4 CONVENIENT DFW LOCATIONS
4 CONVENIENT DFW LOCATIONS • CARROLLTON • DENTON • FLOWER MOUND • FRISCO
Common Signs of Oral Cancer
One of the most common signs that oral cancer is present is noticeable changes of the mucosa, which should appear pink and be smooth. If this change is present, your periodontist will take a biopsy of the area that is affected, which will then be sent to a laboratory to determine the cause of the change. Once a diagnosis has been reached, your periodontist will discuss treatment options. Fortunately, the majority of pathological changes that occur are not life threatening, however the rate of oral cancer diagnoses is increasing, especially among men. If a diagnosis is made early, survivability is approximately 80%.
Patients who are experiencing any of the following common symptoms of oral cancer should schedule an appointment for an oral cancer screening:
- Persistent mouth pain
- Masses/lumps around your neck
- Eroded areas, swelling, or patches in the mouth that are red or white
- Unexplained oral bleeding
- Neck, mouth, or facial sensitivity
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, moving the tongue, or speaking
- Mouth sores
- Ear pain
- Chronic sore throat, hoarseness, or cough
There are several treatment options available to patients who have received a positive oral cancer diagnosis. One of the most common procedures is to have the tumor excised. If necessary, this may be done in conjunction with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, especially if a significant amount of tissue has been affected. Which treatment option is right for you will depend upon a range of factors, such as your current general health, how severe your case is, and what your recovery preferences are. Our team is committed to providing you with the information and support you need to determine an optimal treatment plan.
Reduce Risk Oral Cancer
Although there is no way to eliminate the possibility of developing oral cancer, there are steps you can take to significantly reduce the likelihood of developing it. To lower your risk of developing oral cancer, stick to the following guidelines:
- Avoid using all forms of tobacco products, especially chewing tobacco
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol
- Eat a healthy well-balanced diet
- Practice good oral hygiene habits
- Take active steps to avoid exposure to the human papillomavirus virus (HPV)
Perform Self Evaluations
While these are all important steps to take in reducing your risk of developing oral cancer, it is important to remember that there is no guarantee of preventing oral cancer from developing. As such, it is important to make a practice of performing monthly exams.
To conduct an oral exam, follow these instructions:
- Remove orthodontic appliances/dentures/etc. if applicable
- Tilt your head back so you can see your palate for any changes
- Massage and prod your gums to determine if there are any new growths or abnormalities
- Stretch your cheek out using your index finger and visually examine your gums and teeth for any new growths or abnormalities
- Massage your neck/jaw to look for signs of lumps and/or enlarged glands
If you notice any irregularities or changes when performing this self-evaluation, schedule an appointment with your periodontist as soon as possible.
Oral Cancer Screening Cost
There are a range of factors that can impact the final cost of your treatment, including any necessary surgeries or associated procedures that will need to be performed prior to or along with treatment, as well as your insurance plan.
Our team is committed to helping you complete necessary paperwork, schedule appointments, and answer any questions you have concerning billing. For patients who have insurance plans, we do request you submit medical/dental insurance information with your New Patient Paperwork to expedite this process.
Please note: to reduce costs to our patients while still ensuring that we can provide the highest level of care, we have the following financial polices:
- We accept Discover, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express
- Full payment is due after services rendered
- Payment plan options are available via www.CareCredit.com
To determine if you have gum disease, your periodontist will measure the space between your teeth and gums. Patients who have pockets that are deeper than the average depth of three millimeters or less will be considered candidates for treating gum disease. Depending upon how severe your case is, your periodontist will suggest a follow up appointment, during which several different treatment options may be recommended.
Patients who are suffering from periodontal disease may experience gum recession. If this issue is not treated at an early stage, more complicated and serious problems can develop, as gum recession creates greater exposure of your natural teeth, which creates opportunities for bacteria to build. To address this issue, patients have historically had gum grafting, which involves removing tissue from unaffected areas and then grafting this tissue to the areas that have been affected. This is an effective method for addressing the issue of receding gums, however there is a newer and increasingly popular approach to treating receding gums, which is the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST).
Laser gum surgery is an advanced treatment option that efficiently and painlessly treats gum disease through the use of a laser. One of the unique aspects of laser gum surgery is that the laser pinpoints and kills bacteria without damaging surrounding gum tissue. Unlike other treatment options, which involve cutting and suturing, patients who have laser gum surgery and treatment performed will have a much quicker healing process.
Patients who have gum recession may consider having a gum graft, a common oral surgical procedure that thickens existing gums and/or covers a tooth root surface in order to prevent further recession from occurring. Gum recession can occur for a variety of reasons, but the most common reason is due to periodontal disease. A gum graft will not only improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile, but will also reduce your risk of developing additional issues.
Patients who have an imbalanced ratio between their visible gums and teeth have what is commonly referred to as a gummy smile. Gummy smiles can be caused by a range of factors, including bone deterioration, periodontal disease, or genetic predisposition. Regardless of the reason, patients often feel self-conscious about their appearance and will seek to improve this issue by having a gum contouring procedure performed.
Scaling and Root Planing (also known as deep teeth cleaning and deep gum cleaning) is a common method used to address periodontal disease. Scaling refers to the process of removing tartar that has accumulated, either on your teeth or below your gumline. Planing refers to the removal of tartar below the root line. When bacteria is allowed to settle on your teeth for too long, it will eventually mineralize and turn into tartar. The primary difference between plaque and tartar is that plaque can be removed by conventional brushing methods, whereas tartar will need to be removed through the efforts of your periodontist. It is important to schedule regular deep teeth cleaning and deep gum cleaning appointments to prevent periodontal disease from developing.
Schedule Your Visit Today
At ROOT™ Periodontal and Implant Center, we take your health, confidence, and teeth seriously. Scheduling regular visits to maintain your teeth and gums will actively improve your overall health, and maintaining a bright and strong healthy smile will do wonders for your self-confidence. In addition to recognizing the importance of your oral health, we also understand the importance of your time, which is why we are committed to making every visit to our clinic as efficient as possible.
If you would like to learn more about the oral cancer screening process, schedule an appointment or consultation today with our friendly, helpful staff, who can be reached at the following locations: Carrollton: (972) 242-7603; Flower Mound: (972) 434-8050; Denton: (940) 566-7021, or Frisco: (469) 489-ROOT.