Healthy teeth is about more than a pretty smile. Your oral health has a significant effect on your health throughout your body, not just in your mouth. By maintaining healthy teeth and gums, you can make your body healthier from head to toe.
You know the importance of visiting your dentist regularly for healthy teeth and good oral health. But did you know visiting your dentist can also help screen for cancer? Cancer can occur in the mouth, affecting lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. Since no one is looking very carefully inside their own mouths, your dentist and dental hygienist are your best bet at early detection of mouth cancers.
According to oncolink.org , people who smoke, use smokeless tobacco, and drink alcohol are at higher risk of developing oral cancers. In recent years, oral cancers in younger people without these risk factors are on the rise. In addition, other cases occur in people with no risk factors at all, so screening is important for everyone.
Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination. If mouth cancer is recognized early, then the chances of a cure are good. A thorough oral cancer screening exam includes more than looking around your mouth. Your dentist will examine and feel your face, neck, lips, mouth, tongue, thyroid gland, salivary glands and lymph nodes for any abnormalities. If you have dentures or partials, they should be taken out to allow the entire mouth to be inspected ( source ).
In addition to routine dental screenings, be aware of the potential signs of oral cancers and report these to your healthcare provider:
November is Mouth Cancer Awareness Month. Early detection is key. Make sure you’re seeing your dentist regularly (every 6 months!) and if you’re currently overdue, schedule an appointment with Walton Dental Health right away! Your health is too important to wait.
Proper dental care is a vital part of keeping your teeth healthy. In addition to regular brushing and flossing at home, it is important to visit your dentist regularly to get professional cleanings. Because the month of October is National Dental Hygiene Month, here are five reasons why regular dental cleanings are so essential.
A root canal is generally not on anyone’s list of fun things to do. However, it is an important dental procedure that can help alleviate the pain experienced due to a cracked or injured tooth or one that is badly decayed. Additionally it can protect your teeth from harmful infections that could cause tooth loss as well as other serious health concerns.
You may be asking, “How do I know if I need a root canal?” For most patients, pain is the first symptom that indicates an issue. The intensity of this pain can start out very mild, but can get more severe if the issue is left untreated. Some patients also experience tooth sensitivity to hot/cold food and drinks and can have issues when biting into foods. You might also notice pain and swelling of the gum tissue surrounding the affected area.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to promptly schedule an appointment with your dentist or an exodontist. They will conduct a thorough examination of the problem and take an x-ray to determine if there are any other issues that could be causing your discomfort.
Risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, and infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). You can lessen your risk of developing oral cancer by abstaining from smoking and any tobacco use and by refraining from heavy alcohol consumption. If you haven’t yet been immunized, speak with your doctor about receiving the HPV vaccine. And talk to your dentist or see your medical practitioner immediately if you are experiencing any of the following oral cancer symptoms:
With oral cancer, early detection is key. If discovered and treated early, there is an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. Unfortunately, oral cancer has a statistically high death rate due to late detection. Your dentist can be your first line of defense in early detection for oral cancer. At Walton Dental Health, we agree with the American Dental Association’s recommendation of two routine visits per year to your dentist (depending on the individual, some may require more visits). Since oral cancer screenings are a part of a more extensive exam performed during routine visits to the dentist, it’s important that you make and keep regular dental appointments. Your dentist should be able to see any abnormalities in your mouth that could be oral cancer, giving you a head start on detection and treatment.
Walton Dental Health supports Oral Cancer Awareness Month and we are currently accepting new patients for oral exams. If you’re due for a checkup, contact Walton Dental Health right away to schedule your appointment with Dr. Walton. Let us help you stay on top of your dental health and one step ahead of oral cancer!