The importance of routine oral cancer screenings
Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, is a kind of cancer that affects the tissues in the mouth. This cancer can occur in any part of the mouth, including the gums, lips, tongue, and even the roof of the mouth. Oral cancer is most commonly found in men and women over 40, and smoking tobacco is one of the main factors for developing the disease. Drs. Mary Swift and Morgan Petty of Dallas Laser Dentistry in Dallas, Texas, encourage patients to visit a dentist who include oral cancer screenings as part of both initial and period dental exams.
We include both an unaided oral cancer screen by our hygienists during all cleaning appointments, and technology assisted screening by our doctors during their exams.
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Symptoms of possible oral cancer include:
- Sores or lumps in the mouth that will not go away
- Bleeding in the mouth
- Pain in the mouth
- Swelling in the jaw
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
If you experience any of the above symptoms, you must see a doctor or dentist who can evaluate the area and determine if cancer is possibly present. This is often referred to as an oral cancer screening.
How can I perform a self-oral cancer screening?
As part of your regular at-home dental care routine, you should be performing a self-oral cancer screening. This involves using a mirror to closely examine all the tissues in your mouth, including your lips, gums, tongue, and inside of your cheeks. If you notice anything abnormal, such as a sore or lump that doesn’t go away, bleeding, or pain, be sure to see Drs. Mary Swift or Morgan Petty of Dallas Laser Dentistry right away so they can evaluate the specific area and determine if oral cancer is likely present and a biopsy is warranted.
What are the treatment options for oral cancer?
The treatment options for oral cancer will depend on the stage of the disease. Early-stage oral cancers can often be treated with surgery alone. However, more advanced stages of oral cancer may require a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Schedule a visit with our team today!
If you have any questions about oral cancer or would like to schedule an appointment for an oral cancer screening, please call Dallas Laser Dentistry at 469 838 5292. We are conveniently located at 7557 Rambler Road, Suite #1023, and are open to new patients in and around the Dallas, TX, area.