A Critical Aspect of Preventive Dentistry
Are you aware that your regular dental check-up could be a lifesaver? At Hickman Family Dental in Urbandale, IA, we believe in providing our patients with the best possible dental care. Part of that care includes oral cancer screenings, which is a critical aspect of preventive dentistry.
Oral cancer is a serious disease that affects thousands of people every year. However, with early detection, the chances of successful treatment significantly increase. Our experienced dental team is committed to offering our patients comprehensive oral cancer screenings to detect any potential issues as soon as possible. We prioritize your oral health and well-being, so you can trust us to provide you with the highest level of care.
What is Preventive Dentistry?
Preventive dentistry refers to the practice of taking care of your teeth and gums to prevent dental problems from occurring. This includes practicing good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash. It also includes regular visits to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings.
Preventive dentistry is important because it can help you avoid costly and painful dental procedures down the road. By taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can prevent cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems.
What are Oral Cancer Screenings?
Oral cancer screenings are an important part of preventive dentistry. During your biannual exam, your dentist will examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer. This includes looking for any abnormal growths, sores, or patches of discoloration.
The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer is a serious health issue that can have a major impact on your quality of life. If left untreated, oral cancer can spread to other parts of the body and become much more difficult to treat.
Oral cancer can be difficult to detect in its early stages, which is why regular screenings are so important. By getting regular oral cancer screenings, you can catch oral cancer early and increase your chances of a full recovery. This is especially important if you have any risk factors for oral cancer, such as a history of tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, or a family history of cancer.
What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening
During an oral cancer screening, your dentist will examine your mouth for any signs of oral cancer. This will typically involve a visual examination, as well as a physical examination where your dentist will feel for any lumps or abnormalities in your mouth.
The screening process is typically quick and painless and can be done during a regular dental check-up. If your dentist finds any suspicious growths or areas of discoloration, they may recommend a biopsy to determine whether or not the growth is cancerous.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The symptoms of oral cancer can include:
- Sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal
- Lump or thickening in the mouth
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Persistent sore throat
- White or red patches in the mouth
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- Numbness or tingling in the mouth or lips
While these symptoms may not necessarily indicate oral cancer, they could be signs of other oral health issues that require treatment. Regardless, if you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your dentist or doctor right away.