Oral Cancer: It Can Happen to You

Each time you visit yourJacksonville, NC, dentist, you have the chance to have an oral cancer screening. Having these screenings on a regular basis is important for your overall health. Many people believe that oral cancer is rare or that they personally are very unlikely to develop it. However, oral cancer happens more often than you may think.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is the term used for cancer that occurs anywhere in the mouth, the sinuses or the throat. Note that it’s not just the gum tissue where oral cancer can develop. It may also occur on the tongue, cheeks, soft palate, hard palate, and floor of the mouth. Oral cancer is just as serious as other kinds of cancers, and, like other cancers, early detection is key to survival. Left undiagnosed and untreated, oral cancer can be fatal.

Who Gets Oral Cancer?

One dangerous misconception about oral cancer is that it only happens to people who smoke. This myth gives the general population a false sense of complacency where oral cancer is concerned. In fact, there are many risk factors for oral cancer aside from smoking. They are:

  • Alcoholism
  • Exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds
  • History of HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Genetics

The genetic component of oral cancer risk is worth further explanation. If you have a family member who has oral or another type of cancer, your risk for oral cancer is higher, even if you have a different lifestyle. This is partially due to certain genetic mutations and inherited conditions.

Cancer Screenings in Jacksonville, Florida

With routineoral cancer screenings in Jacksonville, FL, you can do your part to help ensure the best chances of early detection and subsequent treatment. Contact us today to book your next dental exam. We look forward to seeing you!

An Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life

Dentists are in a unique position to spot signs of oral cancer that patients might recognize. Here at A Beautiful Smile, Dr. Gina Mancini and Dr. Savanna Fonkert make it a point to include oral cancer screening in Jacksonville, NC, with every routine exam. Our dentists examine your tongue, cheeks, gums, lips, and the top and bottom of your mouth to look for signs of this potentially deadly disease.

Every year, approximately 54,000 Americans learn that they have oral cancer. The disease has a 5-year survival rate of 57 percent. The sooner you receive a diagnosis of oral cancer, the sooner you can begin treatment and increase your odds of being part of that percentage.

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

A red or white patch anywhere in your mouth could be a warning sign of oral cancer. White patches are cancerous 25 percent of the time, whereas 90 percent of red patches in the mouth contain cancer. If you notice these patches or any of the other symptoms indicated below, please contact us right away.

  • A thickening or mass anywhere on the cheek, face, gums, jaw, or tongue
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Feeling a lump in the neck
  • Loose teeth
  • Mouth pain or increased discomfort while wearing dentures
  • Non-healing sore
  • Problems chewing or swallowing
  • Problems moving your jaw or tongue
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss

Although you cannot always prevent getting oral cancer, you can reduce your risk by quitting smoking, limiting alcoholic drinks, and taking precautions when in the sun to avoid lip cancer.

Schedule an Appointment with Us Today

The name of our dental practice says it all. We want to see you continue to have A Beautiful Smile. Please schedule a preventive care exam and let us know if you have experienced any of the above symptoms before we perform an oral cancer screening in Jacksonville, NC.