Say Ahh!

June 24, 2014 | Posted in Education

Why do my dentist and my hygienist ask me to say ahh?  What are they doing?  Dental health professionals play a vital role in screening individuals for oral cancer.  We use our eyes to catch visual abnormalities and we use fingers to feel for lumps and bumps.  It is important to be checked at each visit.  Who else has their hands in your mouth?
 
Oral cancer may develop on the lips, the tongue, the inside of cheeks, the gums, under the tongue, the roof of the mouth, the back of the throat and the tonsils.  Risk factors include: smoking, alcohol, HPV virus exposure, lack of fruits and vegetables in your diet and sun exposure.
 
The normal course of healing is two weeks.  Anyone experiencing symptoms beyond this should contact a dental professional.  What signs or symptoms to look for:
 
· White or red patches anywhere in the mouth
· Mouth sore that bleeds easily or won’t heal
· A colour change of the oral tissues
· Teeth are suddenly loose
· Dentures that stops fitting
· Pain or swelling
· Difficulty swallowing or speaking
· Enlarged lymph nodes
· Persistent earache
 
Any cancer has a better prognosis if caught early.  Visit your dentist regularly.  Call us at the Rideau Dental Centre 613-230-7475.