Dental Tips Blog

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 

Jul
24

Is It Oral Cancer?

Posted in Oral Cancer

Have you noticed any unusual developments involving the health of your mouth or throat? Perhaps you have noticed a sign such as these:

  • a sore that won’t heal
  • an unexplained discolored patch
  • difficulty swallowing

You may rightly be anxious – could this be cancer?

The first thing you should know is that if you notice anything at all that you know is out of place, then mention it to your dental care provider as soon as possible. You are at the best advantage to check your mouth each day for changes and abnormalities. In visiting the dentist regularly, you may experience an oral cancer screening. This screening is done by the dentist to check for any unusual patches on oral tissues, or for swollen areas in the lymph nodes indicating infection.

If something is detected which the dentist deems questionable, then he may order a biopsy for the site, just to be certain it isn’t cancerous. Oral cancer can be difficult to locate in its early stages, but the sooner it is found, the easier it is to treat.

Some dentists may even use a special light to detect the presence of cells that are starting to grow abnormally.

You should be familiar with a few factors that may predispose you to oral cancer:

  • excessive exposure to sunlight
  • tobacco and heavy alcohol use
  • any history with cancer

Worrying will not do you any good, but keeping in regular communication with your dental office is the best thing that you can do! Stay alert to any changes you may note, and freely question your dentist. Be proactive, be safe.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Apr
9

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Posted in Oral Cancer

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, now in its 15th year.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed this year with oral or pharyngeal cancer. Of those, about 7,300 are expected to die this year and by five years from now, about half are expected to have died.

Other significant facts:

The average age of someone diagnosed with oral cancer is 62 years old.

Oral cancer is twice as common in men as women.

The death rate for cancer is higher than many other cancers, including cervical and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

About $3.2 billion is spent annually in the United States on the treatment of oral cancer.

The reason for the high death rate, officials say, is that most cases aren’t diagnosed until the cancer is in its later stages and the disease has already spread. Treatment is less successful at that stage than if the cancer had been detected early on.

Risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco and alcohol use, particularly long term use of these substances.  Poor nutrition also increases your risk, as does prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light. One of the more newly discovered risks, according to the ACS, is the human papilloma virus, or HPV, a sexually transmitted disease.

Initial signs of oral cancer can include soreness in the mouth that doesn’t go away, red or white patches in the mouth, or unexplained lumps or soreness in the back of the mouth or jaw.

The American Cancer Society and other organizations are using Oral Cancer Awareness Month to encourage everyone, regardless of age or risk factors, to get screened. Many dentists offer free screenings or routine screenings with regular dental check-ups.

Posted on behalf of Linda King DDS

Google

Nov
21

You Mean Smokers Aren’t The Only Ones at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Posted in Oral Cancer

When you think of oral cancer, who do you think is mostly at risk to develop such a condition? We’ve been brought up to think that unless we use tobacco or alcohol products heavily, we aren’t going to have to worry about oral cancer. Yes, these products are directly related with a higher risk of oral cancer, but there are also many seemingly healthy individuals that develop the condition each and every year.

The American Cancer Society estimates that this year alone, 30,000 oral cancer cases will be diagnosed. Many of these people have never used tobacco products, yet are devastated to find out from their dentist or physician that they have the condition.

Another risk factor includes HPV, the same virus that is linked with cervical cancer. This virus has been found to cause mouth and throat cancers in some patients.

Signs of oral cancer include areas in the mouth that are unilateral (only on one side), and appear as areas that are red, white, or sores that do not heal. By the time these areas are significant enough for a patient to notice them on their own, it is usually very far into the disease progression and there is an increased risk of morbidity.

Thankfully, your dentist can screen for oral cancer at your routine dental appointment. Whether your dentist uses a clinical evaluation or an advanced cancer screening technique, identifying abnormal or precancerous tissue early on is the most effective way to combat cases of oral cancer. If an abnormal area is identified, your dentist will simply collect some sample tissue to send off to a laboratory for diagnosis. Seeing your dentist every 6 months is one of the best ways you can protect yourself against oral cancer.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care

Google

Jan
30

Is Oral Cancer Preventable?

Posted in Oral Cancer

When it comes to life-threatening diseases like oral cancer, one of the questions everyone wants to know is: Is it preventable? The short answer is ‘yes.’ Oral cancer has been deemed a “highly preventable” type of cancer by the medical community. You might be surprised to know that only a small percentage of cancers― 5%― are hereditary. Oral cancer is not one of them. Oral cancer can be prevented in two major ways: lifestyle changes and early detection and treatment.

1)      Lifestyle Changes

Because oral cancer is a lifestyle disease, it can be prevented a lot more easily than it can be acquired. Preventing oral cancer is largely a matter of knowing the risk factors and avoiding them. Tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, excessive sun exposure, and poor oral hygiene are the major risk factors for oral cancer.

People with certain conditions like lichen planus, human paillomavirus (HPV), and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) are also at risk for oral cancer. To a lesser extent, diet and nutrition also plays a role in increasing or decreasing a person’s risk of developing oral cancer. Specifically, diets low in beta-carotene (fruits and vegetables), vitamin C, and vitamin E have been found to be associated with an increased risk of oral cancer.

The fact that 3 in 4 people diagnosed with oral cancer have at least one of the above risk factors strongly suggests that oral cancer can be prevented by eliminating or decreasing the behaviors and conditions that increase a person’s chance of getting the disease.

2)      Early detection and treatment

Along with lifestyle changes, regular oral cancer screenings and dental check-ups play a major role in preventing oral cancer. Dentists can detect pre-cancerous conditions in the mouth (such as lesions and discolorations of the mucous membranes). An early oral cancer diagnosis drastically improves treatment outcomes and mortality rates, and greatly increases the chances of nipping the disease in the bud.

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