Routine dental exams are important for healthy teeth and gums, but they may also tell your dentist a lot about your overall health. “Warning signs for health issues like diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, heart disease, or cancer can also be detected in the mouth,” according to Dr. John Evanish, III of Horizon Dental Care.
Many of us would assume oral cancer is a disease reserved for tobacco users. Surprisingly, the fastest growing cause of some mouth cancers is a common virus. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is, in fact, so common that the Center for Disease Control reports that most sexually active adults will be exposed to it within their lifetime. Fortunately, only a small percentage will be infected, but there’s no way to know if your immune system will protect you or not.
With regular checkups, however, your dentist can watch for developments that may point to cancer or other health issues. Moreover, for high-risk patients and tobacco users, Dr. Evanish and his dental team also recommend a VELscope® exam, which can detect oral pre-cancer and cancer of the lips, mouth and upper throat.
For more information on VELscope® or to schedule a free new patient checkup call Horizon Dental Care call 570-342-8800, stop in one of their full-service offices in Scranton, Hawley, Honesdale, or Stroudsburg or visit www.horizondentalcares.com.