You wake up in the morning to notice you have a small lesion on your gums. You wonder what it could be and begin to examine the rest of your mouth to see if there are any other spots. While you may not find anything, it’s still concerning, so you call your dentist. If this or a similar instance has happened to you, you’ve done the right thing in calling your local dentist. Signs of oral cancer are not always easy to spot; however, by visiting your dentist and receiving an oral cancer screening in Newark, you’ve just increased your chances of survival through early detection. Read on to learn how a regular dental visit can save your life.
Why Are Oral Cancer Screenings Important?
You may think that oral cancer only occurs in people who smoke or use tobacco. This is a common misconception that we will now address. Bad habits do often cause many cases or oral cancer yet, plenty of people have developed it over the years as a result of other causes.
In the past, men over the age of 50 were more likely to be diagnosed with the disease; however, in recent years, that demographic has shifted to a much younger population. This is because of a rise in individuals who have the human papillomavirus (HPV). Considered one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, there are 200 strains of it, and only 9 can cause cancer. According to one estimate, nearly 80% of all sexually active people will contract HPV at some point in their lives.
Excessive sun exposure and heavy alcohol consumption are also risk factors for developing the disease.
Whether you have any of the risk factors associated with oral cancer, it’s always best to have an oral cancer screening performed by your dentist in Newark. Early detection will increase your chances for survival, making it much easier to treat. Once cancer spreads and worsens, the likeliness for successful treatment is slim.
What Happens During the Screening Process?
If you continue to visit your dentist for your regularly scheduled checkups, you can expect that during one of these appointments, your dentist will check for oral cancer. This quick and painless process is one you may never even know is happening!
Using a thorough visual and tactile examination, they’ll check your mouth, tongue, lips, neck, and jaw for any signs that could point to oral cancer. Some of which include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Abnormal sores
- Red or white patches throughout the mouth
- Discoloration of the gums
- Unexplained bleeding
You’ll also be asked about any non-visual symptoms such as a sore throat, hoarse voice, or jaw pain. If your dentist in Newark discovers anything abnormal or concerning, you will be advised to visit a physician for further testing. It may be necessary to have a biopsy for a proper diagnosis.
In just one visit to your dentist, you can not only achieve a healthier smile, but you can save your life with an oral cancer screening.
About the Practice
White Clay Dental is devoted to providing high-quality and affordable dental care for patients of all ages. We offer preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services, using all the latest technologies and techniques available. Preventative care is vital to maintaining a healthy smile, but it’s also crucial for your overall health, which is why we perform oral cancer screenings during our patient’s regular dental appointments. For questions about oral cancer screenings, or to learn more about our services, visit our website or call (302) 731-4225.