Oral cancer can be deadly at the late stages, but very treatable in the early stages. Oral cancer screenings save lives by detecting oral cancer during these early stages. During dental checkups, your dentist can perform an oral cancer screening that is normally painless and takes very little time. Your mouth, neck, face, and lips can be examined for any signs of oral cancer during your checkup every six months. However, if you notice any abnormalities or new developments in your mouth or surrounding areas, you may want to schedule a consultation with your dentist immediately rather than waiting for your regularly scheduled checkup.
Changes In Your Mouth
If you notice any changes or anything abnormal in your mouth, you should tell your dentist sooner than later. An oral cancer screening allows for your dentist to be on the lookout for changes or abnormalities during screening. Your dentist can send a sample of anything abnormal to a lab for a full diagnosis. If you notice any of the following symptoms in or around your mouth, be sure to talk to your dentist as soon as possible:
- A lump or hard spot in your mouth
- Red or white patches
- Numbness or pain during biting or chewing
- Sores or spots that will not heal and continuously bleed
These symptoms could be signs of something other than oral cancer. But it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
It is important to note that there are a growing number of patients developing oral cancer without having any of the following risk factors. However, the majority of oral cancer patients have at least one risk factor before being diagnosed. Remember that oral cancer screenings are important whether these risk factors apply to you or not:
- Age over 40-years-old
- Use of tobacco
- Males are more susceptible than females
- Patients with HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
- Unhealthy diet
- Heavy alcohol use
- Prolonged sun exposure
Early detection of oral cancer can save lives
When was your last oral cancer screening? 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.