What to look for to prevent oral cancer

Visiting the dentist every six months is highly recommended by the American Dental Association as preventative steps towards maintaining a healthy smile. But do you know exactly what happens during these appointments? If you thought about cleaning and x-rays, you would be incorrect! One aspect of a routine dental evaluation that is performed is that of oral cancer screening. Oral cancer screenings are done by the dentists at Gentle Family Dentistry and Implant Center to evaluate a patient and look for the early signs of cancer within the oral cavity. 

Why are oral cancer screenings important? 

Many patients understand the importance of cleanings and evaluations, but why are screenings for oral cancer critical too? Oral cancer is diagnosed in almost 50,000 Americans each year. However, with early detection, diagnosis, and treatment, many patients are able to reach remission. To catch the signs of oral cancer early, routine evaluations with a skilled dentist are essential. 

What is a dentist looking for during an oral cancer screening? 

Oral cancer is typically visual. There may be strange sores or spots in the mouth, either on the gums, cheeks, lips, or soft tissues in the mouth. Red or white areas may be a sign of oral cancer and need further evaluation. Patients might also experience symptoms and signs in the later stages of oral cancer such as pain or discomfort when eating or swallowing. These may be indicative of cancer and should be evaluated by a professional as soon as possible. 

What can be done about oral cancer? 

When a patient gets a diagnosis of oral cancer, they can then speak to their dentist or primary care provider about the possible treatment options depending on the severity and location of the cancer. Treatment might include excision, radiation, or chemotherapy. 

Feel free to contact the team at Gentle Family Dentistry and Implant Center 

Learn more about the benefits of routine oral cancer screenings as it pertains to your oral and overall health. Our team is available at two convenient locations in Bethlehem and Allentown, PA locations, and both offices accept new patients and family members seeking quality dental care.

Posted in: Dental Health

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