Dental Blog

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Posted On: April 02, 2018

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.  We offer a discount on the ViziLite Plus Oral Cancer test during the month of April, 2018.  Call for details - 352-307-3006.


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

Those at Risk for Oral Cancer

Passing certain age thresholds and engaging in certain lifestyle habits can place you at increased risk for oral cancer. For example, men tend to have higher rates of oral cancers than women.  Dr. Cayia does a visual cancer oral exam once every twelve months during your annual examination at no charge.

Here is the short list:

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

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

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

Reducing risk

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

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

  • Avoid all tobacco products
  • Avoid or reduce your consumption of alcohol
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables (good for everything, of course)
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure that can result in cancer of the lip (using lip balm with an SPF of at least 30 can be helpful)
  • Avoid exposure to environmental hazards (wood dust, formaldehyde, printing chemicals)
  • Conduct a self-exam monthly so you can catch any of the symptoms listed above. Use a small hand-held mirror so you can see the back of your mouth and tongue Ask Dr. Cayia or your Hygienist for instructions on this sort of home exam. If you haven’t been in to see us in a while, give us a ring at 352-307-3006, and we’ll show you how to perform this exam in between visits. Dr. Cayia does a visual cancer oral exam once every twelve months during your annual examination at no charge.
  • Consider coffee. While the jury is still out, some research suggests coffee may help protect the mouth from oral cancer.

Oral cancer is serious business. Yet, it can be managed when caught early. So, do the right thing and visit your dentist regularly, and get that screening.


Homemade Mouthwash Recipes

Posted On: March 01, 2018

5 homemade mouthwash recipes to improve oral and dental health.

By Sara Vincent/EmaxHealth

According to the CDC half of American adults have periodontal disease. The Oral health Foundation says that, preventive care and oral hygiene are the key to improve oral and dental health. So, these homemade mouthwash recipes to improve oral and dental health will do just that.

The 5 homemade mouthwash recipes to improve oral and dental health must include natural products that are easy to find, and have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory capacities.

1) Sage and salt mouthwash

Sage is on the top of the list of recipes to improve oral and dental health, because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Various sage preparations have been observed to effectively treat a variety oral and dental diseases.


Filtered Water
1 tsp of mineral Rich Salt
Organic sage leaves

Method - In a bottle put 6 sage leaves
Dissolve salt in 5 oz. of boiling water
after all is dissolved, pour boiling water inside  bottle
use daily after brushing your teeth, until mouthwash is finished or continue a little longer if your oral health still is not up to scratch.

2) Salt and baking soda

This mouthwash is also great for those who want to treat and cure viral respiratory issues (cold and flu) naturally.


1/2 spoon of Baking soda
1/2 spoon of salt
1 Cup of water

Method - Mix baking soda and salt with water and use it after brushing the teeth. Rinse your mouth well and you will see your teeth shining.

3) Herbal mouth wash ingredients 4 oz of peppermint and sage leaves plus Echinacea Angustifolia root
8-12 drops of mint extract
1 tsp of thyme
2 tsp of Myrrh gum extract
5-7 drops of eucalyptus oil

Method - Prepare a herbal infusion with the peppermint leaves, sage leaves and Echinacea Angustifolia, and then take a mason jar and pour all the ingredients together in it. Keep shaking strongly until blended well, and you are done.

3) Herbal mouth wash ingredients 4 oz. of peppermint and sage leaves plus Echinacea Angustifolia root
8-12 drops of mint extract
1 tsp of thyme
2 tsp of Myrrh gum extract
5-7 drops of eucalyptus oil

Method - Prepare a herbal infusion with the peppermint leaves, sage leaves and Echinacea Angustifolia, and then take a mason jar and pour all the ingredients together in it. Keep shaking strongly until blended well, and you are done.

4) Lemon juice and water-  Lemon is highly antibacterial, so it’s a great ingredient to control dental plaque.


1 glass of Warm water
1 lemon

Method -Take the lemon and squeeze it into 1 glass of warm water and rinse your mouth and then spit it out.

5) Apple cider vinegar mouthwash

Apple cider vinegar has been reported to be a natural teeth whitener and bad breath neutralizer. So, it will certainly improve your oral and dental health.


2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup of salt
1-2 drops of Vanilla essential oil

Method - Mix and store in a jar. Swish your mouth with this solution!

It is important to note that a lot of homemade mouthwash recipes to improve oral and dental health may include salt, baking soda and or essential oils. This is because salt is a natural antibacterial, baking soda has been reported to whiten teeth naturally, and essential oils have antibacterial and anti - inflammatory properties, making them a powerful ingredient that can not only help to improve oral and dental health, but also treat fungal infections and even boost immunity.

