What are your risks for Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer accounted for approximately three percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States in 2017, or about 49,700 new cases. Oral cancer can spread quickly, so early detection can increase your survival rate.

What are some of the symptoms of oral cancer?

  • A sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in your mouth, lip, or throat
  • A feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
  • Swelling in your jaw
  • Numbness in your tongue or other areas of your mouth
  • Pain in one ear without hearing loss

Since some of the symptoms might mimic other illnesses, such as a cold or sinus congestion, it’s important to recognize that if these symptoms last longer than a few weeks, you should seek medical advice.  

What are the known risks?

  • Tobacco and alcohol use. Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarette smoking, puts you at risk for developing oral cancers. Heavy alcohol use also increases the risk.  Quitting smoking and drinking can help improve your overall health, as well.
  • HPV. Infection with the human papillomavirus (more specifically HPV-16) has been linked to oral cancers.
  • Age. Like most cancers, your risk increases with age. Oral cancers most often occur in people over the age of 40.
  • Sun Exposure. Cancer of the lip may be caused by prolonged sun exposure. Using a lip balm with SPF can help reduce your risk.

Having regular  checkups with your dentist will help ensure any changes in your health can be caught at its earliest stages.  The earlier oral cavity and pharynx cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving.



What is Oral Appliance Therapy?

Do you wake with a dry mouth or sore throat, or suffer from morning headaches? Are you excessively tired during the day, or irritable? You may be suffering from a form of sleep apnea.

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, there are 22 million Americans afflicted with Sleep Apnea, and 80% with moderate sleep apnea go undiagnosed altogether. When left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Appliance SML example imageIf you have been diagnosed by a physician with a partially or fully obstructed airway, a dental appliance may be reasonable a treatment option. The dental devices may be an option for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, or for patients who cannot tolerate their CPAP machine.

Worn only during sleep, an oral appliance fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway.Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective treatment option for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Amy Urban is certified to practice Dental Sleep Medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Appliance SML example image

Dr. Urban’s secret brushing technique

Most of us were taught to brush in a circular motion over the teeth surfaces using a fluoride based toothpaste. Dr. Urban has a different method she teaches her patients, as she demonstrates in the video.


Three tips for this technique:

  • Using a dry, soft bristled toothbrush, the dry brush helps get the bristles between the teeth and gums better.
  • Start on upper right,making sure you touch every tooth.  
  • Use the brush to poke and jiggle in between teeth (almost like  toothpick)

This technique allows to reach the bacteria under the gum tissue and can help prevent gum disease.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.  

Do you know what the most common chronic pediatric disease?   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cavities remain the most common chronic disease of children between 6 and 19 years old.  Many dentists recommend their pediatric patients get sealants which can help prevent cavities before they start. 

Help instill a lifetime of good dental hygiene and reduce your children’s risk of tooth decay by following these tips!

  • Sugary foods and drinks should be consumed with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize acid production and rinse food particles from the mouth.
  • Limit between-meal snacks. If kids crave a snack, offer them whole foods, such as vegetables or fruit.
  • If your kids chew gum, make it sugarless – Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.
  • Monitor beverage consumption – Children should make healthy beverage choices such water and low-fat milk.
  • Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits. – Use a timer to help children remember to brush for 2 minutes.
  • Schedule regular dental visits.  Everyone should visit the dentist once every 6 months.

Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children to get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

What are the best at-home ways to prevent periodontal disease?

stages of periodontal disease

Keep your mouth clean this year

It’s time to set some New Year’s resolutions! If keeping a healthy lifestyle is on your list for 2018, don’t forget to include good dental hygiene. A healthy mouth can help you ward off many medical problems. But gum disease — also called gingivitis and periodontal disease — may actually leave you more at risk for disorders and diseases like heart attack and stroke.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place. It’s caused by plaque on the teeth — that sticky film you feel between brushings. That plaque has bacteria in it which produce toxins that can irritate your gums.
As the infection worsens, your gums start to pull away from your teeth and create pockets which create more space for bacteria and make it even harder to clean. Your gums become more and more damaged, and without treatment, teeth may eventually fall out or need to be removed.

