Oral Cancer: Early Diagnosis Makes A Big Difference

oral cancer screening La Mesa

When it comes to oral cancer survival outcomes, two numbers are key: 40% and 90%.

40% of individuals who receive a late-stage diagnosis die within five years. However, the survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.

Oral Cavity and Oropharynx—Mouth and Throat

Cancers that start in the mouth (or oral cavity) are termed oral cancers. The oral cavity is comprised of the inside tissue of the mouth and cheeks, the lips, the tissue underneath the tongue, the roof of the mouth, and the front two-thirds of the tongue. “Why only two-thirds of the tongue?” you might ask. Because the back third of the tongue is considered part of the throat. Throat cancers, or oropharyngeal cancers, start in the oropharynx, the part of the mouth behind the parts considered part of the oral cavity. The oropharynx consists of the soft palate, the tonsils, and the throat.

How Are Oral Cancers Diagnosed?

Some oral cancers produce symptoms which prompt the patient to see a doctor and others are caught by your La Mesa dentist or doctor during exams. Thousands of lives could be saved every year if more individuals received regular screenings.

A visual oral cancer exam is relatively quick and convenient, especially as compared to other cancer screening tests such as colonoscopies and mammograms. If an abnormality is discovered during an exam, the patient is referred to an appropriate specialist for further testing and diagnosis.

Be proactive. Ask your dentist or doctor to complete an oral cancer screening during each examination or physical. If you have one or more risk factors, it’s essential to meet with your health care provider for counsel on oral cancer screenings and prevention.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

  • Tobacco use (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or snuff)
  • Heavy drinking
  • Unhealthy diet
  • HPV infection
  • Weak immune system
  • Frequent exposure to UV light (a risk factor for cancers of the lips)

To set up a dental oral cancer exam and general dentistry checkup, I invite you to call 619-337-7700.



Contact Jeff Gray DDS – Sedation & Cosmetic Dentistry:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California

Unexplained Headaches Or Jaw Pain? Might Be Your Bite

unexplained jaw pain

Hello! I’m Jeff Gray, DDS, of Jeff Gray DDS in La Mesa. I have been practicing quality general and cosmetic dentistry since 1986. Today’s post focuses on malocclusion, or “bad bite.”

Malocclusion is the dental term for a problem in the way your top and bottom teeth come together. The ideal bite is when the upper teeth are slightly forward of the lower teeth. You have probably heard of “overbites” and “underbites” but the two arches can be misaligned in many other ways as well. Crowded teeth can also cause a bad bite, as well as the opposite situation – teeth that are too far apart.

If the misalignment is very slight, there are often no related problems. However, if the malocclusion is moderate to severe, the patient is at risk for many other health issues such as difficulty chewing and speaking, headaches, hearing problems, increased decay, jaw pain, and gum disease.

The domino effect of these problems can get pretty serious. For example, chewing difficulty can trigger ulcers and gum disease increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Consider also how these problems can impact a patient’s emotional well-being and capacity to perform their job.

Putting health issues aside, these problems can get pretty costly to treat.

There are several effective treatments for malocclusion, but first you need a diagnosis. If you suspect that you have a misaligned bite, I hope this post has given you some good reasons to talk to Dr. Jeff Gray. Call 619-337-7700 to schedule a consultation and exam.

Don’t Chew On Your Dentist, La Mesa!

cosmetic dentistry Alpine

Bite down hard, but not on Dr. Gray’s hand!

Do you find that biting down hard is painful or awkward? There are ways to find the source of the trouble and there are ways to make it right.

Let Jeff Gray, DDS, in La Mesa, CA, help you with that everyday chewing luxury most of us take for granted. Let us get you back to chewing pleasurably every meal of the day.

As we examine your mouth and survey the damage, we will remain gentle and forthright. And if you haven’t already, come check out our total teamwork to serve you in a state-of-the-art facility. Call now while you’re thinking about it: (619) 337-7700

Jeff Gray DDS remains the dental provider in La Mesa most worthy of your trust. We, of course, offer cosmetic dentistry. When we schedule you for cosmetic dentistry, you can be secure and confident that we’ve got it handled. We also encourage our San Diego friends to consider dental implants as an option with us.

When it comes to dental restoration, improving your smile, instilling confidence, offering gentle care, and providing affordable cosmetic dentistry throughout the San Diego area, Jeff Gray DDS is going to drill this home every time – We Bring Smiles To Life.

Instead of the dentist, chew on that, La Mesa!

Jeff Gray DDS
8555 Fletcher Pkwy Ste 102
La Mesa, California 91942
(619) 337-7700

All Tooth Stains Are Not Created Equal

La Mesa Teeth Bleaching Will any of our locally advertised La Mesa teeth whitening options remove the stains from your teeth?

The effectiveness of teeth bleaching in Alpine depends partly on the types of stains.

Extrinsic tooth stains are the easiest to remove. These surface stains have not yet penetrated through the enamel into the dentin. Extrinsic stains are caused by dark-colored foods and beverages like blueberries, carrots, coffee, red wine, and cola. And nicotine is no better for your smile than it is for your lungs.

Unfortunately, even if you avoid these common teeth stainers, your teeth will become discolored over time. Like gray hair, wrinkles, and memory lapses, a dull smile is an inevitable part of aging for San Diego men and women.

