Tag Archives: oral cancer

Oral Cancer Screenings are the dental industry’s best kept secret

In the time of year when the cold bitterness of winter slowly begins to taper off and warm rays of sunlight slowly begin to take its place, we witness the time known as Spring. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of the harsh dismal winter, green sprouts of life begin to appear. As flowers begin to blossom, certainly it’s a beautiful time to be alive!

Perhaps it’s only fitting that in a time known for rebirth, and renewal, we take the time to reflect upon one of the most essential aspects of our lives; our health. While certainly it can be easy to take one’s health for granted; however, with the innumerable health hazards that one may encounter in life, it’s always in one’s best interest to maintain a keen level of awareness of any serious illnesses.

Oral Cancer: A Deceptive Foe

As one of the most notorious and feared diseases among people across the globe, cancer in all its forms is a serious and potentially fatal illness that has claimed the lives of countless people in the past and continues to do so to this day. As one of the most vicious types of cancer that one can encounter, approximately 7,500 annual deaths in the U.S. alone can be attributed to oral cancer.

Often manifesting within the mouth and neck region, oral cancer is primarily caused by tobacco use, but can be further aggravated by factors such viral infections or excessive alcohol intake. Some of the early signs/symptoms of oral cancer, may include a harshness or gravelly tone to one’s voice, or unusual swelling surrounding the mouth or throat. While such minor nuisances may not exactly seem to be a serious cause for alarm, they can in fact be more than they appear.

As mentioned previously, deception is a key factor in oral cancer’s modus operandi, thus an individual may be suffering from early stages of oral cancer without even knowing it! Unfortunately, if the disease continues to remain undetected (as it often does) and is allowed to advanced stages, it may already be too late.

Related Article: New Year’s Resolution: Stop Smoking

Oral Cancer Screenings: Dental’s Best Kept Secret

Since its inception, the dental industry has developed an array of different treatments to asses a patient’s oral health needs. While certan treatments such as fillings, whitenings, and more recently dental implants, have become well known among the general public essentially becoming synonymous with the dental profession. However, there’s a lesser known treatment that has slowly gained recognition as one of the most significant and life-saving procedures within the industry; oral cancer screenings!

Oral cancer screenings may in fact be the dental profession’s best kept secret, as most patients are unaware that they are receiving the screening even as it happens! Oral cancer screenings are a quick and painless procedure that Dr. Kimes preforms as part of your standard dental exam at Overland Park Dentistry. When you come in for your routine dental checkup, you are simultaneously receiving an accurate screening for any early signs or symptoms of oral cancer, which is something that can be a deciding factor. Identifying and treating oral cancer within its earliest stages is often the best bet in fully overcoming the disease, as the cancer is not given the time to cause damage and spread, therefore it is paramount that you let Dr. Kimes take the time to give you that crucial oral cancer screening during your next dental appointment!

Related Article: Oral Cancer Screening: Prevention Saves Lives

Oral Cancer: Join the Fight!

While much of the information provided above may not exactly present the bright and cheerful message that you may be accustomed to this time of year, please remember that the purpose of this article is to remind you that there’s still time to change this! Therefore, if you do have any concerns or anxiety over your chances of developing oral cancer, taking the time to schedule a routine dental checkup/oral cancer screening, is unquestionably the right decision.

Although far too many people have been dealt the cruel hand of oral cancer in the past, and have tragically had to face the consequences, YOU have the power to change this for yourself!

So Please – don’t become another statistic, let’s take a stand against oral cancer together!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

New Year’s Resolution: Stop Smoking

stop-smoking

The Dawn of a New Day

2019 is here and it’s the start of a new year! Like many people, you’ve probably given the upcoming year a certain matter of thought, and perhaps you’ve asked yourself if there are any specific goals you have or any changes that you’d like to make. Certainly, New Year’s resolutions are a great way to set about accomplishing worthy goals for yourself and as a means of self-improvement.

Some of the more common resolutions involve weight loss, exercise, and financial improvement. However, for some people a very serious personal concern that is always brought up around this time of year is smoking, and their resolution to stop smoking. While the dangers of smoking have been well publicized and are certainly no secret among the general public, tobacco smoking remains a persistent issue that continues to plague people from all walks of life. If you’re a smoker, please consider putting “Stop Smoking” at the top of your New Year’s resolution list this year!

 

Smoking: Your Body’s Worst Nightmare

Simply put, tobacco products (particularly cigarettes) ruin your body. Although the damage takes a number of years to fully progress, smoking will slowly begin to attack your body in a variety of different ways, effectively decimating your overall health and ultimately resulting in death.

