdict: false!

This antiquated belief is simply untrue.

The myth that pregnant women should avoid the dentist stems from the notion that x-rays and pain medications can cause harm to the developing fetus. While this may be true, the mother-to-be can always opt out of undergoing x-rays or receiving pain medication.

In fact, research shows that local anesthetics are relatively safe for pregnant patients. That said, you should always let your dentist know if you’re expecting so they can make an informed decision about your dental care.

Pregnant or not, you should visit the dentist If you experience pain or inflammation in your mouth. This could be a sign of a more serious problem that could affect the mother and her baby.

Oral Health During Pregnancy

Myth #7: You Should See Your Dentist on a Regular Basis

The verdict: true!

While myths 1 through 6 are completely FALSE, this myth is 100 percent TRUE.

When you visit your dentist on a regular basis, you ensure that your teeth and mouth are in good health. Plus, your dentist will give you a thorough cleaning using professional tools and products. This cleaning will leave your teeth cleaner, whiter and healthier than your at-home routine.

If you suffer from periodontal disease, it’s especially important to receive professional teeth cleanings. This way, your dentist can get into all the tiny pockets and crevices that your toothbrush can’t reach.

So, how often should you see your dentist?

It depends on your oral health.

If your teeth are healthy, it’s typically recommended to visit the dentist every 6 to 12 months.

But if you are experiencing severe tooth decay, gum disease, or if you are at risk of a serious tooth-related condition like periodontal disease, your dentist will likely ask you to visit more often.

Are YOU due for your routine dental visit?

visit your corpus christi dentist

Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment Now

Is it time for your next dental appointment?

Look no further than Derek J. Chang, DDS, Family Dentistry located in Leander, Texas. This family-friendly dental office offers a broad range of dental services to help you keep your teeth healthy in the long run.

To schedule your next dental appointment now, call Derek J. Chang, DDS, Family Dentistry at (361) 992-7631.

Comprehensive Dental Services Available at Derek J. Chang, DDS, Family Dentistry

  • Regular teeth cleanings and checkups
  • Fillings, crowns, and bridges
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Wisdom teeth removal
  • Periodontal services
  • Root canal therapy
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Teeth whitening
  • Orthodontics

And much, much more!

Have a dental question? Call Derek J. Chang, DDS, Family Dentistry now at (361) 992-7631.

3 Main Stages of Periodontal Disease: Warning Signs, Preventative Methods and More

Do you know if you have gum disease?

Odds are you do.

In fact, 3 out of 4 people will get gum disease in their lifetime. The good news is most people only experience the disease in its most premature form.

While gum disease is reversible in its earliest stage, it can’t be cured once the infection spreads and the disease advances. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss, serious infection and even bone damage.

Since this condition is extremely common, it’s important to understand the warning signs and know what to do if you exhibit symptoms.

facts about gum disease

After reading this article, you will know…

  • What gum disease actually is.
  • The 3 main stages of gum disease.
  • Warning signs you should look for.
  • How you can prevent gum disease from happening to you.
  • How to treat gum disease and keep it from progressing.

And much more.

First, let’s take a look at what gum disease really is.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a common infection in the tissues that line the mouth, otherwise known as the gums. Since the gums support your teeth and keep them in place, gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss. When left untreated, it can also cause serious infection and bone damage.

Are you exhibiting signs of gum disease? Let’s find out. Read on to learn the 3 main stages of gum disease.

The 3 Main Stages of Gum Disease

As you now know, gum disease presents itself in 3 main stages. If left untreated, it gradually becomes more serious over time. Read on to find out how it forms, what it can progress to, and what could happen to you if you don’t treat it.

stages of periodontal disease

Gum Disease Stage #1: Gingivitis

The first and most common stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. You’ve probably heard of gingivitis before — it makes an appearance in almost every TV commercial for toothpaste.

But, what exactly is gingivitis and how does it affect you?

Gingivitis results when plaque builds up around the gums, causing inflammation. During this preliminary phase, gums swell and bleed.

If you are experiencing gingivitis, the good news for you is that it doesn’t have to be permanent. This is the only stage of gum disease that you can reverse. Sometimes all you need to do is practice proper oral care, which includes regular brushing and flossing.

