Why Oral Cancer Screenings are Important

Oral Cancer Screening Dentists in Troy, MI

Oral cancer begins in the oral cavity and can affect other areas such as the lips, tongue, cheeks, sinuses, and throat. It's estimated that 43,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year and that 8,000 of these diagnoses will result in death. The majority of these diagnoses could be prevented with regular oral cancer screenings.

In this blog post, we will be going over the early signs of oral cancer as well as the importance of prevention through oral cancer screenings. For more information, we recommend contacting a family dentist who offers preventative dentistry services.


Oral Cancer Symptoms

Oral cancer is typically caused by tobacco use, 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

Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

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 oral screenings done at least once per year. The screening may seem simple and minuscule, but that one extra precaution could save your life.

There are two main types of screenings done: clinical examination and oral examination. With clinical examinations, your dentist will look at 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 dentist appointment because it is very simple. Oral examinations, on the other hand, are more thorough and involve the use of screening devices to detect signs of mouth cancer or premalignant lesions.

Oral cancer is a rather dangerous type of cancer because it can spread without experiencing any pain or symptoms. If oral cancer goes undetected in its early stages, your dentist may discover 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.

Prevention

In order to prevent oral cancer, you should make some simple adjustments to your lifestyle. By following these few guidelines below, you'll have a better chance at having no issues arise in your oral cancer screening.

  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Maintain cleanliness of your dentures.
  • Wear sun protection on your lips.
  • Avoid all tobacco products.

Whether you're experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or not, you should make it a priority to ask your dentist about scheduling an oral cancer screening. That small step may end up saving your life.

Dr. Kelly M. Giera DDS at Mosaic Dental is dedicated to helping patients increase their survival rate through regular oral cancer screenings. If you are interested in scheduling an oral exam with our Troy family dentist, be sure to call us at (248) 528-2270.