Oral Cancer Screening – Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Saving Lives through Early Detection
Did you know that on average one person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day? Although not as well-known or as commonly discussed as breast or prostate cancers, about 53,000 people are expected to be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. However, because of late detection, only a little more than half are likely to survive five years after diagnosis. That’s why at Ponte Vedra Complete Dentistry, we perform an oral cancer screening at every routine dental checkup appointment.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Some of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer can be difficult to spot by the untrained eye, particularly when they show up in the back portions of the mouth where visibility is limited. Here are some common signs of oral cancer to watch out for:
- Red, white, or speckled patches of tissue.
- Thickened patches of tissue.
- Lip or mouth sores that do not heal after more than two weeks.
- Lumps or bumps inside your mouth.
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing.
- Pain when swallowing or chewing.
- Ear pain that isn’t caused by an ear infection.
If you experience these symptoms, contact us for an appointment right away. We want to make sure you get the necessary evaluations and testing you need for an accurate diagnosis.
What We Look for during an Oral Cancer Screening
During your routine dental checkup with us, one of our talented dentists will perform an oral cancer screening, which includes a visual and tactile examination. To start off, we will ask you about any changes to your medical history and whether you’re experiencing any unusual symptoms. Inspecting the inside of your mouth, gums, tongue, and other soft and hard tissues, your dentist will look for any abnormalities that could need more attention. They may use gauze to gently hold and move your tongue so that they can get a clearer view of the back of your mouth, where the early stages of oral cancer often manifest. Then, they feel around your neck and jaw for any concerning lumps or bumps. If we find anything potentially concerning, we will refer you to a doctor for additional testing.
Importance of Oral Cancer Screening
As with many other cancers, early detection is a major key to success to beating oral cancer. In fact, patients who are diagnosed and treated during the beginning stages of development have up to a 90 percent chance of overcoming it. Regular screenings with us can help ensure that oral cancer is found as early as possible, increasing the likelihood of a happy outcome.
At Ponte Vedra Complete Dentistry, we are committed to helping you and your smile stay healthy for many years to come. That’s why we include oral cancer screenings in your dental checkup and cleaning appointments twice a year. Whether you’re new to the area or it’s just been a while since you’ve seen the dentist, contact us for an appointment today. It just might save your life!