Over 50,000 people on average are diagnosed with oral cancer each year in the U.S., and an estimated 10,000 people die yearly from this deadly disease. Oral cancer is a silent killer, as it has very few early warning signs and can go undetected in the first stages, allowing it to spread to other areas. One of the best ways to detect mouth or oral cancer early is with scans by a qualified dentist. At Haven Dentistry, we offer oral cancer screening, which we can perform during your annual exams at our dental center in Richmond, TX.
There are some lifestyle and genetic factors that can increase your risk for oral cancer. Men are almost twice as likely as women to obtain this disease, and most cases of oral cancer (about 80%) are in adults over the age of 55. Smoking and drinking alcohol can increase your risk, especially if both are part of your lifestyle. HPV infection is also a risk factor and contributes to many cases in younger individuals.
Many people with mouth or oral cancer do not have any symptoms that alert them to their disease. However, there are some signs that can alert you to a possible problem. Oral sores that do not heal within two weeks, white/red spots on oral tissues, lumps, oral/throat pain and difficulty swallowing are some of the possible symptoms of oral cancer.
Identify Mouth Cancer Early
Oral cancer screening is the best way to identify mouth cancer early. When caught in the early stages, oral cancer is treatable and can be stopped from spreading to other areas of the body. Our dentist can use specialized scanning tools to detect any abnormalities in the oral tissues. The tongue, gums, tonsils and entire oral cavity will be carefully checked for any indications of changes to the tissue that can indicate cancer cells forming.
Oral cancer screenings are non-invasive and can save your life. This is a preventive scan that only takes a few minutes, and we can make it part of your dental checkup. Contact our office in Richmond, TX, to schedule your next checkup at Haven Dentistry, and ask about including a mouth cancer scan with your exam.