Oral Cancer Screening
At Winning Smile Dental Group, we provide you with regular dental exams. These exams are critical for the early detection, treatment, and prevention of serious oral health issues. We check the condition of your teeth, your gums, and your other oral tissues, looking for signs of damage, decay, and disease. Another important part of your dental exam is the oral cancer screening.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a serious disease that can strike anywhere in your mouth – lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, palate, the floor of the mouth, or at the back of the mouth near the entrance to your throat. It affects approximately 40,000 people in the United States every year. Oral cancer is deadly, especially if not detected, and treated, early. Of those diagnosed, only about half survive longer than five years. By detecting oral cancer in its earliest stages, we can help to increase your chances of remission.
What Raises Your Risk?
There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing oral cancer:
Symptoms to Watch For
There are several symptoms that can indicate the presence of oral cancer. These symptoms, however, can show up at any time. They will not wait for your 6-month visit. Knowing what to watch for is important:
Diagnosing Oral Cancer
At Winning Smile Dental Group, an oral cancer screening is a part of your regular 6-month exams. We inspect the soft tissues of your mouth, as well as check your face and neck for signs of swelling. This examination is only a part of the diagnostic process. If we do notice anything unusual, we may take some digital images, which will allow us to get a closer look at the hidden structures of your mouth.
A key diagnostic tool, however, is a soft tissue biopsy. A biopsy is the best tool we have to confirm or rule out oral cancer. It involves the removal of some of the lesion so that we can perform a closer examination. There are a few different types of soft tissue biopsy:
If you notice anything unusual in your mouth, don’t wait until your next visit. Call Winning Smile Dental Group to schedule your appointment today.