We want to see you and your family for a checkup and cleaning visit every six months. These visits are essential for keeping smiles of all ages strong and healthy. However, for adults they also offer a chance to screen for oral cancer. In today’s blog, your Austin, MN, dentists will explain why you need to see us for an exam and undergo a screening every few months.
The Warning Signs and Dangers of Oral Cancer
When you develop oral cancer, there are a number of signs to watch for. Common symptoms include rough patches, sores or lesions, or areas with red and white splotches that don’t heal after one to two weeks. Changes to your voice, persistent hoarseness, and sudden unexplained weight loss could be a factor too. A sore throat that lasts more than a week is also a cause for concern too. If you experience one or more of these potential symptoms, we urge you to see us right away for an exam!
The disease could develop for a number of reasons, including smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products, or as a result of excessive UV light exposure, excessive alcohol consumption, or a family history of the disease. If these factors apply to you, we urge you to see us for regular checkups every six months, and to also take steps to protect yourself. Avoid tobacco products, better manage your alcohol consumption, and be sure you wear sunscreen, hats, neck protection, or sleeved cotton clothing when out in the sun.
The Screening Process
The screening is very important. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, over 53,000 people will be diagnosed in 2021. Of that number, studies how half will succumb to the disease within just five years. In most cases, the reason is that oral cancer is rarely caught in the earlier stages. By the time people realized something is wrong, the later stages have started and recovery is less likely. But when you attend your checkups every six months, we have two chances a year to catch cancerous or precancerous areas in the earliest stages, referring you for a body to see if you need treatment!
Other Checkup Benefits
A checkup also lets us catch issues like tooth decay, dental infection, gingivitis, and gum disease in the early stages too! If you have any questions, then please give us a call and schedule your next visit soon!
Do You Have Questions About Preventive Dentistry?
Our team knows that a regular exam is beneficial for the health of not just your smile, but your overall health too. For more information on our approach to screening for and treating oral health issues, contact Potach and Mitchel Dental in Austin, MN, today at 507-437-6312.