Oral Pathology

Oral Pathology Screenings Can Save Your Life

Dentist performing oral cancer screening during patient dental visit

Did you know that approximately one person dies from oral cancer every hour? According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, almost 46,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer or pharyngeal cancer this year alone. If you don’t want to become a statistic, making a few healthy lifestyle choices is a great first step, but one of the most important factors for surviving oral cancer is detecting it early.

Every patient receives a thorough oral cancer screening during each exam at Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. These screenings focus on early diagnosis of cancerous and precancerous tissues, giving you the best chance at treatment and recovery.
With routine screenings being one of the most important first steps to surviving oral cancer, it’s important that you come in and see us on a regular basis. Dr. Mitchell Shapiro recommends that patients come in for a professional cleaning, thorough exam and preventative care every 6 months.

What Are We Looking For?

Oral cancer isn’t as scary looking as you might expect. It usually pops up as a sore that will not heal, or an area of white or red tissues that looks different from the ones around them. Other symptoms that you might overlook include:

  • A bump on your lips, in your mouth or throat, or on your neck
  • Pain or difficulty when chewing, swallowing, or speaking
  • Loose or painful teeth, without another obvious cause
  • Feeling like you’re swallowing a lump or that something is stuck in your throat
  • Numbness or unusual bleeding in the mouth
  • Persistent ear or jaw pain
  • Changes in your voice, hoarseness, or a continual sore throat
  • Poor denture fit, due to swelling

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to call and let us know. We’ll want to see you right away.

Using dental tools to check gums

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Even the healthiest of individuals can develop oral cancer, but these certain types of risk factors do increase your likelihood to develop the condition:

  • Viruses (HPV)
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol
  • Sun exposure

Early diagnosis is key, as oral cancer is extremely dangerous. Many people wait until it is too late before they seek out medical attention. Our goal is to pinpoint findings in their earliest stages so that your biopsy can be performed and treatment outcomes are as successful as possible.

Have you ever had an oral cancer screening? If you haven’t or aren’t sure, it’s been too long. Call Center for Cosmetic Dentistry today.

Experiencing wisdom tooth pain? We can help!