Dental Tips Blog

Dec
18

A Second Opinion on Oral Cancer

Posted in Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is more common than most Americans realize. This type of cancer is one of the easiest to treat, but it’s also easy to miss. If you wait too long to take action, it can cause serious problems. The most effective way to treat oral cancer is to diagnose it as early as possible.

What if your dentist identifies a suspicious spot in your mouth at your next dental checkup?

It’s important that you don’t wait too long before taking action. But it’s okay to ask around before settling on a treatment course.

Why Get a Second Opinion?

Patients often seek a second opinion because:

  • They cannot contact a cancer expert, so they ask another general practitioners
  • They want more options for treating the cancer
  • The diagnosis is such a rare and obscure condition that it requires the support of another opinion or two

It’s understandable that you’ll want extra emotional support at this time. That’s why you’ll probably find it helpful to talk with people you know who’ve dealt with cancer in the past. Or you might feel better talking with your trusted primary care physician for recommendations.

Getting the First Opinion

Start out by scheduling a routine checkout with your local dentist. A basic dental examination includes a careful oral cancer screening.

It’s also a good idea to be familiar with any unusual sores or spots that develop or show up in your own mouth. If you notice something strange, you can bring it to the attention of a dental expert. You’ll also learn from your dentist about what you can do to lower your risk for oral cancer. Call your dentist today to schedule.

Posted on behalf of:
Basin Dentistry
5016 Briarwood Ave
Midland, TX 79707
(462) 699-7334

Nov
30

What to Ask Your Dentist About Oral Cancer

Posted in Oral Cancer

Cancer is a scary topic.

The most unlikely people can be diagnosed seemingly overnight with the most unpredictable and aggressive diseases known to humans. Annually, oral cancer claims the lives of some 9,000 Americans.

The Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) states that most deaths caused by oral cancer are because they are discovered too late, and NOT because they are too difficult to treat.

Early detection is key.

The goal is not to make you paranoid, but rather to alert you to the potential danger. Bring these questions along with you to your next dental checkup to make sure you fully understand your cancer risk.

“What are my risk factors?”

The likelihood of oral cancer is connected to factors like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Genetics
  • Lifestyle
  • Immune health

A dental professional will best help you understand your unique situation.

“How might cancer treatment affect my dental health and treatment?”

When caught early, cancer treatment is more effective. Treatment for advanced cases can affect what you eat and even how you brush your teeth. This is serious business, so it’s important to get suspicious areas checked out early.

“What signs should I look for at home?”

Your dentist will let you know how you to carefully check your own mouth and tongue at home. A self-exam will keep you in-tune with your body and be aware of changes as soon as they develop.

“How can I lower my risk?”

An experienced dentist will give you the best tips on keeping your mouth as healthy as possible. You’ll also learn how cancer develops and how to reduce your risk factors.

Find out more by scheduling a cancer screening at your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Sep
8

4 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Oral Cancer

Posted in Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is scary. It’s nothing trivial, that’s for sure! It tends to be overlooked as something not very serious. It’s also dangerous for the fact that it can sneak up and become a big problem before you’re even aware of it.

Putting the following five points into practice will help you to lower your risk for oral cancer.

  1. Wear SPF on Your Lips

The skin on your lips is different from that inside your mouth. Skin cancer can develop differently there. But even the outside of your lips is very close to inside your mouth. Keeping your lips healthy and protected with SPF lipbalm will spare the rest of your mouth some potentially serious complications.

  1. Say “No” to Tobacco and Alcohol

Drugs such as chewing tobacco and excessive alcohol irritate the sensitive tissues in the mouth. Cutting them out altogether is the single best way to lower your risk for developing cancer.

  1. Switch Up the Location

If you feel that you aren’t yet ready to quit the chew or snuff, then at least try to move it around. These substances trigger unnatural changes in the sensitive cells of their surroundings. The longer the cells are exposed to the chemicals, the more they will change.

  1. Get Regular Examinations

Early detection is the best cure for almost any cancer. Oral cancer can be absolutely devastating, if not treated as soon as possible. Doing a self-exam on a regular basis will keep you alert to changes in your own mouth. Visit your dentist for regular examinations to make sure you get a thorough checkup and cancers screening twice a year.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Mar
14

Early Warning Signs Of Oral Cancer

Posted in Oral Cancer

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 45,750 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year. Approximately one person dies from oral cancer every hour.  While oral cancer can be greatly prevented with healthy lifestyle choices, early detection remains an important factor in surviving oral cancer.

Maybe It’s Oral Cancer

Sometimes the smallest symptoms can be the first warning sign of oral cancer. The key to early detection is paying attention to your oral health and any changes that persist for several days or weeks and notifying your dentist. Do you know the early symptoms of oral cancer?

