Oral cancer signs & screening

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Therefore, it’s important to know the risks, signs, and symptoms of various types of cancers and how you can protect yourself. As always, it’s important to check for any abnormalities and changes in your oral health and see a dentist for a medical diagnosis.

Risk factors for oral cancer

There are many factors that can put you at risk for developing oral cancer. For example:

Warning signs & symptoms

Oral cancer can appear in a variety of forms and locations in or around the mouth. For instance, cancer can develop on your lips, cheek lining, gums, on and under the tongue, and at the roof of the mouth.

Be aware of the following symptoms that can appear and visit your dentist if it’s not resolved within two weeks.

What does a cancer screening entail?

The screening procedure for oral cancer at Reflection Ridge Dental is a fast and non-invasive exam. Your dentist will examine your mouth and tongue and will feel around for any lumps. Then, our dental team will proceed with your routine cleaning and address any questions you have about your oral health.

Preventative dental services by Reflection Ridge Dental

If you are concerned about your risk for developing cancer, or if you need a screening or other preventative dental services, we invite you to book an appointment with us. A new patient appointment includes x-rays, screening for diseases, and a cleaning.

Gum Recession

Gum recession happens when gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away and exposes more of the tooth. In some cases, receding gums can lead to exposure of the tooth’s root. As a result, gaps can form between the teeth and gum line which creates a space for bacteria to harbor.

If left untreated, the tissue, tooth, and bone can sustain serious damage which can lead to disease and tooth loss.

Causes of receeding gums

Gum recession is a fairly common dental problem—most people are unaware they have receding gums because it occurs over time.

Treatment for receding gums

While gum tissue does not grow back, there are professional treatment options and preventative steps you can take. Mild gum recession can be treated by your dentist with a thorough exam and deep clean. During this appointment, your dentist will remove plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth.

In more serious cases, surgery for your recession may be necessary. This treatment can include bone regeneration, tissue graft, or gum graft to address the issue.

Prevent receding gums with proper oral care

The best way to prevent receding gums is to visit your dentist twice yearly for routine exams and cleanings. At your appointment, your dentist can easily identify early signs of gum disease. In addition, exercising smart oral health habits can prevent gum problems from developing.

Contact your dental provider for treatment

If you notice signs of your gums receeding, you should act quickly to address the problem. Contact your dental office for an immediate appointment to prevent further damage from spreading.

Foods for a healthy mouth

Maintaining your oral health entails much more than flossing, brushing, and visiting your dentist on a regular basis. However, a healthy and well-balanced diet also plays an important role in your oral health. In some cases, a well-balanced diet can help prevent tooth decay from forming and gum disease from developing.

Whether you’re starting a new year’s resolution or making changes to your existing diet, this list is a great resource!

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are both high in fiber, vitamins, and nutrients that are good for you. Moreover, fruits and veggies have high water content which provides additional hydration. Produce like cucumbers, celery, broccoli, apples, and carrots are crunchy and can clean or remove particles from your teeth. Additionally, fruits and vegetables help produce saliva to protect your teeth from decay. Vitamins and nutrients found in produce are essential to healthy gums, which can also help restore tooth enamel.

Calcium-rich foods

Foods high in calcium are a staple for your oral health. Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt are rich in calcium and phosphate work to help build enamel and strengthen the teeth with essential minerals.


Protein is what keeps us satisfied—but did you know that it’s also a great source of phosphorus? Look to lean meats, fish, and eggs for protein-packed food sources.

Whole grains and nuts

Not only are whole grains and nuts heart-healthy, but they also offer benefits to your oral health. For instance, they are loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that work to protect your mouth and keep it healthy. Vitamins like magnesium and vitamins B and E can help protect against cavities, build strong enamel, and fight gum disease and inflammation.

Schedule your routine checkup

What we choose to consume has a direct impact on our bodies and oral health. Following a well-balanced diet along with visiting your dentist for regular checkups can help keep your smile healthy and happy. Contact us today to schedule a routine dental checkup at our West Wichita office!

