Early detection is crucial for the survival of oral cancer. At Laser Dental Bakersfield we perform the most thorough oral cancer screenings to ensure that we catch any telltale signs of the disease right away. At your regular dental checkups, we will ask you pertinent questions and perform a physical exam to look for any signs that signal trouble.
What We Look For
During our oral cancer screening, we look for cancerous lumps as well as precancerous lesions that could lead to cancer. We will visually inspect your mouth, neck, throat, face, and nose for any abnormalities. Bumps, white or red spots, odd patches of color, ulcers in the mouth could all be signs of cancerous cells in the mouth, which we investigate further.
We will also check certain areas of your head, cheeks, and mouth to look for painful areas, swelling, or masses that we did not see upon visual exam. We will touch the head, neck, throat, cheeks, and jawline to feel for mobile tissue as well as ask you if there is any pain upon touching these areas.
Sometimes oral cancer can be symptomless, but with a visual and physical exam, we can help catch any signs of oral cancer early.
Why Oral Cancer Screenings Are Important
Oral cancer has a high survival rate when it is detected early. Because this type of cancer does not readily show symptoms until it is in the advanced stages, oral cancer screenings are the best way to catch a problem early. The survival rate dips considerably when oral cancer is able to get to its advanced stages. When you see us for your regular dental checkups, you can rest assured that we will perform an oral cancer screening and let you know of any issues we discover immediately.
Who Is At Risk For Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer does not discriminate, anyone can get it, but people with the following habits may be at higher risk:
- Smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes
- Chewing tobacco
- Heavy drinking
- Excessive sun exposure
In addition, anyone with a family history of oral cancer may also be at higher risk.
The Frequency Of Screening
At a minimum, we suggest that you have an oral cancer screening once per year. However, if you have any signs or areas of worry, having more frequent screenings can be beneficial. If you notice any changes in your mouth, such as painful areas, sores that will not heal, difficulties with eating, talking, or swallowing, or numbness, let us know right away.
The oral cancer screening is non-invasive and painless. It is simply an addition to your regular checkup that lets us feel for any abnormalities in your mouth, throat, or face. It is to your benefit to have an oral cancer screening done so that we can catch the signs of potential issues right away. Our team is gentle, informing, and comforting, providing you with the dental care that you need.