Oral Cancer is not necessarily a topic that you want to discuss when you go for a teeth cleaning. However, the dental chair is the perfect setting for that conversation to take place. An oral cancer screening is quick, easy, and can be completed during your regular six-month visit with a Walnut Creek dentist.
A partnership between the dentist and patient can help to prevent oral cancer. The best approach is that patients perform self-exams periodically and for the dentist to check the head, neck, and all oral tissues during biyearly exams. Early detection is the best method to find early stages of oral cancer. By becoming familiar with the tissues of your mouth (inside of cheeks, top and under the tongue, the roof and floor of the mouth) you can discuss any changes in the tissue that you may notice with your self-exams.
Any type of tobacco use, alcohol abuse, family history of any type of cancer, and chronic periodontal disease are some common factors that could put you at risk for oral cancer. If any of these risk factors apply to you, please discuss these with your dentist. The dentist can give you more information and assist you with contacting someone that specializes in these areas.
Any bumps, lumps or sores on the lips or within the mouth that don’t go away within a week should be examined, as well as any soreness, swelling, numbness, difficulty swallowing, chewing, or any oral structures that become immobile. If there are any concerns in an area, the dentist will refer you to a specialist to have a biopsy performed.
Call and make an appointment today so that a Walnut Creek dentist can perform an oral cancer screening and answer any questions that concerning oral cancer. Not only is your oral health important to us, but your overall health is too. Let us give you peace of mind today.