Why Is It Important to Get an Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral Cancer
06 Jul 2018

Why Is It Important to Get an Oral Cancer Screening?

We at Scottsdale Esthetic & Implant Dentistry are educating our patients about oral cancer facts. We would like to emphasize the importance of oral cancer screenings at your next dental appointment. With early detection, treatment outcomes are much more promising.


What is Oral Cancer?


Oral cancer is a common cancer affecting the tissues and structures of the oral cavity and throat. It is unclear what causes this type of cancer which affects nearly 40,000 Americans each year. Oral, head and neck cancers are often fast growing, meaning that many cases go undetected until the disease has progressed. Late diagnosis and rapid progression account for oral cancer’s relatively high mortality rate.


Fortunately, oral cancer screenings are becoming a regular preventive dentistry practice in dental offices during routine exams, allowing us to detect signs of oral cancer and to work with oncologists to treat patients before the condition becomes beyond treatment. Most patients may see their dentist more frequently than their medical doctor, so make sure to request your oral cancer screening during your next checkup.


What is an Oral Cancer Screening?


Oral cancer screenings are straightforward visual and physical examinations allowing dentists to check for signs of precancerous or cancerous conditions in the mouth.  During your screening, we will examine the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches and other sores, bleeding areas, along with discoloration or thickening of the gums, cheeks, and tongue. We will also examine your lymph nodes and look out for the presence of lumps by feeling the tissues in your mouth.


How Do You Know If You Are at Risk for Oral Cancer?


Some of the risk factors for oral cancer are smoking or tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, being over 40 years of age, exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV), consuming an unhealthy diet, and prolonged exposure to the sun. While most people diagnosed with oral cancer have at least one of these risk factors, a growing rate of people diagnosed with the disease have no risk factors at all. That being the case, regular oral cancer screenings are essential for everyone!


Schedule Your Oral Cancer Screening Today


An oral cancer screening is one of the most important things you can do for your oral health. Contact us at Scottsdale Esthetic & Implant Dentistry to learn more about our oral cancer screenings and how they can potentially save your life. Keep in mind that early detection leads to early treatment!