According to the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, dental cleanings and oral cancer screenings are vital to maintain your oral health.will affect about 53,000 new people every year. Oral cancer is treatable when caught early, but it can progress at an alarming rate if left undetected. Having regular dental appointments every six months for
Initial Symptoms & Risk Factors
Unfortunately, a lot of the symptoms do not develop until the later stages of the disease, which makes it hard to detect. However, here are a few signs to watch out for:
- White or red patch(es) inside mouth
- Swelling or thickening of your mouth tissue
- Persistent bad breath & bleeding
- Pain or numbness in the mouth or jaw
- Rough or scratchy voice
- Chronic sore throat
- Loose teeth
- Difficulty swallowing and/or chewing
There are also a number of factors that increase your risk of developing oral cancer such as: increased alcohol and tobacco use, poor diet, a lack of oral hygiene, and old age. If you experience any of these symptoms and/or are at higher risk for oral cancer, be sure to request an oral exam with your dentist.
Oral Cancer Screening Process
Checking for signs of oral cancer is not an intensive process but it is thorough and will usually happen alongside a dental cleaning, but may also happen when you come in for a filling or other procedure.
Our dentists will examine your lips and the inside of your mouth for discolored patches, sores, and other abnormalities. If our dentists spot suspicious tissue, it would likely be red or white, they may remove it and send it to a lab where it will be tested for oral cancer.