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5 Ways to Self-Examine for Oral Cancer

Cleveland Oral Cancer Awareness

Cleveland Oral Cancer Awareness

5 ways to self-examine for oral cancer:

  • The Tongue ‘n Groove. Using a mirror, first, stick out your tongue and look for any unusual changes in bumps, lumps, or color. Most commonly darker spots. Move your tongue around from side to side to assess each surface. Next, touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, as if making an “L” sound. This will help you examine the underside of your tongue and floor under the tongue. In a healthy mouth, these should be uniform in both texture and color.
  • Raise the Roof. Similarly, examine the roof of your mouth. This can easily be done by using a mirror and or feeling with your tongue or fingertips. For optimal viewing, tilt your head back slightly, as if you were to gargle mouthwash. Next, inspect the roof of your mouth for discoloration or changes in texture.
  • The Cheek Check. Graze your tongue or fingertip along the inside of your cheeks. Next gently pull cheeks outward for a visual inspection. If you notice white or red, dark-colored splotches, consult with your doctor. Finally, using a pinching motion, place your index finger inside and your thumb on the outside of your cheek. Squeeze to inspect the entire area for bumps or inflammation.
  • Stay One Step “A-head” of Cancer. Standing and looking straight ahead, observe any abnormalities on both sides of your head and neck. If you notice any protrusion or unevenness of head or facial structure, consult with your doctor. Similarly, check your neck for anything out of the ordinary. Applying light pressure, slide your fingertips around your neck. If you experience any tenderness or signs of swelling, consult with your physician.
  • Read Your Lips. While lips often change with the season, a severe change in lip color or texture can be a tell-tale sign that it’s time to visit your doctor to test for lip cancer. Because the lips are extremely sensitive to sunlight, it is important to apply an SPF lip balm or chap stick if you are in high levels of sun exposure.

Ways to prevent oral cancer:

  • Kick butt and quit using tobacco
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Eat a well-balanced diet of fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure

Early detection is key. Take the time to perform routine checks, especially if you or someone you know has a family history of oral cancer. An oral self-assessment only takes a minute, but it may buy you a lifetime.

This website is designed for general patient educational and information purposes only and does not render medical advice or professional services, unless we otherwise indicate. The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional health care, and is designed to support – not replace – the relationship you have with your health care provider. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency medical services immediately.

Top 5 Myths and Facts About Oral Surgery

maxillofacial oral surgery Cleveland Tn
  1. maxillofacial oral surgery Cleveland TnMyth: All Oral Surgeries are Extremely Painful.
    Fact: While pain tolerance is relative per patient, not all oral surgical procedures are painful. In a study of 75 patients, only 17 suggested that the pain was worse than expected. For pain management, Ocoee Oral Surgery provides Intravenous Anesthesia for maximum comfort during procedures and post-operative medications to help provide the highest level of patient comfort.
  2. Myth: Dental Sedation is NOT Safe.
    Fact: While some might be worried to go under the knife, the majority of oral surgery patients are most concerned about the “needle” of sedation and general anesthesia. So is dental sedation safe? The answer is yes! Our Oral Surgeons have more anesthesia training than any other dental professionals and they are more than qualified to deliver safe and effective sedation to their patients. They are licensed to provide Intravenous Sedation and General Anesthesia.
  3. Myth: Recovery is a Hard Road.
    Fact: The common misconception of oral surgery is the post operative process and duration of recovery. Many patients assume they will be out of work for several days or weeks following their oral surgery. However, in most cases, recovery time is just 3 days. While following directions, watching what you eat, and monitoring levels of discomfort with prescribed medications, you should bounce back in no time!
  4. Myth: All Oral Specialists Have the Same Qualifications.
    Fact: If you are considering oral surgery, do your homework first. Not all oral specialists are licensed Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Our Cleveland, TN oral surgeons are the only Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons serving Bradley County full time. They practice full scope Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery with special interest in Dental Implants, Bone Grafting, and the Removal & treatment of Impacted Teeth.
  5. Myth: There’s a Better Oral Surgeon in the Southeast.
    Fact: Hey, we had to try! Our certified, licensed team of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and staff proudly serves Cleveland, Tn and the surrounding Chattanooga areas for over 35 years combined. Just check out our reviews!

