A checkup and cleaning are crucial for keeping smiles of all ages healthy and strong. However, as an adult you also need to see us for an oral cancer screening. If you haven’t scheduled one yet, we urge you to do so soon! In today’s blog, your Austin, MN, dentists will explain the importance of undergoing a routine screening at least once every year.
The Value of a Screening
According to studies from the Oral Cancer Foundation, at least 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. Of that number, half will succumb to the disease in just five years. A major factor in the high mortality rate is the fact that oral cancer is rarely caught in the early stages. By the time someone realizes something is wrong and goes in for a checkup, the issue has progressed. Which is why a screening is so important. Using advanced technology and experience, we can recognize the warning signs in the earliest stages, helping you start the treatment process before it has time to progress, so you have an increased likelihood of a recovery. For that reason, we urge a screening at least once a year for all adults!
Warning Signs of Trouble
If you haven’t attended a dental appointment in a while, what warning signs should you be aware of? After all, a toothache could mean a cavity, bleeding gums could indicate periodontal disease, so how do you recognize the warning signs of oral cancer? The symptoms could vary, but people have often reported persistent hoarseness or changes to the voice. A sudden weight loss is cause for concern, as is trouble chewing, swelling your food, or a sore throat that last more than two weeks. Other warning signs include areas of red and white splotches, tenderness in the inside of your mouth, sores that don’t heal, or rough patches. Should you encounter one or more of these potential warning signs, please see us right away for an exam and screening!
Other Benefits of an Exam
An exam is also a chance for us to discover common issues like cavities, gingivitis, gum disease, and infection in the earlier stages, before you risk losing a tooth. We also watch for signs of complications like TMJ disorder or bruxism (chronic teeth grinding), again addressing them quickly. With the cleaning portion of your visit, we remove all plaque and tartar to help strengthen your smile as well!
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT GENERAL EXAMS?
Don’t forget to give us a call to schedule a visit and a checkup this year. Be sure to contact Potach and Mitchel Dental in Austin, MN, today at 507-437-6312. We want to offer you the preventive care necessary to maintain optimal oral health in the new year!