At times, gingivitis presents itself subtly. It may not be painful or apparent to you at all. Because of this, it’s important to visit the dentist every 6-12 months to make sure your gums are in good health.

Gum Disease Stage #2: Periodontitis  

As gingivitis grows in severity, it advances to early periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, also known as periodontitis, is an infection in the mouth that threatens the gums, the jawbone, and other surrounding bones.

During this phase, even more, plaque accumulates. This causes gum recession, which puts your teeth at risk of falling out.

To accommodate all the plaque buildup, gums may even develop small pockets to store the bacteria. At this point, the surrounding bones in your mouth become jeopardized.

Damage at this stage is irreversible, but your dentist will give helpful tips to keep the disease from progressing even further.

periodontal dentist corpus
Periodontitis, Inflammation of Gums Periodontal Dental Loss. Infection Pulpitis with Plaque

Gum Disease Stage #3: Advanced Periodontal Disease

At the most serious phase of gum disease, you run the risk of losing your teeth and diminishing the bones and fibers that support them. This is often the most painful and uncomfortable stage of gum disease.

Advanced periodontal disease can result in…

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Severe toothaches
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • Bone loss

And more!

During this stage, the plaque pockets that formed underneath the gums increase in size. Gum recession grows in intensity. Teeth may become loose and fall out on their own.

People with advanced periodontal disease also report a persistent bad taste in their mouth along with pain while eating.

If you reach this stage of gum disease, you might need to have compromised teeth extracted. Reach out to your dentist to determine the best treatment plan for you.

Did you know… chronically bad breath could be a sign of advanced periodontal disease. See a dentist if you think your bad breath might be part of a bigger problem.

gum disease versus healthy gum

The Warning Signs of Gum Disease

So, how can you tell if you have gum disease?

Depending on the severity of the case, gum disease presents itself in different ways. If you have gingivitis, you’re probably experiencing some inflammation and occasional bleeding around the gumline.

If your case is more advanced, you could lose teeth or even bone mass.

But in many cases, gum disease is not painful, and you might not even know you have it. That’s why it’s important to know what to look for when checking your gums.

Look out for these warning signs…

  • Bad breath
  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding while brushing
  • Loose teeth or tooth loss
  • Pain in your teeth, gums and surrounding bones

Now that you know what to look for, let’s talk about how you can keep gum disease from affecting you and your teeth.

steps to prevent gum disease

How You Can Prevent Gum Disease from Happening To You

Whether you already have gum disease or if you just want to keep it from developing, prevention is possible. Remember you can even reverse gum disease if you catch it in its earliest stage.

To reverse it or keep it from developing, brush your teeth 2-3 times per day. For even more protection, it’s best to brush after eating foods in high sugar since these are the culprits that cause plaque. Also, remember to replace your toothbrush on a regular basis.

In addition to brushing, be sure to floss on a regular basis. This will further break down plaque, thus protecting your gums from buildup. Dentists usually recommend flossing once per day.

While at-home oral care is a great preventative method, it’s also extremely important to see a dentist on a regular basis. Dental professionals have special tools that get into the deep crevices your toothbrush can’t get to.

Depending on your teeth, it’s recommended to see a dental professional every 6-12 months.

During your visit, your dentist will evaluate your teeth, clean them thoroughly, and provide you with helpful pointers to keep them healthy for the years to come.

Stop Bleeding Gum Disease Before It’s Too Late

As a reminder, gum disease affects 75% of people. Even if you aren’t experiencing pain, you could still be suffering from gum disease.

Ready to protect your gums and keep your mouth healthy?

The dental experts at Dr. Derek J. Chang’s Family Dentistry will help you…

  • Eliminate harmful plaque around the gums
  • Keep early signs of gum disease from progressing
  • Maintain a vibrant smile free of infection and disease

And much, much more.

Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry serves Corpus Christi, Texas and the surrounding areas. Click here or call 361-992-7631 to schedule your next dental appointment right now.

Oral Cancer: Its Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Prevention

Oral cancer, also known as oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer, is a common disease that affects hundreds of thousands of people every year in the United States alone. Each year, over 450,000 people across the globe are diagnosed with the disease.

This serious oral disease primarily affects adults ranging in age from 40 to 60 years old, but anyone can develop symptoms of oral cancer.

