Dental Oncology in Houston (Oral Cancer)
Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers today and has one of the lowest survival rates, with thousands of new cases being reported each year. Fewer than half of all people diagnosed with oral cancer are never cured.
Moreover, people with many different forms of cancer can develop complications, some of them chronic and painful from their cancer treatment. These complications include dry mouth and overly sensitive teeth, as well as accelerated tooth decay.
Older adults over the age of 40 (especially men) are most susceptible to developing oral cancer, but people of all ages are at risk.
Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, but the tongue appears to be the most common location. Other oral structures could include the lips, gums and other soft palate tissues in the mouth.
The Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
In general, early signs of oral cancer usually occur in the form of lumps, patchy areas, lesions or breaks in the tissues of the mouth. In many cases, these abnormalities are not painful in the early stages, making even self-diagnosis difficult.
Talk to Dr. Penchas, your dentist in Houston, if you experience any of these oral cancer warning signs:
- Hoarseness or difficulty swallowing.
- Unusual bleeding or persistent sores in the mouth that won’t heal.
- Lumps or growths in other nearby areas, such as the throat or neck.
Oral Cancer Screening in Houston Tx
Oral cancer isn’t a very well-known disease but unfortunately, it’s becoming more prevalent. There are more young women being diagnosed which may be due to the fact that more smoke now. While alcohol and tobacco use are proven risk factors for developing oral cancer, some 25% of those diagnosed will be non-smokers and moderate drinkers or teetotalers. If detected early then survival rates are good. Scheduling regular checkups at our office is one of the best ways of helping limit your chances of developing this cancer.
What are some of the side effects of radiation therapy?
In addition to its desired effect on cancer cells, radiation therapy often cause some unwanted effects, especially in your mouth. People who receive radiation therapy to the head and neck may experience redness, irritation/sores in their mouth, a dry mouth or thickened saliva (spit), difficulty swallowing, and changes in taste.
Along with these side effects comes a decreased ability to keep your teeth clean, which can lead to radiation caries (tooth decay) and tooth loss.
Oral Care During Head and Neck Radiotherapy
It is extremely important to keep the mouth clean and healthy during head and neck radiation to help reduce the risk of oral infection and to help maintain your teeth as long as possible. A professional dental cleaning with your Houston dentist at Midtown Dentistry prior to radiation is highly recommended.
Why You Need an Expert Houston Dentist if You Have Cancer of the Head, Mouth and Neck?
Oral care is very important during and after the treatment of head, mouth or neck cancer. At this time, the mouth is susceptible to bacteria and decay. However, these problems can be avoided with proper dental care.
The expertise needed to work on dental issues and problems of cancer patients goes beyond general dentistry education and practice. This is why a dentist practicing in this field is considered an expert due to the added dental oncology training with a certified cancer institute or center.