Prevention is the Best Cure: Oral Health Screening in Virginia Beach
The American Dental Association recommends two teeth cleanings a year. You already keep biannual appointments with Dr. Lewis listed in your to-do list, but did you know that these regular appointments offer more than the opportunity to show off the results of your dutiful flossing?
Regular visits to our Virginia Beach office also feature important preventive screenings for periodontal disease and oral cancer, two conditions that are easily managed if detected early but that have painful and even deadly affects if left unchecked.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, left unchecked can have devastating affects on the mouth. Gum disease affects at least 80% of the population in various forms. At its mildest, gingivitis causes inflammation of the gums. When brushing or flossing, the gums may bleed. Left untreated, gum disease causes the gums to recede. Harmful bacteria becomes caught in pockets of tissue that support the teeth. This proliferation of bacteria and damage to the tissue leads to tooth decay, tooth loss, and even permanent damage to the jaw bone!
While the affects of gum disease on the mouth are enough to merit prevention and care, your gum health does not only affect the well being of your mouth. Recent medical research indicates that diseases born in the mouth may adversely impact the systems of the rest of the body leading to heart disease and other serious health conditions.
During your six month check-up at our Virginia Beach office we will visually inspect the gums for signs of irritation, recession, and disease. We may also complete a periodontal gum assessment using a tool that measures recession of the gum line. Keeping regular appointments at our Virginia Beach office allows us to measure the health of your mouth on an ongoing basis while also providing the deep cleaning that helps prevent the development of gum conditions in the first place.
Oral cancer impacts the health of millions of Americans. Oral cancer is most often attributed to tobacco use, but may also develop as a result of excessive alcohol use, ill-fitting dentures, and a variety of other causes. If detected early, oral cancer may be treated effectively, however left unattended the cancer can quickly affect speech, overall oral health, and even spread to other areas of the body.
Dr. Lewis will visually evaluate your mouth for early signs of oral cancer as during a screening that is part of your regular oral wellness check-up. Take time during this evaluation to discuss any mouth sores that haven’t healed efficiently as well as any other concerns you may have about changes in your mouth. If there is a sore that is cause for concern, we may perform a a brush or scalpel biopsy to test the suspect tissue.
Dentists like Dr. Lewis often discover signs of oral cancer before patients even know there is anything wrong. Neglecting regular check-ups makes it impossible to screen for this difficult disease.
Even if your mouth is a specimen of perfect oral health, regular hygiene check-ups at our Virginia Beach office help to maintain and promote superior oral wellness. Our skilled hygienists offer deep cleaning including removal of tartar that bushing and flossing alone cannot reach. Dr. Lewis will also evaluate preexisting dental work for signs of damage or decay, in addition to evaluating the gums and teeth for early signs of decay and disease.
Keeping regular appointments is essential for your oral health, and the health of your body. As the proverb states, and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Two appointments a year may help prevent increased visit’s to the dentist’s chair in the future. To schedule a check-up and cleaning today, call our Virginia Beach office at (757) 631-9200.