Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life

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Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life

At Wellness Smiles Dentistry, we care about more than just your teeth. We want to ensure your overall health, which is why we offer oral cancer screening as part of our services. 

You may wonder, “Why is oral cancer screening so important?” Let us explain.

First, oral cancer is more common than you might think. Oral cancer can impact anyone, irrespective of age, gender, or lifestyle. But here’s the catch: early detection can change everything. By catching oral cancer in its early stages, the chances of successful treatment and recovery are significantly higher.

What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer? 

One adult American dies of oral cancer every hour. Here are some symptoms that can indicate signs of oral cancer. 

  • Ear pain
  • Unexplained mouth bleeding
  • Mouth sores that don’t heal
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Bumps or swellings in or around your mouth
  • Sore throat without other sinus symptoms
  • A sensation of something caught in the back of your throat
  • Pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

So, what exactly is oral cancer screening? It’s a simple and painless examination that allows our experienced dentists to check for any signs of oral cancer. During the screening, our dentist near you will carefully inspect your mouth, tongue, gums, throat, and other oral tissues for any abnormalities or suspicious lesions.

Why is Screening Important?

Early detection is crucial to effectively treating oral cancer. Unfortunately, many cases are not diagnosed until they have reached an advanced stage, making treatment more challenging and less successful. Regular screenings can help detect abnormalities in the mouth that may indicate the presence of cancerous or precancerous cells.

What Happens During a Screening?

During an oral cancer screening, our dentist will examine your mouth for any signs of abnormalities, such as lumps, sores, or discolored patches of tissue. They may also feel the tissues in your mouth and throat to check for any unusual masses or swelling. The screening is quick, painless, and can be performed during your regular dental check-up.

Who Should Get Screened?

Everyone should undergo regular oral cancer screenings, regardless of whether they have any risk factors. However, certain factors may increase your risk of developing oral cancer, including:

  • Tobacco use (smoking or chewing)
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Prolonged sun exposure (for lip cancer)
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Family history of oral cancer
  • Poor oral hygiene

If you have any of these risk factors, it’s especially important to prioritize regular screenings.

Also, here’s the good news: You can take steps to reduce your risk of oral cancer. By maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol, eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and wearing lip balm with SPF when outdoors, you can help protect yourself against oral cancer.

What are the Benefits of Screening?

Finding oral cancer early can have an 80–90% survival rate. By identifying cancerous or precancerous lesions in their early stages, your dentist can recommend further diagnostic tests or treatments, such as biopsies or surgeries, to remove the abnormal tissue and prevent the cancer from spreading.

In addition to potentially saving your life, oral cancer screening offers peace of mind. Knowing that you are proactive about your oral health can alleviate anxiety and empower you to take control of your well-being.

If you haven’t had an oral cancer screening recently, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with us today. Remember, early detection is key, and a simple screening could make all the difference in your life. Don’t wait until it’s too late – take charge of your oral health and schedule your screening now. If you have any questions about oral cancer screening, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Your life may depend on it.

Wellness Smiles Dentistry
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (803) 380-3416
8177 Charlotte Hwy Suite 100, Indian Land, SC 29707