Did You Know We Provide Oral Cancer Screenings?
When visiting our office for a hygiene appointment, we do more than clean your teeth and inspect for cavities. We also provide an oral cancer screening, which takes only moments to perform but can save not only your oral health but also your life. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society, approximately 54,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer yearly. If diagnosed and treated early, the effects may not be long lasting; however, routine examinations will continue for the rest of your life because the potential for recurrence is high.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
While there have been cases of oral cancer that cannot be explained, the majority of cases are potentially caused by one of the following factors:
- A family history of oral cancer
- Prolonged sun exposure or frequent tanning bed use
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or smoking other tobacco products
- Repeated use of chew, dip, or snuff tobacco products
The use of tobacco products has been proven to greatly increase your chance of developing some form of oral cancer. Users of chew, dip, and snuff tobacco are extremely likely to develop cancer of the cheek, gum, and tongue.
Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
Although we routinely check for oral cancer during your hygiene examinations, it is important to be mindful of what to look for while at home. Symptoms to be on the lookout for include:
- Discomfort or tenderness in the gums, cheeks, or tongue
- A change in your bite when you close your mouth
- A sore or irritated area that does not heal
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- A lump or rough spot in the mouth
- Feeling that something is stuck in your throat
- Constant hoarse voice
While experiencing any of these symptoms does not guarantee that you are suffering from oral cancer, we highly suggest that you contact our office if you experience anything mentioned above or notice something out of the ordinary occurring in your mouth. During your appointment, we will complete a cancer screening to ease your concerns.
If you have any questions about oral cancer screenings or would like more information, please call our office located in Denton, MD today. We are more than happy to help you.