Don’t Fall Victim to Oral Cancer
Hello, dear reader, and welcome back to the Boulder Dental Designs blog! As a premier Boulder Dentist, we want to make sure that all of the residents in our great community are aware of the risk factors that come with oral cancer. Thousands of Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. Unfortunately, the early stages of oral cancer are often painless, meaning that a person can have oral cancer and not even know it. For this reason, oral cancer screening is an important service provided by dentists all across the United States. Oral cancer screenings, a service that we provide, are important for a variety of reasons, and in today’s post, we are going to go over a little information about the oral cancer screening process and why it is in your best interest to have this service done twice a year. Continue reading below to learn more.
What Exactly is an Oral Cancer Screening?
In the simplest terms, oral cancer screenings are visual and physical examinations that are completed by a dentist to check for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in a patient’s mouth. With regular screenings, oral cancer can often be detected early and the appropriate treatment steps can be taken. During the screening, your dentist will examine the inside of your mouth for red or white patches and other sores that could be indicative of cancer. Additionally, your dentist will check for lumps by feeling the tissue in and around your mouth. Most often, oral cancer screenings are conducted during routine check ups and, more often than not, most patients don’t even realize that they have had a screening done.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Unfortunately, oral cancer can often be tricky to diagnose. This form of cancer does not always present obvious symptoms and can be hidden in areas of the mouth and throat that are difficult for a person to see by themselves. If you have a small red, white, or black sore that lasts for more than two weeks, it is in your best interest to go to the dentist in order to determine what is causing it. The dentist will be able to tell you whether or not the spot is cancerous or is being caused by another condition such as gingivitis or periodontal disease. Other oral cancer symptoms include painful chewing, difficulty swallowing, ear ache and coughing. If you are a male over the age of 18, it is especially important that you get checked for oral cancer signs because men are more likely than women to develop this form of cancer. Below, we have listed a few factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing oral cancer.
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Tobacco use of any kind including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis
- Higher than average sun exposure (increases the risk of lip cancer)
If you are worried that you may be exhibiting signs of oral cancer or it has simply been a while since you have had an oral cancer screening conducted, please contact us today at Boulder Dental Designs to schedule an appointment. We will provide a full oral cancer screening and work with you to address any issues that we find. Additionally, if you simply need to find a new dentist to provide you or your family with professional, friendly, and effective dental services, fill out our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We offer a wide range of dental services and we are certain that once you visit our office you will never want to trust your oral health to another Boulder dentist.