It is great to be reminded once again that there
is a sun in the sky after a few dark winter months
that we have experienced here in Cleveland. It is great that
springtime is finally here. There is certainly a sense of renewal
and familiarity with this time of year that just feels
so good to all of us.

As we come upon the various holiday seasons at this
time of year, it’s also a time to recount and remember what
we have been doing in the past and make plans for the future,
so I figure this is a perfect time to go back to basics
with your dental visits and talk about one of the most important
things that happen in the dental office: the dental
examination that you get when you visit your dentist or
hygienist.

By far, one of the most important facets to the dentist
is when they do a complete examination of not just your
teeth, but also all of the soft tissue structures in your mouth,
including your tongue, cheeks, gums and lips. This is all
pretty much standard in every examination that dentists
give to their patients. I would probably say that checking
your teeth is the easiest part, as we can have a really good
idea of what is happening just by a visual examination and
also with x-rays. One of the most important aspects of every
dental examination, and certainly the most life-saving
is an examination and screening for oral cancer.

We were just reminded of this when a patient recently came in with
an ugly looking ulcer under the tongue, which was indeed
oral cancer. Like any cancer, if oral cancer is caught early,
then there are much less severe complications. If left to
grow, oral cancer can be a deadly. What most people don’t
know is that oral cancer is more common than melanoma,
lymphoma, the Hodgkin diseases, and many other disease,
which are more familiar.

There are a few new screening devices for oral cancer
and it is crucial that you ask your dentist if they have
checked you for oral cancer and if they have a screening
device in their office. We have been screening patients for
oral cancer for many years and one thing I can assure you,
if your dentist doesn’t screen you for oral cancer, no other
health care professional will.

A good dental examination is the basis for any treatment
that you should be having. I call it taking inventory
in patients’ mouths – if I don’t know what they have and
what is good about someone’s mouth, then I have no idea
what we can build on top of it so that they can have a long,
lasting, beautiful and healthy smile.

For a free consultation or just to come in to talk to us
about any of your dental needs, please call us at 440-892-
1810 today. We are here to help you smile.

Dr. Malcmacher

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