I will now be referred to one of the dental clinics through UCSF in order to have some much needed dental work done. Since I have no insurance this will be a slow process where I will probably only be able to get one tooth worked on at a time unless they have some kind of payment program where they bill me and I pay as I can. But, at least I will have some expert care, and can begin to feel more normal. I'd like to save my front teeth as soon as possible, then get a bridge for the upper left side. I think my bite would improve considerably.
I asked how would I ever know if there were changes indicating cancer. What would I need to look for. She said you really cant tell in the early stages and that is why she wants me to keep coming back regularly for check ups. I asked what kind of treatment.
Apparently the radiation is the harshest. If I think I have problems with my mouth now, I hope I never need to have radiation as it ruins everything. I don't even want to think about it. But, I am glad I asked. I like to know the facts, even if they might not ever apply to me. Better safe than sorry. I had actually been thinking of finding someone here where I live to go to in case I ever have a bad flare up again. I was thinking I could avoid the long trips to SF. But now I realize it's best I keep going up there. Dr. Piri knows my mouth, and would recognize subtle changes. My own Ear Nose Throat doctor who I see for allergies, often asks to see my Oral Lichen Planus and he always says, "All gone! That's good!" And I know he doesn't really know what to look for unless it's raw, open erosive and completely fulminant. Same with my asthma doctor. Though both are concerned about it, I have had to show them pictures of how bad it got, and explain what's still bothering me.
Note: I took the pictures myself by holding a hand mirror in front of me and looking into the camera. I am thrilled that I have so much more muscle control now. In the past when Dr. Piri was taking pictures my tongue would vibrate because I didn't have muscle control. Plus, I can now open my mouth wider.