Fortunately, treating periodontal disease early can reduce the damage and prevent you from losing your teeth.

What are the warning signs?

It can be difficult to know if you have periodontal disease in the early stages, so it’s important to see your dentist regularly. Your dentist can keep an eye on your gums and tell if periodontal disease is forming.

If the disease is more progressed, you may notice these warning signs:

    • Tender or swollen gums
    • Gums that bleed when you floss or brush
    • Persistent bad breath
    • Loose or separating teeth

How can I prevent periodontal disease?

Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
Yes, this sounds basic, but it bears repeating. Did you know that 23 percent of Americans have gone more than two days without brushing? In fact, one in 10 people admit they regularly forget to brush their teeth! Get on it, people!

Use toothbrush bristles to clean bacteria underneath the gum tissue and between the teeth
Don’t just brush — brush effectively! Don’t just do a quick sweep of the teeth and call it a day. Remember to use your toothbrush to access the areas underneath the gum tissue and in-between the teeth.   See Dr. Urban’s technique here!

Floss your teeth to reach the bits of food your toothbrush misses
According to the folks behind National Smile Month, fewer than 25% of adults use dental floss regularly. But it’s really important. Your toothbrush can’t reach everywhere, so floss helps get the food your toothbrush missed.

Use a germ-fighting mouthrinse approved by the ADA
The American Dental Association (ADA) finds that therapeutic mouthwashes can help control or reduce plaque, which can cause periodontal disease. Be sure to choose one that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Use a xylitol-sweetened chewing gum
Many dentists recommend xylitol because it can literally starve the bacteria that cause gingivitis. Streptococcus mutans is the bacteria primarily responsible. While xylitol tastes sweet, the bacteria can’t use it for fuel like other sugars. The bacteria can’t form plaque, helping to prevent decay.

Eat a balanced diet
The ADA recommends a diet rich in nutritious foods such as low-sugar dairy, lean proteins and fruits and vegetables. All can help strengthen your teeth. And don’t forget water, especially fluoridated water, which can make teeth more resistant to the causes of cavities.

Visit your dentist regularly for professional teeth cleanings
There’s nothing like a professional cleaning to keep your teeth clean. Make sure to visit your dentist regularly so they can keep an eye on your teeth and check for any warning signs of disease.



stages of periodontal disease

Don’t let the holidays wreck your oral hygiene

The holiday season is upon us, which for most means we are busy shopping for the perfect gift, or attending parties with family and friends. However, even with the hustle and bustle of the season, don’t let the holidays wreck your oral hygiene. Not only do we all want nice, bright smiles, but oral hygiene is a cornerstone for overall health and well-being.

Why should you care about your oral hygiene?

Bad oral health can lead to serious health issues, such as cardiovascular disease, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and even cancer.

Here are Dr. Urban’s top 12 tips:

  1. Limit the Soda – Not only is it high in sugar, but the acid can also cause tooth decay. Choose carbonated water if you need some fizz, or if you must drink soda, use a straw to keep most of the acid off your teeth.
  2. Watch the wine – Tis the season for indulging, but red wine can stain your teeth. Choose a white or pair your red with food to offset the staining
  3. Pass on the peppermint – We all love candy canes, however hard candy can cause cracks if you bite into them wrong! You might want to pick softer candy, just remember to brush well after eating sugary treats!
  4. Opt for the veggie tray – Load up on veggies this season! Celery can even naturally clean your teeth. Foods like carrots, broccoli, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes are also high in vitamin A, which is what forms tooth enamel
  5. Use Scissors – It may tempting to use your teeth to open up a package, or peel the tape back, but resist the urge! Have your scissors handy and save yourself a broken tooth.
  6. Want some cheese with your wine? Cheese can help balance the ph of your mouth and limit the acid your teeth are exposed to while drinking wine.
  7. Keep fruit on hand – It seems there is baked sweets everywhere you turn this time of year. Keep fresh fruit on hand to help satisfy your sweet tooth instead.
  8. Give the gift of oral hygiene – Give a cool new toothbrush for stocking stuffers instead of candy and sugary treats.
  9. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – Even when it’s cold outside, we need to remember to drink water. Not only can water help with your overall health, it washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. Water also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth.
  10. Pass on the Ham – Go for the turkey this season, not only does it have less sugar than the honey-glazed ham, but it’s a great source of protein and phosphorus – both of which can help your body fight tooth decay and keep your teeth healthy
  11. Jingle all the way – It’s recommended you spend 2 minutes brushing your teeth, make it merrier while humming your favorite Christmas carol.
  12. RELAX – yes this doesn’t have to do with your teeth, but for overall well-being. Take time and enjoy this time of year, be present in the moment.

