Dental Exams Include Oral Cancer Screenings

You may already know that your biannual checkup includes an examination for common problems like cavities and gum disease. But did you know that these visits also include a screening for cancer? While this is fairly rare, it is important to monitor this so that treatment can begin promptly if necessary. Dr. Browne and his team in Prairie Village, KS include these screenings in your twice-yearly visits.

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Signs Of Oral Cancer To Watch For

Every six months, your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination of your oral cavity. This helps monitor several problems, including cancer. Oral cancer includes forms of the disease that can affect your tongue, lips, mouth, and throat. At home, you can check for signs such as rough patches of skin, changes in your tongue’s texture, or abnormal growths. If you notice any of these, you should schedule an appointment with a specialist to have the area looked at.

Who Is At Risk Of Oral Cancer

Like other forms of this disease, it may not necessarily be preventable. However, there are some ways to lower your risk factor. Decreasing your alcohol consumption and tobacco use can help this. Males are more likely to develop this, as well as people who have HPV (human papillomavirus). If you fall under these categories, it is essential that you get regular screenings. When caught in the early stages, your chances of effective treatment are improved. If your dentist suspects a problem, they will refer you to an oncologist to help you receive a diagnosis.

Other Benefits Of Dental Exams

Along with early detection of disease, biannual checkups also have several other benefits. During your appointment, the hygienist will perform a thorough cleaning. Plaque buildup will be removed with special tools, and your teeth will be polished, leaving you with a fresh-feeling smile. The dentist will also look for signs of cavities, gum disease, and more. If decay is found, they will recommend a separate appointment for a filling. This process involves removing the damaged part of the tooth to stop the progression of the decay.

Gingivitis may cause inflamed gums or bleeding when you floss. If this happens, you may need to have several deep cleanings done to treat the infection. At our office, we use ultrasonic scaling to remove plaque from below the gumline to stop the spread of bacteria. It is important to not ignore this problem, as it will only allow for gum disease to continue progressing. Unfortunately, progressive stages of periodontitis can only be managed, not fully reversed.

Schedule Your Exam Today

Call Dr. Browne and his team in Prairie Village, KS, today at 913-901-8585. to schedule your appointment. Early diagnosis of oral cancer can help start treatment sooner.