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Root Canal Treatment
Teeth Cleaning Procedure
Teeth Whitening Procedure
Chronic Skin Allergy Treatment
Tooth Extraction Procedure
Dental Extractions Procedure
Skin Rash Treatment
Gap Closing (Dental) Treatment
Artificial Teeth Treatment
Treatment of Root Canal Treatment (RCT)
Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
Teeth Scaling & Polishing
Braces Treatment for Adults and Teens
Teeth Cleaning (Scaling) Procedure
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My 4 year old daughter is suffering from intense pain due to cavities in 2 of her molar teeth .What to do
Instead I brush my teeth twice daily, yet I feel bad breath and sometimes bleeding gums too. What should I do?
My teeth are becoming yellowish though I brush twice daily. What should I do to stop this yellowing?
Oral cancer is the name given to cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth or oral cavity. If you interact with a specialist, you will know that oral cancers belong to a larger group of cancers called head and neck cancers. And more importantly, oral cancers are one of the most preventable cancers. You may already be aware that cancers develop when cells begin to divide indiscriminately forming malignant tumors. In oral cancers, the dividing cells are the ‘squamous’ cells found in the lining of your mouth, tongue, and lips.
An implausible fact about oral cancers is that these are most often discovered after they have spread to the lymph nodes of the neck- which means at the stages III and IV. All cancers including oral cancers become more difficult to cure at these later stages. This is why early detection is key to surviving oral cancer.
Types of oral cancers
- Oral cancers, to be precise, including cancers of the:
- Floor of the mouth
- Roof of the mouth, including hard and soft palate
Usually, it’s your dentist who is the first to notice the first signs of oral cancer.
Tobacco use is the biggest risk factor for oral cancer. Tobacco includes smoking cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, and pipes, as well as chewing tobacco. Alcohol is another big risk factor. So, if you are one of those heavy drinkers, be aware of the scourge of oral cancer and get yourself tested periodically to rule out this killer. The risk for oral cancer also increases exponentially when both alcohol and tobacco are used together.
Other important risk factors are:
- HPV infection i.e. human papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted virus that spreads through unprotected vaginal as well oral sex
- Chronic sun exposure on the face, especially the lips
- Family history of oral or other types of cancer
- Men are more susceptible to oral cancers
- Being older than 45
- Radiation exposure
- Having any other form of head and neck cancer
Symptoms of oral cancer
- Sore lip or mouth that is not healing
- Any growth inside your mouth
- Bleeding from the mouth, including jaws
- Loose teeth
- Difficulty or pain while swallowing
- Major trouble wearing dentures
- A lump in neck or cheek
- Chronic earache
- Serious weight loss
- Numbness in lower lip, face, neck, or chin
- Any colored patch in the mouth or lips
Diagnosis of oral cancer
- Diagnosis starts with a physical exam of your mouth. The physician will examine the roof and floor of your mouth, the back of your throat, tongue, and cheeks, and the lymph nodes in your neck.
- If your doctor finds any tumor, growth, or suspicious lesions in your mouth, she/he will perform a biopsy to collect cells from a tumor. This tissue is then examined for cancerous cells.
- Other tests include X-rays to see if cancer cells have spread to your jaw, chest, or lungs; a CT scan to check for and reveal any tumors in your mouth; PET scan to see whether the cancer has traveled to the lymph nodes or other organs like the lungs.
- An excess of sun exposure on your face and lips increases the risk of oral cancer so you can start reducing the danger of getting this cancer by using a lip balm or cream with SPF regularly.
- Another way to reduce risk is alcohol and tobacco cessation.
- Eating a balanced diet containing fruits and vegetables
- Removing your dentures at night and using them the next day only after cleaning them
- Visiting your dentist on a regular basis so that she/he can warn you about any alarming change in your mouth.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Pregnancy is a transformation phase in itself -it brings with it changes to almost all body systems. The oral tissues and the teeth are also affected significantly. Extra precaution is required to maintain regular oral health and avoid severe decay and/or gum disease. If not avoided, the dental infections can cause severe systemic infections and require strong antibiotics, x-rays, minor surgeries, and root canal therapy which may not be safe during pregnancy.
Higher levels of estrogen during pregnancy in the blood lead to a lot of visible changes in the oral cavity - higher incidence of tooth decay, gingival and periodontal inflammation, and even minor benign tumours in some cases. The notorious morning sickness plays havoc with the person's oral hygiene habits, thereby further complicating the situation.
Prior to pregnancy: A pre-pregnancy dental check-up to look for gum health and decay would go a long way in a healthy pregnancy, from the dental point of view at least. A thorough scaling and screening for cavities done before pregnancy can help avoid dental visits during the term, other than for routine checkup.
Pregnancy: If that pre-pregnancy visit could not happen, then visiting your dentist should be one of the first things to do as soon as you have confirmed your pregnancy. At this stage, no dental treatment can be done. Any elective procedures (cosmetic, etc.) will have to be done only after delivery. If the dentist identifies no cause for worry, that is great news. However, if there are any causes for concern, like a decay, the non-invasive treatment should be done at the earliest. When you are pregnant, note the following from a dental point of view:
- Oninvasive treatments like minor fillings can be done
- Regular scaling and polishing is not a problem
- Let the dentist know about all the medications you are taking
- Visit the dentist every 3 to 4 months for a regular check-up
- Follow good oral hygiene practices including, brushing, rinsing, and flossing
- Switch to a bland toothpaste in case of severe morning sickness
- Watch your diet - the teeth forming in the fetus require nutrition through you, so ensure adequate intake of minerals like calcium and potassium
- Avoid sweets and sticky/chewy foods that can lead to plaque formation
Though dental procedures can be done during the 4th to 6th month, they are best avoided, which can be done with better planning and some minimal care.
After delivery: After the delivery of the baby, please visit your dentist to ensure you have again ensured there is no emergent dental condition requiring attention. Resume your regular dental care after delivery.
With a little planning and extra care, dental health can be managed nicely during pregnancy with minimal to no pain. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dentist.