451 Andover Street Suite G6
North Andover, MA 01845
Guam, Cyril D.D.S.
209 Harvard St # 500
Brookline, MA, 02446-5005
Davidyan, Eli D.D.S.
Beverly, MA, 01915-4417
Steinert Endodontic Assoc
126 Pleasant Valley St
Methuen, MA, 01844-7204
293 Hunphrey Street
Swampscott , MA, 1907
According to the American Cancer Society, about 30,000 new cases of mouth cancer will be diagnosed this year, and more than 8,000 people will die from it. Mouth cancer ranks as the sixth most common form of cancer that can affect any part of the mouth or lips. When detected early, the chances for successful treatment are enhanced. If left untreated, it can spread, leading to chronic pain, facial and oral disfigurement, loss of function, and even death. As a result, early detection and diagnosis of mouth cancer is vital.
Smoking and chewing tobacco significantly increase your risk. The carcinogens in tobacco, alcohol, and certain foods are leading risk factors. In fact, if both tobacco and alcohol products are used, one is 15 times at greater risk for developing mouth cancer. Exposure to sun also is linked to mouth cancer. Age, gender, and genetics are factors, too. About 95% of all mouth cancers are diagnosed in people 45 years or older. Men are twice as likely to develop mouth cancer as women.
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist immediately for a thorough screening:
Following good oral hygiene practices, eliminating risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol, and scheduling regular dental exams are important to maintaining good oral health. Research also has demonstrated that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables every day is a positive practice.
Dentists screen for mouth cancer during regular routine check-ups. They feel for lumps, tissue changes in your neck, cheeks, head, and mouth and look closely for sores. Early detection of cancer and prompt treatment is critical. Ask your dentist for more information about preventing mouth cancer.
By Richard Rogers, DDS
Saliva, which contains essential protein molecules, electrolytes, and minerals, is critical to good oral dentistry health. Saliva lubricates and cleanses the mouth, preserves and bathes tooth structure, neutralizes acids that cause cavities, limits growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, dissolves and breaks down food, assists with taste, keeps the mouth moist (no dry mouth which helps with speaking and eating), and facilitates the retention of dentures.
Research has shown that healthy, unmedicated older adults do not have any significant decrease in saliva flow. Loss of saliva and dry mouth are not the result of normal aging, but are instead associated with illness, disease, medication treatments, and medication.
Reduced saliva flow increases the harmful effects of the organisms of the mouth, causing dental cavities, bleeding gums, plaque, burning mouth, pain, soft tissue infections, and cracks. In addition, an individual may have difficulty speaking, tasting, and swallowing food. Dentures do not fit well or feel comfortable when saliva is reduced.
Older adults take many over-the-counter and prescription medications for chronic medical conditions and disorders. For many of these medications, decrease in saliva flow is a common side effect. In fact, over 500 prescriptions and over-the-counter medications cause dry mouth (xerostomia). The medications most often associated with dry mouth are:
Although medication use is frequently associated with dry mouth, certain medical diseases, conditions, or treatments reduce saliva flow. Examples are
By Denise J. Fedele, DMD, MS