There is the old saying that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. While many apply this to the medical field, it is very true for your overall oral health as well. This month is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and our team at East Harmony Dental is committed to spreading the news. What news? We’re glad you asked.
The 4-1-1 on Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is not just one disease, but a category of serious and devastating illnesses. Oral cancers can include head and neck cancers, laryngeal cancer, and throat cancer among others. The shocking bit is that oral cancers typically develop from dental diseases that go undiagnosed and/or untreated.
Diagnosing the Disease
Not all oral cancers or disease show symptoms until it has progressed. This is why routine dental visits are so essential. At a bi-yearly dental appointment, the dentist will examine your head, neck, throat, and mouth for any signs of disease. If there are any signs, the dentist can recommend further testing or treatment. It is important to remember that you may never notice any signs or symptoms of oral disease.
What Comes First
In most cases, oral cancer will develop because of neglected dental hygiene. Diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis can become very serious. Both diseases trigger inflammation of the gums (due to an increase of bacteria in the mouth), bleeding, infection, and even tooth loss and jaw bone deterioration. If you have any symptoms like the ones we mentioned above, it is vital that you see a dental provider right away. Even pregnant women should mention to their dentist if they notice bleeding gums or gum sensitivity as this can often be misconstrued as normal.
Now, for Prevention
Preventing oral cancer is simple – commit to a healthy dental hygiene schedule (brushing twice per day, flossing daily) and see your dentist at least twice per year for routine examination. If you are a new patient to East Harmony, we offer the first exam, cleaning, and set of x-rays for just $59! There is no reason to neglect this part of your health, and in some cases, it could save your life. Schedule an appointment today with our excellent dental providers! We are excited to partner with you for overall oral health.