450,000 individuals are diagnosed with oral cancer each year in the United States alone. That is reason enough for people to schedule frequent oral cancer screenings and keep themselves protected. Even if you do not smoke, oral cancer screenings are essential. Our team at Charm Dental provide education for patients to ensure they make the best decisions regarding their oral health. Continue reading on to learn why everyone can benefit from and oral cancer screening.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
There are many factors that increase a person’s risk for acquiring oral cancer, including the following:
- Second hand smoke
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Genetic history
Warning Signs of Oral Cancer
It is important to a patient’s health to diagnose oral cancer in its earliest stages. Not all symptoms are clear to see, but some to look out for are:
- New lumps/bumps in the tissue
- Changes in texture of the soft tissues
- Red, white, or discolored soft tissue
- A constant hoarse voice or sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then contact your dentist right away for a thorough consultation and oral cancer screening.
What is Involved In an Oral Cancer Screenings?
Oral cancer screenings can include a visual and physical exam of the area. Your dentist will look for any changes in your health or tissues that could appear concerning. Sticking with the same dentist for many years will allow for the professionals to be more apt to notice even the slightest changes in a person’s health. There are also different technologies that help dentists to screen for oral cancer. The VELScope system uses innovative technology to screen for cancer. It has a special light which screen for cellular irregularities in the tissues.
Our Charm Dental team recommends dental exams at least twice a year so as to give the opportunity to check for oral cancer and ensure a healthy smile. Call us today to set up your next appointment and oral cancer screening with a member of our experienced staff.