Why Screen for Oral Cancer?
In addition to being dedicated to your smile, our office is dedicated to your overall well-being. That’s why we include an oral cancer screening as part of your regular exam. Similar to other types of cancer, oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
We take the time to ensure that early indicators of oral cancer, as well as pre-cancerous conditions, are identified. Our team is trained to conduct a simple examination of your oral cavity as a whole, not just your teeth, to detect possible signs of oral cancer. Although the following symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A lump, thickening or rough spot
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
In addition to a visual examination of your mouth, we will also feel the tissue of your mouth and throat to detect any abnormalities. If we find an area of concern, we are able to determine if a biopsy is needed and advise you on additional treatment.
How You Can Help Prevent Oral Cancer
- The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid all tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation
- Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Limit your exposure to the sun and always wear UV-A/B blocking, sun-protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips
- Ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection of oral cancer can improve the chance of successful treatment.