One More Reason Why Hygiene Exams Are So Important
Did you know that we do more than clean your teeth and check for tooth decay during a hygiene examination? We also inspect for gum disease and oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings are extremely important and take only moments to complete. These screenings can make a world of difference if it leads to cancer being detected early. Continue reading to learn if you are at risk for developing oral cancer.
What to Know About Oral Cancer
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society, approximately 54,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer yearly. We make it a point to inspect your mouth, throat, and neck for signs of oral cancer during your hygiene examination.
Signs of Oral Cancer
If you have not visited our office recently for a hygiene examination and you notice any of these warning signs, we recommend calling our office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible:
- Discomfort or tenderness in the gums, cheeks, or tongue
- A change in your bite when you close your mouth
- A sore or irritated area that does not heal
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- A lump or rough spot in the mouth
- Feeling that something is stuck in your throat
- Constant hoarse voice
Experiencing any of these warning signs does not guarantee that you have oral cancer so there is no need to worry; however, it is always best to visit our office for an exam to eliminate any concerns.
Risk Factors That Can Lead to Oral Cancer
There are patients who have a higher chance of developing oral cancer due to lifestyle choices. These risk factors include:
- Tobacco use
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Unhealthy diet
- Prolonged and continuous sun exposure
There are a large number of patients who are diagnosed with oral cancer every year who have no risk factors. Those who have a history of cancer in their family are at a higher risk and should be diligent in visiting our office for screenings.
If you are located in The Woodlands area and have questions about oral cancer screenings or would like more information, we would love to hear from you. We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment.