Oral Cancer Screening
At Brian K. Rounds, DDS, we are determined to help you overcome any problems, big and small, that negatively affect your dental health. Though we most often assist with fairly minor issues such as cavities and teeth cleanings, we also have the equipment and expertise to help you overcome more serious problems.
This includes problems such as oral cancer, which is when abnormal and malignant cells expand throughout your mouth. When it comes to oral cancer, the best approach involves early prevention and oral cancer screening that can help us discover the first symptoms so we can take swift and decisive action against it.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that appears on your lips, tonsils, salivary glands, your throat, and anywhere in your mouth. We see oral cancer most often with patients who smoke regularly and consume significant amounts of alcohol. The use of tobacco is seen in 80 to 90 percent of the oral cancers that we see, so we highly recommend that you break this habit so that you can reduce the likelihood of having to deal with oral cancer. This cancer is also known to appear later in life for patients more than 40 years old, and more frequently with men than women. Oral cancer cases have additionally been seen with patients who are often dealing with or near radiation in their workplace.
How Can I Tell If I Have Oral Cancer?
Because oral cancer can appear in so many places within your mouth, the possible symptoms are diverse and their locations can vary. If you experience pain in your ears that has no effect on your hearing, this can be an example of one symptom of oral cancer. That your teeth are beginning to loosen over time with no obvious cause is another. Trouble moving your tongue, jaw, or experiencing pain in either area would have us recommend making an appointment with us so that we can inspect these problem spots.
Because the symptoms can be so multifaceted, we encourage you to make regular appointments with us so that we can maintain a long-term observation of your mouth and react accordingly when there are unexpected changes or signs of deeper problems.
What Does An Oral Cancer Screening Look Like?
Though it may sound intimidating, an oral cancer screening is actually a painless and simple procedure that we will make as easy for you as possible. We can often perform it at the same time as your regular exam. By coming in for an oral cancer screening, you maximize our ability to find any sign of oral cancer. Finding oral cancer early also enables us to stop it more effectively and with significantly less cost and danger to you compared to if we discovered it later on.
The first step of oral cancer screening is for us to inspect your teeth, gums, face, and lips. We then move on to palpating your neck and jaw areas, then proceeding to look at both sides of your tongue. If possible, we recommend that you come in for an oral cancer screening twice a year so we can keep track of changes in your mouth and take action if we find any signs of oral cancer.
If you are concerned that you may have oral cancer, if you want to check for it, or if you would like to learn more about scheduling an oral cancer screening, call us today at (360) 764-5236.