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Oral Cancerous Lesions Another Reason to Make a Dental Appointment

General Article

Most people don’t realize the significance of yearly dental checkups. In fact, a high percentage of people experience loose teeth, bleeding gums, and cavities. But when it comes to toothaches hickory nc dentists warn, it becomes critical to see a professional because it could be a lot more serious than you think.

Pain in the bones and back, fractures, bleeding, increased infections and respiratory distress are all caused by a disease called Multiple Myeloma. It’s the second most common blood cancer in the world and affects the bone marrow and interferes with the production of white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. The cause of MM is unknown, but studies have shown certain risk factors to play a role.

Dental care providers may be the first to come across un-diagnosed cases of MM from incidental findings. Researchers say that 14 percent of patients have oral lesions, as the first sign of the disease. For example, jaws can be affected, and patients may have pain, swelling, pus-filled formations, or sudden tooth/ teeth movement. Lesions are more common in the lower jaw than in the upper and have a higher prevalence in the back regions of the jaw.

Getting Early Diagnosis

More than 5,000 cases are diagnosed worldwide, and early treatment helps control the disease. Treatment is usually based on age and fitness. In general, the treatment is less intensive for the older generation (65+ years), and more intensive for younger adults. Doctors call Multiple Myeloma a relapsing-remitting cancer, but there have been advances in treatment options with the development of newer medications and different approaches. Regular monitoring every 3 to 4 months is recommended.

The Signs and Symptoms in MM

Multiple myeloma may not cause any symptoms in the early stage, but as the disease progresses, the first symptom is usually a persistent bone pain that responds to the presence of many malignant cells in the bone marrow. This pain can start in the back and in the ribs. If the disease has spread, the pain may spread to the bones of the pelvis, neck and skull and, less frequently, to the legs and forearms.

As malignant plasma cells are replacing the normal elements that make up the blood in the marrow, fatigue and anemia may appear. The marrow also produces less platelets. As a result, patients with multiple myeloma often bleed easily from the nose and gums, and rapid bruising is very common.

Treating Multiple Myeloma

Three kinds of treatment are used:

  • Chemotherapy (use of drugs to kill cancer cells).
  • Radiotherapy (using X – rays of high energy or other high – energy rays to kill cancer cells).
  • Biological therapy (use of the body’s immune system to fight cancer).
  • Surgery may be used in certain cases.

Keep in mind, MM is usually diagnosed by chance, and in the absence of any symptoms, in many cases, dentists are able to suspect the disease and refer the patient to a specialist. As more and more people ignore yearly dental exams they increase the risk of missing out on vital evaluations. Non-treated dental diseases not only have a speech, and aesthetic perspective, but patients also miss out on early diagnosis of critical health concerns.