Your dental checkup is about more than just cleaning your teeth and checking for cavities. Many diseases start in the mouth, and regular dental exams are an important part of your overall healthcare routine. In this article, we will discuss oral cancer screenings, one of the most important checks a dentist performs.
Who Needs an Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer can affect anyone, but certain factors can put people at a greater risk. Tobacco smoke and heavy alcohol use have both been tied to oral cancer, so discuss your lifestyle with your dentist to determine if you need an oral cancer screening. Patients over the age of 55 and people who have a family history of oral cancer are also at a higher risk for developing the disease, so mention these factors to your dentist as well.
What Happens During the Screening
Preliminary oral cancer screenings are easy and non-invasive. During a screening, your dentist will check the inside of your mouth for lesions, discoloration, or other signs of cancer. They will feel the inside of your mouth to check for abnormalities like lumps, and may also feel along your jawline or neck. If anything looks or feels concerning, your dentist will order further tests to assess the situation.
Just One Part of a Healthy Oral Care Plan
When it comes to your health, preventative care is key. Oral cancer screenings are just one of the many ways that a dentist can help prevent disease. Call Waller Dental at 936-372-2673 to schedule a comprehensive dental checkup.