Oral Cavity Biopsies: 3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts

My first biopsy was misread as hyperkeratosis when in fact it was moderate dysplasia. I should have been flagged two years before I was diagnosed with Stage IV Squamous Cell Carcinoma on the lateral border of my tongue. Here is what I learned about biopsies: They are not 100% definitive. Why? Imprecise tissue sampling; Improper tissue handling; inaccurate interpretation. I …

Oral Cancer Screenings: New Technology

No screening device can replace a visual and tactile oral cancer screening. However, when a practice has a screening device, they must use it regularly to be proficient. If a fee is charged, and it’s sprung on the patient while they are sitting in the chair, it becomes uncomfortable, especially if the patient has a tight budget. If a dental …

Surgeon General Report: E-Cigarettes

The Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy’s 2-page report comprehensively reviews the public health issue of e-cigarettes and their impact on U.S. youth and young adults. Studies highlighted in the report cover young adolescents (11-14 years of age); adolescents (15-17 years of age); and/or young adults (18-25 years of age). Action can be taken at the national, state and local levels to …

Bad Breath: Can You Smell The Cause?

bad breath

Can the odor be described as rotten, foul or unclean, musky, strong, pungent, rancid, rank? Dental professionals can strengthen their role as trusted gatekeepers of systemic and oral health by developing their sense of smell to diagnose breath malodor. It’s subjective nature is problematic. Sinusitis, allergies, smells in the operatory, diet and medications can all interfere with an accurate organoleptic …

#1 On Your Priority List: You

Some dental professionals do a cursory screening; some do a very thorough one.  There is no standard or required level of quality, except one: an oral cancer screening should be performed at every dental check-up. I spoke with a dentist (about 50 years old) who told me she never learned how to perform an oral cancer screening in dental school so she doesn’t …