  • A Constant mouth sore or ulcer that just won’t heal
  • White, red or a mixture of white and red patches on the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth
  • A persistent lump on your lip, in your mouth, in your throat or on your neck
  • Difficulty or pain associated with chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your jaw and tongue
  • Loosening of the teeth or painful teeth without any obvious dental reason
  • Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness of the tongue or mouth
  • A sensation that a lump or something is caught in your throat
  • Ear pain that doesn’t affect your hearing
  • Sudden, unexpected weight loss
  • Ear or jaw pain that does not resolve itself
  • Voice changes, hoarseness or a persistent sore throat
  • Swelling that causes denture discomfort or poor fit

If you’re experiencing any of these persistent conditions, your dentist may recommend special tests to rule out the possibility of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Prevention

Your best defense against oral cancer is by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as stopping tobacco use, and having routine oral cancer screenings at your regular dental checkups. Call your dentist today to make an appointment.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050 

Mar
8

Detecting Oral Cancer Early With a Brush Biopsy

Posted in Oral Cancer

Did you know that approximately one person dies from oral cancer every hour, every day, every year? Of those that are diagnosed, barely more than half will still be living five years after their diagnosis, in great part due to late detection. As the rate of oral cancer increases, early detection becomes more important.

Preventing Oral Cancer

Cancers begin as harmless dysplasia, which are pre-cancerous cells in the thin layer of tissue that surrounds our skin and organs. If dysplasia goes undetected and untreated, cancer forms. The best way to prevent oral cancer is by detecting irregularities early, before cancer growth occurs.

Brush Biopsy

A brush biopsy is a non-invasive, in-office method of oral cancer diagnosis. Detecting oral cancer early, with a brush biopsy, is a four step process:

  1. Detection: Dysplasia of the mouth typically begins as a red, white or mixed colored spot that can be easily overlooked. Small bumps in the mouth are not uncommon, but when they occur without an obvious cause, your dentist may determine that further analysis is necessary.
  2. Brush Biopsy: This simple, in-office procedure, requires no anesthetic and involves rotating a small, circular brush against a suspicious area. Slight abrasion allows the brush to collect cellular material, which is then transferred to a slide for laboratory analysis.
  3. Detection: The material collected is then analyzed in a lab for abnormal cells. Once the analysis is complete, the results are sent to your dentist.
  4. Results: The laboratory report will help your dentist determine the underlying cause of your oral concern. Should unhealthy cells be found, you may be referred to an oral cancer specialist for early treatment.

Routine dental checkups are your best option for oral cancer prevention! Call your dentist today to schedule your appointment!

Posted on behalf of:
Newport Beach Dentistry
1401 Avocado Ave #20
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 644-9181

Mar
6

Reducing Your Risk For Oral Cancer

Posted in Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can happen to anyone, but the majority of cases are related to lifestyle choices.  By making some simple changes, you can reduce your chance of contracting this disease.

  • Tobacco Products: any people with oral cancer use some form of tobacco product.  Whether you smoke tobacco or chew it, it’s important for your oral health that you make the decision to quit.
  • Drinking Alcohol:  Moderation is very important when it comes to consuming alcohol, which is also linked to oral cancer.  Alcohol use is a common factor in nearly a third of all oral cancer diagnoses.  If you use tobacco and consume alcohol, your risk of oral cancer becomes 30 times more likely.
  • Oral HPV:  The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus that is quickly catching up to tobacco use as the most common cause of oral cancer.
  • Poor Diet Choices:  Many oral cancer diagnoses can be linked, at least in part, to poor food choices.  A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, vitamin C and calcium have shown a decreased risk of oral cancer.
  • Excessive Sun Exposure:  When applying sun protection, the lips are often overlooked; yet excessive, repeated sun exposure increases your risk of lip cancer.  Remember to apply lip protection when heading outside.

Oral Health

Making healthy lifestyle choices is the first step to reducing your risk of oral cancer.  You can also conduct monthly self exams at home.  With the aid of a small mirror, inspect your mouth thoroughly for concerning areas.  If you notice any lumps, sore spots or discolored red or white patches, call your dentist right away.  Visiting your dentist for regular oral cancer exams is one of the best ways to protect your smile’s future.

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

Jan
26

3 Risks for Oral Cancer That You Didn’t Know About

Posted in Oral Cancer

Cancer is a word that nobody wants to hear or talk about.  When you go to your dentist for a check-up, you are not only examined for cavities and gum disease but you are also being examined for oral cancer (cancer in or around the mouth).  This is another reason why you should visit your dentist regularly.  The key for surviving oral cancer is detecting the disease early.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Tobacco use in all forms, including cigar smoking, cigarette smoking, pipe smoking or chewing tobacco can definitely increase your risk for oral cancer.  More risk factors of oral cancer include: being a Male, family history of cancer and a previous oral cancer diagnosis.

