Oral Cancer Screening in Austin, TX
The regular dental cleanings and dental exams you get from our dentist play a big role in maintaining a healthy smile. A visit to our office allows our team to perform a routine checkup and oral cancer screening. To ensure your mouth remains healthy, we suggest that you come to our dental office for an oral cancer screening at least once each year. Detecting oral cancer earlier means you begin treatment in advance before the disease progresses. This way, you increase the odds of having successful treatment.
Who needs an Oral Cancer Screening?
Everyone should be screened for oral cancer because this disease can affect anyone. However, people who are considered to be at a higher risk of the disease are more likely to benefit from the screening. If you use alcohol and tobacco, you need to be screened. Also, if you were previously diagnosed with cancer, you should consider having annual screenings. Additionally, if you have not received the screening and evaluation in the past year, then you should consider going for one. Our dentist will not only screen and evaluate you for the disease but also provide information on how to reduce the risk of developing oral cancer.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
While the cause of oral cancer is not fully understood, certain risk factors increase a person’s chance of developing it. The most common risk factor is smoking tobacco and using chewing tobacco. Other risk factors include alcohol consumption, excessive sun exposure, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, poor oral hygiene, and a diet low in fruits and vegetables.
Symptoms and Signs of Oral Cancer
Symptoms of oral cancer can be either non-specific or specific. Non-specific symptoms include, but are not limited to, unexplained, persistent mouth sores that don’t heal within two weeks, a lump or sore anywhere in the mouth, difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing. Specific symptoms include, but are not limited to, white or red patches inside the mouth that don’t go away within two weeks, a bump or thickening on your gums which does not disappear after several weeks of thorough brushing with ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings
The regular visits you make to our dental office are a good starting point for oral cancer screenings. These visits can save you from the disease, allowing you to keep your beautiful smile healthy. If cancer is already present, our dental team is able to catch it during your regular visits for dental exams and cleanings or during the scheduled screening appointments. An oral cancer screening is important because it allows you to receive treatment in time, hence boosting the chances of having a successful treatment. Additionally, our dentist may catch other oral issues that could remain undetected, using the latest in dental technology.
Early diagnosis is key to the successful treatment of all types of oral cancer. Cancer is a serious disease and for this reason, we welcome you to our dental office for screening. Visit at Dr. Emily Zaramella, DDS or give us a call at 737-273-3303 for an appointment.