Overcoming Your Dental Anxiety

Do you fear going to the dentist? You’re not alone. Dental anxiety is an extremely common condition to experience—and is a serious situation.

Signs of dental anxiety

Those who fear going to the dentist tend to avoid dental visits at all costs. In some cases, patients who suffer from dental phobia may only go when forced to or while experiencing extreme pain.

If you commonly experience any of the following, you might have a dental phobia.

Dental phobias can be caused by:

Coping with dental anxiety

The first step in addressing your fears is to identify that you have a phobia. The next most important measure you can take is to discuss your anxieties with your dentist. Once we are aware of your fear, we will take every necessary step to help you feel more comfortable and less anxious about your visits.

Our approach to individualized care includes a treatment plan unique to your needs without skimping on exceptional dental care. We will walk you through each step of your appointment to help you prepare for what to expect.

Caring for your dental health

At Reflection Ridge Dental, our goal is to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to each of our patients. If you are experiencing dental anxiety, talk with our dental team about your reservations and how we can help ease your tensions. We provide an array of dental services to residents in the Wichita area, including cosmetic dentistry, restorations, laser decay removal, and more.

Call our office at (316) 721-2024 to schedule a new patient consultation today. We look forward to meeting you!

How to Perfect Your Flossing Routine

Flossing is an important habit to incorporate into your everyday oral hygiene routine. Moreover, flossing keeps your gums and teeth clear of debris and bacteria. If flossing isn’t part of your everyday dental routine, it can lead to the development of plaque and other dental issues and diseases.

As a general rule of thumb, the American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once per day and brushing twice per day. Incorporating flossing into your daily routine is not only good for your teeth, gums, and oral health, but also for your overall health.

3 steps to achieve proper flossing

  1. First, wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers, leaving a couple inches of floss to work with.
  2. Second, hold the floss taut between your thumbs and index fingers, sliding it between your teeth gently.
  3. Lastly, curve the floss around each tooth and be sure to reach your gum line.

What type of floss should I use?

Excellent oral hygiene goes beyond brushing your teeth twice a day. Additionally, it involves flossing properly to reduce the likelihood of developing tooth decay and gum disease.

Book your next appointment with our team

Talk with your dentist about your dental hygiene routine and oral care products that are most effective for you. At Reflection Ridge Dental, we personalize appointments based on each patient’s needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Oral Care for Sensitive Teeth

Do you suffer from tooth sensitivities? You’re not alone. One in eight adults are living with sensitive teeth. Tooth pain can be an early warning sign of more significant dental health problems. As a result, if your dental issues are not addressed and treated properly, your oral health may decline.

What causes sensitive teeth?

Tooth pain and sensitivity happens due to enamel wearing away. Moreover, when the enamel is worn down, a tooth’s dentine is exposed. When there is little to no enamel left to protect your teeth, you may experience sensitivity.

Culprits of tooth sensitivity include dental erosion, gum disease or recession, at-home tooth whitening kits, teeth grinding, and cracked or broken teeth.

What are the symptoms of tooth sensitivity?

Symptoms of sensitive teeth can range from minor pain to severe discomfort. Tooth sensitivity is often triggered by hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks. If left untreated, you could experience more serious oral health problems later in life.

How can I protect my teeth?

As always, you should consult with your dentist if you’re experiencing tooth pain, aches, or general sensitivity. To protect your teeth at home, we suggest brushing twice a day with a dentist-approved toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. In addition, you should avoid consuming sugary and acidic foods and drinks in excess as these can cause oral health issues and rigorous dental work.

Seek dental advice

If you continue to experience tooth pain and sensitivity, we strongly recommend you to schedule an appointment with your dentist for specialized care for sensitive teeth. There are a variety of culprits that may cause your tooth sensitivity. However, our dental team is equipped to identify, diagnose, and treat you with proper care. Learn more about our team of knowledgeable dentists and hygienists.