Did you know that there are more risk factors for oral cancer that you might not have known about?

Here are 3 risk factors that are not well known:

1)    HPV (sexually transmitted infection)- If you have the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV, then you are at risk for oral cancer- especially with some specific forms of HPV.

2)    Alcohol abuse – If you drink a lot of alcohol, it increases your risk for oral cancer.  If you drink lots of alcohol along with smoking a lot, your risk for oral cancer is even greater.

3)    Age- The older you get, the higher your risk is for developing oral cancer especially in people over 40.

Have you recently been to your dentist to be screened for oral cancer?  If not, call your dentist to schedule an exam, including an oral cancer screening.  If your dentist finds any questionable areas, the sooner you find it and treat it, the better.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

Jan
25

ViziLite: How it Enhances Your Check-up

Posted in Oral Cancer

A dental exam is important for checking your teeth and the surrounding tissues in your mouth.  A crucial part of the exam is the oral cancer screening.  If caught early, oral cancer can be one of the most curable diseases.  Are there any special tools that are used to screen for oral cancer to help with early detection?  The answer is yes.  It is called Vizilite Oral Cancer Screening.

How is ViziLite used?

ViziLite is tool used by a dental professional to evaluate the tissues in the mouth and to look for any suspicious areas that could be precancerous or cancerous cells.

  1. You will rinse with a solution to help abnormal cells to be visible when a special light is shined on the tissue
  2. Overhead lights are dimmed
  3. A low intensity light is then shined onto the tissues in the mouth to check for any abnormal cells that are visible

What are some benefits of using ViziLite?

  • The exam typically takes 2-5 minutes
  • It can help to detect oral cancer or abnormal tissue at an earlier stage, when it may not be visible to the naked eye in a standard oral cancer screening
  • A small light source is easily used so you can see more areas in the mouth
  • ViziLite is disposable, to help prevent cross-contamination between patients

ViziLite should especially be a part of your dental exam if you have habits that can cause oral cancer such as smoking or chewing tobacco.

Are you interested in Viizilite?  Talk to your dentist and ask if Vizilite is offered in addition to your standard checkup and dental cleaning appointment.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050 

Nov
21

Is HPV Linked to Oral Cancer?

Posted in Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a very serious condition. Too often it goes undetected until it has spread to another area, such as the neck. At this point, treatment becomes much more difficult and the prognosis worsens. Tobacco use is not the only predisposing risk factor for oral cancer. With a rise in the number of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections, more and more people are exposed to yet another risk factor for developing oral cancer.

The Connection Between HPV and Oral Cancer

CDC statistics estimate that some 80% of Americans will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives. The majority of these infections clear up on their own, often without the individual ever being aware of any symptoms. However, of the nearly 200 strains of HPV, only nine are directly associated with causing cancer.

Many HPV strains are known to cause abnormal growths in the skin. These changes, if not successfully fought off by the body, can cause skin cells to permanently change in an abnormal way. This is how cancer can develop.

What You Should Know About Oral Cancer

It’s estimated that over 45,000 Americans will be diagnosed with some kind of oral cancer within the next year. Although an HPV infection does not guarantee that cancer will follow, the fact has been established that it will put you at risk. This means that you don’t have to be a tobacco user to develop oral cancer.

Early diagnosis leads to earlier treatments and more successful outcomes. Regular oral cancer screenings by your dentist can help you stay on top of your oral health and potentially minimize your cancer risk.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

Oct
27

I Don’t Smoke. Why Do I Need an Oral Cancer Screening?

Posted in Oral Cancer

It’s certainly true that those who use tobacco are at higher risk for oral cancer. Even if you don’t smoke, consider why your dentist performs an oral cancer screening on every patient.

Other Risk Factors

The fact remains that your risk could still be increased by having a history of oral cancer in your family, or even simply by your age. Those over the age of 55 are at higher risk. There are likely many other factors as yet unknown as to how they can cause cancer.

Catching It Before It’s Too Late

Sometimes, aggressive forms of cancer can develop rapidly between regular dental visits. For the most part, however, small signs of cancer can be detected in your dentist’s office before they become large symptoms that you discover at home. The earlier your dentist can find and diagnose oral cancer, the greater your chances become that treatment will be minimal, complete, and the least painful possible. Healing time will be quicker, and chances of the cancer returning will be lower.

A Wise Use of Time

Your dentist could be wasting precious time by screening patients based upon risk factors, alone. If your dentist concluded that you don’t need an oral cancer screening simply because you don’t smoke, he could end up missing a dangerous change in your mouth. The most careful approach is to simply screen all patientsfor potential signs of oral cancer.

Cancer can be a scary thing to deal with. Whenever and for whatever reason cancer rears its ugly head, your dentist wants to prepare you to minimize the effects of cancer by discovering it and treating it as soon as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…