We don’t always hear a lot about oral cancer, however did you know that it’s responsible for approximately 8,000 deaths in America each year? Because there aren’t a lot of symptoms or pain at first, oral cancer can sneak up on you, which means you may not be diagnosed until it’s already in the later stages. This is why it’s so important to visit your dentist every six months. Dr. James Kalina, your dentist in Mankato, discusses the importance of regular oral cancer screenings.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer typically shows up as a sore or lesion in your mouth that doesn’t go away. It can appear on your lips, floor of your mouth, tongue, cheeks, and throat. You may also notice pain, swelling, bumps, bleeding or numbness in your mouth. It’s often hard to notice these symptoms on your own until it’s too late. Believe it or not, your dentist can actually detect these symptoms much earlier than you can, and you’ll be screened at every check up appointment twice per year.
How is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?
Dr. Kalina will perform a thorough visual examination of your mouth at your regular cleaning and check up. He’ll be looking for suspicious lumps and bumps, color changes, or sores that aren’t going away. If there are any areas of concern he’ll order a biopsy so we can determine if it’s oral cancer in the earliest stage possible. This ensures that you receive the most successful and least invasive treatment possible.
Regular Dental Cleanings and Check Ups
Besides oral cancer, we’re also screening you for other oral health concerns such as periodontal disease and tooth decay. Like oral cancer, these issues are most successfully treated in their earliest stages. Because periodontal disease has been linked with other serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, there’s never been a more important time to take charge of your oral health.
If you’re looking for the best dentist in Mankato, Dr. Kalina has been providing high quality dental care for patients in MN for many years. Our team is dedicated to being your lifelong partners in achieving and maintaining optimum oral health. We know that prevention is the key to doing this, and that’s why we encourage you to attend your cleaning and check ups every six months. Contact our office today to schedule your next appointment.