Unfortunately, they are. By maintaining better oral health, you may be reducing your risk for many systemic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and yes cancer. For years, dentists and physicians have emphasized a need for screening to offer patients earlier diagnosis for oral cancer. Until the past few years, patients relied on doctors, specifically their dentists, to screen for oral cancer, but now, patients can also look to dentists to help them prevent this disease before it begins.
What the Research Says
According to some researchers at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, patients with the Porphyromonas gingivalis oral bacteria are at much higher risk for gum disease. While studying patients with oral cancer, these researchers noticed that 61% of throat cancer sufferers this type of bacteria. To reduce risk for or treat gum disease, dentists target and reduce the numbers of Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria. For the first time, there is a clear connection between these oral health concerns and certain types of oral cancers, specifically those effecting the throat, giving your dentist even greater responsibility in helping you diagnosis oral cancers in earlier stages through regular screenings and preventive treatments for gum disease.
Why Oral Cancer Screening is Essential
This research was revealed in 2016, but even before this link between throat cancer and oral health was discovered, dentists and physicians recommended oral cancer screenings. Only 50% of patients who are diagnosed with oral cancer live five years beyond their initial diagnosis, and in the US, one person dies every hour from oral cancer. Research indicates that diagnosis in the earlier stages is the best way to decrease the numbers of oral cancer related deaths each year. Dentists are specifically well suited to provide oral cancer screenings because they have the most training and experience offering care for oral and facial structures.
How the Medico M.D. Team Helps
At Medico M.D., our dentistry team offers oral cancer screenings as part of every six month checkup in the hope of offering earlier diagnosis. Unlike other patients who will need to seek medical diagnosis and treatment outside the office after a dentist recognizes warning signs of oral cancer, Medico M.D. patients have a team of medical doctors on hand to provide further diagnosis and treatment right away. Are you interested in finding out more about oral cancer screenings, looking for a new family dentist, or want to find a practice that can care for your oral and overall health? Medico M.D. has 18 office locations in the DFW Metroplex, Waco, and San Antonio. We offer both medical and dental care in our offices, so your family can receive all of their healthcare services in one convenient office location. If you want to find out more, call one of our office locations to schedule an appointment today.