Oral cancer is a severe dental condition that can develop without displaying any symptoms until it has progressed to an advanced stage. Therefore, being screened for oral cancer is vital. This is why we make oral cancer screening compulsory during your routine dental checkups at Lowery Smiles.
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
- Non-healing, constantly bleeding mouth sores
- Pain or difficulty when chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the tongue or jaw
- Mouth, jaw, or ear pain
- White or red spots in the oral cavity
- Lumps, rough spots, or growth inside the throat or mouth
- Inflammation, pain, or numbness in the mouth or the lips
Who Is at High Risk for Oral Cancer?
Here are some significant risk factors that can cause oral cancer:
- Heavy alcohol use
- Using tobacco
- Family history
Other risk factors include the following:
Studies have found that men are two times more likely to have oral cancer than women. This could be because of increased alcohol and tobacco use in men.
- Poor Diet
Poor nutrition and consumption of low quantities of vegetables and fruits play an important role in oral cancer.
Overweight people are at an increased risk of developing oral cancer.
Patients above the age of 50 are more likely to develop oral cancer.
- Sunlight Exposure
Overexposure to sunlight or ultraviolet rays can increase the risk of lip cancer.
- Genetic Factors
Genetics plays a big role in increasing one's probability of getting oral cancer.
- Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene and resulting dental conditions may also cause oral cancer if they are left without treatment to develop to advanced stages.
What Happens During Oral Cancer Screening?
At Lowery Smiles, oral cancer screening involves a few steps. First, our dentist will ask the patient a couple of questions regarding any changes they may have observed in their oral health, like lumps, patches, new spots, or pain in the mouth.
As the subsequent step, a thorough physical exam of the patient's face, mouth, neck, and throat is done to look for any noticeable signs such as bumps, spots, color changes, or any other abnormalities in the mouth. We will also obtain an X-ray of the patient's mouth to study the areas that are not visible to the naked eye.
If we detect any unusual changes, a biopsy will be recommended.
Lowery Smiles, located in Cary, NC, has expert dentists and the latest amenities for treatment. Call Dentist in Cary, NC at (919) 468-5501 and schedule an appointment.