A healthy mouth is the first step to a healthy you! Something we hear all the time here at Dayspring Dental is “That was the most thorough check up and cleaning I have ever had!” We spend a great deal of time getting to know each of our patients. In these days of managed care, long waits, and quick doctor visits, we believe that one of the things missing in health care today is time, attention, and listening. We also know that your mouth provides a small window to your entire body. Healthy teeth and gums help keep your entire body healthy. Unhealthy teeth and gums often hint at systemic conditions like diabetes. So, it is of utmost importance to make sure your mouth stays healthy.
Your visit begins with x-rays to show any hidden problems. Next we will do a head and neck/oral cancer exam. Oral cancer results in about 150,000 deaths every year! The earlier it is caught, the better. We then move on to checking your teeth and gums. We will discuss any concerns you have such as missing teeth, misaligned or discolored teeth, jaw pain, etc.
Regular oral cancer screening by your dentist is extremely important. Did you know that one American dies every hour from oral cancer? Did you also know that a dental check up is supposed to involve more than just checking for cavities? Your dentist is on the front line of identifying, treating, and preventing this dreaded disease. A head and neck oral cancer exam is part of every exam at Dayspring Dental. This involves checking the neck for swollen lymph nodes, and the cheeks, tongue, throat and gums for any unusual lumps, bumps, or coloration before even looking at the teeth.
Smoking is the major risk factor for oral cancer, but there are other risk factors involved as well. Alcohol use, smokeless tobacco use, as well as the HPV virus are all common contributors to oral cancer. Even denture sores or places where you are missing teeth that are constantly irritated by food can lead to oral cancer. When oral cancer strikes, even if it isn’t fatal, it’s often disfiguring, with patients losing parts of their tongue or jawbone. That is why early detection is so vitally important.
What can you do to protect yourself against this disease?
Food and plaque get stuck in the grooves and can’t be cleaned out. Cavities start easily in these areas. We clean the grooves microscopically with the laser, and then bond the sealant (basically like a tiny filling) in the groove. Plaque and food can no longer get stuck and cause decay.