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    What You Need To Know About Oral Cancer

    Lafayette oral cancer screening

    During routine dental examinations, your dentist may look for signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer refers to cancers in the tongue, mouth, lips, jaw, and throat. Many Lafayette dental patients don’t realize the seriousness of oral cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 39,000 people will get oral cancer this year.1

    Consider this sobering news from the Oral Cancer Foundation:
    “The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma).”2

    When your dentist performs an oral cancer screening during your dental examination, he/she will look for red or white spots, bleeding, lumps, difficulty swallowing, loose teeth, any color changes, and mouth sores. Is is essential to tell your dentist if your bite has changed, if you have sores that won’t heal, and prolonged hoarseness. An earache in only one ear can also be an indicator.

    The existence of any of these symptoms does not mean you have oral cancer, as they can be caused by any number of other conditions. However, if your dentist does discover something unusual, he/she may order additional tests or refer you to a medical doctor for further diagnosis and treatment if necessary.

    It’s probably no surprise that the main risk factor for oral cancer is tobacco use. This includes all forms, not just cigarettes. Those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol are also more likely to contract this deadly cancer. People with HPV, a sexually-transmitted virus, have a higher risk and prolonged sun exposure to lips makes lip cancer more likely. All of these previously mentioned factors are lifestyle-related and, to a great extent, preventable. People who don’t use tobacco or drink heavily are statistically far less likely to get oral cancer and a host of other health problems.

    For more information about oral cancer screening, contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry at 720-862-3630. If you are looking for an experienced dentist who provides comprehensive general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gordon West. Dr. West has been serving the Lafayette area since 1998.

    1“Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer,” The American Cancer Society, January 6, 2015, http://www.cancer.org/cancer/oralcavityandoropharyngealcancer/detailedguide/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer-key-statistics, accessed on January 9, 2015.

    2“Oral Cancer Facts,” http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/, accessed on January 9, 2015

     

    Contact Gordon West DDS – Aesthetic & General Dentistry:

    720-862-3630

    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
    Lafayette, Colorado
    80026

     


    Affordable One-Visit Tooth Fix

    affordable fix for chipped tooth Boulder

    Some Boulder people are unhappy with the way their teeth look but many mistakenly assume that cosmetic dentistry is far too expensive to pursue.

    Sure, a complete mouth reconstruction can be a steep investment. Consider the cost of dental school and post-graduate training for a master level cosmetic dentist. Consider the expense of individually creating multiple restorations at a high-tech dental lab. Consider the cost of setting up and maintaining a full-service dental practice or laboratory.

    Before you give up on improving your smile, however, look at a less celebrated but extremely effective and affordable cosmetic dental remedy: dental bonding.

    Dental bonding has a wide range of applications for unattractive teeth. Bonding can repair a tooth that is damaged, chipped, short, or discolored. It can can also repair teeth that have gaps in between them.

    How does the dental bonding procedure work?

    First, your tooth will be slightly (but painlessly) roughed up to help the resin adhere. Your dentist will use a shade guide to confirm the precise color of composite to match the existing teeth. Your dentist will apply liquid composite resin on the tooth, layer by layer. He or she will carefully shape and polish it before it hardens.The tooth is then covered with a conditioning liquid that helps with adhesion.

    Once the resin is bonded, it is further molded to the specific shape for your bite and appearance. A laser helps promptly bond the resin in place as it hardens. Further shaping and polishing, if needed, complete the procedure. The result is a beautiful smile.

    Bonding is a simple and cost-effective method for perfecting your smile. Call today at to set up an appointment at 720-862-3630.

    We invite you to meet the awesome team at Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Lafayette. We are proud of our distinguished reputation for critical personalized attention and first-rate care. Our state-of-the-art dental care in a comfortable environment team can answer any questions you have about our top services: sedation dentistry, prepless veneers, and dental crowns.

    We are now accepting new patients and look forward to meeting you.

     

    Contact Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry:

    720-862-3630

    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    1140 W South Boulder Rd, Ste 201
    Lafayette, Colorado
    80026

     


    Take 5: Straight Talk About Braces

    invisible braces Lafayette

    Having braces in Lafayette uncovers unique concerns.

    Hello, I’m Dr. Gordon West at Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry. I support healthy oral hygiene and regular, consistent check-ups. Hygiene for braces is a bit different.

    Here are five important concerns to keep in mind with braces:

    1. Be Careful What You Eat

    Sweets and extra food stuck in hard-to-notice spaces may lead to plaque and yellowing around the appliances in your mouth. Avoid sweets, juices, sodas, anything that will stain your teeth. Also, sticky things like gum and caramel can break the equipment in your mouth.