Intrinsic tooth stains develop from the inside out. Tooth injury and tetracycline are the usual culprits. Intrinsic stains are more difficult to remove completely, but it is possible to lighten them with professional tooth whitening available at your Jamul cosmetic dental office.

If your teeth are stained, whether from coffee, tetracycline, or excessive fluoride, call Jeff Gray DDS at (619) 337-7700. We have treated many Santee patients with extreme tooth discoloration.

It is never too late or too early to brighten your smile.

La Mesa seniors can take years off their appearance by restoring the youthful white smile they once enjoyed. San Diego teens and young adults with surface stains can prevent them from becoming intrinsic stains with Alpine tooth bleaching.

Speaking of the younger set, did you know that people who drink energy drinks are at risk for many dental problems?

Call us at (619) 337-7700

Looking For A Dentist In La Mesa

Looking For A Dentist In La Mesa Looking for a dentist in La Mesa is sometimes a simple matter of word of mouth. The most common way for people to find a dentist in a new area such as La Mesa is to ask a friend or neighbor. ‘Who is your dentist?’ is a common question. The answer is usually followed up with an explanation about whether or not your friend likes their dentist or not, and whether they would recommend their La Mesa dentist to a friend.

I am Dr. Jeff Gray, and I am a Doctor serving the La Mesa California community as a licensed Doctor. We call our practice ‘Jeff Gray DDS‘, and we welcome new patients from the San Diego area.

If you are new to the San Diego area and are looking for a La Mesa dentist, please come by my dentist office in La Mesa California. I will be happy to spend some time with you to get to know you, and to introduce you to our friendly and professional office staff.

I realize that most of our new patients will come to us by word-of-mouth referrals and our patient testimonials. It is our goal to deliver such a positive dental experience that you will be compelled to tell your friends about how happy you are with our dental service.

I look forward to meeting you.

-Dr. Jeff Gray, DDS


La Mesa Dentist

La Mesa Dentist Hello,

My name is Dr. Jeff Gray, and I am a Doctor in the La Mesa, California community.

My practice is called ‘Jeff Gray DDS‘, and together we provide dentistry services including sedation dentistry.

If you are looking for a La Mesa Dentist, I invite you to give Jeff Gray DDS a try. We are friendly and professional, and caring. Give us a call at 619-337-7700, or visit us on our website at https://smilesandiego.com

By the way: I am a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. You can learn more about American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry at their website located at http://www.AACD.com

Find A Dentist

There are a lot of places to look for a dentist, but its not always easy to find a dentist in La Mesa.

It used to be that in La Mesa you could find a dentist just by walking down to the corner of the street. Like many small towns, there would be a dentist on the corner of ‘north and main’, just up from the fire house, and across from the bakery.

Today, finding a dentist around La Mesa can take a little more time, and a little more effort. Our local La Mesa community is spread out a little more, and there is more than one option for finding a local dentist in La Mesa.

Let’s look at a few of the ways to find a local dentist in La Mesa:

The old timers among us still reach for the yellow pages when we look to find a dentist in our local La Mesa community. The yellow pages have been a standard for dentists since the beginning, and are a quick way to get a good list of local La Mesa dentists.

Studies are showing an ever increasing number of La Mesa consumers are turning to their Internet connection to find a dentist. To find a dentist online can mean more than just a name and a phone number; many dentists, like us, have additional information on their website that will help you gain a better understanding of their practice and the services they provide.

Many people find a dentist in the La Mesa community through printed mailers and flyers that come to your door. La Mesa dentists spend a lot of money on these types of flyers, which can often carry a discount opportunity or special promotion.

The most popular method used to find a local dentist? …Word of mouth. Studies have shown that people in La Mesa are more willing to listen to a family member or close friend when it comes to finding a local La Mesa dentist.

We understand this last point, and make it our job to keep our patients happy, healthy, informed and comfortable during their visit to the dentist. We know if you leave happy, your friends and family in the La Mesa area will hear about us, too.

If you are looking for a dentist in La Mesa, please give us a call. You can reach us at 619-337-7700.

If you know a friend who is trying to find a dentist in the La Mesa area, please pass our name along.

We look forward to seeing you both!

Bone Health and Dental Health in San Diego

There is a tooth connection that links osteoporosis and oral health. If you are a woman, Colin Yoshida DDSyou have probably heard about the high rate of osteoporosis in America. The state of California is no exception. Osteoporosis can often progress without any outward symptoms. However, there may be clues in a person’s mouth that indicate compromised bones in the rest of the body.

The following dental and periodontal issues could indicate the presence of osteoporosis:

  • Gum detachment
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Jaw bone recession and erosion
  • Difficulty with ordinary mouth function such as eating or speaking

There are many San Diego dental professionals that can determine the presence of bone deterioration with x-rays and other diagnostic tools. If we suspect the possibility of osteoporosis, we can refer you to a local medical professional.

At Jeff Gray DDS are trained in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the oral health problems sometimes associated with osteoporosis. Schedule a consultation in La Mesa by calling 619-337-7700 and we can discuss your dental concerns. While you are here, we can also tell you about the cosmetic dental services we provide. Aesthetic dentistry continues to improve smiles for our friends and neighbors in the San Diego area.

If you suspect you may be suffering from osteoporosis, please see your physician right away. While your dentist can help identify some of the symptoms associated with osteoporosis, you should not rely on your dentist to provide a diagnosis of osteoporosis.