Oral cancer isn’t a topic that most patients want to think about, but it’s important to prioritize regular dental visits to catch oral cancer early, should it ever develop. At High Point Dentistry, the health and safety of our patients is our number one priority, and we always encourage our patients to visit our office at least twice per year to have their teeth, gums, and mouths examined for signs of problems like oral cancer. To learn more about oral cancer screenings or schedule your next visit with our team, please contact our office, and we will be happy to assist you.
What are the signs of oral cancer?
Oral cancer cannot always be easily detected by patients, which is why regular dental visits are so important. However, should you notice any of the following symptoms, we recommend getting in touch with our team so we can get an appointment scheduled for you in the near future.
- Pain in the face, mouth, or ear
- An unusual lump in the cheek or neck
- A consistent sore throat or difficulty swallowing
- Change in the color of gums, tongue, or mouth
- Enlarged neck lymph nodes
What do oral cancer screenings consist of?
During routine check-ups, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and worn-out dental restorations. They will also look at the lining of your mouth, neck, lips, and tongue for signs of oral cancer. If you have a history of oral cancer in your family, are at an increased risk of developing oral cancer, or have had it in the past, please let our team know before your first dental exam with us, and we will be sure to conduct extra thorough oral cancer screenings during your routine dental visits.
Why are oral cancer screenings important?
Oral cancer is highly curable when it is caught in its early stages, meaning that biannual dental appointments are crucial for catching oral cancer when it is less developed and easier to treat. Men are more likely to develop oral cancer, as are patients who smoke and drink alcohol regularly or get a lot of sun exposure. However, oral cancer is not preventable, so while you can lower your risk by changing your lifestyle, patients should still have regular oral cancer screenings, especially if they have a history of oral cancer in their family.