Apr 11th, 2012 by admin
While most parents are careful to make sure their children get full and comprehensive dental care, adults often fail to properly consider their own dental health. Sadly, the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” simply doesn’t apply to adults who avoid regular dental checkups due to cost or inconvenience.
Often dental problems can be easily handled or averted if caught early. By the time a patient experiences severe pain, serious damage has likely already occurred. This is especially the case with oral cancer. Many symptoms of oral cancer are also symptoms of other, lesser disease or trauma. A simple lesion in the mouth or on the tongue, difficulty swallowing and chronic hoarseness might be indications of allergy season or the common cold. On the other hand, they may well be the first indications of oral cancer. Only a professional will be able to tell for certain.
Oral cancer screening is a routine part of dental checkups. The dentist looks for identifiable white or red spots on the gums, lungs, cheeks and tongue. Since many harmless spots and sores look identical to malignant ones, the dentist may choose to perform a simple oral brush test to determine whether or not a spot is cancerous.
As with every type of cancer, early detection and treatment is pivotal to the prevention and cure of the disease. Generally speaking, spots or sores in the mouth that do not heal in 14 days need to be checked by a professional to determine if the cause is oral cancer. Spots that don’t cause pain are easy to miss, so why leave finding oral cancer to chance? Set regular appointments for cleanings and checkups with your dentist. As those in the medical field know from experience, early detection and frequent screening provide the best opportunities for eliminating cancer-related deaths.