When you think of preventative dentistry for your smile, the issues that may come to your mind are tooth decay and gum disease. While prevention and early treatment is important for these conditions, early detection is also vitally important when it comes to oral cancer. Oral cancer is one of the most dangerous types of cancer because of its high death rates at advance stages. However, the disease is also one that can be successfully treated when it is detected early and treated quickly. Because it is deadly when left unnoticed and because it is so treatable when noticed early, regular oral cancer screenings are very important.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
A wide number of specific cancers that affect your oral and throat tissues, including cancers of the mouth, and esophagus fall under the category of oral cancer. While no direct cause for any cancer has been pinpointed yet, there have been certain things that have been proven to increase your risk of cancer. Some lifestyle factors that increase your risk for oral cancer include tobacco use (even smokeless tobacco), excessive consumption of alcohol, prolonged sun exposure, and poor nutrition. Males have a higher risk, as are people who are over the age of 45.
Spotting It Early
As stated above, oral cancer has one of the highest mortality rates of all forms of cancer at about 40-50%. However, as also stated above, it is one of the most treatable forms of cancer. When oral cancer is detected at an early stage, the survival rate is nearly 90% for those diagnosed. Your dentist can perform a comprehensive screening for signs like lumps, sores, blisters, discolored patches of oral tissues, swollen glands, or anything unusual that could indicate oral cancer. If and when you notice any changes in your own smile, it is important to mention them to your dentist.
Screening for oral cancer can save lives
Routine screenings for oral cancer are an important part of keeping you healthy. To schedule a consultation with Mansfield Dental Associates in Mansfield, TX, call 817-473-6227. We proudly welcome patients from Mansfield, TX and the surrounding areas, including South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian, and more.