Oral Cancer Screening for Timely Treatment
More than 48,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and nearly 10,000 of those diagnosed succumb to this disease. Oral cancer causes more deaths than some other kinds of cancer not because the detection of the disease is difficult, but because it is often diagnosed too late.
Your dentist is often the first line of defense against oral cancer, as the early symptoms of this disease can be detected during an oral cancer screening at our Long Island, NY, practice. The screening is part of the comprehensive dental check-up offered by Greater Long Island Dental.
Detecting Oral Cancer
When you come in for your dental checkup and oral cancer screening, a dental hygienist or dentist will thoroughly check your tongue, gums, and other soft tissues of the mouth for signs of oral cancer, which can include:
- Mouth sores or sores on the lips
- Red or white patches on the tongue, gums, tonsils or the mouth lining
- Swelling or lumps in the mouth, lips, neck, or throat
- Unexplained pain or bleeding in the mouth
- Difficulty with chewing or swallowing
- Pain in the ears or jaw
During your screening, we will look for any abnormalities in the mouth. If your doctor suspects oral cancer or precancerous lesions, he or she may recommend a follow-up visit in a few weeks to recheck the abnormality or may recommend a biopsy procedure. During a biopsy, a sample of tissue is tested in a laboratory to determine if there are cancer cells present.
Smoking and other forms of tobacco use are the biggest risk factors that can lead to oral cancer.
However, you should note that not all patients with oral cancer display these symptoms. Additionally, these symptoms can also be indicative of another non-cancerous medical condition.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Smoking and other forms of tobacco use are the biggest risk factors that can lead to oral cancer. Also, those who consume alcohol heavily or with a family history of oral cancer are at a higher risk of developing this disease. Men above the age of 45 are generally at a higher risk, making an oral cancer screening an important part of dentistry for seniors. The chances of oral cancer also increase if the patient has a weak immune system.
It is essential for patients to maintain at-home dental hygiene and visit the dentist twice a year to undergo dental checkups and oral cancer screenings. Early detection and diagnosis greatly increase the chances of successful treatment of this disease.
Effective Care Using Advanced Technology
At Greater Long Island Dental, our team of dedicated dentists and dental hygienists are committed to providing the best care in a comfortable setting. We employ the latest technology to protect the health of your smile, offering innovative dental solutions for a vast range of concerns, including cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry options as well as preventative care that includes oral cancer screening.
Contact Us to Learn More
Our comprehensive care that includes oral cancer screening can help in the timely detection of this serious disease. Contact us to learn more about the oral cancer screening process, and to schedule a consultation with us.
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