Tag Archives: dental exam

Gum Disease: Know Thy Enemy and Protect Your Health


As we have discussed in previous entries, your teeth have many natural enemies and while teeth might be tough, that beautiful pearly-white smile of yours certainly needs all the help they can get! That’s why in this entry, we hope to shed some light on one of the most dangerous obstacles that your smile can possibly encounter: a condition known as Gum Disease.

While indeed we have discussed gum disease at great length in some of our previous articles, with a recent spike in oral health problems across the country, (Due to COVID-19 masks causing dry-mouth) we believe it is necessary to reexamine and reevaluate the cause of illnesses such as gum disease in order to prevent this trend from continuing any further!

Related Article: Vaping Causes Gum Disease and Damages Your Oral Health

Gum Disease: Gingivitis Vs. Periodontitis 

Although Gum Disease might not sound all that bad at first, it’s important to understand that it is a progressive infection that will significantly worsen over time and may eventually spread throughout the body. Gum disease is split into two different phases: Gingivitis and Periodontitis. While neither of these phases are something to take lightly, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the disease as a whole, it’s important to understand how exactly gingivitis and periodontitis differ, and how each can affect you.


As the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis is gum inflammation that occurs when excess bacteria accumulate between teeth and gum line. Typically characterized by swollen or pinkish gums, the afflicted gum line will be tender to the touch and may bleed when brushing or eating.

However, by making a concentrated effort to practicing proper oral hygiene habits, you may reverse the condition thereby slowly forcing the infection to dissipate. While, this can be accomplished without a dentist’s supervision, we highly recommend that you DO consult with your dentist to ensure that the correct measures are being taken.


Rest assured, Periodontitis is a word that you never want to hear your dentist say! Periodontitis is the second (and more advanced) stage of gum disease, which occurs when the infection has begun to spread throughout the patient’s mouth and has stated causing irreparable damage.

As our body’s immune system struggles to fight off the infection within the gum line, the toxins and poisons produced by the overflow of bacteria begin to break down the bone and connective tissue. If left untreated and allowed to continue, this could eventually lead to the teeth, gums, or entire jawbone being destroyed!

Additionally, once this advanced disease has reached its latter stage, the likelihood of it triggering additional illnesses or interacting with pre-existing conditions becomes a serious concern, that may even prove to be life-threatening. Learn More about the Health Risks of Gum Disease HERE.

Related Article: Oral Health and Hygiene: Keep Your Immune System Strong


Gum Disease: Don’t Be Another Statistic! 

Make no mistake, gum disease IS a nation-wide health crisis with nearly half of all Americans 30 years or older affected by some form of this disease and with the recent increase in oral health-related complications, more people TODAY are at risk of developing Gingivitis and Periodontitis than we’ve seen in recent years.

Fortunately, in the face of such mounting statistics, Dr. Kimes and his staff at Overland Park Dentistry stand ready and willing to oblige when it comes to cutting down such numbers and allowing patients to get back to their lives happy, healthy, and of course, gum disease free! However, we cannot take on such a huge task without your help. By taking time to thoroughly brush and floss at least twice a day, in addition to scheduling your two annual appointments with us at Overland Park Dentistry, a menace like gum disease doesn’t stand a chance!

If you have any concerns about gum disease, or are simply due for your annual checkup, come see us at Overland Park Dentistry and until next time, keep on Smiling!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Receive Your Oral Cancer Screening During Exam


The Season of Life

Despite March being the month that officially bridges the gap between winter and spring, April and May are the months in which the spring truly arrives! Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of the harsh dismal winter, green sprouts of life begin to appear, and as flowers begin to bloom, it’s certainly a beautiful time to be alive! Therefore, perhaps it’s only fitting that we at Overland Park Dentistry take the time to discuss a significant public health concern known as Oral Cancer. After all, in a time where we can observe life around us in all its alluring infancy, what better time is there to reflect upon our OWN life and health?

