How The Average Dentist Can Save Your Life

Imagine taking your 11 year old child to a routine dental appointment, only to have the dental hygienist recommend a trip to a medical doctor-- and then finding out a few days later that that same hygienist may have saved your daughter's life. That's exactly what happened to the Woodard family in Oklahoma, when something as simple as the child's yellowed eyes alerted the hygienist to the possibility of something more serious. By heeding the advice and heading to the doctor, the family found that their child had a grapefruit-sized tumor that could have been life threatening if the dental team hadn't mentioned anything that day. While it may seem like an astounding story, the average dentist has helped to save the lives of thousands of patients throughout the years in many different ways:

Oral Cancer

Of course, the most obvious way that a dental expert can save your life is through the prevention and treatment of oral-related problems. The unfortunate reality is that 10,000 people die from oral cancer every year, triggered not only from use of tobacco and alcohol products, but from the factor of age as well. As with any form of cancer, spotting the disease early on is the key to overcoming and treating it successfully and completely. Since your dentist is knowledgable in the human mouth, he'll be able to spot anything that seems strange or out of the ordinary, leading to much earlier detection period (and therefore higher chance of treatment success).


Just as the Woodard family was alerted to the dangerous presence of a tumor in their child, so many other patients have been altered to tumors within their body through the standard process of dental x-rays. The smaller a tumor is, the easier it is to shrink and eradicate-- so learning about its presence before it begins causing any negative symptoms is the best possible time for treatment. By taking an x-ray as a normal part of your dental experience, the dentist can not only see teeth that are behind the gum line and any potential damage to your teeth's roots, but any growths beyond what the human eye can see as well.


Diabetes can be a life-threatening condition if it is not kept under control, and your dentist could be the person to alert you to the disease's presence first. If the dentist notes an unexplainable gum disease forming in your mouth, they may be able to spot diabetes before you find any other indications.

Talk to your dentist, such as Dentalcare Associates, for more information.