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Posts for tag: oral cancer

By Elite Smiles
September 08, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

An oral cancer screening can be performed at your biannual dental check-up. It does not require any special preparation and can detect cancer in the early stages when it is most easily treatable. Dr. Geetha Sripathi is a general and cosmetic dentist at Elite Smiles in Morrisville, NC. She provides oral cancer screenings.

What Happens During Oral Cancer Screening?

Morrisville, NC dental patients typically have their oral cancer screening at their routine dental visit. During the examination, Dr. Sripathi will take a close look at the inside of your mouth to check for any abnormal white or red of tissue and sores. She will also feel the tissue inside your mouth to check for swellings or abnormalities. She will also examine your throat for lumps.

You may also have additional tests including:

  • Screening dye: For this test, you will rinse out your mouth with oral cancer screening dye. The blue dye will cling to any abnormal cells in your mouth, allowing Dr. Sripathi to see any signs of cancer.
  • Screening light: With an oral cancer screening light, normal tissue appears dark and abnormal tissue appears white.

If your Morrisville NC dentist sees any signs of oral cancer she will typically recommend a repeat visit within two weeks to check if the abnormal area is still visible and if it has changed or grown bigger. You may also need a biopsy to remove a cell sample to be sent to the lab for testing.

Bear in mind that not all lumps or discolored areas in your mouth are necessarily caused by oral cancer. But if they do turn out to be cancerous then catching them as early as possible gives you the best chance of successful treatment.

If you would like to find out more about oral cancer screening or discuss other dental concerns in Morrisville, NC, call Dr. Geetha Sripathi at Elite Smiles at 919-388-0137 to schedule an appointment.

By Elite Smiles
November 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer   smoking  

Each November, the American Cancer Society urges smokers to kick the habit for just one day, because if you can quit for one whole day, you can quit for another whole day. Put enough whole days back to back and you’re no longer a smoker!

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. It harms nearly every organ of the body, causing lung disease, heart disease and diabetes, as well as cancer of the lung, kidney and bladder.

Smoking also causes problems in your mouth. Aside from the more obvious problems of bad breath and yellowed teeth, smoking raises the risk of cancer of the mouth and throat. It can increase the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Smoking interferes with healing, so treatments may not work as well. The majority of smokers have gum disease and they are more likely to lose teeth from advanced gum disease.

Quitting isn’t easy, but it’s the best thing you can do for your health. Who wouldn’t want fresher breath, younger-looking skin and a better sense of taste and smell?

Even for people who have smoked for a long time, the effects of smoking start to reverse themselves when you quit. Your heart rate, blood pressure and carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to normal shortly after quitting. Studies are showing that in just one year, the risk for heart disease is cut in half. 10 years later the risk of oral cancer is about equal to that of a nonsmoker. In 15 years, the risk of heart disease is the same as for a nonsmoker.

Need help quitting? Talk with your dentist or doctor. You can also visit the American Cancer Society website. If you have any questions about smoking and oral health, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Strategies to Stop Smoking.”

By Elite Smiles
March 11, 2015
Category: Oral Health

What would it take to get you to give up tobacco? For major league baseball player Addison Reed, it took the death of his former coach, Tony Gwynn. Gwynn, a Hall-of-Famer who played for the San Diego Padres in addition to coaching at San Diego State, was just 54 years old when he died of oral cancer. As soon as Reed heard the sad news, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ relief pitcher says he knew what he needed to do: He took every can of smokeless tobacco he owned and dumped them all in the trash.

“It’s just become a habit, a really bad habit,” Reed told an interviewer at “It was something I always told myself I would quit.” But quitting took him many years — in fact, Reed admitted that he first started using smokeless tobacco as a junior in high school.

People begin using tobacco — in the form of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or smokeless types (snuff, chewing tobacco, or dip) — for a variety of reasons. One major draw is that they see others doing it. And, while smoking is prohibited in most all Major League venues, the use of smokeless tobacco has remained fairly widespread.

Smokeless tobacco isn’t a safe alternative to cigarettes. According to the National Cancer Institute, it contains 28 carcinogenic agents. It increases the risk not only for oral and pancreatic cancer, but also for heart disease, gum disease, and many other oral problems. It’s also addictive, containing anywhere from 3.4 to 39.7 milligrams of nicotine per gram of tobacco — and its use has been on the rise among young adults.

But now the tide may be turning. After Addison Reed’s announcement, his former college teammate Stephen Strasburg (now a pitcher for the Washington Nationals) resolved that he, too, would give up tobacco. “[The] bottom line is, I want to be around for my family,” said Strasburg. Mets left-hander Josh Edgin has vowed to try quitting as well. It’s even possible that Major League Baseball will further restrict the use of smokeless tobacco at games.

What does this mean for you? It may just be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for… to stop using tobacco. Dentists have seen how quickly oral cancer can do its devastating work — and we can help you when you’re ready to quit. The next time you come in for a checkup, ask us how. Your teeth and gums will thank you — and your family will too.