You already know about the importance of regular dental visits. Along with a thorough, consistent home-based oral hygiene routine, this is the best chance for you to keep your teeth and mouth clean and healthy.
Regular dental visits give your dentist and team the opportunity to identify many common and small dental problems like early-stage gingivitis, small chips or cracks in the enamel, or plaque buildup while they are manageable and easy to treat. But did you know that you can add oral cancer to that list?
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer is exactly what it sounds like – a form of cancer that develops in the mouth. It can be found anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, and inside the cheeks.
Like many cancers, oral cancer is highly treatable if caught early in its development before it spreads to the surrounding tissues.
Dentists are specially trained to recognize the early symptoms of oral cancer, which is one of the many reasons why it’s so important to see your dentist regularly.
What are the signs and symptoms of oral cancer?
There are a few main indicators that your dentist will look for when examining you for signs of oral cancer.
- Sores on the lip or in the mouth that don’t seem to heal
- Red or white patches inside the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Complaints of sore mouth or ears
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lumps or bumps in the mouth or neck
To identify these symptoms, your dentist and hygienist will ask about any changes in your overall health. If you are experiencing any of the things mentioned above, it’s important to let them know.
Next, your dentist and team will thoroughly examine your face, mouth and neck looking for unexplained lumps or sores.
Are you overdue for a dental checkup? Even if you’re perfectly healthy and not experiencing any problems with your oral health or discomfort in your head, neck, mouth, and face, it’s important to make a dentist appointment and make sure there are no problems starting to develop that you’re not aware of yet.
Call our team at Petrolia Dental in South Edmonton to set up an appointment today. We’ll assess your current oral health and work with you to create a long-term appointment schedule that meets your unique needs.