It’s Oral Cancer Awareness Month and that means it’s time to schedule an appointment with your Murfreesboro dentist for an oral cancer screening. While regular dental checkups are important year round, April is the time to remember how important comprehensive dental checkups are because they include an oral cancer screening.
What is an Oral Cancer Screening?
According to your dentist in Murfreesboro, an oral cancer screening is performed during a comprehensive dental examination. During an oral cancer screening, the team from your Murfreesboro dentist’s office will check your neck, your lymph nodes and the entire cavity of your mouth including your lips, tongue, cheeks and the back of your throat.
Some of the things that your dentist will be looking for include:
- Scaly patches
- Sores that won’t heal
- Red and white patches
- Bad breath
- Lumps or bumps
- An irregular bite
- Sore neck
If you have a hoarse voice, problems chewing, swallowing, or anything else that just doesn’t seem right be sure to tell your dentist about it.
While everyone has a propensity for oral cancer, some people are in a higher risk category than others are. Those include:
- Tobacco users
- People who do not practice good oral hygiene
- Heavy alcohol drinkers
- People over 45
- People exposed to UV light
- People who are overweight
- Those with genetic syndromes
Spread the Word
During Oral Cancer Awareness Month, it is important to tell family and friends about the dangers of oral cancer. Sadly, most cases of oral cancer are not diagnosed until it has spread to other parts of the body. While it is not difficult to diagnose, most people do not notice any symptoms until it is too late. Your dentist in Murfreesboro explains, early oral cancer diagnosis is critical, especially if you want to live longer than five years. About 55,000 people in the United States are diagnosed every year with some type of oral cancer. Most of those cases were in the later stages. This is why it is imperative that you schedule twice-yearly comprehensive dental checkups that include oral cancer screenings. Even more so if you suffer from chronic gum disease or diabetes.
Schedule an Oral Cancer Screening Today
Do your part and schedule a comprehensive dental checkup with an oral cancer screening. If something is discovered, you have a much better chance of nipping it in the bud. Call, send a text or a direct message, and make an appointment with your dentist in Murfreesboro today.