As your friendly dentist at Allen Dentistry, Dr. Justin Nylander knows that a healthy smile and dental exams are about more than just cavity-free teeth. In addition to ensuring that our patients have strong teeth and gums, we also focus on detecting and providing information about other issues, such as oral cancer.
Oral cancer is a silent killer that often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. Dentists play an essential role in raising public awareness about the dangers of oral cancer, helping patients understand how to avoid risk factors, and encouraging them to maintain regular dental check-ups. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and dentists and oral health organizations join efforts to spread the message about early detection, prevention, and treatment.
At Allen Dentistry, we believe that educating our patients about oral cancer is crucial. Our dedicated team of professionals prioritizes educating our patients on the importance of regular dental exams and being proactive in their oral care. During dental exams at our practice, we carefully check for any signs of oral cancer to ensure early detection and make proper recommendations if any abnormalities are found. We also provide guidance and resources to help our patients minimize risks and maintain optimal oral health.
This comprehensive guide will help you understand the importance of regular dental exams, their role in the early detection of oral cancer, and the necessary steps to prevent this life-threatening disease.
Understanding Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a severe and potentially life-threatening disease that affects the mouth, throat, or surrounding area. Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the oral cavity, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palates, sinuses, and pharynx (throat). In the United States, many people are diagnosed with oral cancer yearly, and tragically, many deaths are attributed to it annually. Tobacco and alcohol use, exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV), and genetic predisposition are significant risk factors for developing oral cancer.
Importance of Regular Dental Exams for Oral Cancer Detection
Regular dental exams with Allen Dentistry can aid in the early detection of oral cancer, which is especially critical, given that the survival rate for oral cancer dramatically increases when detected in its early stages. Dentists are often the first people to detect signs of oral cancer during routine dental exams. During the exam, Dr. Nylander will thoroughly check for any abnormal changes, such as red or white patches, sores, or lumps in your mouth or surrounding areas. He may also perform additional tests or refer you to a specialist for further evaluation if necessary.
How You Can Take an Active Role in Prevention & Detection
While maintaining regular dental exams is vital, you can also take steps to avoid or detect oral cancer early. Some early signs of oral cancer include constant mouth ulcers, a feeling of something stuck in your throat, difficulty moving your jaw or tongue, speaking problems, swelling, or pain. Keep an eye on any changes in your mouth, even if they seem insignificant. Consider reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking or other tobacco products. Practicing safe sex to minimize the risk of contracting HPV, another leading cause of oral cancer, is an additional preventive measure you may take.
Dental Exams in Allen, Texas
Oral cancer is a dangerous disease, but with increased awareness of the risks and the crucial role of regular dental exams in its early detection, we can significantly improve the odds of surviving it. At Allen Dentistry, we are committed to providing comprehensive dental care which goes beyond healthy teeth and gums. We strive to keep our patients informed and aware of the risk factors associated with oral cancer, and we encourage them to maintain regular dental exams and be proactive in their oral healthcare. Visit us today to ensure your dental care is contributing to your overall health and well-being.