Hygiene Visits Are Important In More Ways Than You May Know
When was the last time you visited our office for a hygiene examination and cleaning? Has it been longer than six months? If so, we recommend calling today to schedule an appointment. When we provide hygiene examinations, we do more than just clean your teeth. We inspect for other conditions and diseases that can greatly affect not only your oral health, but your overall health as well. Read on to learn what we look for when we inspect your mouth.
Oral Cancer Screenings
When you visit our office for a hygiene examination and cleaning, we do three things. We complete the regular exam to inspect for decay and clean your teeth, we look for signs of gum disease, and we check for indicators of oral cancer. Oral cancer can affect the mouth, lips, throat, and neck. While not among the most common cancers diagnosed, it still affects more than 50,000 Americans each year and can cause great disruption to your daily life. Between appointments, be mindful of negative changes to your oral health such as:
- A sore or irritated area that does not heal inside the mouth or on the lips
- Discomfort or tenderness in the gums, cheeks, or tongue
- Constant hoarse voice or a feeling like something is stuck in your throat
- Discolored patches, lumps, or rough spots in the mouth
Risk Factors that Can Lead to Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can affect anyone, but certain patients have a higher chance due to lifestyle choices and family history. These risk factors include:
- Using any form of chewing tobacco
- Unhealthy diet
- Extensive sun exposure
- Repeated overconsumption of alcohol
Being diligent with your oral health is the best way to detect any dental issues in the early stages such as oral cancer. Of the patients who are diagnosed, many are from one of the high-risk categories mentioned above, but there are some who are detected with no risk factors. Early detection and treatment is the best way to increase the chance for a positive outcome.
If you are located in the Silverdale, WA area and have questions about oral cancer screenings or would like more information, we would love to hear from you. We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment.