Prevention is a key aspect of maintaining a healthy smile, which is why the American Dental Association recommends you visit your dentist twice a year. Semi-annual cleanings and checkups help reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, but they also play a valuable role in detecting a common problem that can impact your oral and general health. Routine dental appointments are vital for an oral cancer screening in Canton. The quick, painless examination allows you to benefit from the power of early detection.
Do I Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
Preventive dental appointments are equally important as your toothbrush and floss when it comes to protecting the health of your teeth and gums. In fact, every $1 you spend on prevention can save you $8 to $50 on restorative or emergency services. Unfortunately, one-third of Americans do not see their dentist in Canton twice a year. Not only does this allow preventable oral health issues to develop, but it also allows oral cancer to go undetected.
Oral cancer is classified as those that affect the head and neck, but brain cancer is in a separate category. It is estimated 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a form of it this year, making it one of the most common cancers. Sadly, only 57% of those diagnosed will survive longer than 5 years.
The low survival rate is largely attributed to late detection. Too often the cancer is not found until it has metastasized or reached advanced stages. This is due to infrequent oral cancer screenings. Currently, there are no guidelines in place encouraging routine exams. Not to mention, many Americans do not even know these screenings are available.
It is estimated 80% of new oral cancer case can be detected early by a dentist. Even if you do not think you are at risk of the disease, you should have an oral cancer screening at each routine visit.
Signs of Oral Cancer
An oral cancer screening is a quick and painless examination that allows your dentist to look for any concerning areas in your mouth that could indicate cancerous or precancerous cells. If a suspicious area is found, they take a biopsy to have the tissue tested in a lab. They then inform you of the results and if any additional treatment is needed.
In between your appointments, it is best to contact your dentist right away if you develop any warning signs of oral cancer, such as:
- Sores on your lips or mouth that will not heal.
- White or red patches on the inside of your mouth.
- Unexplainable loose teeth.
- Unexplained dental pain.
- Lumps or growths on the inside of your mouth.
- Numbness or tingling in the mouth.
- Ear pain.
- Difficulty or painful swallowing.
- Feeling as though something is stuck in your throat.
- Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw.
Don’t Skip Your Appointment
Now, you can further help to keep your mouth and body healthy with a routine oral cancer screening from your dentist.
About Dr. J.D. Robison
Dr. J.D. Robison focuses on prevention to promote his patients’ overall well-being. He offers a variety of preventive services, including cleanings and checkups. If it is time for your next routine visit, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.