At each exam, Dr. Snow performs an oral cancer screen in and around your mouth to ensure early detection of anything abnormal.
At Snow Family Dentistry in Mesa, AZ, we are passionate about helping our patients achieve healthy smiles. A big part of that involves teeth that are straight, clean, and bright. Additionally, it means vigilance about oral cancer. We include an oral cancer screening as part of each routine cleaning, allowing us to detect problems early and begin treatment before the condition worsens.
If you have any questions about oral cancer or believe that you need to have a full examination from Dr. Snow, please do not hesitate to contact Snow Family Dentistry directly.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a term that can encompass any type of cancer that develops inside the mouth. The most common kinds of oral cancer include cancer of the lips, gums, tongue, and cheeks. Additionally, it is possible for cancer to occur either at the roof of the mouth or at the floor of the mouth, underneath the tongue.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Those who have oral cancer may exhibit a number of symptoms, including:
- Lip or mouth sores that will not heal
- Discolored patches on the inside of the mouth
- A growth or lump inside the mouth
- Discomfort when swallowing
- Loose teeth
If you notice any of these symptoms, we recommend making an appointment for a prompt oral cancer screening.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
While anyone can get oral cancer, there are a few lifestyle factors that increase the risk. These include:
- The use of any kind of tobacco
- Heavy consumption of alcohol
- Significant exposure to the sun, particularly to the lips
- Illnesses that weaken your immune system
- Exposure to sexually transmitted diseases, particularly HPV
The best ways to prevent mouth cancer are to cease using tobacco products, moderate your drinking, avoid excessive sun exposure to your lips, and stay up to date with routine dental examinations.
Getting an Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screenings generally are not painful nor particularly lengthy. Usually, all that is required is a physical examination of your mouth. Dr. Snow will examine the lips, tongue, and inside of the mouth for any abnormalities. Only when abnormalities are seen do we request some biopsied tissue for further testing. Additionally, Snow Family Dentistry employs advanced imaging technologies that we use for wellness scans, allowing us to get a clearer view of your mouth and to pinpoint any worrisome signs of oral cancer.
Do You Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
Getting checked for oral cancer is an important part of routine dental hygiene. To make an appointment for a cleaning and full examination, reach out to Snow Family Dentistry in Mesa, AZ.