Oral cancer screenings are performed at every routine cleaning throughout the year to ensure that you are healthy. Throughout an oral cancer screening, your dentist will check your tongue, cheeks, lips, gums, and floor of your mouth for signs of cancer. This is another reason why dentists recommend annual or biannual visits because the earlier on you can catch oral cancer, the easier it is to treat. Preventive dentistry helps to maintain healthy teeth and gums for an overall healthy mouth!
Who Is At Risk For Oral Cancer?
There are certain habits that can increase your risk of oral cancer – drinking alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco. There are also certain genetic mutations that can be inherited that would increase your risk for oral cancer.
Other risk factors:
- Oral cancer is twice as common in men as it is in women.
- It is most commonly seen in patients who are over age 55
- HPV can cause you to be at a higher risk for oral cancer
What Are Symptoms Of Oral Cancer?
There are several different signs that you may have oral cancer. Important symptoms to look for are; persistent sores, pain or numbness in your mouth, red and white discoloration, lumps, drastic changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite, and difficulty with proper mouth functions (chewing, swallowing, opening/closing your mouth, etc.). If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s critical to call your dentist to get your mouth looked at.