Tag Archives: dental appointment

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month: A Good Time to Visit Your Dentist for an Oral Cancer Screening

oral-cancer-screening

Oral health professionals and those affected by oral cancer work diligently to advocate for education and prevention; especially during April, as it is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Although this month is especially important in educating individuals on what oral cancer looks like and the available preventative steps that can lower risk, to include scheduling your oral cancer screening; it’s vital that people monitor their oral health year-round.

Oral cancer can affect anyone, making it critical that you know what warning signs and symptoms point to the early stages of various types of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer: The Statistics

Did you know that over 9,000 women and 21,000 men in the United States receive an oral cancer diagnoses each year; that statistic is according to the National Cancer Institute.

According to the American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for oral cancer diagnoses in 2019, just in the United States are:

  • Approximately 53,000 people will get oral cancer
  • An estimated 10,860 people will die from this disease

Oral cancer typically strikes in the mouth and throat beginning in the flat cells, or squamous cells, that cover the surfaces of the mouth, tongue and lips.

What Adds to the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?

  • Tobacco Use
  • Heavy Alcohol Consumption
  • Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Sun Exposure
  • Betel Nut Use
  • Personal History of Oral Cancer
Here’s a side-note … 
during my research for this blog, I had to ask,
“What is a Betel Nut?”
The information I discovered is disturbing:

Betel nuts are found across Asia, growing in palm trees. They’re used so widely, they’re one of the most popular mind-altering substances in the world. People chew on the nut and the leaf together to get high. Supposedly, it’s like a combination of tobacco and a lot of caffeine.

When they are chewed, the nuts give user a rush of stamina and euphoria. Excessive chewing causes discolored or even loss of teeth and oral cancer. Unfortunately, they’re not very difficult to purchase in the U.S. because they are not illegal or banned at this time.

Even though the betel nut is not a controlled substance, it can be illegal to import, especially wholesale. They can be dangerous, and the World Health Organization has labeled the betel nut as a carcinogen.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Patches inside the mouth or on the lips
  • Sore on the mouth or lips that just doesn’t heal
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Lump in the neck
  • Numbness of lower lip and chin
  • Difficulty wearing dentures
  • Persistent earache

Visit your dentist or physician immediately for an oral cancer screening if you have any of these symptoms.

The death rate associated with oral and oropharyngeal cancers remains particularly high because the cancers routinely are discovered late in their development. Fortunately, when oral and oropharyngeal cancers are detected (most commonly through an oral cancer screening) and treated early, mortality and treatment-related health problems are reduced.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Oral Cancer?

Your best bet in catching oral cancer during its early stages is with a regular oral cancer screening performed by a trusted oral health professional, like Dr. Gary Skrobanek and his expert team at GPS Dental in San Antonio. They have the knowledge and experience to identify potential symptoms of various types of oral cancer and can connect you with the medical services you need.

Related Article: Oral Cancer Screening – You Need to Know!

In addition to an oral cancer screening during each of your dental appointments from Dr. Skrobanek, you can complete self-directed oral inspections. Inspect your mouth monthly for the warning signs listed above. For a more complete and thorough inspection, you can use a small light and mirror to see otherwise blocked areas. Upon finding anything suspicious, immediately contact your oral health professional.

Related Article: Why We Perform Oral Cancer Screenings during Dental Checkups

Dentists and doctors alike will also recommend that people cut out tobacco use completely, as it is known to impact your overall health negatively. At GPS Dental, we’re dedicated to helping our patients maintain a healthy mouth and a healthy life. To schedule your oral cancer screening, contact us today.

Additional Resources:

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Oral Cancer Screening at Your 6-Month Dental Appointment

oral-cancer-screening

Is November the Forgotten Month? 

As the eleventh month of the year, November is something of a time of transition and perhaps a pre-curser to the busy upcoming holiday season, thus November may resemble the proverbial “calm before the storm.” Apart from Thanksgiving of course, for many this might truly be the case as with Christmas and New Year’s on the horizon, November often seems to come and go without much notice.

However, this has recently began to change, as the dental industry has given the month of November a very important reason to be both noted and remembered by folks everywhere. Although this new distinction may still be catching on with the general public, thus far it has proven itself to be a worthy if not, a lifesaving cause!

Oral Cancer VS Professional Dentistry…

Oral Cancer Screening: Why Does It Matter?

