Though oral cancer is one of the lesser known forms of the disease, more than 40,000 people are affected by it every year. Each hour, one person dies from the disease. Like any other form of cancer, the sooner treatment begins, the better your prospects for survival. Oral cancer screenings are simple and painless, and can be performed by your dentist at your regular bi-annual checkup and cleaning. If you have been skipping these visits, you may want to reconsider. Early detection is crucial.
As stated above, oral cancer is one of the lesser talked about cancers, and yet, more people die from the disease than from some of the more well known cancers. Oral cancer is usually treatable when caught early, and the screening process is both painless and simple. Even if you have no symptoms, it is important to keep your regular dental checkup appointments so that your dentist can catch any problems that arise as quickly as possible.
Screenings are simple, and take place during your regular dental exam and cleaning appointment. Your dentist will examine your cheeks, tongue, and gums for any unusual bumps, and will look for any sores or irregular tissue in your mouth. They will also check for any unusual symptoms in your mouth, face, or head that may indicate a problem. If your dentist does find anything unusual, they will usually perform a biopsy using an oral brush, which is usually painless. This will help them determine if any further tests should be carried out.
If you are between bi-annual visits and begin experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should schedule an appointment for an oral cancer screening right away:
Other symptoms of oral cancer include red or white patches on the inner cheek or gums, difficulty swallowing, ear pain, reduced jaw mobility, or teeth that do not align as well as they used to. Remember, oral cancer symptoms may not be localized to the mouth area. In many patients the throat is also affected, and you may feel as if you have a sore throat or as if something is caught in your throat.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, or if you are due for your bi-annual cancer screening, please call Buckner Family Dental today at 214-328-3595 to schedule your appointment. Don’t become one of the thousands of statistics; schedule your appointment today so that any issues can be detected early and treatments can begin as soon as possible. Even a few months can make all the difference. Our Dallas dentist Jaime Osorio DDS is here to answer any of your questions about oral cancer screening.