SCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ CA
April is oral cancer awareness month, so what better time to discuss its warning signs and why you should get a screening. You may not think that oral cancer is common, but it’s just as deadly as any other type of cancer. Thankfully, early detection could help save your life! Today on the blog, find out why you should get an oral cancer screening this month in Scotts Valley at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry.
According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, about 53,000 people will receive an oral cancer diagnosis this year, and only half of those will be alive within five years. Unfortunately, more than 9,000 individuals will die of oral cancer this year. But as many as 87% of all oral cancer cases are treatable and have a high survivor rate if caught early. That’s why oral cancer screenings are crucial to your health. These screenings should be a part of your six-month checkup that you receive at the dentist’s office in Scotts Valley.
It would be best if you received an oral cancer screening at least twice a year. But in the meantime, you should know the signs of oral cancer. Although oral cancer symptoms often appear in the later stages, you need to know what to look for.
Signs of oral cancer may include:
- Sores on the lips or inside the mouth that do not heal
- White or red patches inside your mouth, on the cheeks, gums, or tongue
- Loose teeth with no apparent cause
- Lumps or bumps inside your mouth, along your jawline, neck, or throat
- Discoloration of your oral tissue (bright red, white, gray, or even black)
- Difficulty or pain when chewing or swallowing
- Any area of the mouth that is painful, inflamed, or scaly or crusty gum tissue
It’s important to note that this may not include every symptom of oral cancer. If you notice any changes with your lips, throat, or inside your mouth, speak with a family dentist in Scotts Valley about an oral cancer screening.
What happens during an oral cancer screening?
Oral cancer screenings are quite possibly the easiest thing you can do at the dentist’s office. An oral cancer screening may consist of a visual examination in which the doctor will look inside your mouth to detect anything unusual. Gentle palpations, which is to feel for any lumps or bumps, may also be included in the exam. Next, our Scotts Valley dentists use the OralID scanner, a special light that scans oral tissue for any abnormalities. It’s completely painless! If anything questionable is found, the dentist will recommend additional testing, such as x-rays or a biopsy. Should you receive an oral cancer diagnosis, treatment options will be discussed.
Oral Cancer Screenings in Scotts Valley, Los Gatos, and Santa Cruz
Oral cancer screenings are essential for patients of all ages. While oral cancer risks increase if you use tobacco or drink alcohol, anyone can develop oral cancer, even otherwise healthy individuals. If you’d like to learn more about oral cancer screenings in Santa Cruz or want to find out how to tell if you have oral cancer, contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411 to schedule a consultation.