Regularly visiting your dentist provides great benefits beyond keeping your teeth shiny and white! In addition to cleaning your teeth, routine checkups allow us to detect any changes in the appearance of your oral cavity since your last visit. While cavities and erosion of your enamel can affect your teeth, we also examine your cheeks, tongue, and lips for signs of oral cancer. By learning common symptoms, you can also evaluate your health in between your semiannual dental visits. If you detect a symptom at home, report it right away, and do not wait months until your next appointment. Any sudden changes to your oral tissues such as a sore that will not heal or permanent discoloration may indicate cancer. Lumps, growths, or red and white patches on your lips and mouth are other common signs.
While oral cancer is a serious disease, seeking an early diagnosis can increase the odds of successful treatment. This is why regular examinations and awareness of common symptoms are so crucial in fighting its development. At your Prairie Village, KS dentist’s office, we offer screenings of abnormalities in your oral cavity. When screening suggests disease, we will refer you to a specialist to provide expert care. Because this disease affects patients of all ages, it is never too early to pay attention to the health of your mouth!
Behaviors That Help Reduce Your Cancer Risk
Because certain risk factors for oral cancer are genetic, you should pay attention to lifestyle behaviors that can reduce your chances of developing the disease. Diet plays an important role in preventing cancer and eating mindfully can reduce its risk. Include vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains regularly. Maintaining a healthy weight is associated with lower chances of oral cancer. Tobacco and heavy alcohol use greatly increase your risk so ceasing their use can assist in prevention as well. A regular exercise routine and being mindful of exposure to direct sunlight can help also. Remember that seeing your dentist regularly allows us to detect potentially cancerous growths early, so visit us on a routine basis!
Checking For Oral Cancer Symptoms On Your Own
In between dental checkups, you can monitor your mouth for symptoms when performing your oral hygiene routine. Any sudden change in the color of your tissues should be reported at once. Oral cancer can also present as lesions or ulcers that fail to heal on their own. Patients report a sudden hoarseness or thick feeling in their throat that will not go away. When these symptoms present, notify our office and we will perform a special screening right away.
Speak With Your Prairie Village, KS Dentist About Scheduling An Oral Cancer Screening
Regular screening for oral cancer can improve your odds of successful treatment by detecting illness at its early stages. For more information and to schedule a screening, please contact your Prairie Village, KS dental practice today at 913-901-8585.