Oral Cancer Screening Saves Lives

upclose cartoon mouthTaking care of your oral health requires more than proper hygiene at home. Did you know that in addition to professional cleaning, your dentist performs an examination for the signs of oral cancer at each semiannual visit? Be attentive in attending appointments, because this disease can be fatal when it occurs. The American Cancer Society estimates that 54,000 new patients are diagnosed each year and unfortunately, about 11,000 lives are lost. Around one fifth of sufferers are under the age of 55, so attending screenings is vital to maintaining good oral health for people of all ages.

Successful treatment is associated with how early in its development you discover the disease. At each regular checkup, your Prairie Village, KS dentist will perform a comprehensive examination by checking your mouth, neck, and jaw area for any abnormal tissue. If the dentist suspects you have developed a case, they will refer you to a specialist for treatment. Remember that the first step towards recovery is identification!

Checking For Oral Cancer At Home

To enhance the chances of identifying the disease, look carefully for the signs associated with its existence in between your regular six month dental visits. Abrupt changes to the normal coloration of your oral tissue should be reported to our office. It may present as a sore, lesion, or ulcer that does not heal after several days. Oral cancer can present with a sore throat and even lead to the loosening of your teeth. If you notice that chewing or swallowing at mealtime has become painful, the disease may be present. Please call our office and schedule a screening if any of these symptoms present between routine dental examinations.

Reducing Your Cancer Risk

There are many healthy habits you can adopt in order to reduce the chance of developing a case. Smoking cigarettes and using other forms of tobacco increase your odds of developing an occurrence, so cease their use if you currently smoke or dip. Heavy alcohol use is also associated with higher risk. Strive to eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans and limit your use of sugar-sweetened drinks. Adopting a regular exercise routine can also reduce risk. There are certain risk factors, such as your age, that you cannot affect, so take charge in developing the habits you may change to support your oral health.

Call Your Prairie Village, KS Dentist Today And Schedule An Oral Cancer Screening

Regular screening at examination and cleanings can improve the odds of a successful treatment by detecting illness in its early stages. If you suspect you may need an inspection, please contact our Prairie Village, KS dental practice today at 913-901-8585.