Visiting your dentist regularly is essential to keeping your teeth and gums clean, but there’s another critical reason to go for your routine cleaning: to receive an oral cancer exam. If you detect anything unusual in your mouth, it’s a good idea to schedule an exam with your family dentist as early as you can to get to the bottom of it. The caring team from Nayaug Family Dental in South Glastonbury, CT, explains why.
Why to Schedule Oral Cancer Exams
It’s Your First Line of Defense
Dental professionals can spot early signs of cancer long before they become noticeable by the patient. During a screening, a dentist carefully inspects the soft tissue in your mouth and checks your lips and tongue for signs of abnormalities.
Early Detection Is Best
Early detection of oral cancer can be life-saving. When cancers are caught during their early stages, they’re typically more treatable, so going for a screening greatly increases the chances of survival.
Too Few Patients Are Receiving Exams
The Oral Cancer Foundation cites that only 60% of the U.S. population visits their dentist yearly, and of those patients, fewer than 25% report having an oral cancer exam. If you’re not receiving screenings regularly, it’s a good idea to start having one at least once per year. Additionally, if you notice any strange symptoms such as sores, difficulty chewing or swallowing, numbness of the tongue, or difficulty maneuvering the jaw or tongue, schedule an appointment with your dentist promptly.
Abnormalities Are Common
Dentists may see as many as three to five patients per day with soft tissue abnormalities, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Many are benign, but if a condition doesn’t clear up within two weeks, it’s essential to see your family dentist.
Only a Dentist Can Clear You
If there’s any sign of an abnormality during your exam, a dentist can perform a biopsy to determine the issue. Only a dental professional can make that call, and instead of wondering whether the problem is serious, it’s better to give yourself peace of mind and receive a professional diagnosis.
The team at Nayaug Family Dental proudly performs oral cancer exams during every hygiene visit. To schedule your next appointment, call (860) 663-6167 today or view the practice’s website.