As you probably know, cancer in all its forms is an extremely serious and potentially life-threatening illness; however, there are but few types of cancer that are more worrisome than that of oral cancer. Oral cancer is a particularly aggressive type of cancer that can manifest within the throat, cheeks, lips, or tongue, and may continue to spread throughout the body.

In response to this, as of 2003 November 1st through the 31st has been officially named “Mouth Cancer Action and Awareness Month” among the dental community. While this may be the first you’ve heard of this, it definitely won’t be the last and you can rest assured it is certainly a cause worth knowing about. With an annual death toll of approximately 7,500 deaths occurring within the U.S. alone, oral cancer is clearly a serious problem. However the field of professional dentistry has proven itself as something of a enemy to this treacherous illness, by providing patients with an oral cancer screening.

The oral cancer screening may in fact be the dental profession’s best kept secret, as many patients are unaware that they are receiving the screening even as it happens! An oral cancer screening, is a quick and painless procedure that Dr. Skrobanek at GPS Dental preforms as part of your standard dental exam. Therefore, 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. Skrobanek take the time to give you that crucial oral cancer screening during your dental appointment!

Oral Cancer Screening: Related Articles

Dental Insurance Benefits: The Clock Is Ticking!

While November has been designated as oral health month, what you should also realize is that if you haven’t already, the sooner you schedule your routine dental exam/oral cancer screening the better!  While certainly all dental insurance companies provide their own individual health and/or dental plans, as a general rule of thumb the vast majority of insurance providers adhere to the recommended six-month appointment rule that Dr. Skrobanek encourages. The six-month dental appointment rule is the notion that in order to truly provide patients with the best possible care in preventative dentistry, that all patients should plan on having at least two routine dental exams per year, with an approximant six-month gap between appointments. In compliance with this, dental insurance companies typically provide coverage for the two yearly preventative exams, providing that the patient uses them. However, if the coverage for two appointments goes unused, you may find yourself spending extra money on something you didn’t even use, (as dental coverage does not carry over from year to year) and surely nobody likes to be wasteful! Therefore if you have yet to use one or both of your covered exams, using them now would probably be in your best interest, because they certainly won’t last forever!

What To Remember This November!

As the year begins to draw to a close, and we enter the holiday season, obviously there will much to do and think about. However, before November, (as it often does) slips by without so much as a peep, we highly encourage you to consider the significance of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, by taking the time (if you haven’t already) to schedule your routine checkup/oral cancer screening.

Remember while those precious insurance benefits won’t last for long, a healthy and cancer-free mouth will, so schedule your dental appointment now!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Schedule Your Summer Dental Appointment

dental-appointment

Why schedule a Dental Appointment? Schools OUT for the Summer!

Summer time is here and as kids everywhere would probably agree, it’s a time for pool parties, ice cream cones, and plenty of fun in the sun! However in this lovely season of scenic bliss, it is perhaps the opportune time for both you and your family to take care of some essential needs that may otherwise be inconvenient. This is particularly true for those with children in school, as the hassle of pulling your child out of school for a dental appointment can be difficult, especially if you have to take time off work to do so! Scheduling a routine dental appointment for your kids at GPS Dental during the summer vacation is certainly an opportunity that you wouldn’t want to pass up.

Dental Appointment: The six month gap

According to Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek of GPS Dental, the recommended allotted time between each dental appointment is approximately six months. While the thought of getting your children to their necessary appointments might seem challenging, if planned accordingly it can be much easier than you might think. In sparing yourself the hassle of having to take your child out of school as mentioned previously, it might perhaps be a better idea to schedule their dental appointment during the vacation periods. In addition to the aforementioned summer vacation, the winter or Christmas holiday season is another time period in which children our out of school, typically extending from mid-December to early January. For many busy parents, this creates the ideal timeline to address their children’s dental needs as scheduling a dental appointment during the December through January time period, typically pushes the next routine appointment to the June or July time frame, thereby eliminating any need for missing school.

Dental Appointment: The window of opportunity

Keep in mind that although much of the summer still lies ahead, in this beloved time of year, time often moves rather quickly. So between enjoying the lovely weather and getting in some quality time with friends and loved ones, remember to make that important phone call to schedule a routine checkup at GPS Dental for your kids. It’s the summer time and time is of the essence, so spare yourself and your kids the hassle of inconvenient absences from school by scheduling your dental appointment today!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implants, sleep apnea, TMJ / TMD Treatment, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.