Having regular dental examinations not only helps to keep teeth and gums healthy, but dentists can sometimes find early signs of other medical conditions. One of the diseases they check for regularly is oral cancer.
Detecting Oral Cancer
During a regular dental examination, most dentists will conduct an oral cancer screening in Winchester. This is done by checking the tissues inside of the mouth, including the cheek lining, gums, tongue, and underneath the tongue, too. They will also check the throat during the examination for any signs of throat cancer.
Approximately 42,000 people per year are diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States. A dental oral cancer screening can detect early signs of the disease, which can increase the survival rate of patients. Early signs of oral cancer include irregularities in tissue texture, discolorations of the tissue, including red or white patches, and a change in the way the teeth fit together.
Causes of Oral Cancer
The most common causes of oral cancer are smoking and drinking excessively, especially in people over the age of fifty, using chewing tobacco or snuff, and the sexually transmitted disease human papilloma virus (HPV). Prior to an oral cancer screening, your dentist will discuss your medical history and lifestyle habits to find out your risks for mouth or throat cancers.
The five-year survival rate for people with oral or throat cancer is slightly better than 64%. However, with the help of screenings and early detection, the survival rate increases. To find out more about oral cancer screenings, go to thomasfamilydentistry.com You can also find out more about their other dental services as well.
If you use chewing tobacco, smoke, or are a heavy drinker, you should talk to your dentist about having an oral cancer screening. The earlier the cancer is detected, the better your chances are of surviving it.