April is officially Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and while everyone should pay close attention year round, April is the time to remember and tell others how important regular comprehensive dental checkups are.
4 Seasons Dental is dedicated to providing patients, and potential ones, with the most comprehensive dental checkups that include oral cancer screenings.
What is a Comprehensive Dental Checkup?
According to your dentist in Milton-Freewater, a comprehensive dental checkup includes a regular dental checkup and more.
During a comprehensive dental checkup the team from 4 Seasons Dental will review your medical and dental history before checking your teeth for decay, gums for gingivitis and your old restorations for any chips, cracks or leaks. Following this examination, your Milton-Freewater dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening.
What is an Oral Cancer Screening?
Either a doctor or dentist conducts oral cancer screenings. These screenings are designed to identify oral cancer in its earliest stages as this gives the patient a better chance of survival.
Your Milton-Freewater dentist will check your tongue, cheeks, the back of your throat and the roof of your mouth looking for bumps, lumps, white or red patches or rough spots. If any precancerous lesions are discovered, a biopsy is taken for further investigation and examination.
Additional Testing for Oral Cancer
Other tests that your dentist in Milton-Freewater may conduct include an oral cancer screening dye, this is used to detect abnormal cells, and/or and oral cancer screening light. When used inside the mouth the light makes abnormal cell tissues look white and normal tissues look dark.
Oral Cancer Risks
- During Oral Cancer Awareness Month it’s important to note that some people have a higher risk of oral cancer than others do, these include people whom:
- Smoke or Chew Tobacco
- Are Heavy Drinkers
- Have Had a Previous Mouth Cancer Diagnosis
Spend Time in the Sun
Throat cancer and mouth cancer has increased over the past decade, and while researchers aren’t quite sure why, some believe it could have something to do with the HPV or human papillomavirus.
Preventing Cancer with Oral Cancer Screenings
Although you can’t prevent cancer with an oral screening, you can catch it in its early stages. When cancer is discovered early on, you it’s easier to treat. This also means you have a better chance of survival.
Regular Comprehensive Dental Checkups
Scheduling regular dental checkups and oral cancer screenings help prevent oral cancer. It’s important to note that you may not notice anything abnormal until your dentist does. Often lumps, bumps, and patches are invisible to the eye and painless.
If you haven’t seen your Milton-Freewater dentist in some time, call and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive dental examination and an oral cancer screening. It could make the difference between stage one and stage four oral cancer.
Call and schedule an appointment with 4 Seasons Dental today.