West Side Dental is not only dedicated to your smile, we're also dedicated to your overall wellness. Your regular exam includes an oral cancer screening. Like many kinds of cancer, oral cancer can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
We regularly attend classes which help guide us in detecting the early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions. While some of these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is important to visit our office regularly to monitor for oral changes that are indicative of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A lump, thickening, or rough spot
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
Drs. Sobieraj and Saam are trained in a simple, quick screening that involves an examination of your oral cavity as a whole, and not just your teeth, to detect cancerous and precancerous conditions. Besides a visual examination of your mouth, we will also feel the tissue of your mouth and throat to detect any abnormalities. If we find an area of concern, we may refer you to a specialist for additional testing.
Aside from receiving an oral cancer screening during your checkup at our office, there are many things you can do to help prevent oral cancer.
- The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid all tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Limit your exposure to the sun and always wear UV-A/B-blocking, sun-protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.
- During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection of oral cancer can improve the chance of successful treatment.