How can your dentist help fight cancer? Dentist in Edmond explains how.
You’ve heard it so many times throughout your life. It’s been seared into your brain by The American Dental Association. See your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and check-ups. Clean and healthy teeth are part of it for sure, but another reason to visit the dentist is to screen for abnormalities. Your mouth can develop problems just like any other part of your body. Oral Cancer screenings are just as vital as screenings for cancer elsewhere on the body. According to the American Dental Association, 42,000 Americans will develop oral and throat cancers this year. The 5-year survival rate for these kinds of cancers is slightly higher than 64%. When cancer is detected and treated early, symptoms and treatment related problems are reduced. Oral cancer doesn’t just mean your mouth either, it can be anywhere from your lips all the way to the back of your throat. That’s alot of surface area not being checked regularly if your not going to the dentist. As your dentist in edmond, I’ll look for any signs of abnormality beyond just decaying teeth. I’m looking for redness, lumps, lesions and examining your bite. When I ask about your mouth, I’m wanting to know about soreness, tenderness or swelling. It may not seem like a big deal, but it could be symptomatic of a larger problem. I may ask about your family history, that might seem weird for a dentist but it can give me an idea of what diseases to look for.
If your in between visits and you notice anything off with your mouth, please do not hesitate to call your doctor. They will happily schedule an appointment even just to put your mind at ease. Remember, there are usually many reasons for things like redness, swelling, or anything abnormal. According to The American Dental Association, symptoms of Oral cancer can include:
- A sore or irritation that does not go away
- Red or white patches
- Pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
Patients are at higher risk for these factors past the age of 40. But it’s not impossible to find these symptoms in people much younger. Contributing factors include HPV infections as well as tobacco use. Keeping your mouth healthy with brushing, flossing, fluoride, a good diet, and of course visiting your dentist will all help in the prevention of oral cancers and other oral problems. And of course, don’t neglect your twice yearly appointments with us here at Ballinger Family Dentistry, dentist in edmond. Call today and schedule your appointment at 405-844-8445
For more information about oral cancers please visit http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/o/oral-cancer or http://www.oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/