Oral cancer is not often talked about, but it is a serious medical condition that needs to be watched for. Oral cancer is estimated to kill at least one person in the United States per hour each day. This is a small percentage compared to other cancers, but all cancer is a silent killer because it is usually undetected until it is too advanced for effective treatment.
There is a test that is done to detect oral cancer earlier, increasing the survival rate to 80%. An oral cancer screening is performed at regular dental checkups, so do not miss your biannual dental appointments. They are so fast and painless that you may not even notice that your dentist has performed it. The objective of oral cancer screenings is to identify any changes in the tissues lining the mouth, tongue, and lips that may indicate an early stage of oral cancer.
The disease used to affect mainly older people, and while it still affects people mainly over the age of 40, younger people are a growing part of the population at risk of developing oral cancer. This is due to HPV, or Human Papilloma Virus. There are other risk factors that apply and can raise your chances of developing the disease. If you are a moderate or heavy drinker or if you use tobacco, you have a greater chance of contracting oral cancer. Exposure to the sun is also associated with oral cancer, as well as genetic factors.
Your Bayport Dental Care dentist will perform a thorough dental checkup that includes a screening for oral cancer. This is what makes visiting a dentist in Bayport so important. Your dentist will assess your tongue, lips, and the inside of the mouth for any unusual patches or sores. Your dentist is looking for red or white sores, lumps, and swelling.
If you notice anything unusual about your tongue or any other part of the mouth, contact your local Bayport Dental Care dental professional in Bayport for a comprehensive assessment of your dental health and an oral cancer screening.