Why Do We Provide Oral Cancer Screenings?
At Proud to Smile Dentistry, caring for your oral health is our passion. This is one of the reasons we frequently remind patients about the importance of routine oral care. During regular oral hygiene examinations, we not only thoroughly clean your teeth, but we also inspect for other issues. Two issues we inspect for are gum disease and oral cancer. Both of these conditions can have serious and lasting effects if not diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 54,000 people have been diagnosed with oral or throat cancer in 2022.
Signs of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can affect any part of your mouth, including the lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, and even the roof and floor. Between appointments at our office, it is important to be mindful of any changes that you may see in and around your mouth. Warning signs of oral cancer can include:
- Discomfort or tenderness in the gums, cheeks, or tongue
- A sore or irritated area that does not heal
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- A lump or rough spot in the mouth
How We Perform the Cancer Screening
Unfortunately, not all oral cancer can be detected with the naked eye during your exam. Thankfully, we use a VELscope to assist with the screening. This handheld device shines a blue light into your mouth and exposes any suspicious tissue. The screening from start to finish only takes about three minutes but can add many years to your life if oral cancer is detected in the early stages and treated immediately.
If you are located in the Bernardsville, NJ, area and are in need of a hygiene examination and cleaning, be sure to contact our office to schedule an appointment. Call us as soon as possible if you experience any changes in the mouth and are concerned you may have oral cancer. We look forward to hearing from you soon.