There is more then 30,000 people that are diagnosed each year with oral cancer out of the that 8,000 deaths occur yearly and the five year survival rate is only at 50 percent. This according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Early detection and preventive care is the key in slowing down these numbers. It is advised that people see a general dentist at least twice a year for their check up and cleaning. Yet many people think that they are just having their teeth check and cleaned but a dentist is able really doing so much more then that.
Dental exams not only help to decrease a patient’s risk of oral diseases, such as cavities and periodontal (gum) disease, but they also may help to diagnose other, sometimes life-threatening, medical conditions, such as oral cancer.
Ask your dentist if they provide a cancer screening during your check up. Normally when you go in for your check up the dentist may feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks, and oral cavity.
They will thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, specifically looking for any sores or discolored tissues. Although you may have already been receiving this screening from your dentist, it’s a good idea to confirm that this screening is a part, and will remain a part, of your regular exam.