Have you been screened for oral cancer?
According to the Canadian Dental Association, your oral health is an important part of your overall health.
It is important that patients play their part in the maintenance of oral health. Brushing and flossing twice per day, visiting your dentist twice per year, and eating low-sugar foods are the best ways to maintain your oral health.
However, despite your best efforts with your at-home dental care routine, oral health issues can still occur. Some of these issues include: tooth decay, gum disease and dry mouth.
The link between oral health and overall health
Research shows that there are many links between oral health and the health of the rest of your body. Patients diagnosed with gum disease and tooth loss have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and people with poorly managed diabetes may be more likely to experience gum disease.
Having a healthy smile can affect other factors in your day to day life including the way you eat, sleep and socialize.
Your dentist is your partner in oral health Many of these oral health issues can be prevented and treated with professional care. Setting a healthy foundation for teeth and gums through preventive dental care is an important factor in maintaining your overall health.
Your dentist can provide you with the dental care required to treat such diseases and prevent further issues form occurring. Informing patients of current oral conditions, and what is required to maintain their oral health is a top priority for dentists across the country.
Oral Cancer Screening
It is important for dentists that patients understand their dental needs so that they are able to make informed decisions about treatment plans and follow at-home care routines. Oral cancer and your health Oral health issues along with tobacco and alcohol use have been linked to the development of oral cancer in Canadians.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, it is estimated that 4,400 Canadians will be diagnosed with oral cancer in just one year. Detecting this disease at early stages can be very important for successful treatment and if you are over the age of 45, your dentist may recommend that he or she screen you for oral cancer signs and symptoms.
Screening techniques can be used in combination and include:
Extra-oral Examination – A visual examination of the head, face, front and back of the neck, including behind eyeglasses and under the hairline and ears.
Intra-oral Examination – A visual check for anything unusual in the mouth including swelling, enlarged or swollen salivary glands, indentations, ulcer/crusting, symmetry and any changes in texture or colour such as white, red or mixed red and white patches or lesions.
Oral Screening Technologies – VELscope screening technology designed for patients who would like a more thorough examination of their oral cancer risk.