Want more Health information? Visit EmaxHealth.


What Smiling Says About You

Posted On: February 01, 2018


What Smiling Says About You and Why You Should Do More of It.

      You might’ve guessed that smiling can make you happier … but did you know it also helps you live longer?
It’s true!  Smiling also helps with attraction and happiness in more ways than you may have imagined. Looking for a romantic partner, or a new job this year? Then, get ready to flash those pearly whites!  More than a century ago, philosopher Charles Darwin and scientist William James suggested we might be able to adjust our mood simply by assuming the facial expressions representative of our goal.

The first step to happiness is to start smiling!       

Ever since Darwin and James proposed their theories, scientists have researched and discovered some interesting side effects to smiling along the way.

  • Smiling makes you more attractive:Research suggests we’re more attracted to people who smile than those who do not. While scientists aren’t exactly in agreement as to why this may be, there’s a perception that a smiling person makes others aroundthem relaxed and happy. Basically, your smile is contagious … and therefore welcoming.
  • Smiles boost the immune system: It’s all about the neuropeptides, they say. Smiling (and also laughing) release these neuropeptides which help reduce stress. The result is less taxation on your immune system so you can remain healthy to combat any illness or stress that may come your way.
  • Smiling enhances your mood:Smile-science has a bit of a “chicken or the egg dilemma.” Does a smile make you happy, or do you smile because you’re happy? We can assume the latter is true, but what about the former? Recall those neuropeptides we mentioned earlier? Well, according to Psychology Today, when we smile, “feel good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphin and serotonin are all released.” Your body relaxes, while your heart rate and blood pressure lower. This flood of feeling then places us in a better mood. Not bad for just crinkling up the corners of the mouth!
  • And, what about helping you live longer? Well, if the above three reasons aren’t enough for you, it seems, that, yes … smiling more can help you live a longer life. And the proof appears to be in the research. In 2010, a team of researchers aimed with an odd source material (The Sporting News Baseball Register), examined historical photographs of baseball players – tracking smile and life statistics throughout their lifetimes. From 1952 onward, these intrepid scientists crunched the numbers (and smiles), and discovered that, yes indeed, smiling did help these chaps live longer, healthier lives. They also remained married longer. Pretty neat, huh? You can check out a bit of the story on this fascinating study at Pacific Standard Magazine.
    So, to wrap things up … we’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom from cinema’s happiest of happy characters, Buddy, played by Will Ferrell in the feel-good Christmas film, Elf.

  • “I just like to smile! Smiling’s my favorite. Go forth and smile!”



8 Health Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene that Extend Beyond Your Mouth

Posted On: January 02, 2018

8 Health Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene that Extend Beyond Your Mouth

By Denise Reynolds RD/EmaxHealth

It is very important to take good care of your teeth and gums, but for more reasons than you might think. Because the mouth is the “gateway to the body,” bacteria from the teeth and gums can affect your overall health in more ways than one.  To keep the mouth and teeth healthy, it is recommended to brush and floss every day – at least two times a day. Dentists also recommend avoiding certain cavity-producing foods, such as sugary treats, and avoiding tobacco products.  You should also see your dentist or oral health professional regularly (recommended every six months).

But why?  Well, obviously, poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay or cavities.  Despite what you might think, cavities do not only occur in children, adults can get them too.  The teeth are covered in a hard outer coating called enamel.  Every day, a thin film of bacteria (dental plaque) builds up on the teeth which produces a bacteria that can eat a hole in this enamel if not removed.  Brushing and flossing can help protect your teeth from decay, but once a cavity has formed, a dentist has to fix it.

Gum disease is another consequence of poor dental hygiene.  When plaque builds up along and under the gum line, infections can occur that harm the gums and the bone that hold the teeth in place.  The most severe form of gum disease is known as periodontal disease.  In this case, infection has become so severe that bone deterioration can occur, leading to tooth loss.

Bad dental health can be also particularly bad for your social life as well.  Halitosis-bad breath-is caused by small food particles that are wedged between the teeth that collect bacteria and emit chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide.  This is the same compound which gives rotten eggs their characteristic smell.  Good dental health, though, is not just important for your teeth, gums an breath. The bacteria that originate in the mouth can travel throughout the body and cause a host of health problems that you may not be aware of.

