|During your next visit to your dentist in McKinney, you may want to undergo an oral cancer screening to see if you are at risk of developing oral cavity cancer. Oral cancer screenings are aimed to try to catch the early stages of oral cancer before they evolve into a more advanced stage.
At Eternity Dental in McKinney, we believe the significance of oral cancer screenings can’t be understated. Here we discuss a few warning signs associated with oral cancer and the benefits of having periodic oral cancer screenings.
The term “oral cancer” refers to any cancer that occurs inside the mouth: tongue, inner cheek, gums, lips, and hard palate (front-top of the mouth). Oral cavity cancer is found more often in men as compared to women, and it has a strong connection with chewing or smoking tobacco. In fact, research shows that 90 percent of oral cancer patients smoke/chew tobacco. Other reasons for oral cancer include marijuana use, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, viral infections, overexposure to the sun, and family history of oral cancer.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The most common symptoms of oral cancer are chronic pain in the mouth and mouth sources. There are many different warning signs associated with oral cavity cancer, some of which depend on the individual. Below mentioned are a few of them:
- Swelling in the neck
- Chronic bad breath
- Lump(s) in one or both cheeks
- Trouble swallowing/chewing
- Difficulty or pain in moving the tongue or jaw
- A sore that does not heal and bleeds consistently
- Weight loss
If any of the above-mentioned symptoms last for more than 2-3 weeks, make an emergency appointment with Eternity Dental. These warning signs could be the result of a more common oral disease, but we won’t leave anything to chance. In case, we find that the symptoms are related to oral cavity cancer, we will immediately shift into a treatment phase.
Why is Oral Cancer Screening So Important?
Having regular dental examinations from our dentist’s office in McKinney is an essential step to the early diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer. Our highly experienced dentists have the right set of skills to find sores and danger spots very little to see in the mirror or impossible to find without the right instruments.
Similarly, self-screenings are very helpful, and all you need is a mirror and a bright light. First, feel your gums and your lips. Then move on to the upper side of your mouth, your back gums, and your inner cheeks. What you’re looking for are lumps, discolorations, or anything that seems out of place and cause severe pain. You should stick out your tongue and check it top and bottom, and then look at the backside of your throat. Finally, feel for lumps below your lower jaw and on both sides of your neck. All these tests are part of the oral cavity cancer screening process at Eternity Dental, but it’s a good idea to conduct monthly self-exams in between your visits to our McKinney office.
Our highly experienced dentists are experts at administering oral cancer screenings, identifying the warning signs, and suggesting a course of treatment. Of course, dental visits are essential not just for detecting problems, but also ensuring that oral problems never arise.