Not only do periodic dental examinations help detect cavities and gum disease, but they also allow early detection of oral cancer.
During dental exams, we screen for precancerous changes in the oral tissues, perform a head and neck exam and help detect cancer at a stage when it can be more successfully treated.
Because early detection is important, check your mouth when brushing and flossing. Contact our our office if you notice any changes in the appearance of your mouth or any of the signs and symptoms listed below:
- A persistent sore or irritation that does not heal;
- Color changes such as the development of red and/or white lesions or blue lesions;
- Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or lips;
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area;
- Difficulty in chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue;
- Changes in bite.
Each year, 10,000 Americans die of oral cancer, with 30,000 new cases of the disease diagnosed annually. Did you know that one of the most common treatable cancers among women is Thyroid Cancer? Your dentist or dental hygienist can alert you to an abnormally sized or shaped thyroid gland.
Dentists are often first to detect this disease when it is in its early, treatable stages. So visit the office a minimum of twice yearly.