    2. Consider a Mouthguard

    Sports are the center of life for many Lafayette families. We’re an active community. I love that. A quality mouthguard provides important protection for both your teeth and braces.

    3. Take Time for Gum Health
    Maintaining healthy gums requires deliberate brushing and flossing. In the past, two minutes of quality brushing was acceptable. Braces are trickier to clean. What’s another minute to make sure every nook and cranny is taken care of?

    4. Check the Mirrors
    Humans are exceptional at noticing flaws. Check your smile often in a mirror to keep your braces free of obvious food particles.

    5. Smile with Confidence
    At first, people will notice the change in your smile. But if you’re relaxed about your new braces, soon your friends will simply look past them without even noticing.

    Thanks for visiting my blog today, hope it helps.

    I’ve been treating patients in Boulder, Louisville, Broomfield and beyond since 1998. You name it – dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, porcelain veneers – we do it.

    I’ve got the expertise, experience, tools, and team you need to maintain a healthy smile. I deal daily with Invisalign clear braces, prepless veneers, dental crowns, teeth whitening, and sedation dentistry. The cost of a smile makeover, cosmetic dentistry, and celebrity-caliber teeth may be more affordable than you think.

    Meet with me today and we can go over the possibilities and easy options to meet your needs. Can’t wait to see you!

     

     

    Contact Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry:

    720-862-3630

    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    1140 W South Boulder Rd, Ste 201
    Lafayette, Colorado
    80026

     


    Dental Questions? We Have Answers.

    Broomfield cosmetic dental and tooth implants

    Hello Lafayette! My name is Dr. Gordon West. My dental practice, Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry, has been serving the Lafayette area since 1998.

    If you have questions about oral health, cosmetic dentistry, preventative dentistry, children’s dental sealants, tooth implants, oral sedation, safe teeth whitening, or invisible braces, come to Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry for answers.

    My state-of-the-art dental care in a comfortable environment staff has helped me create an atmosphere of active listening. We enjoy getting to know our patients and determining each patient’s unique needs. We want to understand your dental goals and challenges and help you understand the hows and whys of recommended treatment.

    We are currently accepting new patients. If you are seeking a friendly children’s dentist or cosmetic dentist in Lafayette, we invite you to come in and meet our state-of-the-art dental care in a comfortable environment team.

    Many of our new dental patients ask us about cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening, smile makeovers and dental implants. We would love to talk to you about these procedures as well as our other dental services.

    If you have small children, it is important for you to make decisions about protective sealants and fluoride supplements. If you have older children, it is useful to discuss braces, sports mouthguards, and dental caries prevention. If you are not happy with your smile, we would like to introduce you to the latest in cosmetic dentistry. If you are missing teeth, dental implants may be the ideal solution. If you have a family member with a chronic illness, we can counsel you about the impact their condition has on oral health. Oral cancer screenings are important for patients of all ages.

    Thank you for visiting our dental blog and taking the time to learn more about Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry. Call today to schedule a consultation.

    Center for Advanced Dental Care

     

    Contact Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry:

    720-862-3630

    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
    Lafayette, Colorado
    80026

     


    Helping Teeth Survive Adolescence

    adolescent dental health Lafayette

    If you are the parent of a daughter or son, you may already have some concerns about your child’s well-being. As young men and women progress toward complete independence, some make questionable choices when it comes to health.

    You may know Lafayette teens that skip meals and others that eat ramen noodles for lunch and dinner. Some teenagers spend more hours on Instagram than sleeping. Braces can hinder proper brushing. Eating disorders such as bulimia can quickly erode enamel and damage a smile.

    Dental problems manifesting in the adolescent years can impact teeth for life. Let’s explore some vital dental issues for adolescents.

    Wisdom Teeth
    The third molars usually appear between late adolescence and the mid-twenties. Common wisdom teeth problems include bite misalignment, cavities, gum disease, and damage to the nearby teeth. It is important to monitor wisdom teeth and follow the guidance of your dentist.

    Eating Disorders
    Parents who notice their daughter or son abnormally preoccupied with body image and weight loss should be on the lookout for bulimia and anorexia. These serious disorders should not be ignored. Parents are advised to seek treatment immediately if they discover that their teen is binging and purging or intentionally restricting food.

    Oral Health and Orthodontia
    Braces can make proper brushing difficult. Toothbrushes and flossing devices that squirt water can help adolescents with braces clean their teeth and gums.

    Sugar-Heavy Diet
    If you visit any Colorado high school during lunch hour, you will see that sugar-laden soda, juice, and energy drinks are becoming a beverage staple. (Perhaps we adults are setting a bad example.) While juice is definitely the healthiest choice of the three, heavy juice consumption can impair enamel just as effectively as a can of Coke. Water is the best drink for teeth as well as calcium-rich milk, which leads us to our next section.

