There are many reasons that getting regular dental checkups is good for your health. While the primary focus is on your teeth, dentists are also skilled in checking for indicators of other health issues. Along with your checkup, your dentist can provide you with an oral cancer screening. By visiting the dentist every 6 months as recommended, you have a good chance of catching any problems early on. However, if you suspect there may be an issue, there is no need to wait a few months before your next oral cancer screening. At the office of Kenneth R. Russell DDS, we will gladly schedule you an appointment should the need arise.
Some indications of oral cancer you can watch out for include:
- Thickened tissue or lumps in your mouth
- Red or white patches in your mouth or on your lips
- Jaw pain
- Feeling like you need to clear your throat continually
- Sore throat or difficulty swallowing
While oral cancer screenings are important for everyone, there are some risk factors that can indicate that you are at a higher risk:
- Marijuana use
- Previous HPV diagnosis
- A history of significant sun exposure
- Poor nutrition or oral hygiene
- A weak immune system
- Tobacco use
Along with your oral cancer screening, regular checkups allow your dentist to catch signs of gingivitis and other oral diseases early on, providing you with your best chance at finding effective treatments and solutions. To schedule an appointment, or to learn more about oral cancer screenings, call our office today.