Every hour, oral cancer claims the life of someone. At Three Creek Dentistry, our goal is to help our patients enjoy healthy smiles and healthy lives. Oral cancer screenings are quick, simple, and can quite literally save lives.
Below, we’ll walk through the causes of oral cancer, and how the oral cancer screening process works at our Derwood, Maryland dental office.
Causes of Oral Cancer
The causes of oral cancer are varied, but some of the leading reasons are excessive alcohol consumption, excessive tobacco consumption, poor oral hygiene, and simply genetic predisposition. Sun exposure is another cause of oral cancer, according to some studies.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening typically takes place during a routine dental examination and only takes a few minutes. First, your dentist will carefully examine your cheeks, gum, tongue, and jaws, to assess for any unusual growths or lumps. They will then scan your neck, lips, and face, massaging the sides of your neck to evaluate your lymph nodes.
Once your oral cancer screening is done, your dentist may order additional tests or x-rays depending on the results.
How Often Should I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?
We recommend getting an oral cancer screening every three years if you’re between the ages of 20-40, and once a year if you’re 40 and over. If you use tobacco products or consume alcohol often, you should have more frequent oral cancer screenings to ensure you’re healthy.
Preventing Oral Cancer
Even if you have genetic markers for oral cancer, there are ways you can minimize your risk of developing it. First, having a consistent oral hygiene routine and visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and examinations are paramount. Next, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet full of fiber, protein, and drinking plenty of water. Lastly, avoiding tobacco products is essential to supporting a healthy smile.
Affordable, Preventative Dentistry in Derwood, Maryland
At Three Creek Dentistry, our comprehensive services are designed to support a healthy and beautiful smile. Oral cancer screenings are one of the easiest ways we can not only ensure that you have a healthy smile, but a healthy body as well. Contact us to schedule an appointment today and check out our financing page to learn more about our affordable payment options!