Oral cancer screenings save lives. That’s why our dentists will recommend that you get an oral cancer screening during your next appointment with us. During an oral cancer screening, we’ll be able to detect abnormalities before they worsen. Oral cancer starts in the oral cavity and can spread to your lips, tongue, cheeks, sinuses, and throat.
The American Cancer Society estimates that over 50,000 people will be diagnosed with throat and oral cancer in the United States this year. Continue reading to learn about the symptoms and risk factors for oral cancer.
What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer can be caused by tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, or too much sun exposure on the lips. The resulting oral cancer symptoms are as follows:
- Lump in throat, mouth, or on lips
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Hoarse voice
- Bleeding in the mouth
- Numbness or pain when biting down
- White or red patches in mouth
Whether you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or not, you should make it a priority to ask our dentists about scheduling an oral cancer screening. That small step may end up saving your life.
Does Everyone Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
Yes. Early detection can be life saving, not only with mouth cancer but with any cancer in general. The best way to detect oral cancer before it gets out of control is to have an oral cancer screening done at least once a year. The oral cancer screening may seem simple and miniscule, but that one extra precaution could save your life.
One of our dentists will look over the inside of your mouth for patches and sores and feel for any lumps on your cheeks, tongue, and other parts of your mouth. This is often squeezed into your regular appointment because it is very simple. An oral cancer screening helps our dentists detect signs of mouth cancer or premalignant lesions.
Oral cancer is a rather dangerous type of cancer because it can spread without you experiencing any pain or symptoms. If oral cancer goes undetected in its early stages, our dentists may discover the cancer when it’s too late. Having routine oral cancer screenings done can prevent this from happening, and the importance of these screenings cannot be stressed enough.
What are the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?
You have a higher risk of developing oral cancer if you use tobacco products. However, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding mouth cancer if you follow our guidelines below:
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Wear sun protection on your lips.
- Avoid all tobacco products.
Call Family Dentistry to Schedule Your Appointment
Still have questions about oral cancer screenings? Don’t hesitate to bring them up during your next appointment with us. We want to help you stay informed on oral health topics so you can maintain a healthy smile.