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Oral Cancer Screenings in Greenville, SC
Everyone knows that going to the dentist for routine dental exams twice a year is important. Along with identifying the early signs of common oral health concerns, such as tooth decay and gum disease, regular bi-annual check-ups also play a vital role in screening for oral cancer. Here’s what you should know about the benefits of oral cancer screenings before scheduling your next appointment with Dr. Gould at Trail West Family Dentistry.
Overview of Oral Cancer Screenings
During every new and routine dental check-up at Trail West Family Dentistry, Dr. Gould will perform an oral cancer screening by examining the patient’s mouth for oral cancer symptoms. This process is usually very quick and painless for most patients. Performing oral cancer screenings during routine dental exams is an effective way to identify the early signs of oral cancer and treat it before it spreads or becomes more difficult to treat.
Why Would a Dentist Recommend a Mouth Cancer Screening?
Detecting oral cancer early can make a tremendous difference in the effectiveness of treatment. Dr. Gould could recommend that you have an oral cancer exam performed to ensure that your mouth is healthy, and if any signs of oral cancer are present, that they’re addressed sooner rather than later. If detected early, there’s a 5-year survival rate for 85% of people diagnosed with oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Symptoms
Unlike some dental concerns, oral cancer often exhibits symptoms that can easily be identified early by a dentist. Some symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Persistent sore throat
- Lump in your mouth or neck
- Oral pain
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a dental exam right away. Seeking treatment as quickly as possible is the best way to treat oral cancer as easily and effectively as possible. Even if you don’t notice any signs of oral cancer, don’t skip your six-month dental check-up. Dr. Gould may recognize something that you otherwise wouldn’t.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Diagnosis?
During your oral cancer screening, Dr. Gould will examine your tongue, gums, and the other soft tissues of your mouth for abnormalities, such as inflammation, sores, black spots on the gums or tongue, or other discoloration. Additionally, he will feel your neck and the inside of your mouth for other signs of oral cancer, including lumps. If he does find an unusual symptom, he may recommend that it be monitored until your next appointment or that you have a biopsy done to confirm if cancer is present.
What are the Causes of Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer can affect any person, regardless of their age or medical history. Still, there are some lifestyle factors that could make you more likely to develop oral cancer, including:
- Drinking alcohol
- Smoking or using other forms of tobacco
- Sun exposure
- Certain medical conditions, such as HPV
How Much Do Oral Cancer Screenings Cost?
Most dental insurance plans cover preventative dental treatments, including oral cancer screenings. For information on what your dental insurance plan includes, please contact our office.
Trail West Family Dentistry is Here for You
Your smile is worth protecting. One of the best ways to live a healthy, happy life is to prevent dental diseases from developing and treat them as easily as possible when they do. With regular oral cancer screenings at Trail West Family Dentistry, using Identafi technology, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a strong, beautiful smile for years to come. To schedule your next routine dental exam, professional cleaning, and oral cancer screening with our compassionate dental team, contact us today. We look forward to showing you how simple caring for your smile can be!