If you brush your teeth twice a day and floss each day, you may be laying the groundwork to avoid numerous health concerns, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. All of these systemic diseases have been connected to oral health concerns in the past. Until very recently, oral cancer was considered almost entirely a disease that affected tobacco users. Dentists recognized that oral cancer screenings during dental checkups were essential in order to deliver early diagnosis to help their patients receive adequate treatment and improve their chances for recovery. However, new research actually links some forms of oral cancer directly to oral health.
University of Louisville Study
Researchers at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry published a study in 2016 that linked throat cancer to specific oral bacteria. The bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis, was found in 61% of patients with throat cancer. This strain of oral bacteria is also linked to gum disease.
Why We Recommend Oral Cancer Screening
One person in the US dies every hour from oral cancer. Of those patients diagnosed this year, only 50% will live longer than five years. Researchers recommend that patients receive oral cancer screenings regularly to ensure diagnosis in the early stages of oral cancer. With earlier diagnosis, the hope is that patients will have greater chances to make full recoveries. Dentists are the obvious health care providers to offer these screenings since they have advanced training and experience diagnosing and treating oral diseases.
What to Expect During Your La Costa Dental Oral Cancer Screening
At La Costa Dental, we offer oral cancer screenings as part of every dental checkup. Your oral cancer screening will be quick and painless. We examine your diagnostic images, x-rays and photos, for signs of cancer. Our dentist will visually and manually examine your oral and facial structures for early warning signs of oral cancer. We will also ask you a series of questions to help us determine whether or not you are exhibiting indicators of oral cancer. If we do discover areas of concern, we will either monitor your progress or recommend further diagnostics with a physician. If you want to learn more or schedule an appointment at La Costa Dental, we welcome you to call our friendly dentistry team. We have five convenient office locations to serve patients from throughout south Texas. You can find us in Corpus Christi on Ayers Street, Kostoryz Road, and Leopard Street. We also have practices in Port Arthur and Beaumont.