While this may sound a bit melodramatic, as of January 2018 The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reported that an estimated 480,000 deaths in the United States occur each year as a result of cigarette smoking. Therefore, this habit is causing more deaths annually than HIV, drug and alcohol use, and automotive accidents combined! As the culprit behind these staggering statistics, cigarettes are without question the most dangerous of tobacco products due to their highly addictive nature in addition to the numerous cancer-causing substances they contain. With users addicted to cigarettes, consistently exposing themselves to harmful substances, the occurrences of eventual health problems are inevitable.

Smoking and Your Oral Health

While many people are aware of the adverse effects smoking has on your respiratory and cardiovascular health, the effect it has on your oral health often remains overlooked. Unfortunately, this is often a costly mistake, as smoking can have a major impact on your teeth and gums and can even trigger some serious illnesses.

While certainly cigarette smoke can cause significant staining and discoloration of your teeth due to the vast quantities of nicotine and tar in each cigarette (usually giving your teeth a sickly yellowish hue) smoking also triggers and exacerbates a condition known as periodontal disease. Periodontal or gum disease is an infection that originates within the gum line and spreads throughout the mouth irreversibly damaging the gum tissue and teeth. In turn, the damage caused by periodontal disease may result in bone loss or even cause the infection to spread.

Related Article: Dental Health Awareness: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

In addition to gum disease, tobacco smoke can also trigger mouth cancer, which like any form of cancer, wreaks havoc on the afflicted area while always presenting the threat of metastasizing into other regions of the body.

Related Article: Oral Cancer Screening: Prevention Saves Lives

As a longtime practitioner in professional dentistry, Dr. Kimes echoed much of this when asked about the subject.

“A person’s mouth is not meant to be ingesting smoke, it damages the gums, the teeth, the tongue, the jawbone; everything! I’ve had a several patients over the years who wanted to quit but just weren’t able to, it was very sad to see” he said solemnly.

Indeed, the residual affects on the lives of those impacted by smoking is a very sad and very real consequence of smoking, and perhaps underlines the true importance to stop smoking more than anything.

Stop Smoking: Tips for Quitting

Finding the best way to stop smoking is always a tricky subject as there is no magic formula or fool-proof plan to ensure this happens. However, there are plenty of resources and different methods to assist you in the process of quitting!

  1. Make a Plan: If you are serious about wanting to stop smoking, it’s a wise idea to have a sort of game plan in mind to assist you and anticipate any difficulty that lay ahead. Quitting can be tricky so you might try asking someone else who has quit smoking for advice.
  2. Use Resources: Although there are those who attempt to quit cold turkey, (without any assistance) approximately only 7% are successful in doing so, often with much difficulty. Fortunately, there is no need for such difficulty today as numerous products exist that can be used as effective tools in curtailing your cravings. Known as nicotine replacement therapy, nicotine patches, gums, and other nicotine substitutes can play a major part in slowly diminishing the powerful dependence instilled by cigarette smoking.
  3. Ask Others for Help: Please don’t be afraid to ask for help, as support from friends and family often plays a vital role in the success of quitting. Additionally, it may also help to consult your physician, dentist, or psychologist as they may be able to help advise you during the process, and better your chances of success.
  4. Know Your Triggers: On the road to quitting this unhealthy habit, you will probably encounter certain situations or circumstances that will give you the urge to smoke, these are your triggers and it’s important to recognize them, so you are able to refrain from smoking if or when they appear. Perhaps one of the most common triggers among smokers is the fact that they are surrounded by other smokers. If this is the case and you have friends and family who smoke, you might want to limit your time with them or make a point to avoid them if they are smoking. This can be tricky but it’s certainly worth it.
  5. Stay Busy: By keeping yourself distracted and your mind off smoking, you might find things go smoother. Put smoking on the back burner for a while and take the time to do something different. Perhaps there is a project you need to get started on or something new that you’ve always wanted to try. Starting a project or new hobby are great ways to change things up and get your mind on other things.
  6. Don’t Give Up: Quitting smoking is a long and winding road and there is always a chance of relapsing and slipping back into old habits. While this may be discouraging, it’s imperative that you not give up; even if you do have a slip-up or two (or more). By remaining consistent and continuing to fight the urge, it will get easier, you will break the habit and eventually stop smoking.

The Road to a Better Tomorrow!

The road to a better tomorrow starts today and with a brand-new year in full swing, the time for a healthier life is now! If “Stop Smoking” is on your New Year’s resolution list, then much like 2018 its time to make that issue a thing of the past. We hope the information above was useful for you and our staff at Overland Park Dentistry wish you a happy and healthy new year!

 

Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry options for you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at 913-341-2380.