- July 9, 2016
Today we want to talk about a tough topic: cancer. There is hardly a family in America that hasn’t been touched by this tragic condition. Often it is present in a person, wreaking havoc on their body, long before they are aware of what is going on.
In our Illinois office, providing an oral cancer screening to each of our patients has become a routine part of our dental exams. This is because we want to try and detect it early enough to do something about it. Preventive dentistry is all about increasing the quality of life as well as preserving life itself.
As such, it is important to keep an eye out for anything that seems amiss in your mouth.
On The Lookout For Cancer
Oral cancer is hard to diagnose because it often isn’t even visible until it has already started to metastasize.
However, some of the telltale signs include: white, red, or speckled lumpy spots; sores; raised bumps; open wounds; ulcers; bleeding in the mouth; pain when swallowing; difficulty moving your jaw; and so forth.
As a rule, if something doesn’t feel or look right, it probably isn’t! It is always in your best interest to let us take a look from our professional perspective.
Minimizing Your Risk
There are some things you can do to lower your chances of developing cancer.
Smoking tobacco products is a major oral cancer risk factor!
But get this: smokeless tobacco such as chew or dip is even more dangerous!
Heavy consumers of alcohol are at the same high risk for developing mouth cancer as cigarette smokers.
If you are neglecting your daily dose of fruits and vegetables you are at a higher risk for mouth cancer.
Stay out of the sun!
Sunburns have been linked not only to skin cancer, but to cancer on your lips as well.
Know your family history!
If you have a history of cancer your risk of developing oral cancer is far greater, which means you will need to be more mindful of the environmental factors that you can control.
These days it is hard to find a family that hasn’t had some form of cancer at one time or another. So, be careful!
How The Dentist Can Help
As with most things, early diagnosis is the key to surviving oral cancer.
Coming to see us every 3-6 months will go along way towards keeping you healthy and happy for years to come. The truth is that regular oral exams are your best bet for beating cancer. We have the sort of tools and training you just can’t get access to at home. Our modern screening technologies will allow us to spot and contain the spread of cancer sooner.
We hope you have been inspired by today’s post to make positive lifestyle adjustments and learn your family cancer history. We also hope you will resolve to visit the dentist every 3-6 months for preventive checkups and screenings.
To schedule your next appointment or looking for more information on preventing oral cancer, contact us online or call Shorewood Family Dental Care today at 815-725-5991!