Oral Health Topics
Do you have questions about dental health?
Below are articles and links to resources for common oral health topics. Please don't hesitate to Contact the Mobley Family Dentistry Team or send us a message - we would be glad to help!
Oral cancer is one of the most invasive forms of cancer, with relatively few noticeable signs and symptoms until it has progressed to an advanced stage. Each day, a person dies every hour from oral cancer (oralcancerfoundation.org).
Dr. Mobley and Dr. Wilson routinely perform oral cancer screenings during your hygiene and check-up visits in our Watkinsville family dental office. Your dentist will visually examine the floor and roof of the mouth, the lips, tongue and oral soft tissue to look for unusual lesions or patches of discolored tissue. If we see something of concern, we may monitor the area or recommend testing or evaluation by an oral surgeon or your physician to rule our oral cancer.
In the past, oral cancer was primarily related to smoking and use of tobacco products or heavy alcohol use, and typically affected patients age 55 and older. Today, however, there are a number of cases related to HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), which is also responsible for cervical cancer in women. The incidence of oral cancer in young adults is on the rise, and is often linked to HPV-16.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer include:
- A mouth sore or red, white, bleeding, or discolored area in the mouth that persists for more than 14 days
- Chronic throat dryness or hoarseness
- A feeling that something is stuck in the back of the throat
- Change in the way your teeth come together
- Unexplained mouth, face or neck numbness
Join us in the fight against oral cancer. Early detection can be life-saving. If you have not had a recent oral cancer screening, please Contact Us to schedule an appointment today.
We encourage our patients to keep us up to date on all medications that they are taking, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.
Common medication-oral health interactions include:
Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) - Some classifications of medication, including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and anti-depressants reduce salivary flow in the mouth. Without the lubrication and cleansing benefits of a healthy flow of saliva, the soft tissues can become irritated and inflamed, and bacteria can gain a stronghold and cause tooth decay and infection.
Difficulty in Blood Clotting – "Blood thinners" are often prescribed for patients with heart disease and commonly present challenges for dental procedures, especially surgery. Excessive bleeding and slow healing can be a concern when taking these medications.
Soft tissue reactions – A number of medications can cause sores in the mouth, or even ‘overgrowth’ of gum tissue as a response. Anti-seizure medications, immunosuppressants and heart medications commonly cause these types of changes in the oral soft tissues.
Oral Health Relief from Medication Side Effects
There are a number of products that can help alleviate side effects of medication. Prescription-strength fluoride supplements, saliva replacement solutions and medicated rinses can be of great assistance for patients with dry mouth or soft tissue irritation.
We work with patients that take heart medications, including blood thinners, every day. Our doctors will communicate with your physician to ensure that we take the best course of action to support your physical health, as well as your oral health.
If you have questions about your medications and how they affect your oral health, please do not hesitate to Contact Mobley Family Dentistry or your physician. Never stop taking a medication or adjust the dosage without first talking with your doctor. We want you to stay healthy!