Oral cancer screenings are a very important part of the dental visit. We provide oral cancer screenings as part of our recare maintenance examinations because we want to help catch this terrible disease in its early stages. With the advances in modern technology, we are now able to pinpoint the start of a potential problem much earlier in its evolution. The ability to do so is extremely important in being able to treat any issues prior to them becoming a major irreversible problem.
Sadly, one person dies every hour from oral cancer in the United States and over 25% of victims do not smoke and have no other risk factors. More people die from oral cancer than either cervical cancer or melanoma (skin cancer). Oral cancer often starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth. It can affect any area of the oral cavity including the lips, gum tissue, cheek lining, tongue, and the hard or soft palate. Usually oral cancer does not have symptoms until the late stages of the disease.
Certain lifestyle choices can have a great impact on the health of tissues and your overall health in the mouth. If you are a smoker or heavy drinker or have risk of contracting HPV, make sure to get regular screenings when you visit us. Your health and long life are very important to us.