Mouth cancer screening at the dentist

Mouth Cancer Screening at the Dentist

Mouth Cancer Screening at Sunshine Smiles Dentistry - Dentist near Alpharetta street Roswell, Georgia

No doubt about it – “Cancer” is a scary term, and its manifestation in any form can be detrimental or even fatal to your health! This includes mouth cancer, also called oral cancer. As the country marks “Mouth Cancer Awareness Month”, you should know that certain lifestyle and genetic factors may make you more susceptible to it.

These may include:

  • Regular tobacco usage
  • Regular alcohol usage – yes, especially for women
  • Unprotected exposure to sun, as this leaves you vulnerable to lip cancer
  • Genetic history with this disease
  • Gender, as men are statistically known to be more vulnerable as women

Fortunately, you can ask your dentist to screen you for this dreaded disease well before it turns actually life threatening. Read on to discover how your dentist can screen you for cancer.

A visual exam

Have you observed how your dentist gently nudges your face/ chin in various directions, during the first few minutes of every visit? This may seem annoying or even funny, but what they are doing in reality, is visually checking your mouth for potentially cancerous lumps and bumps. They may even use visual aids like a torchlight, mirror, tongue depressor, etc. to look more deeply into your mouth.

If you wish to voluntarily trigger such an exam, do remove all dental aids from your mouth before you ask for a check up. This includes braces, dentures, jewelry, etc. as they can interfere in the visual inspection.

A physical exam

This is similar to the visual exam, but with additional tactile inspections. For instance, the dentist may ask you to open your mouth, put your tongue out and take a deep breath, as they continue feeling around your chin/ mouth for cancerous lumps. 

In the early stages, this should also be relatively painless. Conversely, if you feel pain during such an exam, do alert your dentist, as this could point to a troublesome spot in your mouth.

A formal screening device

With technological advancements in modern dentistry, screening tools are now available to help your dentist check more thoroughly for cancer-related signs and symptoms. Your dentist may go through your genetic history, medical history and lifestyle habits with you, so they know which areas of your mouth are potentially prone to disease.

Do note, screenings are not equivalent to diagnosis, but can alert you to the potential of risk.

In closing, oral cancer is a real threat to modern society. Do make sure you protect yourself from lip cancer, by using an ADA approved lip balm when you’re out in the sun. Also, with current lifestyles, cancer-screenings are recommended at least twice a year. Do these along with your routine dentist visit. Be candid about your lifestyle choices – like indulgence of tobacco or alcohol. This information is crucial to helping your dentist spot a potential Cancer problem, well before it turns dangerous.

Schedule your dental exam and oral cancer screening with our dentist today

Our highly knowledgeable dentist near Roswell, Georgia is experienced in screening your mouth for any form of oral cancer. Book an online appointment today to ensure you are protected from oral problems. Also increase your chances of early detection of mouth cancer.

Dental Sealants

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that protect the chewing surfaces of the molars from tooth decay. The sealant’s protective shield acts as a barrier against food and germs and averts dental decay.

Our front teeth help in biting and tearing down food which our molars or back teeth can then grind down and chew on. The molars are more prone to cavities because of their position in the mouth and the deeper grooves that they have.

The molars and premolars that perform most of the chewing are more susceptible to cavities and decay. These are the teeth that most need the protection provided by a dental sealant.

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

There are around 500 to 1,000 types of oral bacteria in the human mouth. And 100 to 200 of them present at any given time. When the bacteria that lives in all our mouths encounter the remnants of food particles, they generate acid that erodes your tooth enamel and causes cavities.

Dental sealants seal off these cavities and grooves on the surface of your dentures while bonding to them. The sealant helps in keeping the food leftovers out and stops acidic accumulation on your teeth. This prevents further erosion of your tooth enamel by plaque and other acids.

Benefits from Early Application of Dental Sealants in Children

Children gain their permanent teeth between the age of six to twelve. The permanent premolars replace the primary premolars. Ideally, sealing these teeth immediately after they come out helps to keep them free of cavities from the outset, and saves time and money eventually. 

Although sealants are beneficial for all age groups, you must get them as early as possible to keep yourself protected from cavities. Consult your dentist to understand how you and your family can benefit from sealants.

As per the CDC, the incidence of cavities in school-going children without sealants is almost three times more than children with sealants.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

A dentist or a qualified dental professional can apply dental sealants subject to the law and regulations of the state that you are a resident of. A dental office is most appropriate for the procedure but it can also be carried out in community settings using portable equipment.  

Dental sealing is quick and painless. The dentist ensures that your teeth are clean and dry before applying an acidic gel on them. This gel quickly prepares the tooth surface for the sealant by making it coarse. Your dentist will then rinse the gel off, ensures that the surface is dry again, and applies the sealant. They then use a blue light to harden the sealant.

How Long Does the Dental Sealant Last?

According to the American Dental Association, dental sealants provide protection against fifty percent of the cavities for up to four years. With proper care and attention, your dental sealant can even last up to ten years. Your dentist can assess the sealant’s condition on your regular dental visits and recommend a repeat procedure as and when needed.

Comprehensive Dental Care for Your Family

A simple and painless procedure of applying dental sealants can go a long way in the fight against cavities and tooth decay for you and your family. We can look after your family’s needs for high quality dental care near Roswell, Georgia. Call today at 770-998-8116 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with us at Sunshine Smiles Dentistry.