People assume the only time to go to a dentist is when a problem already exists, and nothing could be further from the truth. The best time to visit an office like Ramona Main Street Dental is to prevent problems before they have a chance to develop. Practices related to keeping the mouth healthy before an issue occurs are called preventative dentistry.
Preventative dentistry includes many basic services like teeth cleaning and oral x-rays, but it also includes one of the most important elements of dentistry: oral cancer screening.
Our office in Ramona is proud to offer oral cancer screenings, which are exams done to determine whether or not a patient is experiencing any of the signs of cancer in and around the mouth. The ultimate goal is to identify precancerous or cancerous structures before the disease has time to progress, because cancer is easier to treat and cure when found early.
Depending on the office, an exam could include a visual and tactile check of the teeth, gums, and inner lips and cheeks. Other tests are x-rays, swabbing sores to check for cancerous cells, and scanning the mouth with a special light that reveals cancerous structures.
The truth is anyone can develop oral cancer, so everyone should have a screening done at least once a year. It’s important to find a dentist you can trust and see regularly, so cancerous cells are detected early.
With that being said, some individuals are more likely to develop oral cancer than others. In particular, people who use tobacco products put themselves at greater risk, especially if they chew it. Someone who uses a vape is also at risk, as is anyone who spends too much time out in the sun. Believe it or not, but someone can develop lip cancer from sun exposure.
Some final people who are more at risk are those who consume alcohol on a regular basis, and anyone who has had family members diagnosed with oral cancer in the past.