Patient Education
Self examination :
Examination of mouth can be done easily in front of a mirror. The cheeks, sides of the tongue, lips and the area under tongue should be visualized preferably under bright light for any abnormality. The neck should be noted for any unusual lumps. The inside of the oral cavity is generally bright pink and without any growth or ulcers. If any area appears to be swollen, it should be felt with a clean finger. Pain or ulcers are to be followed carefully and the details should be noted. This information is extremely important when visiting the doctor. Vast majority of diseases affecting the oral cavity are generally insignificant and heals spontaneously. However some might be dangerous requiring special attention. As a rule abnormalities inside the mouth that do not heal within 2 or 3 weeks are to be viewed with suspicion. Lesions that keeps growing in size and cause increasing difficulty in day to day activities requires consultation with the doctor, Self examination provides opportunity for early intervention and improves the ultimate outcome of the disease.
Routine oral care :
This is highly recommended in today’s hectic lifestyle. A good oral care routine takes only a few minutes but significantly increase oral health. Proper brushing technique, regular flossing, and cleaning after snacks or meals are excellent methods in routine oral care. You should ask your doctor about this, incase of any doubts. Proper attention should also be given to children teeth. The role played by parents is vital in maintaining good oral health in children. Ask your doctor about healthy oral habits. Prevention of dental diseases starts at home.
Deleterious oral habits :
The association between deleterious oral habits and oral cancer and precancer has been well established. In India, oral cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths. Tobacco, khaini, areca (supari), zarda, pan masala , gutkha etc have strong predisposition to develop oral cancer.
Common conditions :
Leukoplakia is a white patch in the mouth which cannot be rubbed off. It generally develops in the inside of cheeks and corners of the mouth due to long-term usage of tobacco etc. Though the lesion is white, sometimes it can appear slightly reddish also. The disease is painless and therefore might be overlooked. Leukoplakia is a precancer i.e it may progress to full blown oral cancer.
Oral submucus fibrosis results in gradual decrease in mouth opening due to long term use of pan masala, gutkha, betel nut etc. There is burning sensation on taking spicy foods. The inside of the mouth becomes inelastic. Oral submucus fibrosis can transform to cancer also.
Lichen planus is a disturbance of body immunity. It is a skin condition that affects the mouth. It appears as a white patch in gums, tongue or the cheeks
Consultation with the doctor :
Your doctor knows best about your oral health status. Consultation should be sought in case of any doubts without undue delay. Studies have shown that valuable time is lost and disease has progressed significantly before the patients actually turn up to seek treatment. Early intervention may be life saving in some situations.
Follow up :
The value of regular follow up cannot be underestimated. In general, a visit to your dentist every six months is usually sufficient. Some oral pathological lesions demands multiple visits and regular check ups.
Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology Clinic
(A Centre for Detection of Oral Cancer)
3, Raja Manindra Road,
Kolkata - 700037
(Beside Punjab National Bank, Paikpara Br.)
Phone : (+91) 033-25567344, 9830565275
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