Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening, like all cancer screening, is a way to catch a deadly disease before it spreads. The right dentist will be able to leverage both their expertise and equipment to see small, precancerous signs, so they can act on it immediately. Because even healthy nonsmokers can still be at risk for different kinds of oral cancers, it’s incredibly important to keep this important exam on your radar.
The Art of Prevention
This preventative step may be more beneficial than you realize. While unexplained discomfort or lesions can be indicators of cancer, other times there are no obvious symptoms. During this exam, a dentist will catch themselves up on any new signs or symptoms that you may have been experiencing in the recent past. They’ll also confirm your family history and learn more about your general overall habits and health.
From there, a dentist will start their examination. Keep in mind that they may need to do additional tests to determine if an abnormality is cancerous or benign. Oral cancer tests are recommended around once every three years to anyone over the age of 20, but the frequency of these exams increases to once a year by the time you reach 40.
Who Is at Risk for Oral Cancer?
The people most at risk for oral cancer in Jacksonville, NC include the following:
- Tobacco users: Cigarettes, snuff, cigars, and chew can all lead to oral cancer.
- Drinkers: Heavy drinkers can increase their risk for oral cavity cancer.
- Sunbathers: Lip cancer can be caused by overexposure to sun.
There has been a rise in oral cancer diagnoses in the recent past, and there are a few theories as to why this is. It could be just that more people are getting screened, meaning the cancer doesn’t have the chance to spread to other parts of the body. There’s also a correlation between oral cancer (specifically oropharyngeal) and HPV, with up to 70% of these cases stemming from the virus.
Oral Cancer Screening in Jacksonville
One of the most common reasons for seeing a dentist in Jacksonville, NC for oral cancer is due to an unexplained sore. If you have an open or tender spot in your lips gums, or cheeks, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Most of the time, it will clear up on its own. That being said, scheduling an exam can be a great way to alleviate any concerns that you may have about your overall oral health.
At A Beautiful Smile, our staff is here to give patients more than simple reassurance. If you’re looking for a team that will take a proactive approach to your health, this is the only place to be. If you want to keep your jaw, teeth, gums, lips, and tongue healthy, it’s time to schedule an oral cancer screening exam today.