Many people don't realize that cancer can form in your mouth. Every year, about 30,000 Americans will get oral cancer. The good news is there's an easy way to detect signs of cancer — with an oral cancer screening. This exam is a noninvasive and crucial precautionary tool that can catch and cure mouth cancer at its earliest stages.
Oral cancer is an awful disease that occurs when cancer forms in the mouth, lips or throat. Tobacco and alcohol use greatly increases the risk of developing mouth cancer. This doesn't mean that you will definitely get cancer, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Oral Cancer Screenings involve testing for mouth, gum, and tongue cancer.
Mouth cancer refers to cancers that grow in any part of the mouth such as the lips, gums, tongue, roof and floor of the mouth, and cheeks. It even affects our ability to speak and eat properly. Symptoms include sores in your mouth, white or red patches on the inside of your mouth, difficulty swallowing, or lumps. Mouth cancers are caused by excessive smoking or alcohol consumption, HPV (human papilloma virus), sun exposure to the lips or poor oral hygiene habits.
Gum cancer is like any other type of cancer. It begins in the gums when cells grow out of control and form tumors. If you excessively use tobacco products, your chances of getting gum disease increase significantly. Some symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums and red, white, or dark patches on your gums. It is crucial to remember that some gum diseases are mistaken for gum cancer. Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
A unique form of oral cancer is tongue cancer. It typically forms in the front of the tongue and develops in flat cells that cover the very surface of your tongue. When you get tongue cancer, you might notice a white or red patch on the surface of your tongue. The symptoms are similar to other mouth cancers, including a constant sore feeling in your mouth.
Oral cancer screening is a relatively easy and painless procedure, we simply will go through your whole mouth during your routine cleaning and/or exam to ensure that you are not showing any signs of oral cancer. While this may seem rudimentary, with a trained eye like Dr. Lindsay's we are able to detect the early warning signs of oral cancer.
It can be difficult to see a new dentist. That's why we've worked hard to create an easier system for booking appointments. Simply request an appointment and we'll call you so you can schedule an appointment that meets your needs.
We're available to speak with you by phone at any time. It can be hard to find someone to trust with your teeth. That's why making appointments is easier than ever before. To schedule one, please fill out our contact form.