Prioritize Your Oral Health
Also known as mouth cancer, oral cancer affects various parts of the oral cavity, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. With the potential to cause significant morbidity and mortality if left undiagnosed, routine oral cancer screenings have become an essential component of comprehensive healthcare. These screenings aim to identify any abnormal tissue or lesions in the mouth, allowing for timely intervention and improved treatment outcomes.
At Oakland Family Dental, our highly skilled Waterford, MI dentist, Dr. Amanda Sheehan, is dedicated to providing you with the care you need to enhance and preserve your oral health.
What Are Oral Cancer Screenings?
Oral cancer screenings are preventive examinations performed by dental professionals to detect any signs or symptoms of oral cancer at an early stage. These screenings are essential as they help identify potential issues before they become more severe, increasing the chances of successful treatment.
Benefits of Oral Cancer Screenings
- Early Detection: Oral cancer screenings can identify abnormalities in the mouth, including precancerous lesions or early-stage cancer, before they become noticeable symptoms or progress further.
- Increased Survival Rates: Early detection of oral cancer significantly improves the chances of successful treatment and higher survival rates.
- Peace of Mind: Regular oral cancer screenings provide peace of mind, knowing that your oral health is being closely monitored and any potential issues are being addressed promptly.
Signs & Symptoms of Oral Cancer
- Persistent Mouth Sores: Pay attention to any sores or ulcers in your mouth that do not heal within two weeks.
- Red or White Patches: Notice any red or white patches on the inside of your mouth or your lips.
- Unexplained Bleeding: Keep an eye out for unexplained bleeding from your mouth, gums, or throat.
- Difficulty Swallowing or Chewing: Difficulty in swallowing or chewing, along with a feeling of food getting stuck, may indicate a problem.
- Sore Throat or Hoarseness: A persistent sore throat or hoarseness that lasts for an extended period without any apparent cause.
- Numbness or Pain: If you experience numbness, pain, or tenderness in any area of your mouth, face, or neck, it’s worth investigating.
- Changes in Voice: Notice any significant changes in your voice, such as hoarseness or a persistent raspy quality.
How the Procedure Works
During an oral cancer screening at Oakland Family Dental, your Waterford dentist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth, lips, gums, tongue, throat, and surrounding tissues. The process is quick, painless, and typically completed during a routine dental check-up.
- Visual Examination: Dr. Sheehan will visually inspect the oral tissues for any signs of abnormalities, such as red or white patches, sores, or swelling.
- Physical Examination: With gloved hands, Dr. Sheehan will feel the tissues in and around your mouth and neck to check for any unusual lumps or areas of tenderness.
- Additional Tests: In some cases, additional tests such as the use of specialized lights or stains may be used to aid in the detection of abnormal cells or tissues.
If any suspicious areas are found during the screening, Dr. Sheehan may recommend further diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy, to confirm the presence of oral cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s generally recommended to have an oral cancer screening at least once a year. However, the frequency may vary depending on your risk factors and the recommendations of your dentist.
While oral cancer can affect anyone, certain factors increase the risk, including tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, prolonged sun exposure, a family history of oral cancer, and the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent oral cancer, you can reduce your risk by adopting a healthy lifestyle, avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol use, and maintaining good oral hygiene.
Protect Your Smile Today!
At Oakland Family Dental in Waterford, MI, your oral health and overall well-being are our top priorities. We believe in proactive dental care and are dedicated to helping you maintain optimal oral health and overall well-being. Trust our compassionate dentist to prioritize your oral health and provide you with the expert care you deserve. Contact us today by calling our office at (248) 674-0384 or request an appointment online.