1.  Heart Disease/Stroke Risk
People with periodontal disease are two times more likely to develop heart disease and arterial narrowing as a result of bacteria and plaque entering the bloodstream through the gums.  The bacteria contains a clot-promoting protein that can clog arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart attach.  In addition, if high levels of disease -causing bacteria from the mouth clog the carotid artery-the blood vessel that delivers blood to the brain and head-it could increase the risk of having a stroke.

2.  Increase Risk of Dementia
Tooth loss due to poor dental health is also a risk factor for memory loss and early stage Alzheimer's disease.  One study, published in Behavioral and Brain Functions, found that infections in the gums release inflammatory substances which in turn increase brain inflammation that can cause neuronal (brain cell) death.

3.  Respiratory Problems
Bacteria from periodontal disease can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs where it can aggravate respiratory system, especially in patients who already have respiratory problems.  A study published in the Journal of Periodontology uncovered a link between gum disease ad an increase risk of pneumonia and acute bronchitis.  "But working with your dentist or periodontist, you may actually be able to prevent or diminish the progression of harmful disease such as pneumonia or COPD," says Donald S Clem, DDS, President of the American Academy of Periodontology."

4.  Diabetes
95% of US adults with diabetes also have periodontal disease and 1/3 have such advanced disease that has led to tooth loss.  This is likely because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections.  The link between gum disease and diabetes appears to be a two-way street.  In addition to having a higher risk gum disease due to diabetes, periodontal disease may also make it more difficult to control blood sugar, putting the patient at risk for even more diabetic complications.

5.  Erectile Dusfunction
Men with periodontal disease are 7 times likely to experience erectile dysfunction than men with good dental hygiene.  Periodontal bacteria can travel through the bloodstream, inflaming blood vessels and blocking flow to the genitals.

6.  Risk of Premature Birth
In the US, nearly 13% of babies are born prematurely according to the March of Dimes. Premature babies face a host of medical problems including breathing issues and infections. A mom’s dental health can impact this association.  Doctors theorize that one of the main causes of preterm birth is infection in the mother’s body. One common site of infection is the mouth. In addition to brushing and flossing, a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found an association between the use of a non-alcohol antimicrobial mouth rinse in pregnant women and a decreased rate of delivering babies prematurely. The theory is that gum-disease-induced inflammation could be reduced through the regular use of bacteria-killing mouthwash


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

Posted On: December 03, 2017

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

Those of us who enjoy an adult beverage from time to time are, no doubt, privy to the research that suggests such consumption is, surprisingly - good for us! Of course, with every endorsement of a habit that might not really be "too" good for us, there is "but" in there somewhere. And when it comes to alcohol, there is little debate that whether it's whisky, beer or wine, alcohol just isn't that great for your oral health. So if you're drinking more these days to help your heart, you may want to re-think that strategy a bit. Let's take a look at why.

1.  Drying effect:  Unlike water, which hydrates your mouth and protects it from cavity-causing bacteria and acid, alcohol dries it out. When paired with alcohol's acidic nature, this drying effect provides the perfect low pH environment for bacteria to feast. And if that weren't all, because we're prone to sip alcoholic beverages for hours on end, doing so keeps the pH in our mouths low for hours at a time - not a good scenario for our teeth and gums.

2.  Staining: Wine, like coffee, can stain your teeth. In most cases, the staining is temporary, and is caused by a number of things like its acidity, which etches the teeth allowing color to "stick," and tannin's, which love teeth so much they bind to the enamel and trap the wine's color along with it. Joy! How's that for a festive party? The good thing is, you can keep discoloration at bay by munching on food while drinking, and chewing gum once you’re done consuming for the night. This will bathe your mouth in saliva, and bring your pH back to normal. Also, as an aside, hold off on brushing your teeth until at least a half hour after you’re done consuming. If done too early, the soft nature of your enamel after drinking can cause unwanted enamel abrasion.

3.  Long term effects:  Of course, it goes without mentioning, that if your alcohol consumption habits are more frequent, and of larger amounts than "recommended," you should be aware that these effects are compounding, and can even result in oral cancer. In fact, if you are prone to combining alcohol with smoking, your oral cancer risk is six times greater than if you just smoked, or just drank. Scientists believe the effects of alcohol on the mouth enable cancer-causing agents in cigarette smoke greater access to our oral tissues resulting in a favorable environment for cancer to develop.

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


Great American Smokeout

Posted On: November 01, 2017

Kicking the Tobacco Habit is good for your Mouth.

The Great American Smokeout is the third Thursday in November.

While the current percentage of Americans who smoke cigarettes is the lowest it's been in decades, those who continue the habit remain at risk for heart and lung disease.  Additionally, while we know smoking is also bad for our oral health, most don't understand just how bad it is...


