An oral cavity cancer that spreads to the jawbone typically results in jaw cancer, which is a rare type of head and neck cancer. Our dental team understands how unsettling it can be to receive a diagnosis of jaw cancer. We believe, however, that being educated, prepared, and proactive can help ensure the best possible outcome.
Symptoms of Jaw Cancer
The majority of jaw cancers are benign, which means they do not spread to surrounding tissues. Occasionally, jaw cancers can be aggressive, spreading to surrounding structures and causing serious health complications.
Jaw cancer is characterized by four symptoms:
- Jaw Pain: The majority of jaw pain is attributed to TMJ disorder. However, it is imperative to visit a dental professional to exclude the possibility of oral cancer if you experience jaw pain. Occasionally, aggressive jaw tumors may spread to surrounding bone and tissues, resulting in tooth displacement, which is often painful.
- Jaw Swelling: One of the most significant symptoms of jaw cancer is swelling in the jaw area that can be seen on the side of the face. The swelling may also occur on the roof of the mouth or beneath the teeth, depending on where the tumor is located.
- Lumps on the jaw: An enlarged lump on the roof of the mouth or on the gums should be evaluated by a dentist if it does not resolve within two weeks. There may be lumps associated with infections or benign growths, but they can also be caused by cancer of the jawbone.
- Loose teeth: Squamous cell carcinoma, which can reach the jawbone through tooth sockets, is the most common type of malignant jaw cancer. A jawbone tumor may cause your teeth to move out of place, causing them to loosen. Whenever you notice that a tooth is loose, you should seek immediate assistance.
How Does Jaw Cancer Develop?
Smoking and chewing tobacco products are the leading causes of jaw cancer. Furthermore, poor nutrition, poor oral hygiene, genetics, excessive alcohol consumption, and viruses such as HPV are all risk factors.
What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk of Jaw Cancer?
Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, eating a balanced, nutritious diet, and maintaining a meticulous oral hygiene regimen are all effective ways to reduce the risk of jaw and other oral cancers. Make sure you visit our dental office twice a year for dental exams and cleanings. We are always on the lookout for signs of oral or jaw cancer so that early intervention can be provided, if necessary, to ensure the best possible outcome.
Contact our dental office to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning. To rule out any abnormalities, we will perform an oral cancer screening. You can always count on our team for exceptional service and care. Make an appointment with us today!
Every now and then, most people experience heartburn and the discomfort associated with acid reflux. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence, your oral health may be compromised. This article will provide you with all the information you need about acid reflux and its devastating effects on your teeth.
An Overview of Acid Reflux
During digestion, the stomach produces acids to break down and digest food. These acids work their way up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux. This results in a burning, painful sensation in the chest. Additionally, patients may experience excessive burping, bad breath, an acidic taste in their mouth, difficulty swallowing, and tooth sensitivity.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a condition characterized by frequent acid reflux episodes. Sadly, constant exposure to stomach acids can cause extensive damage to your oral health.
What are the effects of acid reflux on your oral health?
Similarly to acidic foods and beverages, stomach acids can erode or wear your tooth enamel, leaving you with yellow, pitted, and sensitive teeth. When your teeth are repeatedly exposed to stomach acids, they can suffer extensive, irreversible damage. Additionally, the acids can irritate your gums, leading to gum disease, the primary cause of adult tooth loss.
Your oral health is not the only thing at risk from acid reflux. Your overall health can be negatively affected by it. Unlike the stomach, which has a lining that protects it from acids, the esophagus does not. It can be damaged by acid reflux, resulting in extreme pain and difficulty swallowing.
What Are the Best Ways to Protect Your Teeth?
GERD treatment options can be discussed with your primary care physician or gastroenterologist. Medications are available that will alleviate your symptoms and protect your oral and overall health.
In addition to preventing acid reflux, you can minimize the damage to your smile.
- You should limit fatty treats or foods that trigger your heartburn.
- After eating, rinse your mouth with water.
- Acidic foods and beverages should be avoided.
- After eating or drinking something acidic, wait an hour before brushing your teeth.
- After a meal, do not lie down.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water.
- Use fluoride toothpaste on a regular basis.
How Often Should You Seek Professional Dental Care?
Dental visits should be scheduled every six months for everyone, but they are even more crucial for acid reflux patients. Our dental team will keep a close eye on your oral health to treat any problems as they arise.
Dental bonding or dental crowns may be recommended if your tooth enamel has been extensively damaged by acid erosion. These procedures reduce tooth sensitivity and prevent further damage. To save a tooth and alleviate tooth sensitivity, we may recommend root canal therapy in certain cases.
Contact our dental office to learn more about safeguarding your smile from the effects of acid reflux. Keeping your smile healthy for years to come is our goal by providing you with outstanding care and service. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment!