Friday, July 1, 2016

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

This year, 42,000+ Americans will be diagnosed with oral and throat cancers with a 5-year survival rate of slightly more than 64 percent.  

When cancer is detected and treated early enough, health problems are greatly reduced.  During your dental visits, we will talk to you about your health history and examine the entire oral cavity for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. 

A screening will consist of a visual inspection of the mouth and palpation of the jaw and neck. Regular visits to the dentist can improve the chances of any suspicious changes in your oral health being caught early.

Symptoms of oral cancer may include:

   • a sore or irritation that doesn't go away
   • red or white patches
   • pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
   • a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area 
   • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
   • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, and they do not resolve in at least two weeks, make sure to schedule a dental visit.