Learn More about Oral Health

Oral Cancer: Your Mouth’s Worst Nightmare! 

The pandemic has forced many of us to reconsider our personal health, as well as the health of our loved ones. Indeed, while COVID-19 may eventually be a thing of the past, with approximately 7,500 annual deaths in the U.S. alone, Oral Cancer continues to remain one of the most dangerous types of cancer in the world today!

Related Article: Mask Mouth and Oral Health: In the Shadow of Covid-19

Much like other inner oral health issues, the initial symptoms of oral cancer are relatively mild and sometimes easy to overlook. The earliest symptoms of oral cancer may include but are not limited to: mouth or lip sores that are slow to heal, mouth or ear pain, an unusual harshness to one’s voice, and increased pain or difficulty when swallowing. While these symptoms are not necessarily indicative of oral cancer, if you have been experiencing any such symptoms on a persistent basis of two weeks or longer, then we highly recommend you schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist to receive a proper oral cancer screening, which we will discuss in detail below.

While it should probably come as little surprise that oral cancer is primarily caused by use of tobacco products, additional factors such as heavy alcohol intake, prolonged sun exposure to your lips, and certain types of sexually transmitted diseases can greatly increase your risk of developing oral cancer or hasten the advancement of a preexisting oral cancer diagnosis. However, due to its seemingly benign early symptoms, those suffering from oral cancer are often unaware of their illness and could remain so pending a formal diagnosis.

Unfortunately, if the disease continues to remain undetected and is allowed to progress to advanced stages, the resulting damage will likely be irreversible and might become potentially life threatening. Certainly, such a bleak prognosis is not the news that anyone wishes to get, but please remember… It doesn’t have to be that way!

Learn more about April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.

Dentistry’s Secret Weapon: Oral Cancer Screening During Exam

If you have ever heard the old adage, “The best defense is a good offence” then you can probably surmise how it applies here; the best way you can fight oral cancer is to prevent yourself from ever getting it in the first place! Indeed, there are several of ways you can go about preventing oral cancer, and while there are obvious lifestyle changes, (such as giving up tobacco use and practicing moderation when consuming alcohol) there is a less obvious but equally important prevention measure to take.

Routine Oral Cancer Screenings are without doubt a key component in stopping oral cancer dead in its tracks and preventing it from causing any further harm to both your oral and overall health. Now, if you are questioning as to what an oral cancer screening is and how to receive one, chances are you’ve had one before and just didn’t know it! As one most important and underappreciated procedures within the dental industry today, Oral Cancer Screenings are a quick and painless procedure that Dr. Kimes preforms as part your standard dental exam.

Related Article: Oral Health and Hygiene: Keep Your Immune System Strong

When you come in for your routine dental checkup, you are simultaneously receiving an accurate screening for any early signs or symptoms of oral cancer. While you might not be aware that you are receiving an oral cancer screening during exam, rest assured this is an imperative measure to take in identifying and treating oral cancer within its earliest stages and is often the best bet in fully overcoming the disease due to the cancer not having enough time to progress or spread.

Is COVID an Issue? NO Way!

While we cannot stress enough how important it is to receive your oral cancer screening during exam at Overland Park Dentistry, we also understand that there are some patients out there who might still be reluctant to make an appointment due to continued concerns over COVID-19.

Related Article: Dental Safety: Is it SAFE to Visit the Dentist?

Obviously if you have contacted COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone who has recently been diagnosed with the virus, then certainly you need to reschedule your appointment and quarantine. However, we can assure you that at Overland Park Dentistry we take the health, safety, and well-being of our patients and employees extremely seriously, you WILL be safe!

If you find yourself worrying over the possibility of developing oral cancer or are just in need of a routine dental exam, remember you don’t have live in fear of COVID or oral cancer!

So please contact our offices at Overland Park Dentistry and let us put your fears to rest and of course… keep you smiling!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.