Your dentist can help you achieve and maintain the optimal level of oral during regular dental appointments, but did you know these preventive dentistry exams may also save your life? It’s true. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, more frequent screenings are the best way to reduce the number of annual deaths related to oral cancer. Best of all, oral cancer screenings are so fast and painless, you probably won’t even know it’s happening. April is oral cancer awareness month, and in this post, we’ll review some of the reasons why regular oral cancer screenings are so essential to maintaining your health.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN ORAL CANCER SCREENING?
During your oral cancer screening, a dentist will carefully examine your face, head, neck, mouth, and throat for signs of the disease. We will also ask you some questions to help determine whether or not you are experiencing nonvisual warning signs of oral cancer. The entire process is completed in just a few minutes, and it is completely non-invasive and pain-free. Some of the many symptoms we’re looking for during oral screenings include:
• Lumps or bumps in soft tissue
• Swelling or hardening in the lymph nodes
• Discoloration of soft tissue
• Changes in the texture of soft tissues
• Sore throat or hoarse voice
DO I NEED AN ORAL CANCER SCREENING, IF I DON’T USE TOBACCO?
Yes. While tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for oral cancer, it is not the only one. About 25% of those diagnosed with oral cancer each year do not engage in any of the high-risk behaviors associated with this deadly disease. We will discuss all of the factors that may increase your risk and help you determine whether or not you are likely to be suffering from oral cancer.
MEET THE PALM HARBOR FAMILY DENTISTRY TEAM
At Palm Harbor Family Dentistry, we go above and beyond to help patients stay healthy. During twice a year dental checkups, we’ll examine your smile for signs of common oral and overall health issues and partner with you to prevent concerns before they arise. These regular appointments include thorough oral cancer screenings. If you want to find out more or schedule an appointment, call our Palm Harbor, Florida office today. We’ll be happy to answer questions over the phone, and we look forward to helping you achieve all of your health care goals.