Oral Cancer Screening
Garden City / Boise, ID
At Water's Edge Dental, our dentists help our patients to overcome problems, big and small, that negatively affect their dental health. While we most often assist our patients with relatively minor concerns like teeth cleanings and cavities, we are also fully prepared to help you with more serious problems. This includes oral cancer, which is when malignant and abnormal cells spread within your mouth. The best way to combat oral cancer is through early prevention and oral cancer screening that can help us recognize the early symptoms and take appropriate countermeasures.
How Does Oral Cancer Occur?
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that appears in the salivary glands, tonsils, on your lips, in your throat, or anywhere in your mouth. It tends to appear later in life, seen most commonly in patients over 40 years old, and more often with men than women. We see oral cancer occur more frequently with patients who both drink a lot of alcohol and smoke regularly. Tobacco use, in particular, is linked to 80 to 90 percent of all oral cancers that we see, so it is critical that you wean yourself off of this habit if possible. We also have seen oral cancer cases emerge among patients who find themselves often around radiation in their workplace or elsewhere.
Oral Cancer And Its Symptoms
Given that oral cancer can happen any place in your mouth, the symptoms are varied and can occur in multiple areas. Finding that your teeth begin to feel looser over time with no apparent cause can be one indicator. Pain in your ears but without a subsequent effect on your hearing can be another. If you have trouble moving your jaw or tongue or suffer pain in these areas, you should make an appointment with us so that our dentists can look at the problem spots. Even if these symptoms, which can be the same as other lesser dental issues, do not turn out to be indicators of oral cancer, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your oral and overall health.
What Is The Procedure For An Oral Cancer Screening?
Coming in for an oral cancer screening is a simple and painless procedure that our dentists will make as easy for you as possible. By doing this, you maximize your chances of detecting any sign of oral cancer early enough to prevent it with much less cost and danger to you when compared to if you found it later. After a routine inspection of your gums and teeth, we will look closely at your face and lips. We will then move on to both sides of your tongue and then palpate your jaw and neck areas. We recommend that you participate in an oral cancer screening every six months if you can.
If you are concerned that you may have oral cancer, if you want to check for it, or if you would like to learn more about scheduling an oral cancer screening, call us today at (208) 391-8554.