Expert Oral Cancer Screenings in Washington Court House, OH
Close to 54,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. Though it’s been associated with people over 40 years old, it’s now occurring more frequently in those under this age. Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because, in its early stages, it may not be noticed by the patient, as it can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms they might readily recognize. That’s why oral cancer screening is vital.
Oral cancer can easily be diagnosed with oral screening and effectively treated when caught in its earliest stages. When you come in for an oral cancer screening at Washington Court House Dental, our experienced dentists, Dr. Michael Pappas, DDS, MBA, and Dr. R. Taylor Landgraf, will check your mouth and throat for signs of cancer. We use the latest oral cancer diagnostic tools and techniques to enhance the early detection of abnormalities that may be cancerous. Patient comfort, individualized care, and complete satisfaction is our priority
What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening is a quick, painless, non-invasive procedure. During the exam, our dentist will ask you if you’ve had any new or unusual symptoms and whether there are any changes in your medical history. We will ask you questions about risk factors for oral cancer, including smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, face, hard and soft palate, salivary glands, and throat. So we will check your mouth, including your gums, lips, cheek lining, the roof of your mouth, the floor of your mouth, and your tongue, for any sores, lumps, or irregular tissue changes, including discoloration. We will also examine your throat at the soft part at the roof of your mouth and your tonsils. The dentists will then feel your face, glands, jaw, and neck for unusual bumps.
We also use saliva testing to detect signs of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in the mouth, which is the leading cause of the fastest-growing type of head and neck cancer, oropharyngeal cancer. If we find any abnormality, such as a lesion, we may recommend a biopsy to help establish a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Increased Risk Factors
Factors that can increase the chance of getting oral cancers include:
- Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and oral tobacco products such as snuff, dip, spit, chew, or dissolvable tobacco.
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Poor nutrition
- Presence of HPV in the mouth
- Previous cancer diagnosis
- Exposure to the sun’s UV rays for long periods increases the risk of lip cancer
Oral Cancer Symptoms
Common signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Tooth or teeth that feel loose
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- Changes in your bite
- Change in voice, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat
- Red or white patches on the inside of the mouth
- Lumps, growths, eroded areas, or rough spots on the lips, gums, or mouth
- Persistent sores on the mouth, face, or neck that don’t heal within two weeks and bleed easily
- Difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw
- Unexplained tenderness, pain, or numbness in any area of the neck, mouth, or face
- Ear pain
- Significant weight loss
Don’t wait for a symptom to become painful. If you notice any of these symptoms or something else that just doesn’t feel right, schedule an appointment with our dentists for a mouth cancer diagnosis as soon as possible.
Benefits of Early Detection
The good news is that oral cancer can be effectively treated when caught in its earliest stages. In fact, a 5-year survival rate for all people is 85% if detected early. Oral cancer begins with an asymptomatic stage during which the usual cancer signs may not be readily noticeable, and that’s why oral cancer screening is so crucial.
Historically, the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high, not because it’s hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. Having regular dental checkups will allow you to catch signs of oral cancer when it’s still early and treatable. Scheduling dentist appointments every six months is a good routine to follow.
Schedule Your Oral Cancer Screening Appointment Today!
Oral screenings can detect cancer early, making it easier to treat and can even prevent death. If you’re looking for an expert oral cancer screening dentist in Washington Court House, OH, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our team is ready to answer all your questions and concerns about oral cancer.