We could give you countless reasons why you should make regular dental checkups part of your routine.
Preventing cavities and gum disease would be at the top of the list. These problems are so common that a majority of people will experience them at one time or another. Regular checkups make it more likely that our team in Florence, SC will spot them early, so you can get treated before they can cause bigger issues.
There is another extremely important reason for you to come see us twice a year, however. More than 50,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. When detected early, your chances of surviving this kind of cancer is between 80 and 90 percent.
As part of your visits to Advanced Dental Center, we are on the lookout for any symptoms of this disease. We want you to keep your smile for life, and we want to keep you with us for as long as possible, too.
Things You Should Know
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 130 people are diagnosed with this kind of cancer on an average day in the U.S. Around 1 person dies from oral cancer every hour in America, too.
As we noted above, early detection gives you an excellent chance of surviving these kinds of cancers. In contrast, the survival rate within five years drops to 57 percent when oral cancer is not diagnosed until the late stages of the disease.
We aren’t sharing these facts to scare you. We just want you to be aware of the situation, and we want to encourage you to make regular oral cancer screenings part of your routine. Again, planning regular checkups at our office can play a big role in that.
Oral cancer is more common among tobacco and alcohol users, but those are not the only contributing factors in this disease. Tobacco use is by far the most common cause of oral cancer cases. Experts conservatively estimate that tobacco is a factor in 75 percent of new diagnoses of this disease.
One strain of the human papilloma virus (HPV-16) has been identified as a growing risk factor. (This strain of HPV also raises females risk of cervical cancer, which is why the vaccine is recommended around 11 or 12 years of age.
What You Should Watch For
In between your dental visits, you can do some self-checks at home. What for these symptoms:
- Red or white patches on the soft tissues of your mouth
- A feeling of numbness or tenderness in your lips or mouth
- Crust, rough spots, an eroded area, or thickening of part of your mouth
- Sores that don’t go away
- A change in your bite (how your teeth fit together)
- Problems chewing, moving your tongue, speaking, and/or swallowing
If you notice these signs, you may want to contact your family doctor. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Come See Us Soon
You should make regular visits to Advanced Dental Center for preventive care. Getting an oral cancer screening is just another reason to stop by our Florence, SC dental office.