Oral cancer occurs when abnormal cells begin to grow in the oral cavity. The cells grow uncontrollably and without order, which can lead to tumors in the mouth. Oral cancer impacts over 42,000 Americans each year, and because it is often detected in the later stages, the survival rate is low.
Oral cancer symptoms can be subtle at first. They may include:
Any cancer is scary and fears about oral cancer can cause people to avoid the dentist. However, it’s important to know that your risk for developing oral cancer is very small. According to the American Cancer Society, your risk for developing oral cancer is 1 in 9,000, and your chances of dying from oral cancer are 1 in 50.
If oral cancer is diagnosed, a range of treatment options are available. Patients should discuss these with their doctor to make sure they’re getting the most effective treatment.
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
The dentist will examine the entire mouth and look for any abnormal growths, discolorations, lesions, or lumps. The dentist will then recommend a follow-up appointment to remove the growth.
Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to teeth. They seal the tiny grooves on the chewing surfaces of teeth, which make them easier to keep clean. Sealants should be applied soon after the permanent molars grow in, which is usually around the age of six.
Dental sealants are most often applied to molars, but they may also be applied to premolars. Sealants are easy to apply and can effectively protect teeth for several years.
Fluoride treatments are a quick and easy preventive treatment. We can apply fluoride to your enamel after your dental cleaning. This ensures your teeth are healthy and strong. It also helps prevent cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Snore guards help with sleep apnea. They reposition the tongue and lower jaw forward to help keep the airway open. This positively impacts the breathing process.
Snore guards are typically made of acrylic or hard plastic and are typically worn while sleeping.
Many patients don't realize that TMJ disorder may have a number of causes. Some common factors include teeth grinding (bruxism) and sleep apnea. Teeth grinding and TMJ disorder may also be caused by misaligned teeth or malocclusion.