While oral cancer isn’t necessarily difficult to treat or detect, it is unfortunate that most people don’t realize they have it until it’s too late. As a result, the death rate for this specific cancer is significantly high.

Are you at risk of developing oral cancer?

Certain lifestyle choices can heighten your risk of developing the disease. Keep reading to find out what they are.

reduce risk of oral cancer

Oral Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

While oral cancer can happen to anyone, there are definitely factors that increase your likelihood of contracting the disease.

If you smoke, drink or have unprotected sex, you’re at risk for oral cancer.

The main oral cancer risk factors involve drinking heavily, smoking cigarettes or tobacco, and contracting a common sexually transmitted disease known as human papillomavirus (HPV).

But, you don’t have to smoke, drink or have unprotected sex to get oral cancer.

On top of these risk factors, there are two genetic diseases that can drastically increase your susceptibility to oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Genetic Disorders That Can Cause Oral Cancer:

  • Fanconi anemia is a disorder caused by defective genes. It affects a person’s bone marrow and reduces the production of healthy blood cells. It also greatly increases the risk of developing cancer in the throat or mouth.
  • Dyskeratosis congenita is another genetic disorder that visibly affects the skin and nails. People with this condition may have irregular skin pigmentation or distorted nails. They’re also more likely to prematurely develop oral cancer.

But, the risk factors don’t stop there. Sun exposure and eating poorly can both put you at risk of oral cancer. And, gender is definitely a factor. Men are twice as likely to get oral cancer than women.

The good news is that being exposed to these risk factors doesn’t necessarily mean you will ever get oral cancer.

But, are you worried you might have it?

Read on to discover common symptoms associated with cancer of the mouth, tongue, and throat.

Common Symptoms of Oral Cancer


tongue cancer symptoms

Do you have chronic bad breath? This could be a warning sign of a much bigger problem. Sometimes bad breath is a key indicator that you may have oral cancer.

But there are many other symptoms that show up with the disease.

Here are some other symptoms commonly associated with oral cancer:

  • Excessive coughing
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Red or white patches on the tongue
  • Sores, lumps or ulcers in the mouth and throat
  • Pain in your ears, mouth, throat and around the face

And more.

Did you know… tongue cancer is a common type of oral cancer. In its early stages, oral cancer of the tongue may look like a canker sore. In later stages, patients often develop lesions and tumors.

Learn how your dentist can screen you for oral cancer, but first who should get screened. 

Who Should Get Screened for Oral Cancer? 

According to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, they recommend adults age 18 and older get tested for oral cancer once a year.

At one point it was much easier to identify the factors that would make someone more susceptible to oral cancer. Now as much as 40 percent of oral cancer patients have NONE of the traditional risk factors, such as: 

  • Previous history of oral cancer
  • 45 years of age or older
  • Heavy use of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Use of smokeless tobacco

What To Expect At Your Oral Cancer Screening

Most oral cancer patients find out when it’s already too late. If you’re concerned you may have it, don’t wait to visit your trusted dentist.

During your visit, your dentist can perform a screening to determine whether you show signs of oral cancer.

Here’s what your dentist will do through each step of your oral cancer screening.

8 step oral screening process

The 8-Step Oral Cancer Screening Process

Step 1) Look underneath your upper lip and inspect the gums and tissue

Step 2) Feel around your lip and check for any questionable spots

Step 3) Check your tongue for mucous, lesions and other warning signs

Step 4) Inspect the tissue behind the bottom lip and the surrounding gums

Step 5) Look at your bottom palate and test for softness

Step 6) Check your top palate and tonsils for any irregularities

Step 7) Inspect underneath the tongue and around the floor of the mouth

Step 8) Feel around the side of the tongue and look for warning spots

Note: Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry in Corpus Christi, Texas is known for their oral cancer expertise. At this dental office, you will get screened for oral cancer and find out how you can prevent it from progressing.

Oral Cancer Diagnosis & Stages of Oral Cancer

Like most cancers, oral cancer presents itself in different stages. When diagnosing oral cancer and its progression, doctors will first look at 3 main factors.

The 3 Main Factors of Your Oral Cancer Diagnosis

  1. Tumor — oncologists evaluate the size of the tumor, ulcer or mass
  2. Node — doctors check whether the cancer is present in the lymph nodes
  3. Metastasis — doctors determine whether cancer has spread to other parts or systems of the body

Once doctors look at these 3 things, then they give each a score of 0-4 or X. The lower the number, the slower the development of cancer. While 0 means there is no presence of cancer, X means data is inconclusive.