More Than Just Stained Teeth

From its seemingly mild side effects (bad breath, tooth discoloration, buildup of plaque and tartar), to the more sinister ( increased risk of oral cancer, loss of bone within the jaw, gum disease and any number of resulting complications) - tobacco is indeed an oral health risk.

Tobacco can cause serious health issues by breaking down the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth.  Because of this breakdown, the use of tobacco makes smokers much more susceptible to infection and disease.  In fact, 90% of people who have cancer of the mouth, throat, or gums admit to using tobacco in some form.

Cigarettes, cigars and pipes aren't the only culprits; smokeless tobacco can be just as detrimental to oral health, if not worse.  In fact, there are twenty-eight chemicals found in chewing tobacco alone that are proven to chewing tobacco alone that are proven to increase the risk of cancer in the mouth, throat and esophagus.  Chewing tobacco and snuff contain higher levels of nicotine than those found in cigarettes and other tobacco products, making it's exposure to the roots, and ultimately makes teeth more susceptible to decay.

According to the National Cancer Institute, smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and has a negative impact on overall health.  It is the leading case of cancer of several types, including lung cancer, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, throat, mouth, and bladder cancers.  It is also the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S.

In addition to cancer, smoking contributes to and causes strokes, heart disease, macular degeneration, cataracts, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is chronic bronchitis and emphysema, osteoporosis, and diabetes.  Smoking makes other conditions worse or increase a person's risk of developing them: pneumonia and other respiratory infections and asthma.

Smokers weakens the immune system and makes getting pregnant more difficult.  Smoking  during pregnancy increases the risks of birth defects, miscarriages, and g\premature babies and low birth weights.  Smoking also puts non-smokes at risk of health problems by exposing them to secondhand smoke.  Secondhand smoke is now to cause lung cancer in non-smokers and also increase the risks of heart disease ad stroke.  It also puts children at an increased risk for infections and asthma.


Click on the picture below for more information about the Great American Smokeout.


Help is Just Next Door                                          

The only way to help eliminate these risks is to never start using tobacco products, or to quit if you do.  In fact, simply reducing tobacco use is proven to help lower your risks.  If you feel that it is time to reduce your risk of cancer, gum disease, infection and other oral complications, your dentist or doctor can help you create a plan to help you quit using tobacco, along with prescribing certain medicines or programs to help you kick the habit.  Here at Baylee Dental we've shared programs with patients have helped make a difference in their lives, while helping protect their health at the same time.  Remember, it is never too late to quit.  If you're interested in getting help, let us know the next time you're in for an appointment or call us now. 352-307-3006


The Biggest Two-Letter Reason for Why You Get Cavities

Posted On: October 02, 2017

The Biggest Two-Letter Reason for Why you get Cavities.  It's not only the Halloween Candy this month.

Isn’t it interesting how one person can do a wonderful job brushing and flossing their teeth each day and still end up with cavities, while someone with poor habits can sidestep cavities altogether? In the few minutes it’ll take you to read this article you’ll get a glimpse into one reason this happens. We’ll start by making a bold statement. That is: the primary reason people get cavities has a lot less to do with brushing and flossing, and a lot more to do with something most of us know little to nothing about: pH. We promise to make this easy on you – understanding pH is simpler than you think. No need to dust off your high school chemistry book! 

Understanding pH

In order to make sense of pH, you only need to know two things. First, that “pH” is just a word used to indicate the corrosive nature of any watery solution (it’s simply a unit of measurement, like the words “teaspoon” or “mile”). Second, pH measurements are plotted out on what is called the “pH scale” represented by numbers that run between 0 and 14. On that scale the number seven represents the midpoint, or “neutral” point of measurement. Also, in case you’re wondering, it is possible to have negative pH and numbers higher than 14, but generally speaking those are results produced in a lab and not something you’re likely to run into while navigating the grocery aisle.

Now that you know what pH is, consider the pH scale not as a rating system of chemicals, but a rating system of things you would want to put in your mouth. The further away you get away from the neutral seven, the less likely you are to enjoy the experience. For example, hydrochloric acid is measured at the very bottom of the scale (zero) – and we sure as heck don’t want that stuff in our mouth. Stomach acid is just above that at 1.5 - 3.5. A lemon which comes in around 2.0, we could probably handle. Wine? Between 2.9 and 3.9. Water and milk are measured at seven – completely neutral, and saliva typically falls between 6.5 and 7.5. How about on the other side of the scale … the alkaline side? Well, eggs come in around 7.6, and baking soda, an 8.0. Beyond that it gets kinda’ icky, literally. Borax is a 9.0, and Lye is a 14.0. Definitely not items we’d want to swirl around in our mouth.

