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Early detection is your best bet - oral cancer exams is the answer

Not only is Dr. Khullar and his team dedicated to creating you a beautiful smile but they operate from a belief that a beautiful mouth - is a healthy mouth. Because of that, as part of your regular exam, an oral cancer screening is always included.

Just like any cancer, oral cancer can be terminal if it goes undiagnosed and untreated. Early detection is key in overcoming oral cancer. Dr. Khullar has the experience, skills and tools to detect early signs of oral cancer.

THE MOST COMMON SYMPTOMS OF ORAL CANCER INCLUDE

  • Red or white sores/spots in the oral cavity
  • A sore that doesn't appear to be healing or bleeds easily
  • A lump or rough spot
  • Numbness, tenderness or pain in the mouth or lips
  • Trouble chewing, speaking, swallowing or moving the jaw or tongue

Aside from a visual examination of your mouth, family dentist Dr. Khullar and his team will exam and feel the tissue of your throat and mouth to detect any abnormalities. If an area of concern is found, a simple test will be performed (ie - a brush test) which collects cells which are sent off for analysis. Based on those results, a biopsy may be recommended.

According to research conducted by the American Cancer society, more than 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year. More than 7,000 of these cases result in the death of the patient. The good news is oral cancer can easily be diagnosed with an annual oral cancer exam, and effectively treated when caught in its earliest stages.

Oral exams for a healthy, vibrant mouth

We give such little thought to the function and importance our mouth plays in our everyday lives. As such, we also don't realize the variety of medical and dental disorders it's prone to. With a routine check-up from Dr. Khullar, an oral exam or oral pathology is automatically included.

The soft tissue of your mouth is lined with mucosa; a unique variation of skin that under normal circumstances should appear pink in color and smooth in texture. Any modification of the texture or color may signal the start of a pathologic process. These changes may occur on the neck, face or areas of the mouth (i.e. - lips, gums, tongue, etc.). The most critical of these pathologic changes (which aren't always painful) is oral cancer. However, there are many other common pathologic problems.

Common oral pathologic conditions

GEOGRAPHIC TONGUE - Also referred to as Benign Migratory Glossitis or Erythema Migrans, this is a condition where the tongue is missing papillae (small bumps) in different areas. As a result a map-like exterior on the tongue can result. This condition is generally seen as a red well-defined area on or around the sides of the tongue. These patches of red (which can look like an unattractive rash) may vary from hours to months at a time. It causes an increase in sensitivity to certain substances.

MEDIAN PALATAL CYST - This cyst is, in essence, a fluid-filled skin sac. It generally emerges in the middle of the palate and may cause considerable discomfort.

HAIRY TONGUE - This is classified as an overgrowth of bacteria or a yeast infection in the mouth. It can cause the tongue to appear black and hairy. This condition generally results from poor oral care, persistent and over-use of antibiotics or radiation treatments to the neck or head. Often times it shows up in HIV positive patients and also, intravenous drug users. Treatment isn't always required for Hairy Tongue.

Treatment options (for conditions less serious than oral cancer)

While changes in your oral health are usually uncomfortable and sometimes disfiguring, they are generally not life-threatening. Oral cancer is an obvious change in your pathology however, there is an 80% survival rate in a diagnosis is immediately made.

ANTIBIOTICS - In the case of a bacterial infection or persistent soreness, Dr. Khullar may prescribe a dose of antibiotics to return the mucosa to its natural state. This will alleviate soreness and discomfort.

DILUTED HYDROGEN PEROXIDE - When poor oral hygiene is causing changes to the soft tissue, Dentalways may prescribe a diluted hydrogen peroxide mouthwash. This will kill more bacteria than regular mouthwash and improve halitosis (bad breath).

ORAL SURGERY - If you have cysts or abnormal non-cancerous growths, family dentist Dr. Khullar may decide to completely remove them. This can improve comfort levels, alleviate breathing problems, and make speech substantially easier depending on the location of the cyst.

Don't delay - your oral health is too important

During the course of a regular check up, Dr. Khullar will meticulously study and inspect the soft tissue of your mouth and take note of any significant changes. If any changes show up, he will biopsy the affected area and have it analyzed by a lab. After definitive results are back, Dr. Khullar and his team will determine the best course of treatment. The earlier the detection, the more effective and often times less evasive options are available.

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