A routine dental visit COULD save your life. Don’t believe it? Read the story of David, a 26 year old who never imagined that a check-up with the dentist would spare him from death.
In the fall of 2018, David was working towards his Master’s Degree, juggling a full time job and planning a wedding with his girlfriend of 4 years.
While brushing his teeth one morning, David noticed some strange spots developing on the bottom of his tongue. He dismissed the spots, because they weren’t causing him pain, and he figured they would fade overnight.
His routine dental appointment was coming up, so David figured he would check with the dentist to see if there was any reason to be concerned. The dentist suggested a biopsy, out of an abundance of caution, and David agreed, reluctantly. He knew it meant being put under anesthesia and a few days of rest and soft foods for recovery. Fortunately, the procedure went smoothly and David went back to his studies with little thought to the spots under his tongue.
One week later, the dentist called. They had received the pathology report. The spots were pre- cancerous. BECAUSE it had been caught so early, the prognosis looked good. A few weeks later, David went in for surgery to remove the spots and a small portion of his tongue.
After the surgery, the area where a portion of the tongue was removed left an open wound, so eating or drinking anything was incredibly painful. On top of that, the pathology report from surgery showed that stage one cancer was confirmed in the spots. Further surgery and treatment was needed.
David realized that despite the discomfort, he was quite lucky to be alive. Had the spots not been checked by his dentist, the stage of cancer could have progressed quickly, without David having any knowledge of his oral cancer.
We don’t share this story to scare people but rather to inform people of the importance of preventative medical care, of all kinds. We often prioritize other appointments, but somehow, forget that our mouths also need attention. Don’t wait to schedule a routine visit; stay ahead of the game and keep your health at the top of your to do list!