According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 54,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. Which is why an annual screening to identify possible areas of concern is so vital for your overall health. In today’s blog, your Leawood, KS, family dentist talks about how we help safeguard smiles with an oral cancer screening.
The Causes and Dangers
Oral cancer can be caused by a number of different factors. A family history of the disease puts some at a greater risk, as does excess exposure to UV sunlight or tobacco use. Excessive alcohol consumption and the presence of HPV are also major factors. The disease has a very high mortality rate, with over half of those diagnosed succumbing to it within just five years. At the same time, it is a very treatable cancer. The reason for the high death rate is because the disease is rarely caught in the early treatable stages. Which is why a visit is so valuable! This enables you to receive a diagnosis in the earliest stages, so you can begin treatment and increase your chances of a full recovery.
Common Warning Signs
What warning signs should you be aware of? Well, people may notice the presence of sores, rough patches, lesions, or areas of red and white splotches that don’t heal or go away after two weeks. Changes to your voice, unexplained weight loss, and a sore throat or hoarseness that doesn’t pass are also common signs of trouble. When you experience one or more of these potential symptoms, we urge you to contact our team right away for a screening!
The Screening Process
The screening process involves a visual exam and the use of advanced technology to identify areas that could be cancerous or precancerous. You can then be referred for a biopsy and treatment. This should happen at least once a year for adults of all ages, so be sure you continue to attend your checkup and cleaning visit as scheduled. We care about our patients and want to take steps to help protect them. During your checkup we also look for other common issues, such as cavities, infections, gingivitis, and even gum disease. The problems can then be treated before they cause tooth loss and lead to a poor quality of life.
If you have any questions about the screening process, or if you would like to schedule a checkup and cleaning visit, then contact our team today to learn more. We want to help you and your family enjoy optimal oral health!
Do You Have Any Questions About Preventive Dentistry?
Contact Dreem Dentistry in Leawood, KS by calling 913-681-5500 to schedule your next appointment with our team and learn more about our approach to preventive dentistry!