Oral Cancer Screenings
Dentist in Harrisburg, NC
We emphasize the importance of providing oral cancer screenings to our patients. Our team is certified to screen patients for oral cancers. By detecting any abnormalities in your oral health early, we will help you get the treatment you need to either reduce or eliminate the risk of developing a more serious oral health condition.
During an oral cancer screening, we will check for any abnormalities on your mouth, throat, lips, gums, or tongue. We will carefully examine any potential signs that we find. Let us know about any potential oral cancer symptoms you have experienced. Some common symptoms that may indicate early oral cancer include:
- Unexplained bleeding in your mouth
- A sore in the mouth that does not heal
- Pain in the mouth that does not go away
- A lump or thickening in the cheek
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil or lining of the mouth
- Swelling on the jay that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
- Pain or difficulty with speaking, swallowing, or moving your jaw or tongue
- A lump or mass in the neck
Many of these signs and symptoms can also be caused by other things than cancer, or even by other cancers. If you have experienced any of these symptoms for more than a week without signs of recovery, call us immediately for an appointment. Ask for an oral cancer screening.
According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, in the United States alone, one adult dies every hour of every day from oral cancers. While it is true that any person may develop oral cancer, there are certain factors that can play a role in increasing your risks. Some of the most common include:
- Being male (men are more likely to develop oral cancer than women)
- Tobacco and Alcohol use
- Together in combination, this is the highest risk factor for oral and oropharyngeal cancer.
- Use of tobacco in any form
- The risk of developing these cancers is related to how much and how long the patient smokes/chews tobacco.
- Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Prolonged exposure to sun or UV light
- Human papilloma virus (HPV)
- Poor nutrition
- Having gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Lichen Planus
- A severe case may slightly increase the risk for oral cancer.
Regardless of cause, the success of any treatment will depend on the size, type, and stage of the cancer. This is where early detection plays such a critical part. With early detection comes smaller cancerous or precancerous areas, which can be more easily removed. Early detection means treatment starts sooner, so less invasive procedures are required and the cancer is unlikely to have spread to other systems. The survival rate with early detection is quite high, but is utterly dependent on regular oral cancer screenings.
Our dentists provide comprehensive, high quality dental care for families including oral cancer screenings. We make sure to understand your concerns and answer your questions regarding diagnosis or treatment for oral health issues, including oral cancer.
Contact our dental office for more information on oral cancer screenings or for a consultation.