Cancer is the second highest cause of death in men and women. Even with this staggering statistic, many put off or ignore important cancer screenings. Annual oral cancer screenings are vital for keeping your mouth healthy and preventing a serious condition.
- Why Are Annual Screenings Important?
Annual screenings are the most effective way for your general dentist to find oral cancer during its early stages. By undergoing thorough screenings annually, your dentist will take note of newly developing sores or marks and keep tabs on their growth patterns. If caught during an early phase, then the cancerous cells will not be able to spread to other parts of the jaw or body.
- What Factors Put Me at Greater Risk?
For some patients, certain medical conditions or lifestyle choices may put them at a greater risk for developing oral cancer. The most studied factors linked to mouth cancer include tobacco and alcohol use. It’s important to remember that all forms of tobacco have been known to increase oral cancer risks, not just cigarettes. Those patients whom have had previous oral cancer diagnosis are strongly urged to continue their annual screenings.
- What Is Involved in a Screening?
When a dentist performs an oral cancer screening, their goal is to identify cancerous sores. The only sure way for a dentist to successfully diagnose mouth cancer is through lab work. When your general dentist spots a suspicious white or red patch, cells from the sore are tested for cancer through a biopsy. This test tells your dentist if the cells in the sore are benign or dangerous.
At The Smile Design Center of Baltimore, we are happy to meet all of your general dentistry needs. For more tips on keeping your mouth and gums healthy, visit our website or call (443) 275-9821 to arrange a visit. We specialize in general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry, pediatric dentistry, teeth whitening, and so much more!