You already know that your dentist checks for cavities and gum disease at each six-month dental checkup, but you may not be aware of the life-saving screening he performs during these visits.
While peering inside your mouth to check your teeth and gums, your dentist Melbourne at Simply Smiles Dental is also looking for signs of oral cancer.
Early Detection Saves Lives
Every day, three Australians are diagnosed with oral cancer, which accounts for more than 6 percent of all cancers in the country.
The death rate from oral cancer is so high because it is often not caught until it spreads to other parts of the body. With early detection, however, you have a 90 percent chance of surviving the disease, and that is why dentists are vigilant about screening patients during dental checkups. Because they are so familiar with the structures of the mouth and see patients twice a year, dentists are in an ideal position to catch this form of cancer early enough that it can be cured.
Signs of Mouth Cancer
In addition to seeing your dentist Melbourne twice yearly, you should perform a self-examination every month to check for unusual growths in your mouth. This examination should involve palpating the soft tissues of the mouth and neck and using a mirror to look inside your mouth, including your gums, tongue, floor of the mouth, hard palate, soft palate, cheeks and lips. See your Melbourne dentist if you notice any of the following:
Red patches, white patches or a combination of the two
Lumps, swellings or thickenings
Sores or ulcers that will not heal
Numbness, tenderness or pain
Difficulty speaking, chewing or swallowing
Persistent hoarseness or sore throat
If your dentist suspects that you have oral cancer, a brush test or biopsy can determine if the lesion is benign or cancerous.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
While anyone can develop oral cancer, more men than women develop the disease, and the risk is higher among men who are over 50. People who smoke or use smokeless tobacco are also in the high-risk category, and that risk increases dramatically if you add heavy alcohol consumption to the mix. Excessive sun exposure can additionally increase your chances of cancer of the lip.
Dental Checkups and Oral Cancer Screenings in South Yarra and Toorak
Regular dental visits can help you maintain good overall health as well as good oral health, so contact us to schedule your Melbourne dental checkup today. At Simply Smiles Dental, we happily treat patients from South Yarra, Toorak and all the surrounding areas in Melbourne.
“Everybody Deserves To Smile”
At Simply Smiles Dental, we believe that dentistry is not a luxury, and that everybody deserves to smile. Thats why we keep our prices fair and offer solutions to suit every budget.
We make this investment in you because we’re pretty confident that you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you meet us. Our level of work and patient care ethic is first class.
Contact our Toorak dental office on (03) 9826 2220.
We are Medibank members choice dentist and Hcf members choice dentist.
(We are located in the Toorak Village, in the heart of Toorak and serve patients from Toorak, South Yarra, Prahran, Windsor, Southbank, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Malvern, Albert Park, Melbourne CBD, and from all Melbourne metro areas.)