Our mantra at Saxon Dentistry is to treat our patients like family, from the way we greet you when you walk in the front door to the delicate care we provide during every cleaning and checkup. At every one of those checkups, we include an oral cancer screening, a careful look for any signs of the disease. Oral cancer is often treatable if caught early, and it’s something we look out for in all our patients.
What is Oral Cancer?
Like any other form of the disease, oral cancer involves malignant cells forming and spreading, most often around the lips, tonsils, tongue or other tissues inside the mouth. The cancer can be harmful enough without spreading, with the American Cancer Society reporting around a 25 percent mortality rate, but it becomes much more challenging if it spreads to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The signs are tough to spot with your own eyes because most indications are hidden inside your mouth. This is another reason why staying regular with your checkups and cleanings is so important. If you do notice any of the following, please call us today to make an appointment:
- Flat red or white sores on your lips or in the mouth
- Visible lumps in your throat or mouth
- Tenderness or numbness in your mouth or tongue
- Trouble chewing or moving your tongue
There are several behaviors that have been found to dramatically increase your chances of being diagnosed with oral cancer. Those include:
- Tobacco use of any kind (including smoking, chewing, etc.)
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Excessive sun exposure without protection
- Poor nutrition
- Physical inactivity
What is an Oral Cancer Screening
A screening begins with a visual examination of the inside of your mouth and lips. Dr. Saxon will be looking for any sores or discoloration, and if those are spotted he’ll take a closer look to determine the cause. The screening also includes a physical check of your neck, jaw and lymph nodes to search for any lumps or bumps. If further investigation is needed, additional tools or tests may be required to confirm a diagnosis. As with most cancers, early detection is crucial. If you would like to have an oral cancer screening in OKC, please call our office today.
*source: American Cancer Society
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