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PAIN: The Most Common Symptom of Oral Cancer

If anyone can give lessons on coping with life challenges it’s Neil Arnold. What is it like to be Neil, a retired OBGYN and 24-year late stage oropharyngeal survivor? Neil no longer speaks. He is a laryngectomee and due to recurrences, he can no longer articulate words. He lives in silence. What impressed me was his staunch independence. When the …

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 …

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Newly-Trained Dental Professionals Lack Attention to Oral Cancer: What Should I Say?

Dear Eva, I just got home from the dentist and am distressed about the lack of attention my dentist and his staff pay to oral cancer screenings. Is there is a way for you to help? I like my dentist and his hygienist does a great job, but it all stops there. It is noted in my chart that I want an oral cancer screening. …

#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 …

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The Complaining Patient: Tumor or Trauma

In the 1996 “Seinfeld” episode called “The Package,” Elaine is blackballed from being seen in medical offices and tries to steal her own medical records to erase her “difficult patient” status. I had a similar experience. I had been seen by one doctor in an Oral & Maxillofacial office for the non-healing sore on my tongue that was becoming more painful. The …