Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Why is it important to visit your dentist regularly?

After attending my recent update on core subjects for my Continued Professional Development (CPD) last week I wanted to share with Evolve patients what I had learned about oral cancers, I would like to make everyone aware of just how important it is to see your dentist regularly.

After attending my recent update on core subjects for my Continued Professional Development (CPD) last week I wanted to share with Evolve patients what I had learned about oral cancers, I would like to make everyone aware of just how important it is to see your dentist regularly.

Before we talk about facts and figures, I want you all to think about the last time you looked in your mouth to check for any abnormalities? Possibly never, as I don’t myself. The pictures and slides that I was shown of affected areas were in areas of the mouth that you would be hard pushed to see yourself, on the roof of the mouth where the soft palate meets the hard palate, and inside the cheek at the back of your mouth. Obviously the face and lips are places that you can see in the mirror, and would know if a mark or abnormality was to appear.

The hidden areas are the concern, and this is why it is so important to see your dentist regularly, so that these areas are checked for you.

Did you know that there are approximately 75,000 cases of Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) in the UK diagnosed each year, affecting both men and women? BCC is a type of skin cancer, a non-melanoma skin cancer, which is the most common type. While malignant these are unlikely to spread to other parts of the body, but could be disfiguring if not treated early.

Early presentation is associated with improved survival rates. Most oral cancers are Squamous Cell Carcinomas which are not painful, and without examination you are not going to know it is there, a frightening thought.

What should you be looking for:

• Ulceration lasting for more than three weeks
• Swelling lasting for more than three weeks
• Unexplained loose teeth not associated with gum disease
• Neck swelling lasting for more than three weeks
• Any red and white patches that are painful, swollen or bleeding.

 

During your Healthy Mouth Review at Evolve Dentistry, our experienced dentists will check for any of the symptoms above, and note any changes however small in your records. If this needs further attention you will be referred for the appropriate care immediately. If a small change is noted an ulcer or a bitten lip perhaps, this is noted in your records and will be checked six months later at your next appointment, you will also be told to keep and eye on the area and return if it doesn’t heal within 3 weeks.

 

At your Healthy Mouth Review your teeth are checked as well as your soft tissues including your tongue, cheeks and insides of your lips, these are the areas that you may find difficult to  check yourself.What can you do to reduce the risks:

• Visit your dentist every six months
• Stop smoking. Tobacco is the single biggest contributor to ill health
• Reduce your alcohol intake, new guidelines 2016 now say there is no ‘safe’ drinking level
• Eat greens
• HPV vaccination now available for young girls and boys

 

I hope that you found this information helpful, but if you do not remember a fact or figure that is fine, what I would really like you to remember is how important it is to see a dentist regularly.

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