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Oral
Cancer
Screening

Catching Oral Cancer Early

Did you know the average American sees their dentist more often than their physician? Dental practices have become the first line of defense for catching oral cancer early.

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The Bad News

Over 100 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every day. Even more disturbing is the reality that one person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day. When discovered in later stages, oral cancer survival rates are below 50%.

The Good News

We take oral cancer seriously. When caught in its earliest stages, the survival rates for oral cancer stand at about 80% to 90%.

Early Diagnosis

Because oral cancer is a pathologic process, cancer signs may not be noticeable during early stages. That’s why it’s critically important to have a regular oral cancer exam performed by a dental professional.

 

Common Symptoms

Although symptoms may not show up early on, any noticeable abnormality in the tongue, gums, mouth, or surrounding area should be evaluated by a health professional as soon as possible. Not all the warning signs listed below means you have oral cancer, but here are some common symptoms:

  • red or white patches
  • a sore or irritation that remains
  • pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
  • a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust, or small eroded area
  • difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving tongue or jaw
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

 

Causes of Oral Cancer

Research shows that smokers, tobacco users, and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50 are the most at-risk group. The sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV) has also been associated with cancers of the part of the throat at the back of the mouth.

 

Your Oral Cancer Exam

Your oral cancer exam is a painless experience. We simply search for any potential abnormalities while carefully feeling your face, glands, and neck for unusual bumps. We then thoroughly inspect the lips, gum tissue, tongue, and floor of the mouth for irregularities. When appropriate, our experienced team will perform a biopsy to be sent off for analysis.

 

Treatment

Treatment varies depending on the type of disease that is present. Each patient’s needs are addressed on a case-by-case basis in order to achieve the best results. 

Connect With Us

We look forward to meeting you.
Call (314) 434-2101 or request an appointment online to set up your first visit. We’ll be in touch soon.