Archive | Oral Cancer

Prevent the development and growth of oral cancer

While oral cancer is not as recognizable or discussed nearly as often as other types of cancer, that doesn’t mean that it’s any less concerning. Oral cancer is a condition that can be just as deadly as other types of cancer. However, it can also be one of the easiest to spot and treat in the earliest stages as long as patients are prudent about visiting the dentist on a regular basis for screenings.

Understanding oral cancer

Oral cancer is a condition that is often caused by lifestyle choices. This means that by making better daily decisions and avoiding certain bad habits, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing oral cancer in the first place. What you put in your body matters, and some of the more common lifestyle factors that can increase the chances of developing cancer includes the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and an improper diet. Patients who are currently smoking, drinking, or eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables (which often contain many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can reduce cancer risks) may be more vulnerable.

HPV connection

Another leading cause of oral cancer development is the presence of HPV, or the human papilloma virus. The risk of contracting HPV is lower when patients have a vaccine, but it only works if the patient currently does not have HPV. The primary age for administering this vaccine is in preteen and adolescent boys and girls.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

Some signs to monitor for include: 

  • Sores inside of the mouth
  • Patches of red or white on the soft tissues
  • Pain or numbness in the mouth or throat
  • Rough spots on the soft tissues
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Early detection of oral cancer is key

To prevent oral cancer, or catch it early enough for successful intervention, you need to see your dentist on a regular basis. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook recommends a screening for oral cancer at each dental appointment, including a physical examination and dental cleaning. Contact his Albuquerque, NM area practice today by calling (505) 881-1159 and requesting a consultation visit at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C.

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3 Reasons to Avoid Tobacco Products

oral cancer | albuquerque nmIf you don’t already know that tobacco products are the number one cause of lung cancer and other diseases, then you have been living on the moon. As a habit that is not only addicting but that can be viewed as social as well, it can be hard to give up cigarettes or chewing tobacco. However, as the list of diseases associated with tobacco products grows longer, your desire to quit should become stronger? Not yet convinced? Read on to learn three oral health reasons why you should quit smoking or chewing.

Oral Cancer

As the most frightening word to hear come out of the mouth of your doctor or dentist, cancer is something that can sometimes be prevented. As such, if you are a smoker, your risk of developing multiple cancers, including oral cancer, is drastically increased. And, if left untreated, oral cancer can spread through your body or require extensive surgery.

Damaged Teeth

Have you ever looked at a fellow smoker’s teeth only to notice that they are tinged yellow and may look a bit damaged as well? Tobacco can not only stain your teeth, but it can also make you more prone to developing bacteria that can cause things like cavities.

Increased Risk of Gum Disease

Gum disease is the leading cause of missing teeth. By weakening your gums, gum disease can cause your teeth to become loose and eventually fall out. Because your gums are consistently being exposed to harmful chemicals in the tobacco and smoke, they can become easily infected. Additionally, smoking can lower your mouth’s ability to heal itself which means that even if you get treated for gum disease, it will take longer for it to heal.

Schedule A Consultation

Chewing and smoking tobacco have serious oral health consequences. Just in case you needed a few other reasons to quit, this article is indication enough that it’s time to gather support and quit. To learn more about other oral health diseases and concerns, contact Dr. Steven Holbrook at (505) 881-1159.

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The First Dentist Visit Can Be Hard On Your Child – And Hard On You

first dental visitPediatricians and dentists agree – a child’s first dental visit should be within six months after the first baby teeth appear, or around the age of one. For first-time parents, the idea of taking your “baby” to the dentist can be a concern. Even if you have maintained twice-yearly dental visits throughout your life, taking your child to the dentist could fall under the category of “the fearful and the unknown.”

Dr. Holbrook would like you to feel confident and comfortable about taking your child on that important first trip to the dentist. To that end, here are some ideas and things to consider:

•If you are relaxed your child will sense your calm
•If you are anxiety-ridden, your child will also pick up on those vibes
•You can sit in the examining chair with your child on your lap
•You can wait in our reception area if that would work better for you
•The first dental visit gives your child and Dr. Holbrook a chance get to know one another and begin building comfort and trust
•Dr. Holbrook will discuss your child’s overall health history with you
•Your baby’s tooth or teeth will be checked for any signs of decay

Depending on your child’s unique dental issues or your concerns, x-rays may be taken, the teeth cleaned and a fluoride treatment applied. One of the major reasons for this first dental visit is to give you a chance to learn about the best ways to take care of your child’s teeth, as well as ask questions and discuss your concerns.

It’s advisable that you get in the habit of taking your child to the dentist every six months. This allows Dr. Holbrook the ability to discover and timely treat any problems. It also helps build a trusted relationship that will be so important for your child.

Dr. Holbrook is always happy to treat a new, young patient. Call to schedule an appointment, today: (505) 881-1159.

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What You Should Know About Oral Cancer

oral screening albuqueque New Mexico | oral cancer NM | Steven E. Holbrook D.M.D.Just hearing the word “cancer” is scary. It’s something we fear and usually don’t want to talk about. For some, a visit to the dentist is additionally scary…but that fear can complicate matters when it comes to the discovery and treatment of oral cancer.

Oral cancer is the growth of abnormal cells on any part of the mouth, lips, tongue, or gums.
It can also occur on the lining of the cheeks and the roof of the mouth.
Most oral cancers begin in the lining of the mouth or lips, which is made up of thin squamous cells.

Consider these facts:

•Approximately 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year.
•Just over half will be alive five years later. Those are frightening statistics!
•Oral cancer’s high death rate is primarily due to its late discovery.
•If caught early, oral cancer is highly treatable.
•Twice yearly dental exams and cleanings are vitally important in the early detection, prevention and treatment of oral cancer.

Oral cancer may be caused by:

•Exposure to UV light from the sun or the use of tanning beds
•Having some types of human papillomavirus (HPV)
•Tobacco use, in all forms – tobacco use accounts for 90% of all oral cancers
•Alcohol use
•Marijuana use

Symptoms of oral cancer include:

•Difficulty swallowing, chewing or talking
•Persistent pain, tenderness, or numbness on your lips or in your mouth
•A change in your voice that isn’t due to a cold or allergies
•Feeling like something is caught in your throat
•Red or white spotty patches on your tongue or in your mouth
•A lump or thickening in your cheek or neck
•A thick, rough spot or a small area in your mouth that looks like it’s wearing away
•An irritation on your mouth or lip that bleeds easily and doesn’t heal

To prevent oral cancer or catch it when it is treatable, it is important to visit your dentist for a check-up and cleaning twice a year.
Call to book an appointment with Dr. Holbrook, today: (505) 881-1159.

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