Sandy Springs Dentist: Breast Cancer and Oral Health Care

Sandy Springs dentist near me
Angelina had a significantly elevated risk of developing breast cancer due to mutation of the BRCA1 gene

Studies show a link between breast cancer and dental health.

After heart disease, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States.  You may be 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer if you have poor oral health or periodontal disease.

The Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment conducted a survey of over 3,000 women and found that individuals with chronic periodontal disease had a higher occurrence of breast cancer.

Given that about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime,[1]  many women’s lives could be saved if breast cancer was diagnosed earlier, and early diagnosis could be achieved if there were more and easier opportunities to do so.

The method of early diagnosis is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but researchers found that the protein levels in saliva have shown the potential to assist in the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care of breast cancer.

Salivary testing has some real advantages over blood testing.  The collection of saliva is safe, non-invasive, and collectable without causing a patient any pain or discomfort.  Dentists would be the appropriate health care provider to take periodic saliva samples during regularly scheduled visits.   Properly integrated into the examination process, this would aid patients and physicians before, during, and after diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

The use of saliva testing would be an annual adjunct bench mark in women’s annual health care.  Patients would still need to undergo routine breast cancer exams, including mammography and blood tests, but there should be a greater chance of early detection with the use of all of these screening tests.

Given the links, good oral health care is very important to your global health care.  If we can be of service or answer any of your questions feel free to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld Bock, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328



3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road

Chamblee, GA 30341



[1] In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 57,650 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer, with almost 40,000 deaths in 2011 alone.

Dentist Alpharetta: The Tongue and Stories it tells

Sticking TongueDid you realize your own tongue can alert you to hidden problems about the rest of your body’s health?  Recognition and diagnosis of tongue abnormalities require examination of the tongue’s shape, structure, color and pattern along with a thorough history, including the onset and duration of the symptoms and the use of tobacco and alcohol.  A thorough neck examination, with careful assessment of the lymph nodes, is essential.  Although routinely examined during a patient’s semi-annual hygiene examinations, abnormalities of the tongue can present a diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma for dentists.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the point prevalence of tongue lesions is 15.5 percent in U.S. adults. Lesion prevalence is increased in those who wear dentures or use tobacco. The most common tongue condition is geographic tongue, followed by fissured tongue and hairy tongue.[1]  Patients presenting with a tongue lesion or other abnormal appearance of unclear etiology should be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, head and neck surgeon, or a dentist experienced in oral pathology for further examination and biopsy.

Probably the best article providing a short synopsis of what to look for in a patient self-examination is presented in the American Academy of Family Physicians’ article:  Common Tongue Conditions in Primary Care.

If you haven’t received an oral examination in recent history we recommend you make an appointment and see your dentist to do so.  If we can be of service or answer any of your questions please feel free to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328


Related articles

[1] Shulman  JD, Beach  MM, Rivera-Hidalgo  F.  The prevalence of oral mucosal lesions in U.S. adults: data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988–1994.  J Am Dent Assoc.  2004;135(9):1279–1286.