The American Dental Association recommends having your teeth examined at least twice a year. In addition to watching for possible signs of decay or gum disease, a checkup lets the dentist screen for disease, such as oral cancer. When do you need an oral cancer screening?
What is an Oral Cancer Screening?
A screening is when the doctor looks at your mouth for any possible signs of oral cancer. The disease can develop as a result of excessive alcohol consumption, smoking or tobacco usage, and poor fitting dentures. Studies show that almost half of those diagnosed with the disease succumb to it within five years. The high mortality rate is due to the fact that in most cases the disease is only caught in the late stages. However, routine screenings can increase the chances of early diagnosis and successful treatment.
The Warning Signs
What are the most common warning signs of the disease? You should watch for any sudden and persistent changes or discomfort. Common warning signs may include:
- Sores or lesions that don’t heal after 14 days
- Any patches that contain white or red splotches
- Rough places in the mouth
- Changes in your throat
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Pain when swallowing or eating
If you think you recognize one or more symptoms then please see a dental professional right away for a diagnosis.
When Do I Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
We recommend having your mouth examined for signs of oral cancer at least once every year. You have a checkup twice a year and during these we will examine your mouth for possible signs of oral cancer. If you have any questions about diagnosing oral cancer or the possible warning signs, then please contact our office today. We want you to enjoy a lifetime of healthy smiles.
ABOUT YOUR WACO, TX, DENTIST:
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Corbet Locke, DDS, contact our Waco, TX, dental office today by calling 254-776-4888. Our office welcomes patients in and around Waco, TX, including Hewitt, McGregor, Woodway, and the surrounding Central Texas communities.