For late-stage oral tumors, the diagnosis is broken into 2 parts:

  1. T4a — the cancer is “moderately advanced,” meaning it has progressed and grown into other areas
  2. T4b — the cancer is “very advanced,” meaning it has not only grown into other areas, but it has also spread deeper into tissues and organs

An example of an early stage oral cancer diagnosis: T1 N0 M0

This means there is a small mass present (around 2 centimeters), but cancer hasn’t reached the lymph nodes, and it has not spread to other parts of the body.

An example of a late-stage oral cancer diagnosis: T4b N3 M1

This means the tumor is larger than 6 centimeters, and it is present in the lymph nodes. On top of that, the cancer is now affecting other parts of the body.

oral cancer diagnosis

Note: when your cancer reaches the later stages, your oncologist will likely recommend chemotherapy. Keep reading to discover other treatment methods commonly associated with oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Treatment Methods

Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor may recommend surgery, radiation or chemotherapy as a treatment method. Here’s a little more information about each oral cancer treatment method.

The 3 Main Medical Treatments for Oral Cancer

  • Surgery — In its early stages, before cancer spreads, doctors can surgically remove the affected area. Popular oral cancer surgeries include complete removal of the larynx (voice box), lymph nodes or a section of your tongue
  • Radiation — This treatment method uses x-rays and lasers to stop abnormal cells from metastasizing
  • Chemotherapy — In advanced cases, chemotherapy is performed to kill cancerous cells and prevent them from multiplying

Now that you know how to treat oral cancer, let’s take a look at oral cancer survival rates.

Oral Cancer Survival Rates

If you catch oral cancer in its early stages, you are likely to recover from it and continue to live your everyday life. On the other hand, if your oral cancer spreads to other parts of the body, your chance of survival diminishes considerably.

As you can see in the graph below, the 5-year survival rate for stages 1 and 2 is very high (83%) while it drastically lowers as cancer progresses to stages 3 (56%) and 4 (34%).

oral cancer survival rates

One of the main problems related to oral cancer is that cases often go undiagnosed until cancer progresses to stage 3 or 4.

Whether you think you may be experiencing oral cancer in its early or late stages, don’t wait to contact a medical professional. You can start by visiting your dentist.

If your dentist’s oral screening concludes you might have oral cancer, you will be referred to an otolaryngologist, otherwise known as an ear, nose and throat doctor. Your dentist may also recommend you visit an oncologist who specializes in cancer treatment and prevention.

Oral Cancer Prevention

The best way to prevent oral cancer from happening to you is to eliminate unhealthy lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking and having unprotected sex.

It’s also important to stay on top of your oral health. Brush and floss your teeth routinely, and visit your dentist on a regular basis. This way, you can ensure everything looks normal and healthy.

Schedule Your Oral Cancer Screening Now

Ready to gain peace of mind and find out whether what you’re experiencing is oral cancer?

The dental professionals at Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry can help.

Click here or call 361-992-7631 to schedule your dental visit now.

Located in Corpus Christi, Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry helps Texas patients maintain a healthy smile for years to come. Derek J. Chang, DDS, and his team of dentistry experts provide a clean and comfortable experience every time.

Dental services available at Dr. Chang’s Family Dentistry in Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Tooth cleaning
  • Tooth extraction
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Oral cancer screening
  • Sleep apnea and TMJ
  • Emergency dental services
  • Fillings, crowns and root canals

And much, much more

To schedule a dental appointment with your trusted Corpus Christi dentist, click here or call 361-992-7631 right now.

Oral Health Benefits of Ginger: How Ginger Can Help Strengthen Your Teeth & Gums

Did you know ginger does so much more than add zest to a dish?

Ginger is a healing root commonly used in Asian cuisine.

Ginger is an affordable, widely available ingredient that you can find in the produce section of your local grocery store.

With hints of capsaicin and other pepper-like seasonings, ginger naturally spices up any meal. It can even add a little something extra to your smoothies. All you need is a little bit of ginger for a whole lot of flavor.

oral health benefits ginger

Ginger’s Healing Properties

Ginger root is a nature-made treatment for your everyday health and wellness battles. Similar to its strong taste, you only need a fraction of the root to experience its powerful healing properties.

