Oral cancer screenings are designed to identify early signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer can easily be treated at early stages, but it can be quite deadly if left to progress. During routine checkups, your dentist can perform an oral cancer screening that takes very little time and is normally painless. Your mouth, neck, face, and lips can be examined within minutes by a trained professional. If you notice any abnormalities or new developments in your mouth or surrounding areas, you may want to schedule a consultation with your dentist rather than wait for your regularly scheduled checkup.
There are a growing number of patients developing oral cancer without having one of these risk factors. However, the majority of patients did have at least one risk factor before being diagnosed. Oral cancer screenings are important whether these risk factors apply to you or not:
- Age over 40-years-old
- Tobacco Use
- Males are more susceptible than females
- Patients with HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
- Unhealthy nutrition
- Heavy alcohol use
- Prolonged sun exposure
Symptoms/Changes In Your Mouth
Again, if you notice anything abnormal in your mouth, it is good practice to speak to your dentist sooner than later. If your dentist notices these changes in your mouth, he may send a sample to a lab for a full diagnosis. An oral cancer screening allows for these changes to be monitored in case they are symptoms of something serious. If you notice any of the following symptoms in or around your mouth, be sure to talk to your dentist:
- Red or white patches
- A lump or hard spot in your mouth
- Numbness or pain during biting or chewing
- Sores or spots that will not heal and continuously bleed
These symptoms may be signs of something else besides oral cancer, but it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to oral cancer.
When were you last screened for oral cancer?
Frequent screenings are more likely to lead to early diagnosis. Schedule a consultation at Mansfield Dental Associates by calling 817-473-6227. Located in Mansfield, TX, we also welcome patients and families from all surrounding communities including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.