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

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

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

Dec
5

Oral Cancer Screenings Could Save Your Life

Posted in Oral Cancer

Even the healthiest of people can develop conditions like oral cancer. While oral cancer has been linked to risk factors like HPV, sun exposure, tobacco and alcohol, it is also found in people that do not have any of these risk factors at all. That’s why oral cancer screenings are such an important part of your regular preventive dental care.

Oral cancer and precancerous tissues often appear as lesions or spots in the mouth that do not go away or heal within 2 weeks. Areas of concern may look:

  • Red
  • White
  • Raw
  • Raised
  • Pitted
  • Have irregular borders
  • Do not match the tissue on the opposite side of the mouth

The most common areas for oral cancer to develop are on the sides of the tongue, in the floor of the mouth, and towards the back of the palate. However, oral cancer is also regularly seen on the lower lip and inside of the cheeks. Other types of oral cancers may not be visible, but only found through palpation of the soft tissues in and around the mouth, face, and neck.

During your regular exam, your dentist will check the tissues inside of your mouth to identify abnormal and precancerous tissues in their earliest stages. The earlier these tissues can be identified, the more effective (and less invasive) the treatment is. Your dentist may perform a small biopsy that is sent off for testing, see you for a follow up, or refer you to a specialist for an assessment. If you have noticed tissues inside of your mouth that don’t look quite right, it’s time to see your dentist immediately.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

Sep
12

Oral Cancer Screening

Posted in Oral Cancer

It has been estimated by the Oral Cancer Foundation that almost 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year (2013). Oral cancer can affect the mouth, tongue, throat, and the tonsils. While tobacco is the main cause of oral cancer, heavy alcohol use and exposure to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are also significant contributors. With the number of diagnoses increasing every year, it is important to discuss the benefits of oral cancer screening with your dentist.

Yearly exams by your Marietta dentist can increase the odds of early detection. The oral cancer screening is done in your dentist’s office and can be performed during your regular check-up. Your dentist will use a special device (such as ViziLite or VELscope) that will shine a light into your mouth. The light helps your dentist detect cancerous cells on your gums before they are visible to the human eye. Your dentist will be able to give you immediate results from this screening and will discuss all options should your screening reveal anything abnormal.

Many insurance providers offer coverage for oral cancer screening. You also have the option of using your health savings account or flex spending account to cover the costs. If your insurance does not cover oral cancer screening and you do you have an HAS or FSA, please speak with your dentist. Many screenings are available at an affordable price.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates

Google

Oct
19

Oral Cancer Screenings

Posted in Oral Cancer

The American Cancer Society believes that there are nearly 30,000 diagnosed oral cancer cases each year. Screening and early intervention for oral cancer is very important, because delay in diagnosis and treatment leads to thousands of deaths each year.

Your dentist and hygienist are trained to conduct oral cancer screenings during your routine dental cleanings and exams through painless visual and palpation techniques of the mouth, head and neck. The soft tissues are checked for irregularities in their appearance, and lymph nodes are palpated for abnormalities.

In addition to traditional screenings, some dentists are now implementing the use of advanced screening products that help to identify precancerous tissue. Typically the patient rinses with a mouth rinse and then is examined using a special light to detect which tissues appear abnormal.

Up to 75% of oral cancer cases are related to tobacco and alcohol use. The human papilloma virus is also associated with oral cancer in addition to others. In some cases, oral cancer develops in healthy individuals with absolutely no risk factors at all.

Warning signs for oral cancer include areas that are:

  • White, hard areas that do not wipe off
  • Red or raw
  • Irregular in appearance with no defined border
  • Sores that do not heal within 2 weeks

Typically the lesion will appear on only one side of the mouth and may be asymptomatic. If the lesion persists more than 2 weeks, it is important to have your dentist or medical doctor examine it.

If suspicious areas are found, they are monitored, biopsied, or referred to a specialist for diagnosis. Treatments for oral cancer include surgical removal, radiation and chemotherapy. Early intervention is important for successful oral cancer treatment.

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