Saliva Test May Diagnose Early Oral Cancer

oral cancerScientists at UCLA’s School of Dentistry are leading the charge in developing a simple saliva test to detect and diagnose early stage oral cancer as well as diabetes.

Using genomes and bioinformatics, the researchers analyzed millions of genetic sequences and found that saliva contains many of the same disease-revealing molecules that are found in blood.

Researchers hope to identify and define molecular markers in saliva so that early diagnoses can be made on oral cancer and other diseases like type 2 diabetes, pancreatic and gastric cancers.

“If you don’t look in saliva, you may miss important indicators of disease,” says Senior study author David Wong, DMD, DMSc. “There seems to be treasure in saliva, which will surprise people.”

Scientists predict that dentists will one day be able to take saliva samples to analyze for diseases. They also say that this research could lead to the development of self-diagnostic devises, such as wearable gear that informs you whether you have a disease even BEFORE you have any symptoms.

Stay tuned as clearly monumental changes could be imminent for cancer diagnoses.

Is time for a dental checkup? Call THE SCIENCE OF SMILES – (626) 795-0221

Posted in Dental Health News | Leave a comment

Oral Problems Persist Among Women of Childbearing Age

oral problemsResearchers have found that oral conditions – such as cavities and gum disease – are extremely prevalent in women of childbearing age.

In their study, researchers looked at the oral health histories of nearly 9-hundred pregnant women and almost 4-thousand women of childbearing age who were not pregnant. Regardless of whether they were pregnant, the researchers found disparities in oral health and use of dental services among women in this age group.

The percentage of women who reported having very good oral health was much higher among older pregnant women than younger pregnant women. This suggests that older pregnant women are more aware of their oral health needs and seek out dental care.

The scientists also said that young pregnant women, specifically those who are non-Hispanic black or Mexican-American, as well as those with lower income and less education, need to improve their oral care.

It is extremely important that you maintain proper oral care in the months leading up and during pregnancy.  Expectant woman are prone to gum and other oral problems – such as recession, bleeding, or swelling.

There is also what’s commonly known as “pregnancy gingivitis“– which can begin as early as the second month and peak around the eighth month. The symptoms are the same as those for regular gingivitis, but the causes are different. During pregnancy, the level of progesterone in your body can be 10-times higher than normal. This may enhance growth of bacteria that can cause gingivitis. Also, your immune system may work differently during pregnancy, changing the way your body reacts to the bacteria-causing gingivitis.

Schedule a Dental Checkup Today! Call THE SCIENCE OF SMILES – (626) 795-0221

Posted in Women Oral Health | Leave a comment

How Badly Do You Snore? Take This Test to Find Out!


Snoring is a common complaint people have about their partners. There’s no doubt – it’s disruptive! But, a constant loud snore can also be a sign of sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea affects the way you breathe when you’re sleeping. In untreated sleep apnea, breathing is briefly interrupted or becomes very shallow during sleep. These breathing pauses typically last between 10 to 20 seconds and can occur up to hundreds of times a night.

Is it Snoring or Sleep Apnea?

Not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, but it’s difficult to tell between garden variety snoring and a serious case of sleep apnea.

The biggest sign is how you feel during the day. Normal snoring – which could be caused by the position you’re sleeping in – generally does not interfere with the quality of sleep. Sleep apnea, however, will leave you feeling extremely sluggish.

Ask yourself these questions to determine whether or not you may have sleep apnea.

  • Are you a loud and/or regular snorer?
  • Have you ever been observed to gasp or stop breathing during sleep?
  • Do you feel tired or groggy when you wake up?
  • Are you often tired during the day?
  • Do you fall asleep sitting, reading, watching TV or driving?
  • Do you often have problems with memory or concentration?

According the American Sleep Apnea Association, if you have one or more of these symptoms, you are at higher risk for having obstructive sleep apnea.

Treatment for sleep apnea is critical – and thankfully simple! I treat patients who have obstructive sleep apnea with an oral device called SomnoDent MAS.

The custom made device is designed to hold the lower jaw (mandible) forward during sleep. This tightens the muscles of the upper airway to allow easier breathing. It does not impinge on your tongue and fits completely inside your mouth. You can even talk and drink with the device in position!

The SomnoDent MAS is extremely effective in treating sleep apnea. Contact THE SCIENCE OF SMILES to find out more information!

Get Treated for Sleep Apnea! Call THE SCIENCE OF SMILES – (626) 795-0221

Posted in Dental Technology and Science | Leave a comment