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Getting your oral screening shouldn’t have to be a task that you purposely have to fulfill, your dentist should include it in every checkup. Oral Cancer Awareness month is here!
As a premier dental office, we encourage every dentist to include this screening with every dental checkup. It is simple, quick, well within anyone’s budget and can prevent serious health problems in the future.
What you can expect from this article:
- National Data on Oral Cancer
- What You Should know About Your Dentist and Oral Cancer Screening
- Causes of Oral Cancer
- Tobacco & Alcohol
- Sun Exposure
National Data on Oral Cancer
Another year and another time to remind everyone how important it truly is to get your oral screening done. Many may not be aware of this, but oral cancer affects many of us across the world. Even in the United States, oral cancer has become a problem for many of our friends and neighbors.
According to the NIH related data, 3% of all cancers recorded in the U.S. is oral cancer. While that may seem like a small number in comparison to three hundred and forty million Americans, the problem is compounded on a yearly basis. Each year there are 53,000 Americans that experience issues with oral cancer. Now over a ten-year period, one can easily see how the problem increases, like compounding interest. If all patients are still alive in ten years, we’re looking at over a half a million oral cancer patients.
This is a problem that can be fixed early in the process. Early detection is essential for early preventative measures. Cancer as you may already know, is a disease with continuous progression until it eliminates its host. Detection at its earliest stages increases the chances for a successful treatment procedure.
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What You Should know About Your Dentist and Oral Cancer Screening
Frequent dental visits for checkups are essential for early detection. However, do not assume that your bi-annual dental checkups will automatically come with essential oral cancer screening. Unfortunately, not all dentists provide this level of treatment when you go in for a basic dental checkup. Oral cancer awareness month is our way of encouraging other dental practitioners and patients to be proactive.
As a rule of thumb, oral screening shouldn’t cost you more than $30 at your dental office. If your dentist doesn’t provide this basic essential service, maybe you should be looking at other alternative dental practices. Do a search for a local dentist in your area that does include oral screening as part of your basic bi-annual checkups.
For example, if you’re located in Las Vegas, NV. Our dental practice makes sure to include oral cancer screening in your bi-annual dental checkups. We aim to focus on prevention as much as we focus on treatment. This is another good rule of thumb you should keep in mind when searching for a local dentist in your area. Our practice Functional Aesthetic Dentistry makes a conscious effort to promote advances in dental technology by implementing them in our practice. This helps our patients increase their standards of service they can expect from our team.
Similarly, we hope your dental practice makes the same conscious effort as well. If not, you can always visit us for a complimentary consultation by calling us at 702-671-0001.
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Causes of Oral Cancer
In most cases, oral cancer is caused by a few contributing factors, according to the NIH.
- Tobacco & Alcohol Use
- Sun Exposure
- Age and
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus, Type 16)
According to the NIH, (National Institute of Craniofacial Research), people more susceptible to oral cancer are those in the age range of 40 years and above. After 40, the chances of exposure to potential oral cancer increases by a considerable amount. That is why Functional Aesthetic Dentistry is a proponent of oral cancer awareness month.
Tobacco & Alcohol
For those who have consistent use of Tobacco products, they are in a spectrum of increased chances of developing oral cancer. Similarly, for those that are consistently consuming large amount of alcohol, they too fall in a spectrum of increased susceptibility.
Sun Exposure can increase oral cancer of the lips and mouth. Too much sun could damage the cells on the lips causing a development in oral cancer.
If you’re over the age of 40, with poor oral habits and are an alcoholic or avid smoker, your chance of increased susceptibility jumps to a higher level. Be mindful of your habits and find a way to learn to decrease the level of consumption and use of products with harmful chemicals.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
For those with HPV, also known as, Human Papillomavirus and especially what is known as type 16. You are at a higher level of risk for getting oral cancer. Please consult with your dentist and make sure to get oral cancer screening during your dental checkups.