    Inadequate Calcium Intake
    Some youth who drank milk daily as kids curtail their consumption when they start eating meals away from home. This is unfortunate because calcium is just as vital for adolescents as it is for younger children. For strong teeth and bones, encourage your teen to enjoy low-fat dairy products daily.

    Sports Injuries
    Athletics benefit adolescents in a number of ways but, unfortunately, also pose a threat to teeth. Make sure your teen wears a protective custom mouthguard when participating in any activity where a mouth injury can occur.

    We encourage Lafayette parents to be vigilant about twice-yearly dental exams and cleanings for their teens. Many oral issues arise unnoticed. To schedule a comprehensive examination and cleaning, call Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry at 720-862-3630.

     

    Contact Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry:

    720-862-3630

    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    1140 W South Boulder Rd, Ste 201
    Lafayette, Colorado
    80026

     


    Do I Need A Dental Cleaning If I Brush And Floss At Home?

    dental cleanings Lafayette

    Today’s post focuses on professional dental cleanings. You might wonder if you need a professional dental cleaning if you already practice dental hygiene daily at home.

    The answer is that both processes are critical because they work in tandem to maintain oral health.

    Dr. Gordon West encourages patients to practice preventative dentistry by:

    Brushing
    Flossing
    Healthy diet – fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts
    Regular dental cleanings
    Regular checkups

    Dental cleanings increase the effectiveness of your daily oral care by removing the plaque and tarter that can accumulate regardless of daily brushing and flossing. In fact, when plaque hardens, it can only be removed with the special tools used by a hygienist.

    A hygienist will first use a vibrating ultrasonic tool to dislodge the largest pieces of tartar. This process may tickle a bit. The hygienist will then use tools with finer attachments to remove the smaller pieces of calculus. When all plaque and tartar is gone, polishing is the final step in the cleaning process.

    The goal is to make your tooth surfaces as smooth as possible, to inhibit food particles from lodging in small spaces that are difficult to clean. If you are having an exam during the same visit, your technician may take dental x-rays. X-rays can reveal cavities while they are small and can be easily filled.

    Let your hygienist know if your teeth are sensitive so he/she can make your cleaning as comfortable as possible. After the cleaning, a fluoride treatment may be given to help strengthen your teeth.

    Before your hygienist leaves, you may want to ask if there are areas you can improve. Your hygienist can tell you which tooth surfaces had the most build-up. If the back teeth are presenting a problem, you can communicate with Dr. West about sealants.

    If you have braces, you may want more frequent dental cleanings because food can easily lodge between the wires.

    Call Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry at 720-862-3630 to schedule a professional cleaning today! Your smile will thank you.

     

    Contact Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry:

    720-862-3630

    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
    Lafayette, Colorado
    80026

     


    Whitening For 3 Types Of Tooth Stains

    Lafayette Teeth Bleaching

    Hello Lafayette! If your smile could use some brightening, what are you waiting for? Professional teeth whitening and teeth bleaching are the easiest ways Boulder County residents can dramatically improve their appearance.

    It is important to realize that not every Boulder smile responds the same to teeth bleaching. The degree of whiteness attained and the treatment time necessary depends on the type of stains being treated.

    1. Surface or extrinsic stains are the most accessible and easiest to remove. They are caused by the usual suspects: coffee, tea, wine, cola, smoking and the natural aging process.

    2. Intrinsic stains can be lightened but it may take a bit longer. These stains form from the inside out but are visible through the enamel. They can be caused by trauma, tetracycline antibiotics, infection, or excessive fluoride use in childhood before the enamel is fully formed.

    3. Combination: Some Lafayette dental patients have both extrinsic and intrinsic staining. As we age, our teeth change – regardless of how well we take care of them. Two things that work against us is that our enamel thins while the dentin underneath fades and yellows. Again, the extrinsic stains on the enamel are the quickest to lighten, but ongoing treatment with a peroxide-based penetrating whitener can lighten the deeper discoloration.

    It is best to trust fast teeth whitening treatment to the care of an experienced dentist such as Gordon West of Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Lafayette. Gordon West and the experienced team of dental professionals at Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry have been brightening smiles since 1998. We also offer sedation dentistry, prepless veneers, dental crowns, Invisalign clear braces and teeth whitening.

    Upgrade your face value by brightening your smile!