We hope these tips help remind you that your dental health is important, and making small choices can help keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come!

Everyone at Urban Dentistry wishes you and your families a very happy and safe holiday season. We appreciate you choosing our practice for your dental needs.


The National Institute of Health published a statement in August, 2016, stating that flossing does not prevent periodontal disease. Bacteria cover the teeth, including under the gum tissue, between the teeth. Floss is a tool to reach this area. Luckily there are other effective tools to reach this area. In order to prevent gum disease, it is crucial to clean in between the teeth. If you choose not to floss you need to find an alternative method to clean in between the teeth. You can do it with a simple dry soft toothbrush and we can show you how.

Is flossing optional? Urban Dentistry

ZOOM Teeth Whitening in Austin, TX


Teeth Whitening By Urban Dentistry

The eyes might be the window to the soul, but your teeth are just as important. Natural discoloration of the teeth happens to us all over time. The causes of teeth stains range from coffee, soda and wine consumption to antibiotics, smoking and gum disease. Urban Dentistry uses only the best practices in their approach to teeth whitening procedures, providing effective and safe treatments that will brighten your former smile.

The Three Main Teeth Whitening Methods

There are three main “whitening” approaches. Toothpastes containing anti-staining agents or hydrogen peroxide are used daily by hundreds of thousands of people. Whitening toothpastes remove stain particles and are far less abrasive than they once were, but claims that they lighten teeth are debatable. Some whitening toothpastes contain hydrogen peroxide, but are often found to be weak and unstable by the time you use it, so the effect is often minimal.

Home-use bleaching kits involve placing a hydrogen peroxide solution in bleaching trays which are worn over patients’ teeth at night for up to two weeks. These kits often claim to lighten tooth color by up to six or eight shades and are the second most popular treatment.

ZOOM teeth whitening is the newest method, in which a hydrogen peroxide solution is carefully painted onto a patient’s teeth and is then subjected to a strong light that speeds up the lightening process.

These techniques all target stain particles from food and drink, which get trapped in the surface layers of tooth enamel. Toothpastes try to remove them, while hydrogen peroxide bleaches them.

Is ZOOM Teeth Whitening Right For You?

Both bleaching kits and laser whitening can lighten teeth considerably, but the main difference is that home bleaching can take up to two weeks and can cause gum irritation, whereas a laser treatment takes around 45 minutes with minimal discomfort.

Urban Dentistry offers professional ZOOM teeth whitening, for patients with sensitive teeth, and those who want to see immediate results. This process is usually accomplished in a single visit with an increase of 5-10 shades in brightness.

For patients with a busy schedule, or those concerned about the discomfort often associated with teeth bleaching products, laser tooth whitening is a great option for a new and improved smile. Call us today to set an appointment at (512) 440-5900.

laser teeth whitening

ZOOM whitening Your teeth will gleam!

Affordable Austin Dentist

Urban Dentistry provides cost affordable and effective treatment for patients with a range of dental care needs. Having access to an affordable Austin dentist care resource can be necessary for those who face a variety of underlying medical conditions and other dental problems.

Affordable Austin Dentist, Amy Urban, DMD

Regular brushing and flossing can eliminate potential health problems. People with a healthy routine tend to have fewer health conditions such as gum disease and periodontal disease as well as other problems like tooth loss. To supplement an existing health care regimen, at Urban Dentistry offer you a range of preventive and cosmetic dentistry care for our clients.