Applying pH to Your Teeth: It's all about Acid

So how does pH affect your teeth? When we think about what causes cavities most of us naturally think about sugar, because that’s what we’re told to avoid. However, it’s important to understand it isn’t sugar that destroys your teeth, it’s the digestion of that sugar by certain bacteria in the mouth that does the damage. The final result of that digestion process is a byproduct you won’t be surprised causes damage to teeth: acid. So basically think of avoiding sugar as essentially avoiding acid and you’ll be thinking about sugar as it relates to your teeth in the proper fashion.
Given what you now know about pH, you’ll likewise want to avoid consuming too much of anything that’s already acidic – things like soda, energy drinks, sport drinks and acidic fruitthey’re clearly bad for your teeth. Coffee, wine and tea are also pretty acidic so be aware of their threat to your enamel as well.    
Lastly, since pH isn’t something you’re going to find labeled on foods here is a fantastic list of food items that will help bring the pH scale to life. Without a doubt, being mindful of what you put into your body will protect your teeth, and better fuel your body. 


Over-the-Counter Oral Care

Posted On: September 05, 2017

When Over-the-Counter Oral Care Treatments Might Not be Enough.

Most of us are used to the idea of just popping into the local grocery store or pharmacy to replenish our usual brand of toothpaste, mouthwash and floss when we know we’re running low on supplies. But what if re-stocking that old familiar brand isn’t really helping you as much as when you were younger? As we grow older and our teeth and gums age along with us, sometimes those old familiar products are worth switching out – often with a prescription from your dentist. But how do you know when you should opt for something new? Let’s take a look.

  • Do you Have Sensitive Teeth or Gum Disease?  

If you're experiencing tooth sensitivity due to a receding gum line, you might benefit from prescription fluoride toothpaste.  Such toothpastes have higher levels of fluoride and can help lessen sensitivity and protect exposed tooth structure no longer protected by enamel or gum tissue.  Typically your dentist would recommend prescription toothpaste for you if you have significant recession, or if recommend prescription toothpaste for you if you have significant recession, or if you have recent been in for scaling and root planning.  Ask your hygienist about our prescription toothpaste or Sensi Strips available to purchase in the office on your next visit. (Not available in stores)

  • Do you Suffer from Persistent Halitosis?                                                                                                  Many people don't know this, but there are prescription mouthwashes that can be used to help combat persistent halitosis.  As with dry mouth, however, it's important to understand why you have bad breath.  Maintaining good oral hygiene has a lot to do with preventing halitosis.  If you do not have gum disease and feel otherwise healthy, there could be more serious reasons for your halitosis. At Baylee Dental, we have a number of products on hand that can help you with bad breath. After your next exam if this is a concern for you, just let us know, and we’ll let you know how we can help. 
  • Do You Suffer from Dry Mouth?            
  • Most over the counter (OTC) remedies for dry mouth are effective for the majority of people. However, if you’ve been using an OTC solution for some time, and are experiencing limited relief, you might want to ask your dentist if there are other options. You should also ask your family doctor help you get to the root of the problem – which could be indicative of any number of benign or more serious concerns.  Many patients have sucsess with OTC Biotene or a generic rinse .
  • Are Frequent Mouth Sores a Problem?  
  • Elderly patients and those undergoing treatment for some diseases, such as cancer, can develop mouth sores. It’s not necessary to endure this pain for days and weeks on end, so ask your dentist or physician for a prescription mouth gel or rinse available. Magic Mouthwash works by forming a barrier that protects the nerve endings and shields them from over stimulation that can result in pain. Magic Mouthwash really makes a difference.  Ask Dr. Cayia on your next appointment, or call us now, 352-307-3006 to evaluate which prescription would be best for you.

  • Do You Get a Lot of Cavities, or Drink from an Un-fluoridated Water Supply?
  • If you get your drinking water from a well, or any other un-fluoridated source , prescription toothpastes can be helpful.  They're also worth considering simply if your're prone to decay.  Excessive cavities can be a drain on your wallet, and the overall health of your mouth.  Ask if there are ways (other than frequent visits to the office for repair) you can proactively fight your battle with cavity-prone teeth.

For the overwhelming majority of us, over-the-counter toothpastes, mouth washes and other dental hygiene products will do the trick just fine. Just know that your options don’t stop there and speak with Dr. Cayia if you have any concerns.