When we typically think of x-rays, we may immediately think of a huge machine that’s checking for a broken bone. Dental x-rays are a little bit different. They’re an important part of diagnosing disease or other problems. In fact, at our dental office in Lewisburg, we use dental x-rays as a crucial aspect to our approach to preventive dentistry so we can catch any issues early while they’re still easy to treat. This month, we examine a few things that dental x-rays can help us diagnose as well as some different types of x-rays you may have.
What Do Dental X-Rays Help Diagnose?
At your bi-annual dental appointments, you’ll receive an in-depth exam and thorough cleaning. During these procedures, we’re taking close look at your overall oral health. But there are a lot of places in your mouth where problems can hide. Dental x-rays help us see and diagnose these issues that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Dental x-rays can help us see:
Decay below the surface or in between teeth
Bone loss caused by gum disease or other issues
Impacted wisdom teeth
Abscesses or cysts
Imagery obtained through x-rays give your dentist in Lewisburg the ability to diagnose disease or problems early and oftentimes before you experience any signs or painful symptoms.
What Are the Different Types of Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays can be classified as either intraoral or extraoral, both of which show different views of the mouth. Intraoral x-rays are more detailed images of individual teeth while extraoral x-rays show a more comprehensive look at the overall mouth including all of the teeth and the jaw. Each type of x-ray helps your dental team identify different things. Let’s take a closer look…
Since intraoral x-rays show close-up details of each tooth, they’re helpful in diagnosing
Having dental x-rays taken can help save you from experiencing painful dental problems that may require complex treatment and are a necessary part of a proper preventive approach to dental care. These x-rays emit a low amount of radiation and, along with the additional safety precautions our Lewisburg dental office take, are incredibly safe.
April is recognized as Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and at our Lewisburg dental office, we know just how serious this epidemic is in the United States. In fact, just over 51,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with it this year. While there have been advancements in oral cancer treatment, and often times the disease is successfully treated, it still takes the lives of approximately 10,000 Americans yearly. This April, join us in learning the risks and symptoms of oral cancer that could save your life.
Know The Risks
It’s important to note that anyone can develop oral cancer whether they have or engage in factors that increase their risk or not. Some of the risks are unavoidable, but many can be controlled through making smart lifestyle choices. Some factors that increase the risk of oral cancer include:
Tobacco Use:Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or using smokeless tobacco greatly increases your risk of oral cancer. Statistics show that 80% of oral cancer diagnoses are in tobacco users.
Drinking Alcohol:Consuming alcohol regularly can also put you at greater risk. Nearly 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers.
Drinking & Smoking:Since both tobacco use and drinking large amounts of alcohol increases the likelihood of getting oral cancer, if you do both, your chance for oral cancer can be as high as 100%.
Gender:Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women. While this risk factor can’t be changed, men can reduce their risk by not drinking or smoking.
Age:Our chances of getting oral cancer increases as we age. The average age of diagnosis is 62, and the majority of oral cancer patients are at least 55.
UV Rays:Skin cancer isn’t the only thing that can happen from too much unprotected sun exposure. Oral cancer is also higher in those who spend a lot of time in the sun without wearing sunscreen.
Recognize The Symptoms
Being able to identify the signs and symptoms of oral cancer early increases the chance of survival. Oral cancer treatment is often successful in the earlier stages, so the sooner you see your dentist in Lewisburg if you suspect anything, the better. The most common signs include:
Chronic bad breath
Sores that won’t heal
A lump on the cheek
Changes in your voice
During your regular dental cleanings and exams, your hygienist and dentist will monitor your mouth for any abnormalities and can use high-tech equipment that can show what the human eye can’t see. This is just another reason maintaining your bi-annual dental appointments is so important to your overall health.
If it’s been longer than six months since your last visit, call our dental office in Lewisburg to schedule an appointment today. You never know, one visit could save your life.
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