Dental Oncology Care
ORAL ONCOLOGY AT DEIDRA BIRD KOKEL, DDS
Oral cancer is a term that includes cancers of the mouth and the back of the throat, or pharynx. Oral cancer itself is curable as long as it is spotted early.
That’s why Dr. Kokel’s dental office offers oral cancer screenings. We diagnose and treat the condition before it progresses, including a visual inspection for signs of oral cancer each time you are in for a checkup. For peace of mind, we also offer a painless oral cancer screening, the ViziLite® Plus with TBlue®. ViziLite® Plus with TBlue® can help a dentist identify abnormal cells in the tissue beneath the surface, allowing us to catch cancer at a much earlier stage.
High risk factors for oral cancer are:
- Tobacco Use
- Alcohol Use
- Both Tobacco and Alcohol Use Together
- HPV (human papillomavirus)
- Age (occurs most often over age 40)
- Sun Exposure
ANY CANCER TREATMENT CAN AFFECT YOUR MOUTH
Many of today’s treatments for cancer of any type can contribute to complications affecting a patient’s mouth. If you are being tested or treated for cancer, please be sure to let us know so we can become part of your health support team to help protect your quality of life.
The most common dental side effect of cancer radiation treatment to your head and neck is damage to the salivary glands. This may result in dry mouth. Having dry mouth can increase the risk of root and tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.
The most common dental side effect of chemotherapy treatment is mouth ulcers.
We can recommend a variety of products such as fluoride, MI Paste and Biotene to combat the effects of dry mouth. Some of these products are over the counter and some are only available through a dental office or by a prescription. Depending on your particular needs, your dental hygienist will help you decide what’s best for you.