Posts for tag: oral cancer

By Today's Dental
February 20, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer   Bad Breath  

Find out just how harmful tobacco can be for your oral health.

While cigarette smoking in adults has decreased over the years, about 42 million adults still smoke cigarettes. It can be hard to ditch smoking; however, this nasty habit not only affects your overall health but the health of your teeth and gums as well. Find out just what kind of effects tobacco could have your smile and why your Houston, TX dentist recommends quitting for good if you want to preserve your smile.

Bad Breath: It probably comes as no surprise that smoking cigarettes can leave a rather unpleasant aroma behind. Those who smoke often deal with halitosis, the medical term for severely bad breath. There are several reasons why smoking causes this unpleasant condition.

First, smoking cigarettes causes smoke particles to remain on the throat and the lungs. This smell can stay in your mouth for hours, producing a rather stale and offensive smell. Second, there are over 60 chemicals found in cigarettes that can be to blame for pungent breath. If people have been complaining about your bad breath, you may want to blame cigarettes.

Unsightly stains: The chemicals from tobacco products also stain tooth enamel. These stains are usually yellow or brown and can become impossible to remove, particularly in long-term or frequent smokers. These stains are often too severe to experience much of an effect from whitening toothpastes or rinses, which means that a lot of smokers just have to put up with yellowing, discolored teeth.

Increase in oral cancer: One study conducted by the University of California in San Francisco found that as many as eighty percent of oral cancer patients were also smokers. Combine tobacco use with alcohol consumption and your risk of developing oral cancer is 15 times more likely than someone who doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol.

Increase in gum disease: Smoking cigarettes is actually the most common risk factor associated with the development of gum disease. Furthermore, smoking can even decrease the effectiveness of gum disease treatments. Uncontrolled and untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss.

Slower healing: Since tobacco increases the chance of gum disease or tooth loss, these conditions also require surgery or aggressive dental treatments. However, the recovery process can be significant harder and longer for those who smoke. This is because the chemicals in tobacco can affect the way the oral tissue heals and even cause abnormal blood clots to form, which will only delay your recovery.

For those looking to hide severe tobacco stains, we offer a variety of different cosmetic dental services to help you regain a whiter, healthier smile after smoking. Also you should be coming in every six months for routine cleanings. If it’s time to schedule a cleaning with your Houston, TX dentist, Dr. Tiberiu Oancea, contact Today’s Dental.

By Today's Dental
October 27, 2014
Category: Oral Health
MichaelDouglasPleaGetScreenedforOralCancer

Actor Michael Douglas shocked TV audiences across the country when he announced on the David Letterman Show in 2010 that he has stage IV oral cancer. Fortunately, the cancer had not spread and his radiation and chemotherapy treatments were successful. This year, Douglas teamed up with the Oral Cancer Foundation to warn others about the dangers of the disease and the importance of early detection. In particular, he wants younger people to know that even if they don't smoke and drink a lot, as he admitted to Letterman that he did, they are still at risk.

As Douglas states in a PSA he made with the foundation, “the fastest growing segment of the people developing oral cancers are young, non smokers.” That's due to a strain of the Human Papilloma Virus known as HPV16 that can be transmitted through oral sex. So it's important to avoid risky sexual behaviors and to be screened regularly for this devastating disease that claims one life every hour in the U.S., according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

An oral cancer screening is a simple visual and tactile exam done right here at the dental office. We will feel your neck for lumps and inspect your lips and all inside surfaces of the mouth, including the back of your throat, for any suspicious signs. If any are found, a biopsy (laboratory analysis of a tissue sample) can be ordered.

Most oral cancers are “squamous” (small scale-shaped) cell carcinomas that occur in the lining of the mouth and are often preceded by recognizable changes (lesions) of the oral membranes. White or red patches begin to form in the pre-cancerous stage, and as the cancer develops, a non-healing ulcer may appear. If you notice any such changes in your mouth, please let us know.

Michael Douglas ends his PSA with the following plea: “So please, the next time you visit your dentist or your medical doctor, ask for this simple screening. Finding oral cancer in its earliest stages may save your life.” We agree, which is why we always perform this screening during your regular dental check-up. If it's been a while since your last appointment, please come in and see us.

If you would like more information about oral cancer, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about the disease in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”