& Second Opinions
Many people are quite satisfied with the current status of their dental health. They attend their appointments twice a year, brush and floss daily, and try to stay away from sweets. Even with superior oral hygiene skills, however, any number of factors could be at work to compromise the integrity of your teeth. It is always a good idea to take into account something that may have been overlooked and if possible, try to prevent any problems from happening or getting worse. It is as important to David Crumpton, DDS as it is for you to ensure your mouth is in optimal condition.
Cancer is a horrible word that nobody wants to consider, but the truth is that if dental care has been neglected for a significant amount of time, what might have been something easy to treat if detected early enough could rapidly advance. If you are someone who uses tobacco, you may already be aware of the risks involved with using the product. Because the introduction of chemicals in the tobacco begins with your mouth, you are putting your gums, teeth, and throat at risk with every puff or chew you take.
Gum disease is also known to cause cancer. It makes it that much more important to attend regular dental appointments every year. By removing plaque and decay every six months (before it can become a problem) and regularly brushing and flossing after meals, together we can easily prevent gum disease. However, it can be pretty difficult to avoid genetics, and if there is a history of cancer in your family, that may also be a good reason to get a screening.
During your appointment, we will carefully inspect your entire dental cavity, neck, and your throat for lumps or other abnormalities. We can even use digital X-rays to get a better look at the inaccessible areas of your mouth, such as the bones and roots of your teeth. Some of the first signs of oral cancer can be a consistently sore throat or difficulty swallowing. If you notice oral ulcers that do not seem to heal or you have problems opening and closing your mouth, be sure to let us know at your next appointment!
If something is discovered during your exam that is suspicious, we may take a biopsy for lab testing. A follow-up appointment within a few weeks can help us monitor the area better, so we are aware of any changes. We can let you know as soon as we do if any cancerous cells are detected so we can start treatment immediately. There is no need for it to ever progress that far, however, and it is helpful to remember that the earlier cancer is found, the easier it can be to treat.
Oral cancer screenings can be beneficial for everyone, regardless of their age or health. If you are interested in learning more about our screening procedure, please stop in and see us or give us a call at 817-678-7395 to schedule an appointment.