Why An Oral Cancer Screening Is Important

Tooth decay, gum disease, cavities…these are all things we look for when you visit your Mansfield, TX, dentists for an exam. Catching them early helps prevent future issues from appearing. In addition to those, we also provide an oral cancer screening. Detecting it at an early stage will help us plan a proper treatment going forward. If it is not caught early, it could seriously risk your health. 

How Is It Defined?

Oral cancer is split into two categories: Those that take place in the oral cavity (lips, gums, teeth), and those that happen in the oropharynx (the middle area of the throat and the tonsils). Oral or oropharyngeal cancer is diagnosed in approximately 53,000 Americans every year. Most often, it is only noticed after it has metastasized, appearing in the body in a different location. Because it often grows without showing any noticeable signs or pain, it is sometimes overlooked by patients. Detecting it quickly while in its early stages is beneficial for treating it properly.  

How Is A Screening Conducted?

When you visit Dr. Jones or Dr. Harris for a regular checkup, we will also examine your oral structures for any signs of potential cancer. Lesions, ulcers, sores, rough spots, lumps, and wounds that are not healing properly are some of the things we look for. If you have questions or concerns, please let us know, especially if you experience consistent pain in your throat, your voice has changed, your ears ache, your bite has changed, or if you have lost a lot of weight quickly.  

What Should I Look For When I Am At Home?

A monthly at-home screening is recommended. Use a mirror so that you can get a good view of your teeth and oral tissues. Signs and symptoms to look for include red or white patches in your mouth, numb or painful lips, rough spots in the oral tissue, lumps, a change in how you bite, chewing or swallowing that has grown difficult. If these signs last for more than two weeks, please schedule an appointment with us.

Keep Practicing Good Habits At Home

In addition to your own at-home screening, keep up your twice-daily brushing using a fluoride-based toothpaste. Brush for at least two minutes each time. And continue to floss daily before you go to sleep at night. These, along with regular visits to our office for checkups, will ensure that you are doing your best to maintain your oral health. 

Schedule An Appointment With Us For A Screening

If you are concerned about oral cancer, please contact us as early as possible. Rates for survival are increased when it is detected quickly. If you would like to schedule a consultation, then call Mansfield Dental Associates at 817-473-6227.