A look at what we offer:

Preventive care. Preventive cleaning complements existing efforts in achieving and maintaining a wonderful smile. Dentists recommend periodic cleaning to prevent discoloration, tooth loss, tooth decay and other potential dental problems that can often arise over time with age. Affordable cleaning and maintenance support an existing healthy dental care regimen.

• Examination
• Cleanings
• X-rays
• Sealants 

Cosmetic services.

Many people who desire to have that perfect smile can pursue other avenues like crowns, veneers, dentures, braces, tooth colored fillings and whitening. In offering a full range of these services, we are able to address most patient needs. Cosmetic dentistry encompasses a range of services to include from tooth-colored fillings to other types to gradual whitening treatments.

• Dentures
• Dental implants
• Orthodontics
• Tooth bonding
• Porcelain veneers, crowns, bridgework

Chronic conditions.

Some people suffer from chronic conditions like periodontal disease which can affect the bone surrounding the teeth. Once the bone is destroyed, damage can be permanent. Stopping the inflammation and the symptoms from becoming severe may require removal of periodontal pockets to preserve dental health. We provide tooth extraction and other Affordable Austin dentist services to eliminate certain conditions from progressing.

• Gum disease
• Periodontal disease

• Sensitive teeth
• Cavities

Most people want a healthier smile and the benefits that come with it.

Affordable Austin dentist care is accessible for everyone. From minor treatments to advanced cosmetic dentistry, we offer a broad range of care for patients of all backgrounds. Our comprehensive services are ideal for children, teens and adults with various dental care needs. In addition to a healthy home care regimen, people can see noticeable improvements with routine preventive care.

image of an affordable austin dentist

Affordable Austin Dentist, Amy Urban, DMD, and her entire staff are ready to meet you!

image of an affordable austin dentist

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

If you’re searching for a cosmetic dentist Austin residents can trust, Urban Dentistry is the place for you. Situated in the center of bustling South Congress, Urban Dentistry can take care of many of your cosmetic dentistry needs. If you’re tired of feeling self-conscious about your teeth and wish to finally achieve the straight, white, glowing smile of your dreams, Urban Dentistry can make that a reality for you, headed by its namesake, Dr. Amy Urban.

Some of the diverse dental specialties that are available at Urban Dentistry include preventative dentistry, porcelain veneers, bridges, crowns, clear correct, smile makeovers, teeth whitening, tooth colored fillings and periodontal treatments. If you have crooked front teeth that are spaced too far apart from each other, for example, then you can benefit greatly from smile makeover treatments. If you have conspicuously broken, uneven or chipped teeth, then porcelain veneers can make a world of difference for you and your self esteem. If you have teeth that are an unattractive yellowish color due to excessive wine or coffee consumption, genetics, smoking or gum disease, then teeth whitening treatments can come to your rescue.

The exciting cosmetic dentistry treatment options available at Urban Dentistry are plentiful and varied.If you’re in need of quality cosmetic dentistry services in Austin, you don’t have to waste precious time looking any further. The team at Urban Dentistry is ready to give you the top-notch attention and service you deserve. Dr. Amy Urban and the rest of her dedicated team will give you the care you seek. They’re 100 percent devoted to client satisfaction. When you walk away from cosmetic dentistry treatments at Urban Dentistry, you’ll never feel anything less than completely satisfied, zero exceptions.

A dazzling white movie star smile is no longer out of reach for you. Urban Dentistry is waiting to change your outlook on your new smile forever — and in the best possible way. Stop hiding your smile from the rest of the world. If you receive these first-rate dental treatments, you’ll finally be proud to show everyone your smile. If you’re searching for a respected cosmetic dentist Austin locals can stand by time and time again, all you have to do is call us at Urban Dentistry today for additional information and scheduling details. We’re eagerly looking forward to hearing from you. You can also opt to schedule online at your convenience.

images of urban dentistry staff

We can’t wait to help give you a renewed smile.


Before and after Images of a smile makeover.