Oral cancer is a dangerous, deadly disease that is difficult to spot on your own. In fact, it often goes undetected until the disease reaches more advanced life-threatening stages.
Fortunately, regular exams with our OKC dentist include life-saving oral cancer screenings.
Recognizing the Signs of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer rarely hurts. By the time it spreads or causes difficulty swallowing, it is usually quite aggressive. Some of the first signs and symptoms to watch for include:
- Sores that do not heal
- White, red, or spotted tissues that look different than the skin around them
- Lumps or nodules
- Tooth mobility
- Swelling in your throat or along with your lymph nodes
Free Consultations & 2nd Opinions
With Dr. Vinh Vu
Dr. Vu and the team at Dynamic Dental are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have. We take the time to listen to your needs & set forth an individualized treatment plan.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
We know there are multiple risk factors for oral cancer. Some of which include smoking and alcohol use. However, it’s not uncommon for the disease to also affect perfectly healthy individuals who do not smoke or drink. There has been some research that shows sun exposure can lead to oral cancer (particularly on the lips). Additionally, certain viruses such as HPV—the same virus linked to cervical cancer—can also contribute to the risk of oral cancer.
OKC Oral Cancer Exams
Our OKC dentists incorporate oral cancer screenings into each comprehensive and periodic dental checkup. Since dentists are often the first healthcare providers to identify oral cancer, these exams aren’t to be missed. We will thoroughly evaluate all of the soft tissues in your mouth, including the roof of your mouth, tongue, the floor of your mouth, back of the throat, your face, and the lymph nodes that extend through your neck.
If for any reason we detect a suspicious area, we will take one of two measures. First, we may have you wait about two weeks and then return to have it evaluated again. Second, we may decide to order a biopsy of the tissue for further clinical diagnosis. Depending on what the results show, we can then help to facilitate the removal of the growth and treatment with a cancer specialist.
Routine Exams Could Save Your Life
It’s best to plan an oral cancer screening every six months during your routine dental checkup. If you’re not sure when you had your last cancer exam, it’s been too long. Contact Dynamic Dental Orthodontics & Implants today to reserve a lifesaving screening with a member of our multi-specialty family dental team.