Happy oral cancer awareness month! Oral cancer awareness may not sound like something to celebrate, but according to researchers at the Oral Cancer Foundation, more patients who are aware of the warning signs and seek screening and diagnosis in the earliest stages means less annual deaths from this disease. That’s why we’re here to encourage patients to celebrate oral cancer awareness month by getting to know the warning signs of this disease and visiting the dentist for oral cancer screenings at least twice a year during preventive dentistry appointments.
What Happens During Oral Cancer Screenings?
Oral cancer screenings are completely comfortable. A skilled dentist will simply examine your smile visually and manually looking for warning signs of oral cancer. They may also ask you questions to assess whether or not you’re experiencing non-visual symptoms. You should let a dentist or medical professional know right away, if you notice any of the following warning signs of oral cancer:
- Red, white, or purplish coloring to the soft tissue especially in small areas
- Lumps or bumps in the soft tissue
- Changes in texture of soft tissue
- Swelling or inflammation in the lymph nodes
- Hoarse voice or sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sores that don’t heal
Do I Need an Oral Cancer Screening if I Don’t Smoke?
Yes. While oral cancer is much more common among those who use tobacco, there are other high risk behaviors as well. Additionally, about 25% of those diagnosed with oral cancer don’t use tobacco or engage in any behaviors that place them at risk for this disease. When you keep up with your regular screenings, you minimize your risk of death from this disease.
Meet the White Clay Dental Associates
At White Clay Dental Associates, we’re dedicated to helping patients maintain healthy smiles and optimal overall health. We offer quick and painless oral cancer screenings for all of our patients during every six month dental appointment. Whether you’re a lifetime tobacco user or you’ve never engaged in any high risk behaviors related to this disease, we recommend screenings to ensure you maintain complete health for life. If you have questions about oral cancer screening or any of our other dentistry services, please don’t hesitate to give our Newark dentists and dental care team a call. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and schedule an appointment for you to visit us in our office. Whatever your dental care needs, we’re here to help you every step of the way.