While there are some risks that increase your chance of oral cancer, sadly, it can affect anyone. That’s why at Shore Dental, we provide thorough, easy, and reliable oral cancer screenings in North Port. Oral cancer has a high recovery rate if it is caught early on, making a routine dental visit to our office potentially life-saving. Dr. Paul Stein and Dr. David R. Smith have the knowledge and experience required to catch warning signs of oral cancer early on. A simple oral cancer screening can also give you the piece of mind that you’re healthy and cancer-free. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
Symptoms and Signs of Oral Cancer
Because you have a higher chance of a full recovery if oral cancer is caught in its early stages, it’s important to recognize the common symptoms:
Lumps on the surface or beneath soft tissue
Red or white lesions in your mouth
Difficulty chewing or swallowing
Spots in your mouth that feel numb
Persistent sore throat
Pain in your ears
If you notice any of these common signs and symptoms, contact us immediately. However, oral cancer is often hard to detect on your own, which is why screenings at Shore Dental are necessary.
Factors that Increase Your Risk of Oral Cancer
Even though oral cancer can affect anyone, there are some factors that can increase your risk:
Tobacco use of any kind like cigars, cigarettes, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff and more
Heavy use of alcohol
History of significant sun exposure
Previous oral cancer
What Does My Dentist Look for During a Screening?
Dr. Stein and Dr. Smith will carefully examine your mouth for any cancerous tissue or irregularities. The symptoms described above are common warning signs they look for, but they can also catch problems that can’t be seen by the untrained eye. Dentists alone detect around 84% of oral cancers early on, which is why your dentist in North Port takes pride in catching oral cancer before it becomes more serious. If they do end up detecting a warning sign, they may recommend a biopsy for further investigation, especially if you have been affected by some of the risk factors of oral cancer.
What Should I Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening?
During your oral cancer screening, Dr. Stein or Dr. Smith will perform a visual and physical examination of your mouth, tongue, cheeks, gums, neck, jaw, and head. They will look for any symptoms that can show up in your soft tissue, and they’ll examine your throat for inflammation.
After the visual portion, they will gently feel around the lymph nodes in your jaw and neck to detect lumps or bumps that can tip off cancer in North Port. They will also check your ears and jaw joints, especially if you have any complaints about soreness or pain. This swift yet thorough examination is recommended at least once a year as part of your routine dental checkups. Have you had an oral cancer screening recently? Contact our office to ensure your oral and overall health.