Ginger can literally make you feel better from the inside out. Its anti-inflammatory nature combined with its antibacterial properties make it a powerful remedy to many medicinal ailments.

Consuming fresh ginger regularly can help you fight bacterial infections, reduce swelling and improve overall health and well-being.

Health Benefits of Ginger

Here are just a handful of benefits….

  • Makes you feel better when you’re experiencing stomach pain
  • Improves digestion and reduces the persistence of nausea
  • Alleviates morning sickness and menstrual cramps
  • Reduces muscle pain, tension, and tenderness
  • Fights the flu and reduces flu-like symptoms
  • Lowers your risk of heart disease
  • Fights bacterial infections
  • Brightens your smile

And more!

Wait? Ginger can brighten my smile.


Ginger can – among other health benefits – brighten your smile. Ginger is a super-root, superfood, which can actually help whiten and strengthen your teeth and your gum line.

ginger toothache remedy

Ginger’s antibacterial properties keep plaque and bacterial buildup at bay. And, its anti-inflammatory features can make your next toothache a lot more tolerable. Some even say ginger can even reduce your risk of gingivitis, gum disease, and oral cancers.

Key Oral Health Benefits of Ginger

The oral health benefits of ginger are multifold. Ginger serves as a wonderful preventative method to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Also, it’s also a quick and easy treatment for many oral and dental issues.

Consuming ginger can help you…

  • Remove plaque.
  • Keep cavities away.
  • Strengthen your gum tissue.
  • Temporarily relieve toothaches and oral pain.
  • Prevent inflammatory oral diseases.
  • Reduce your risk of gingivitis and gum disease.
  • Protect you from serious oral infections, diseases, and cancers.

Ginger Can Help Fight Against Gingivitis and Gum Disease

ginger fights gum disease

Now you know ginger can protect you from serious oral health issues.

But, how exactly does it do this?

Ginger contains multiple active ingredients that stimulate health and healing in your mouth. The most notable are Raffinose and Gingerol.

Active Ingredient #1: Raffinose for Plaque Defense

Raffinose, one of the key active ingredients in ginger, helps prevent bacterial buildup around your teeth and gums.

This robust ingredient found in ginger fights sugar formation around the teeth, therefore keeping biofilm from developing. A biofilm is a stubborn form of bacteria that sticks to surfaces. It is the primary cause of plaque accumulation and can ultimately lead to cavities and overall decay.

The ingredient, Raffinose, further:

  • Relieves pain, swelling, and infections related to toothaches.
  • Reduces biofilm and other bacterial accumulation on teeth and gums.
  • Prevents inflammatory diseases like periodontal disease, which diminishes bone and tissue in your mouth.

And much, much more.

Active Ingredient #2: Gingerol for Fighting Infection

Gingerol is the main ingredient that gives ginger its spice.

But it doesn’t just create spice – it has the gusto to fight infections, kill bacteria and bring swelling to a minimum.

And, that’s not all…

Multiple scientific studies found ingesting Gingerol can be a successful way to fight various cancers.

In fact, this super ingredient actually stopped cancerous cells from metastasizing. The same ingredient that adds spice to your meals can possibly also stop cancer from spreading.

How to Consume Ginger for Your Oral Health

Ready to experience all the oral healing benefits of ginger? Here’s how you can consume it for optimal results.

Ginger in the Raw

To get the most out of ginger’s healing properties, be sure to consume it fresh and raw. Like most vegetables, roots, and herbs, ginger loses some of its vitamins and nutrients when cooked or processed.

For instance, the level of Gingerol found in cooked ginger is significantly lower than the amount found in fresh ginger. While you can consume it cooked or dried, you miss out on all the cancer-fighting benefits of the root.

When you consume fresh ginger, you truly absorb all the healing benefits of the root.

Ginger Tea Recipe

One of the most popular ways to consume raw ginger is by brewing a ginger tea.

Here’s the recipe:

  1.  Take a small slice of ginger and hot water.
  2.  Cut a thin slice from the root and remove the outside skin.
  3.  Place the piece of ginger in your favorite mug.
  4.  Then, pour hot water over the ginger slice.
  5.  Add any additional flavors and enjoy.

