Teeth are an important structure used for breaking down food, speaking correctly and getting ahead in the world. A beaming smile will make a person appear more attractive and confident while a mouth replete with dental plaque, tartar and missing teeth will lead to the opposite response. That is why individuals are encouraged to follow a lifestyle complete with oral hygiene, regular trips to the dentist and an offensive dental care strategy.
Eating a healthful diet, exercising regularly, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily and flossing at least once a day is the prescription for daily oral hygiene. Additionally, consumers are encouraged to visit the dentist at least twice a year for cleanings, exams and as a way to implement dental treatments as part of preventative dentistry. Those behaviors combined with some easy preemptive moves will help ensure that a person's mouth and teeth are part of the healthiest smile possible.
Oral Cavity Self Exam
Dental insurance and medical insurance are completely separate industries, despite the fact that both have been developed as a way to help making care affordable. Regardless of the division in the marketplace, the mouth/body connection is forever intertwined in humans and regular examinations of oneâ€™s mouth and oral cavity are essential to ensuring that everything is okay.
With some exceptions (such as postmenopausal women), most individuals are encouraged to see the dentist twice a year or ever six months. In between those dental clinic appointments, patients need to act as their own advocate and conduct a self-exam of their oral cavity to detect any dental problems including various types of oral cancer.
According to the OralCancerFoundation.org, annually 37,000 Americans will be diagnosed with various oral cancer while the number is closer to 640,000 worldwide. It is important to note the disease can occur in both non-smokers and smokers alike. Unfortunately, the condition has a higher mortality rate than other cancers as "historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development," (http://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/index.htm). That is why individuals must include regular self-exams into their oral hygiene routine.
The exam process includes looking at lips, tongues and cheeks for visible signs such as spots of red-and-white, tongue flaking, sores with irregular borders and colored lesions. According to 1-800-DENTIST "Any sore, discoloration, induration, prominent tissue, irritation, hoarseness, which does not resolve within a two week period on its own, with or without treatment, should be considered suspect and worthy of further examination or referral." A dentist can then deliver a professional oral cancer exam to catch and treat the cancer in its' earliest stages and increase one's odds of surviving and thriving after a diagnosis.