Oral Cancer Screening – Stephens City, VA
Don’t Skip Your Oral Cancer Screening
You know you need to visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup to keep your smile healthy. Did you know there is another reason you should not skip your routine visits? Your semi-annual dental appointments also allow you to have an oral cancer screening in Stephens City. Although you may not think you are at risk, 54,000 people are diagnosed with a form of oral cancer each year. Unfortunately, the 5-year survival rate is only about 65%. Often, this is the result of late detection. It is estimated, 80% of new oral cancer cases can be diagnosed early through routine screenings during preventive dental appointments. Now, you can get the screening you need while also investing in a healthy smile.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The early signs of oral cancer can often be mistaken for another issue, like a cold or a toothache. If an issue lasts longer than a couple of weeks, it is best to see your dentist in Stephens City for an oral cancer screening.
Some early symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Persistent mouth sores that do not heal
- Unexplainable mouth pain
- Lump or thickening of oral tissue
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- Persistent sore throat
- Feeling like something is caught in the throat
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
- Numbness in the mouth
- Poorly fitting dentures
- Loose teeth
- Pain in the teeth or jaw
- Voice changes
- Lump in the neck
- Persistent bad breath
What does my dentist look for during a screening?
An oral cancer screening is a simple and pain-free process to look for cancerous and precancerous cells. During your preventive appointment, Dr. Gromling performs a physical exam to look for any signs of cancer or suspicious areas. He checks the head, cheeks, jaw, under the chin, and looks in the oral cavity for any abnormalities.
What to expect during my screening?
Evaluating the face, neck, lips, inside of the nose, and the oral cavities are part of routine oral cancer screenings. Dr. Gromling looks for any signs of swelling, bumps, changes of color, ulcerations, and other indicators of a problem. If he finds a concerning area, a sample of the tissue is taken to be tested at a lab. He will inform you of the results and if any additional action is needed.
Benefit from Early Detection
Even if you do not think you are at risk of oral cancer, do not skip your next preventive appointment. Besides teeth cleanings and dental checkups, you can benefit from the power of early detection with a routine oral cancer screening. If it has been more than 6 months since your last appointment, do not wait. Contact our dental office today to schedule your next visit.