Your healthier teeth will thank you.


Chewing Ginger

If you’ve ever experienced a toothache, you’ll want to read this.

All you need to reduce the pain is a small slice of fresh ginger. Bite down on the ginger slice nearby the affected tooth.

Allow the ginger juice to swish around your mouth, coating the tooth in question. To get the most out of this method, continue chewing for about 5 minutes. It’s okay if you swallow the excess ginger. You should start to feel relief as soon as just a few minutes later.

Add Fresh Ginger to Your Meals

If ginger isn’t your favorite flavor, you can add it to your food for a more subtle experience.

Ginger goes well in stir-fry, soups, and smoothies. If you incorporate ginger into your meals on a regular basis, you will begin to prevent toothaches and oral health issues before they start.

Add Powdered Ginger to Your Meals

If fresh ginger just doesn’t do it for you, you can try adding powdered ginger to your meals.

While powdered ginger lacks some powerful ingredients, you will still get many of its healing benefits.

Ginger is NOT an Alternative to Professional Oral Care

Ginger is in no way an alternative to professional oral care.

Ginger should only be used as a holistic method in conjunction with professional care.

You should never use ginger to replace medicine you’re currently prescribed. If you are still experiencing serious pain after trying ginger-related treatments, be sure to visit your dentist or oral healthcare provider.

Find an Oral Care Professional In Corpus Christi

In need of a dentist to further discuss your oral health?

Dr. Derek Chang and his team of dental care professionals in Corpus Christi can help you get all your questions answered.

It’s by far the best dental office in Corpus Christi, Texas and coastal areas. Call now 361-992-7631 or click here to schedule your appointment now.

Corpus Christi dental care


Here’s How Astronauts Clean Their Teeth In Outer Space!

Here’s How Astronauts Clean Their Teeth In Outer Space!

Becoming an astronaut: it’s a childhood dream for many, but only a handful of the very best and brightest ever make it into space. At any given time, there are less than a dozen people in Space.

However, once you’ve made it out of the stratosphere, that’s not the end of the story.

Up in Space, astronauts have to live just like the rest of us. The only difference is that they don’t have gravity to fall back on.

Since everything is literally turned on its head while you are floating about, even the tiniest of everyday tasks become a challenge that needs to be solved.

Astronauts need to stay clean, but how they go about that is a lot different to the way we do things here on Earth. Even brushing your teeth in space is turned into an incredibly precise process- so let’s take a look at how astronauts do it!

The first thing that they need to think about is water. When you’re up in space, you cannot just turn on a faucet, since the water droplets would fly everywhere.

Moreover, every resource is incredibly valuable when inside a space station, and water is the essential commodity for survival after air.

For that reason, every drop of water is treated like solid gold, and none of it is wasted.

Astronauts get around the problem of zero-gravity by drinking water from bags with a straw. They have to carefully use a sip of this water to moisten their toothbrush, and then suck up any excess to stop the drops floating away.

Just like that episode of The Simpsons, any floating debris could “clog the instruments,” so it’s vital that the astronauts don’t leave water floating about around them. It might only take you a second to moisten your toothbrush here on Earth, but you can’t accept anything for granted when you’re up in space!

As for the toothbrushes themselves, we’re sad to say that there’s no such thing as a space-age toothbrush- even outer space adventurers use the same sort of toothbrushes as you or I do. The toothpaste tube is a different matter, altogether.

You couldn’t just leave the cap on the sink while you squirt the paste onto your brush since it would just float away, and you’d have to chase after it. Instead, only toothpaste tubes with an attached cap are allowed in space. While astronauts are free to choose their preferred brand of toothpaste, NASA has created their own, foamless blend that’s easier to ingest, and which produces less waste. It has the imaginative name “NASAdent,” and most astronauts choose this option because it helps them to keep their water consumption down.

Once they’ve finally got the toothpaste onto their brush and captured any stray drops of water, astronauts then brush their teeth, as usual, making sure to clean the whole surface of their teeth. They then take a sip of water to wash the pastedown, rinse off their brushes with one more sip and then suck the water up off them.

Their toothbrush is then stored carefully in their hygiene kits, ready for next time. So next time you go to brush your teeth, be thankful you have a more comfortable job of it than them- now there’s no excuse not to keep your teeth nice and clean!