Oral Cancer Screenings – Holbrook, MA
Invest in Your Smile with a Screening
The American Dental Association recommends everyone sees their dentist in Holbrook at least twice a year to maintain a healthy smile. Did you know your routine visits are important for more than just a cleaning and checkup? Your semi-annual appointments also allow us to perform an oral cancer screening. Although you might not think you’re at risk, nearly 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with it annually. Unfortunately, only a little over half will survive 5 years or longer. You can significantly increase your odds by benefiting from the power of early detection.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Although oral cancer is the 6th most common type, few people know the importance of regular screenings. As a result, it’s often diagnosed once it has reached advanced stages or metastasized to other areas of the body. Catching the cancer early is vital to effectively treating it. Besides routine screenings from your dentist, it’s also best to monitor for any signs of a problem, which can include:
- Persistent or reoccurring oral sores
- Lumps or bumps in or near the mouth
- Red, white, or rough patches in the mouth
- Feeling like something is caught in the throat
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or moving the jaw and tongue
- Jaw swelling or pain
- Loosening of teeth
- Changes to your bite
- Chronic bad breath
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?
Research shows as much as 80% of new oral cancer cases can be detected by a dentist through routine oral cancer screenings. Your dentist will look for physical changes to your oral health, like patches of colors, ulcers, or lumps. They will check all your oral tissues, including the back of the throat using a tongue depressor, light, and mirror.
During your screening, we’ll look at your head, cheeks, jaw, under your chin, and oral cavities to check for any unusual masses or pain. We will also take the time to discuss any concerning symptoms you might be experiencing, like hoarseness of your voice, mouth sores, or changes to the alignment of your teeth.
If we find any concerning areas, we’ll take a biopsy. This involves a minor procedure to take a sample of tissue to be tested in the lab. After your results are sent to our office, we’ll discuss the findings, and if you need any additional treatments.
How Often Do I Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
Currently, there aren’t any guidelines recommending the frequency of oral cancer screenings; however, we suggest you have one during your semi-annual cleaning and checkup. It’s a simple and effective way to look for concerning changes to your oral health that won’t require more time in the dental chair or a second appointment.
If you develop any unusual symptoms in between your routine visits, don’t wait to contact our office to schedule an oral cancer screening. We’ll evaluate your smile to look for any potential issues.
You can benefit from the power of early detection with an oral cancer screening. Contact our office today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.