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Here’s Another BIG Reason Not to Skip Your Dentist Appointment

Your life is busy, so you may try to save time wherever you can — maybe you’ve even been tempted to neglect your routine appointments with your dentist. But is saving a couple hours really worth it? No. As Craig Fewox would readily tell you, regular dental checkups are vital, perhaps even life-saving. Craig had no idea that he had oral cancer until Dr. Zamora identified a suspicious spot in his mouth! Indeed, this devastating illness is a BIG reason why you should never become a stranger at your dentist’s office.

 

The Threat of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer isn’t the most common form of cancer, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the possibility that it could affect your life. The American Cancer Society released some estimates at the beginning of 2018, projecting that over 51,000 people would develop this disease and over 10,000 would die from it this year alone.

As is true with any form of cancer, the earlier you catch oral cancer, the greater the chances of survival are. Fortunately, Dr. Zamora spotted Craig Fewox’s problem before it posed a major threat to his life, but if Craig had waited a few more months or even a year before visiting the dentist, his story could have had a much different — and much more tragic — ending.

 

Getting Screened for Oral Cancer Is Easy

Because we take the threat of oral cancer seriously, we urge all of our patients to get screened for this disease regularly, and the screening process is so simple that you may not even realize it’s happening. During your routine appointment, we’ll do a quick tactile and visual examination of your mouth. We’ll look out for any signs that oral cancer might be present. Some of what we look for includes:

Also, please tell us if you’ve noticed any of the other symptoms of oral cancer, such as changes to your voice, a persistent sore throat, or changes in the way your teeth fit together.

 

Don’t Have Any Risk Factors?

It is true that some people are at a much higher risk of developing oral cancer than others. Smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, HPV, and prolonged sun exposure all make a person more likely to develop this disease. However, getting screened at least once a year is important even for folks who don’t have any of the major risk factors. Just remember Craig Fewox — he hadn’t smoked in years when he was diagnosed with oral cancer, and he didn’t have any other significant risk factors for the illness.

Getting screened for oral cancer could save your smile — and maybe even save your life! That’s why we urge you never to skip your regular dental appointments.

 

About Zam Dental

Dr. Melody Zamora works alongside Dr. Hemmat and the rest of our team in the office to provide top-notch dental care to her patients. If it’s time for your next oral cancer screening, or you have questions about anything related to your smile’s health, please contact us one of our offices.

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