     

    Contact Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry:

    720-862-3630

    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
    Lafayette, Colorado
    80026

     


    Find A Few Minutes To Floss

    Lafayette oral health

    One common excuse often given by people who don’t floss is that the practice is difficult to fit into their daily schedule. If you’ve found this to be true, and feel like you are too busy to floss, here are some suggestions for when to fit this vital dental health habit into your day.

    • The most common time is right before bed, but make sure you aren’t too tired to do a good job.
    • Right when you wake up is also an option, but if food is left between teeth all night, it can cause plaque.
    • Try just after lunch, before you go back to work.
    • Floss while you are in the car sitting in traffic. It’s easier one-handed with the pre-strung floss pics. (You might get some peculiar looks from other drivers, but it’s worth it.)
    • Keep some floss in your gym bag so you can floss after you exercise.
    • While you’re watching the nightly news.

    I hope this gives you some beneficial ideas to help you make flossing part of your daily routine. Flossing is critical for anyone in Lafayette who wants to have a healthy smile.

    If you want to improve your smile, look into cosmetic dentistry procedures such as porcelain veneers, invisible braces, teeth whitening, or dental implants.

    My name is Dr. Gordon West. Helping my dental patients establish good habits is important to me, as well as helping them attain the smile they want with cosmetic dentistry procedures such as veneers, teeth whitening, and complete smile makeovers.

    We are currently accepting new patients, so give us a call at 720-862-3630 to make an appointment!

    Center for Advanced Dental Care

     

    Contact Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry:

    720-862-3630

    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
    Lafayette, Colorado
    80026

     


    Have You Thanked Your Dental Assistant Lately?

    Louisville Extreme Smile Makeover

    Your Boulder dental practice would be a very different place if it weren’t for the expert dental assistants who work there.

    Today in our Lafayette, Colorado dental blog we would like to highlight the importance of these hard workers who are often taken for granted.

    Dental assistants make your dental appointment much more effective, efficient, and safe.

    You, the patient, are prepared for treatment by dental assistants and, during procedures (such as filling cavities, placing crowns, root canals, or teeth whitening) the assistants speed things along by passing instruments, holding devices, and recording vital information.

    Most Louisville cosmetic dental patients would agree that anyone who helps to shorten their time in the dental chair is a person who deserves thanks!

    Keeping the dental office clean and sterilizing instruments are other vital responsibilities taken on by dental assistants. What would we do without them?

    My name is Gordon West. I have been serving the Boulder area since 1998. The expert dental assistants at my practice, Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Lafayette, are world-class, along with the rest of our state-of-the-art dental care in a comfortable environment staff.

    If you are looking for premium dental care in Lafayette, Boulder County, Louisville, or Broomfield, please give us a call at 720-862-3630. We can review your dental care needs as well as any cosmetic dentistry procedures you might be interested in, such as veneers, dental implants, gum contouring, or an extreme smile makeover.

     

    Contact Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry:

    720-862-3630

    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    1140 W South Boulder Rd Ste 201
    Lafayette, Colorado
    80026

     


    How Oral Inflammation Affects Your Health

    inflamed gums Lafayette

    Swollen and painful gums are symptoms of periodontal disease, an inflammatory gum disease. Swelling occurs from an auto-immune response of the body reacting to an infection. Infections are noticeable through pain, redness, and warmth. If the infection is left untreated, it can impact the bone near the teeth. The body’s immune system wants to rid the bone of the detrimental material the bacteria is creating. Over time, bone loss will arise.

    Inflammation in the gums also is associated with atherosclerosis, the occurrence of fatty deposits inside of the body’s arteries. Inflammation coincides with an increase of the blood protein CRP (C-reactive protein), produced by the liver. The more inflammation there is, the more the liver produces CRP. The more CRP present, the more likely cardiovascular disease is present, along with related troubles. CRP production is also related to arthritis, auto-immune disorders, and intestinal issues.

    Scientists are currently looking into the relationship between periodontal inflammation and CRP level and the effects outside of the oral cavity. Links have already been discovered between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

    If inflammation is left untreated, gums can develop pockets that provide the perfect breeding ground for infection. The longer the infection persists, the more likely bone loss will develop, eventually causing tooth loss.

    It is vital to practice preventive dental care daily at home and have regular visits to the dentist. Dental appointments should include an exam, cleaning, and full mouth x-rays, along with the important knowledge and instruction on how to properly care for teeth and gums at home. It is also very important to see your dentist promptly if a tooth suddenly becomes sensitive or you observe any other changes.

    Thanks for visiting our blog. For more information about inflammation or periodontal disease, give us a call at 720-862-3630.

     

    Contact Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry:

    720-862-3630

    Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

    1140 W South Boulder Rd, Ste 201
    Lafayette, Colorado
    80026

     


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