At Lakewood Dental Group, we are committed to your complete oral health. For this reason, our Dallas dentists conduct an oral cancer screening at every cleaning and exam. Routinely checking for the early symptoms of cancer, Dr. Shaun Sigurdson and Dr. Mihir Patel can often diagnose the disease before it becomes more widespread. Our advanced technology gives us precise and detailed views of the mouth, allowing us to make the most accurate diagnoses possible.
Don’t neglect this important part of your oral and physical health. Contact us today to schedule your routine dental visits.
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
The signs of oral cancer can include:
- White and/or red areas inside the mouth
- Persistent mouth sores
- Chronic sore throat or a feeling of something stuck in the throat
- Lumps in the neck, throat, or mouth
- Gum pain
- Loose teeth
- Ear pain
- Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing
- Unexplained changes in the voice
- Changes in the way dentures fit
- Numbness in the mouth
Where do you typically see the symptoms of oral cancer?
Oral cancer can occur on any of the soft tissues in the mouth or throat. However, two-thirds of oral cancer develops on the floor of the mouth or the tongue.
How do you screen for oral cancer?
At every visit, your Lakewood dentist will carefully examine your soft tissues to look for any sores or discoloration. If we notice anything unusual, we will take a biopsy for a definitive diagnosis.
How common is oral cancer?
There are approximately 54,000 new diagnoses of oral cancer each year. Men have a 1 in 60 risk of developing the disease, while women have a 1 in 140 risk.
How serious is oral cancer?
Although oral cancer is not the most common type of cancer, it is serious. If the disease is diagnosed early on, before cancer spreads to other parts of the body, patients have a survival rate between 93 and 59% (depending on the exact location of the cancer). On the other hand, if cancer spreads to distant parts of the body, the survival rate drops to between 41 and 23%.
For this reason, it is extremely important to undergo routine screenings. That way, your dentist can diagnose oral cancer before it has a chance to spread.
What are the treatments for oral cancer?
If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, treatment will depend on the location and extent of the disease. You may receive radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Surgery and immunotherapy are also options. Drs. Sigurdson and Patel do not treat cancer. However, they will work with your care team to provide a holistic approach to treatment. Furthermore, if you suffer dental damage or tooth loss as a result of your cancer, they can provide appropriate restorative dentistry.
Can I prevent oral cancer?
Smoking and alcohol abuse significantly raise the chances that you will develop oral cancer. However, 1 in 4 oral cancer patients are not considered “high risk.” This is another reason that the American Cancer Society recommends regular screenings with your dentist.
Schedule Your Cancer Screening Today
Don’t let this important aspect of your health go overlooked! To schedule your potentially lifesaving exam, contact Lakewood Dental Group online or call 214-827-1885.