Oral Cancer Screening
If you have not received an oral cancer screening it is important you do so as soon as possible. Cancer of the mouth is a dangerous disease. The American Cancer Society says that about 11,230 deaths occur from oral cavity cancer with an estimated 54,000 persons being diagnosed with the disease. Sadly, people do not give mouth cancer screening the attention it deserves. Mouth cancer can be cured if it is spotted early and treatment begins before symptoms appear. The reason cancer has a high mortality rate is due to the lack of early detection and treatment. The OC Smiles Family Dental advises you to visit us for screening immediately so that you know whether or not you have it. You do not have to fret about oral cancer because when it is spotted early, the chances of getting cured are high.
What the Screening Involves
Our dentist is your first line of protection against oral cancer. We, as dental specialists, have more frequent access to your mouth than any other healthcare specialist. We are the people who are constantly checking your gums and teeth. So it is easier for us to detect signs of cancer. We make oral cancer screening a part of our routine examination. Evaluating you for oral cancer is not painful.
The screening includes an exam of the neck and head, referred to as an extra-oral exam. A dentist looks at other areas such as the tongue and cheeks. Additionally, our dentist examines the lips, gum tissue, and palate. This exam is known as an intra-oral exam and features the parts and tissue inside the mouth. Oral cancer screening is mainly a visual inspection, but feeling parts of the mouth for unusual masses or lumps are also done. We check for unusual lesions, and if we detect them we suggest a biopsy or direct you to an oral surgeon. When performing the screening we look for hard lumps, red and white bumps, changes in teeth position, rough patches, and other visible signs.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Cancer of the mouth affects many parts, including the hard and soft palate, cheeks, floor of the mouth, lips, and tongue. Oral cancer presents many signs and symptoms. You may have rough areas, crusts, spots, or eroded areas of the lips and gums. The mouth may have patches that look velvet white, speckled white and red, or white.
Chronic sore throat or hoarseness is also a symptom. You may have unexplained bleeding within the mouth. Also, you may feel as though there is something trapped in the back area of the throat. Change in bite and difficulty chewing or swelling and speaking are other possible symptoms. Additionally, you may have difficulties moving the tongue and jaw. Be on the lookout for these symptoms and if you notice them, head to our dental office for a thorough investigation of the mouth.
Frequency of Oral Cancer Screenings
You will have an oral cancer screening when you come to the dentist for scheduled cleanings and exams. After our dentist cleans your mouth, they check for unusual tissues. We suggest that you get screened annually if you have a likelihood of getting oral cancer. For instance, if you are a smoker or drink excessively. Our dentist will be able to tell you how often you should be checking in for oral cancer exams.
Visit us at The OC Smiles Family Dental for screening or to get your questions answered. Call us at (971) 447-0093 to request an appointment.
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