What would you do if you were told you had oral cancer? It would probably scare you quite a bit, right? This is a normal, typical response, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that it was caught in its early stages, and your likeliness for survival is extremely high? Of course, it would! That’s the advantage of early detection with oral cancer, which is why your dentist in Westhampton wants you to be screened for it during your routine dental checkups. Read on to learn more about the risk factors, symptoms, and the importance of screening.
The Seriousness Behind the Screening
Each year, more and more people lose their lives to oral cancer. You may be asking, “If it’s highly treatable when caught early, then why are so many people dying from it?” That is because symptoms may not be evident in the beginning, and if you don’t visit your dentist for a routine checkup, the cancer could spread, making it almost impossible to treat.
Oral cancer screenings are a great way to determine if there are any signs or symptoms you and your dentist should be worried about, and if so, how to quickly treat the problem.
The Risks Don’t Outweigh the Consequences
If you’ve fallen for the “only people who smoke get oral cancer” misconception, you’ll be surprised to know that individuals who’ve never touched a cigarette have developed the disease. Yes, smoking is a leading cause, but it’s not the only risk factor. In fact, here are a few other ways someone might develop oral cancer:
- Smoking and tobacco usage
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Excessive drinking
- Autoimmune disorders
- Too much sun exposure
Signs You Might Have Oral Cancer
Your dental team in Westhampton is trained to spot even the slightest signs of cancer; however, if you noticed any of the following signs or symptoms at home, make sure to tell them when you arrive at your appointment.
- Red and white patches in your mouth
- A lump or hard spot
- Oral sores on your lips, tongue, cheek, or other soft tissues
- Jaw swelling
- Difficulty chewing and/or speaking
- Sore throat
- Hoarse voice
It’s also important to note that should you be concerned about the development of any of these symptoms, don’t wait until your next appointment, especially if it isn’t for another few months. Call your dentist immediately.
Take care of your oral health by letting your dentist check you for oral cancer. The quick and painless procedure takes no time at all, and you may not even realize it’s happening. A few minutes of your time could save your life, so don’t wait!
About the Practice
At Beach Dental, our patients can expect state-of-the-art dental technology and a wide array of dental services. With personalized attention, our expert team of professionals are ready to meet you and your family’s needs, wants, and smile goals. From general cleanings to cosmetic dentistry and even sleep apnea treatment, you will find that we can assist in a variety of ways. To learn more about and the services we provide, visit our website or call (631) 325-0731.