What Are Oral Cancer Screenings?
An oral cancer screening is an exam in which your dentist searches your mouth, throat, lips, gums, and tongue for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions. As both a physical and visual exam, oral cancer screenings are a great way to reassure you that you are oral cancer free. Conversely, if any problems or abnormalities are present, oral cancer screenings can help trigger early treatment – and the earlier oral cancer is detected, the higher chance it can be cured.
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
We recommend annually coming to our office for an oral cancer screening. However, if you recognize any of these symptoms for more than a week and without any improvement, schedule an oral cancer screening immediately:
- Pain or difficulty swallowing, talking, or moving your tongue or jaw
- Feeling like something is constantly caught in the back of your throat
- A sore throat without any other sinus symptoms
- Persistent mouth sores
- Swelling or lumps in or around your mouth
- Unexplained bleeding in your mouth
- Unexplained ear pain
- Severe weight loss
What Are the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?
Anyone can develop oral cancer. However, there certain factors that can increase your risk of developing it, including:
- Using any form of tobacco
- Being male
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Genetic predisposition for oral cancer
- Prolonged or excessive exposure to the sun
- Having gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Catch oral cancer before it’s too late. Contact our experienced dental team to schedule your oral cancer screening at Family Dentistry of Boynton Beach today.