You may not think of your lips as a part of your dental health, but when you go in for an exam and checkup, your dentist will look at every part of your mouth. Sores, bumps, and lesions on the tongue, gums, inner-cheeks, and lips are all subject to examination for oral cancer. Keeping your lips healthy, especially during weather extremes, is an important element in your overall oral health.
Keeping Lips Soft
If you have ever experienced the discomfort of chapped lips, you know how unpleasant it can be. Both cold and hot weather are dehydrating. The last thing you tend to crave in cold weather is a big glass of cool water. Unfortunately, hot beverages like coffee and hot cocoa might be comforting in winter, but aren’t as effective as water. Meanwhile, when it heats up, do you stick with H20, or do you reach for acidic sodas over ice? Choose water and your teeth will receive the benefit of ample moisture to wash away the bacteria that cause cavities, and neutralize tooth-damaging acids.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Red flags for oral cancer are looked for at all of your dental checkups. If caught early, oral/pharyngeal malignancies have a high survival rate. Unfortunately, when left undiagnosed, just as with any cancer, the disease is life-threatening. Approximately 40,000 people receive an oral cancer diagnosis every year. Fortunately, there is an 80% to 90% survival rate for oral cancer patients who receive early treatment. If you keep your lips healthy this winter (and every winter) with proper hydration, those red flags are easier to identify because your lip tissues won’t have sores and lesions.
Visit your Park Ridge Dentists
To learn more about oral-systemic health, or to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, contact our Park Ridge, IL dentist office at847.696.1919. Drs. Maria and Thanasi Loukas provide cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dental care to patients living in and around Chicago, Park Ridge, and the 60068 zip code.