oral cancer


oral cancerSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

When it comes to cancer, early detection and treatment are key to increase your survival rate. Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is proud to now offer OralID as a new procedure we can use to identify cases of oral cancer even in the very earliest stages.

The risks of oral cancer are real

Did you know that, on average, someone dies from some form of oral cancer or oropharyngeal cancer once every hour? That adds up to an estimated 9,700 deaths per year from these types of cancer, according to the web site for The Oral Cancer Foundation.

One of the reasons that oral cancer has such a high death rate is the majority of patients are not diagnosed until cancer already has advanced to the lymph nodes, making it more likely it has begun to spread throughout the body. The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that 53,000 new cases of oral cancer will be identified in 2019. Within five years of being diagnosed, only 43 percent of individuals who have been diagnosed with oral cancer are still alive.

How can OralID make detection of oral cancer easier?

Manufactured by Forward Science, OralID has made the process of screening for oral cancer easier, more efficient, and more affordable than ever. Using fluorescence technology, OralID uses a blue light between the wavelengths of 435 and 460 nanometers. At this wavelength, the blue light more easily identifies any mucosal abnormalities in the oral cavity, including signs of oral cancer or precancerous spots.

Your dentist can complete an exam using OralID in just a couple of minutes. He or she also will be wearing eyewear while administering the test. The eyewear allows the dentist to see the fluorescence of the tissue when it is exposed to the light. Under the light, abnormal tissue appears dark because of the absence of fluorescence, whereas healthy oral tissue appears to be fluorescent green. This same technology is be used by doctors to conduct similar examinations on the GI tract, lungs, and skin.

Certain factors elevate your risk of oral cancers

Oral cancer can manifest in the mouth, tongue, tonsils, and throat.

The two most common causes of cancer of this type are lifestyle choices such as the following:

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Tobacco use (chewing dip, smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, or vaping)
  • Exposure to HPV (human papilloma virus)
  • Excessive sun exposure (cancer on lips)
  • Weakened immune system

Approximately 10 percent of all individuals with oral cancer see it develop from no obviously identifiable cause. Science has no consensus on what causes these cases of cancer, but possible factors include genetics or a risk factor that has yet to be detected through medical research.

Here’s what to look for if you think that you have oral cancer

While routine screenings for oral cancer are the best way to determine if you have it, you also can keep a check on your oral health at home, between visits to your dentist in Los Gatos. If you experience any of these symptoms, have it checked by your dentist.

Symptoms of oral cancer may include:

  • Sores or lesions that do not heal
  • White or reddish patches inside the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Mouth or ear pain that does not seem related to any other type of condition
  • Changes in your voice (unrelated to a cold or voice strain)
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Growth or lump inside your mouth

Screening for oral cancer in Scotts Valley

If you have oral cancer and it is detected early, your chance of surviving increases dramatically—reaching as high as 80 to 90 percent. By spending just a couple of minutes receiving an exam by your dentist that uses OralID technology, your life literally could be saved. Each dental practice that uses the OralID test has completed specific training to use the device. Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry has completed this training, which will make it easier than ever to detect cases of oral cancer when they are still easily treatable and, most important, survivable. If you are interested in receiving an oral cancer screening with OralID, call our office at (831) 438-4411 to make an appointment today.

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry serves the oral health needs of patients in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California.