Dental Exams Aren’t Just for Your Teeth
There are plenty of reasons that we recommend you come in for examinations at least twice a year. Cleaning your teeth, checking for decay, and examining your gums are important to your health, but there’s something else we do that could literally save your life. Dentistry? Life saving? Yes!
Oral Cancer Screening
While it may appear that we’re simply poking and prodding with our special tools, we’re actually doing a lot more, including looking for signs of oral cancer. While oral cancer used to be associated with old age, people of all ages are at risk if they:
- Smoke or use other tobacco products
- Frequently consume alcohol
- Have been exposed to the HPV virus
- Have experienced prolonged exposure to the sun
While you may be able to notice bleeding gums and suspect that you have gingivitis, it’s almost impossible to diagnose oral cancer without an untrained eye. During your visit, we will start with a visual examination and check for any lesions or sores. We will also conduct a physical examination and palpate the oral tissues to check for lumps or signs of swelling. If we suspect oral cancer, then we may suggest a biopsy to confirm diagnosis.
The Importance of Early Intervention
Like most cancers, oral cancer is most treatable in the early stages. This is exactly why it’s so important for you to visit at least twice a year. When we see you regularly, we know what your mouth looks like when it’s healthy, making it easier to notice suspicious changes. If you miss appointments, we can’t catch these signs in a timely manner. In this respect, visiting our office regularly could be a matter of life or death.
Whether you are in need of a cleaning or are worried that you may have symptoms of oral cancer, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Together, we can ensure that your teeth, mouth, and entire body are happy and healthy.
Dr. Ruth Roach Morgan & Dr. Jessica Morgan Vaughn