Just wanted to wish you a very happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day. For the last 8 to 10 years I’ve noticed a trend, the day after any holiday there just seems to be more dental emergencies. With a little research I came across some trends.
Across the country on the day after St. Patrick’s Day, dentists see a 64% increase in emergency dental visits. That’s a pretty big jump considering most of us aren’t bar brawling hooligans out to paint the town green…or are we?
The most obvious cause for St. Paddy’s day resulting in more emergency dental visits than any other day would most likely be one (or several) too many green beers accompanied of course with generally being out in public, and probably not erring on the side of discretion.
According to the statistics referenced from NBC, dentists see a 64% increase in emergency dental visits the day after St. Patrick’s Day because people are behaving badly…and getting their teeth knocked out!
The data goes on to show how nearly ten states have more than a one hundred percent increase in emergency dental visits the day after St. Paddy’s Day.
In all seriousness, Delaware actually tops the list with the most emergency visits to the dentist after St. Patrick’s Day. It seems the Green Mountain state must be the most peaceful of all since Vermont is the only state that actually sees less dental visits requiring emergency treatment the next day, a 35% decrease.
If you need an emergency dentist following your St. Patrick’s Day festivities we will be here for you but please be careful out there and be responsible.
Quince Orchard Dental Team
What is Identafi?
- It is not a diagnostic tool
- It is a screening tool for performing an enhanced oral assessment. It helps discover lesions not yet visible to the unaided eye. It directs the clinician’s attention to a specific area and it facilitates and provides additional information upon which a clinician’s judgment is based
- Like panoramic radiography, CT, Cone beam, ultrasound.
The conventional examination has not significantly reduced mortality rates or morbidity rates. This has been due in part to the absence of new technology to enhance the practitioner’s ability to identify abnormalities that may lead to oral cancer.
High Risk areas
- Floor of the mouth
- Lateral border of tongue
- Tuberosity and retromolar area
Medium Risk areas
- Buccal mucosa
- Lower lip
Low Risk areas
- Dorsal of tongue
- Hard palate
Oral Cancer is sometimes called the forgotten disease.
Close to 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year.
- It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day.
- Of those 42,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years.
- The mortality rate of oral cancer has not decreased in over 40 years.
Oral Cancer: The Problem with Late Stage Discovery
There is a high risk of producing second, primary tumors before the first tumor is ever detected. Oral Cancer often goes undetected until it has already metastasized to another location. The 5-year survival rate is only 52%, but when diagnosed early, can be as high as 80% to 90%. So in short late diagnosis leads to high death rate.
The Screening Problem
Only 14% of patients in the United States over age 40 claim to have ever been Screened for Oral Cancer. Now this number isn’t accurate mostly because most dentist and hygienist do the oral cancer screening on their patients and may just not tell the patient they are doing it. How would you know? If they ask you to stick your tongue out, check the sides of your tongue, check your gums and cheek and palpate your lymph nodes they are checking for any abnormalities.
Who Gets Oral Cancer?
In the last 10 years we’ve seen a 60% increase in Oral Cancer in adults under the age of 40. 25% of these cases have no traditional risk factors.
Traditional Risk factors for Oral Cancer
- Previous History of Oral Cancer
- 20 times higher risk of developing a second cancer
- Majority of oral cancer found in 45 years old and older
- Alcohol (excessive use)
- Tobacco Use (including smokeless tobacco)
In some patient populations, up to 40% of oropharyngeal cancer cases impact patients without any history of tobacco, alcohol use, or any other significant lifestyle risks due to emergent risk factors such as HPV.
HPV – Human Papilloma virus- is sexually transmitted and may represent the fastest growing oropharyngeal cancer population with a 5 fold increase in incidence under the age of 45. The changes in sexual behaviors of young adults which continue today is increasing the spread of HPV, and the oncogenic versions of it.
Most common virus group in the world today affecting the skin and mucosal tissue
- Approximately 75% of the population is infected at some point
- Over 100 different types
- HPV 16 and 18 – Most prominently linked to oral cancer
- Different types infect different parts of the body
- Most HPV’s are common, harmless, and treatable.
Johns Hopkins Oncology Center – 25% of patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer had HPV virus (HPV 16)
- The fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population are non-smokers under the age of fifty
- A paradigm shift has occurred in the cause and locations of the disease
- Anterior of the mouth, tobacco and alcohol associated cancers have declined along with a corresponding decline in smoking
- Posterior of the oral cavity sites associated with the HPV16 viral cause are increasing.
Each year in the U.S., HPV is thought to cause an estimated: 1,700 oropharyngeal cancers in women and 6,700 oropharyngeal cancers in men. The nearly 5-fold increase in young oral cancer patients underscores the need for thorough examination in all patients over age 18 a minimum of once a year!
HPV DNA-positive tonsil tumors increased from 28% in the 1970s to 68% in the 2000s
- HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers increased by 225% and incidence for HPV-negative cancers declined by 50% from 1988 – 2004
- If recent incidence trends continue, the annual number of oropharyngeal cancers related to HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers will surpass annual number of cervical cancers by the year 2020 !
HPV Signs and Symptoms
- Continual sore throat/ persistent infection
- Pain when swallowing or difficulty swallowing
- Pain when chewing
- Continual lymphadenopathy
- Non-healing oral lesions
- Bleeding in mouth or throat
- Numbness – tongue
- Unilateral ear pain
- Lump in throat or feeling that something is stuck in the throat
- Unexplained weight loss
- Slurred speech (can be related to a tumor)
- Tongue that tracks to 1 side when stuck out
- Asymmetry in tonsillar area
Most patients are finding it themselves! Oral cancer can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms the average patient might recognize. On average 62% of Oral Cancer is found by the patient in Stage 3 or 4. When found early, oral cancer patients have an 80% survival rate within 5 years. Only 27% of those diagnosed with stage 4 oral cancer will survive within 5 years.
With large cavity in your teeth it can make you feel uncomfortable or out of place. Which we don’t want! Our doctors and staff have the ability to dissect larger cavities than PRR. Using tooth colored dental materials allowing the teeth to remain white and unnoticeable upon smiling. This procedure will last 12 years.
Don’t waste any time! Quince Orchard Dental Care wants to fill in the gaps! Make an appointment today online!