Our Blog

How HPV and Oral Cancer are Related

December 4th, 2019

Did you know that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and oral cancer are linked? This information may prevent you or a loved one from suffering from oral cancer if a diagnosis is made early. Dr. Bill Whitley and our team want you to understand how you can prevent the spread of oral cancer and protect yourself if you have HPV.

People don’t often speak up about this common virus, but we believe it’s important to educate yourself to prevent the potential spread of oral cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 80% of Americans will have HPV infections in their lifetime without even knowing it. Symptoms usually go unnoticed, though it’s one of the most common viruses in the U.S. The body’s immune system is generally able to kill the HPV infection without causing any noticeable issues. If you think you might have HPV, talk with primary care physician about getting the preventive vaccine or taking an HPV test.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, “HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers (the very back of the mouth and throat), and a very small number of front of the mouth, oral cavity cancers. HPV16 is the version most responsible, and affects both males and females.”

Common signs of oral cancer may include:

  • Ulcers or sores that don’t heal within a couple of weeks
  • Swelling, lumps, and discoloration on the soft tissues in the mouth
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Pain with chewing
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Numbness of the mouth or lips
  • Lumps felt on the outside of the neck
  • Constant coughing
  • Earaches on one side of your head

If you experience any of these side effects, please contact Whitley Family Dental as soon as possible.

We hope this information will help you understand the interactions between HPV and oral cancer. Please remember to take precautionary steps if you notice anything out of the ordinary with regard to your oral health. If you have any questions or concerns, contact our Dallas office.

Thanksgiving in North America

November 27th, 2019

Thanksgiving marks the start to the holidays; a season filled with feasting, indulging, and spending time with family and friends are always special. Thanksgiving is a holiday meant for giving thanks, and while this may seem like such a natural celebration, the United States is only one of a handful of countries to officially celebrate with a holiday.

Unlike many holidays, Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, and it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. In Canada, it is celebrated on the second Monday of October, which is, oddly enough, much closer to a time when harvests were likely gathered. In addition to the different dates, the origins of the celebration also share different roots.

Thanksgiving in the United States

Giving thanks for a bountiful harvest are not new, but the modern day holiday in the US can be traced to a celebration at Plymouth in Massachusetts in 1621. This feast of thanksgiving was inspired by a good harvest, and the tradition was simply continued on. At first, the colony at Plymouth didn't have enough food to feed everyone present, but the Native Americans helped by providing seeds and teaching them how to fish, and they soon began to be able to hold a feast worthy of the name. The tradition spread, and by the 1660s, most of New England was hosting a Thanksgiving feast in honor of the harvest.

Canadian Thanksgiving

An explorer of early Canada named Martin Frobisher is accredited for the first Canadian Thanksgiving. He survived the arduous journey from England through harsh weather conditions and rough terrain, and after his last voyage from Europe to present-day Nunavut, he held a formal ceremony to give thanks for his survival and good fortune. As time passed and more settlers arrived, a feast was added to what quickly became a yearly tradition. Another explorer, Samuel de Champlain, is linked to the first actual Thanksgiving celebration in honor of a successful harvest; settlers who arrived with him in New France celebrated the harvest with a bountiful feast.

A Modern Thanksgiving

Today, Thanksgiving is traditionally celebrated with the best of Americana. From feasts and football games to getting ready for the start of the Christmas shopping season, Thanksgiving means roasted turkey, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole. No matter how you celebrate this momentous day, pause for a moment to give thanks for your friends, family, and all the bounties you’ve received. Happy Thanksgiving from Whitley Family Dental!

Happy Thanksgiving from Whitley Family Dental

November 26th, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving from Whitley Family Dental! Dr. Whitley plans on celebrating Thanksgiving with family right here in Dallas! Dr. Whitley and his family plan on going out to eat for the traditional meal so his family can enjoy the time together instead of worrying about spending hours with food preparation and clean-up.

Though we might be going out for Thanksgiving dinner, we still want to share one of our favorite recipes for those who plan to cook! Looking for a new side for your dinner? Look no further. This broccoli rice cheese casserole is always a hit with our family. The recipe is below:

What you will need - 

  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli steamed until desired tenderness
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice cooked to directions on the bag
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 jar of Cheez Whiz
  • 1 onion cooked in butter until desired tenderness


  • Mix all ingredients and bake in an ovenproof baking dish at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes. And voila! An easy new side to add to your Thanksgiving dinner.

An important part of the holiday season is taking a step back to recognize what you are truly grateful for. It is a time where we can step back and be thankful for all that we have in our lives. You don't have to worry about decorations and buying gifts. As Dr. Bill and Tamara have aged, they have realized that quality time with family matters more than gifts that no one will remember. It is the memories of time together that will last through time.

Dr. Bill's favorite memory of Thanksgiving was made in 2006. This was the first year that Dr. Bill made a new tradition of taking a vacation with Tamara and their son. Now that their son is in college and no longer has the entire week off from school, The Whitley's will be spending their holiday in Dallas....that is until their son graduates and then they will be like Willie Nelson, "On the Road Again!"

Of course, Whitley Family Dental is always grateful for our AMAZING WFD staff and our INCREDIBLE patients! We hope everyone is having a wonderful start to the holiday season and we can’t wait to see you in our office again soon.

Why Professional Cleanings are Important

November 20th, 2019

Regular dental cleanings and checkups at our Dallas office are an excellent way to ensure everything is A-OK in your mouth. There’s a reason the American Dental Association recommends a professional cleaning every six months!

Here’s what you can usually expect during your visit with Dr. Bill Whitley:

  • Head and neck examination: The dentist or dental hygienist will look for anything out of the ordinary. He or she will check your lymph nodes and lower jaw joints (also known as TMJs).
  • Dental examination: The dentist or hygienist will check for any signs of gum disease, tooth decay, loose or broken teeth, or damaged fillings. We’ll also check your bite, the contact between your upper and lower teeth, and the condition of any dental appliances you’re wearing. Sometimes we’ll also take a set of X-rays.
  • Dental cleaning: Plaque and tartar will be removed and the dentist or hygienist will polish your teeth. Your teeth and gums will be flossed, and we’ll also make recommendations about proper brushing and flossing technique if we think you need them.

When you visit our Dallas office regularly, we’ll be able to compare the status of your teeth and gums from one appointment to another. That ensures we will be able to tell where you’re doing great in taking care of your teeth, and if needed, where you’re doing not so well.

If you’re in need of serious help, we might recommend more frequent visits. But remember, the most important factor in your oral health is how you take care of your teeth and gums at home between appointments.

We strive to help our patients achieve and maintain radiant, healthy smiles! If you'd like to know more about exams and cleanings at our Dallas office, or what you need to do at home to maintain an effective oral health routine, please let us know.