At Smithville Family Dentistry, we know that one of the most important dental health services we provide during your regularly scheduled dental checkup is an oral cancer screening. Fortunately, by getting regular screenings, it is possible to catch cancer before it advances.

What is oral cancer?

Cancer is the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells in your body, which systematically destroy tissue. Oral cancer is cancer that occurs anywhere in the mouth.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

  • Swelling, lumps, rough spots, or eroded parts in or around the mouth
  • White, red, or speckled patches in the mouth
  • Bleeding in mouth
  • Numbness, pain, or tenderness in the mouth, face, or neck
  • Sores in the mouth or on the face or neck that will not heal
  • Feeling like something is caught in the throat
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Sore throat
  • Change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • Unexplained weight loss

What are the risk factors of oral cancer?

  • Smoking tobacco
  • Chewing tobacco
  • Heavy drinking
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Extreme sun exposure
  • HPV

What can I do to prevent oral cancer?

  • Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Refrain from binge drinking.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Limit sun exposure.
  • Get regular oral cancer screenings from Smithville Family Dentistry.

What can I expect from my oral cancer screening?

During your routine dental exam, your Smithville dentist will feel for any tissue changes in your mouth, neck, head, and face. They will also observe your mouth for any sores or discoloration. If there is anything suspicious, your dentist will take a biopsy in order to test a sample of cells for cancer.

It may be frightening to think about cancer, but regular cancer screenings are the best way to stay on top of your oral health. Visit Smithville Family Dentistry today for our dental health services.