Do you think Oral & Maxillofacial surgery is an option for you? Give us a call to schedule your consultation today. For new patient information on oral surgery and post surgery information, click here.

Is Wisdom Teeth Removal a Must?

Wisdom teeth is common for many teens and young adults. While it is a common procedure, is it always necessary? Each person and case is unique and should be reviewed on an individual basis. Here are a few reasons removing wisdom teeth may be beneficial to your dental health.

We recommend removing wisdom teeth when they begin to cause gum problems. Impacted wisdom teeth can result in pain and swelling. If wisdom teeth have only partially broken through the jaw and tissues they are especially vulnerable to infections and cysts within the jaw bone and gum tissue.

In addition to crowding other teeth, the pockets they create can fill with bacteria and food causing damage to surrounding teeth. This can cause cavities within the root system and tooth extraction will likely be required.

Wisdom tooth removal may also be recommended if their position hinders chewing or jaw function. In some cases they can cause pain and damage to the soft tissues inside the mouth or cause discomfort while chewing.

Tooth alignment can also be affected as wisdom teeth come in. They can press against other teeth and consequently undo the work of braces, bridges, crowns, partial dentures and other types of dental work.

While there are a variety of reasons wisdom tooth removal may be beneficial, they may not have to be extracted if they are healthy, have fully broken through, are functioning properly and are not crowding other teeth.

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort from wisdom teeth, call our Cleveland oral surgeon to schedule an appointment.

Dental Implant FAQ

dental implants cleveland tn

Dental implants can be the permanent answer for individuals struggling with tooth loss. Dental implants provide a structurally sound restoration with the appearance of natural teeth. Here are a few of our most frequently asked questions from patients considering dental implants.

Q: What are the benefits of dental implants?
A: Dental implants bond well to the jawbone and create a strong fit that are less likely to weaken over time. This option provides a natural appearance and feel.

Q: Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
A: There must be sufficient bone material for long term success with dental implants. X-rays and a jaw exam will help to determine if you are an ideal candidate for the procedure. A bone graft may be recommended if you have experienced bone loss.

Q: What is the cost of dental implants?
A: Consider the long term cost of dental implants versus the long term cost of alternatives. While dentures and dental bridges may have a lower initial cost, they will lose their shape over time and will need to be replaced. Dental implants provide a lifelong solution.

Q: Should I do anything specific to take care of my dental implants?
A: Dental implants require care similar to that of your natural teeth. Proper brushing and regular visits to your dentist will ensure your natural, shining smile.

Our Cleveland oral surgeon provides a variety of dental implants, bridges, dentures and other alternatives to lessen the impact of tooth loss in your daily life. Contact us today for more information on tooth loss and dental implants.

Dental Implants for Tooth Loss

33601232 - dental plate making of in the lab

Decay, trauma and disease can all be factors in tooth loss. Missing teeth effects people of all ages and impacts eating, speaking and other components of daily life. In some cases, tooth loss isn’t preventable, but regular dental care can ensure the health and durability of your teeth.

There are several common reasons for tooth loss.

Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene is one leading causes of tooth loss. When you neglect caring for your teeth and gums you increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Both of these conditions can lead to tooth loss. Proper flossing and brushing can help to keep your smile strong, healthy and intact.

Unhealthy Diet
Sugary and acidic foods are especially harmful to your teeth and gums. A balanced diet that is rich in nutrients can strengthen the bones surrounding your teeth and prevent against tooth loss. Not only is a healthy diet important for your oral health, but it is an essential component in your overall health.

Physical Trauma
Contact sports and physical trauma are another leading cause in tooth loss. Mouth guards and other protective equipment can help ensure the health of your team.

Lifestyle
Smoking leads to a host of problems and tooth loss. Not only does it weaken and infect the gums, tissues and bones, but it is the leading cause of oral diseases and cancers.

Limited Preventative Care
Regular visits to your dentist can detect problems in their early stages and help to create a strong and healthy teeth and gums.

If tooth loss is impacting your quality of life, our Cleveland oral surgeons can help. From bridges and dentures to dental implants, we have the solution to fit you lifestyle. Call oral surgeon office today at 423.479.8544 to schedule an appointment.