Have you ever had an oral cancer screening? I know it sounds scary, but you may want to do it during your next visit to the dentist. These screenings are designed to help catch oral cancer in its earliest stages, when curing it is still very possible. Catching oral cancer early increases the chances of it being cured completely.
During a typical oral cancer screening, the dentist will check your mouth for any abnormalities, such as lumps. If they find anything unusual, they’ll then collect a sample and send it to a lab for a more complete diagnosis.
While oral cancer can affect anyone, certain factors can increase your risk for it, such as:
- Being 40 and above
- Regular consumption of either alcohol or tobacco, or both
- HPV or Human Papillomavirus
- Gender-specific issues as men have been proven to be more susceptible to oral cancer
- Living an unhealthy lifestyle
- Prolonged and continuous exposure to the sun
Now for the signs. While there’s rarely any indication of oral cancer if it is in its early stages, dentists can confirm or rule out a diagnosis by looking out for the following symptoms:
- Spots that don’t heal or always bleed
- Hard spots or lumps inside your mouth
- Red or white patches
- Mild pain or numbness whenever you take a bite
Today, there’s an increased effort to encourage both dentists and patients to have a thorough oral examination. Why? Because most oral cancers are diagnosed too late – a potentially fatal scenario that could’ve easily been prevented had it been caught early.
If you would like to learn more about oral cancer screenings, contact Kemmet Dental Design at 701-872-4789 or visit www.kemmetdental.com for additional information.
Kemmet Dental Design proudly serves Minot and all surrounding areas.