Oral Cancer Screening

A patient and team member standing in a hallway

Oral health problems go beyond dental cavities, gum disease, or chipped teeth. Sometimes, a patient gets diagnosed with oral cancer. Preventive dentistry is a must to catch oral cancer early and before it spreads. 

Estimates for 2022 include approximately 54,000 new cases of oropharyngeal cancer with more than 11,000 deaths, according to the American Cancer Society

To pursue preventive dentistry and undergo an oral cancer screening, contact our experienced oral cancer dentist from Grove City Smiles. Our experts work with you to ensure you gain the best treatments possible for oral cancer and other dental issues.

Keep reading to learn about key facts behind oral cancer screenings.

Who Should Have an Oral Cancer Screening

The average age of people who are diagnosed with oral cancer is 63 years old. As such, middle-aged people and senior citizens benefit the most from an oral cancer screening. However, out of all patients with oral cancer, about 20 percent are under 55 years of age.

As such, everyone who goes to a regular dentist visit undergoes a common preventive dental procedure in which dentists look in the patient’s mouth for signs of cancer. Patients who see their dentist every six months benefit from this procedure. Essentially, a dentist checks out the gums, tongue, and other tissues in the mouth for any concerning signs.

Typical Symptoms of Oral Cancer

The common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Pain in the mouth
  • Ear pain
  • Sores in the mouth or on the lips that don’t heal after three weeks
  • Hard or painful to swallow or chew
  • Abnormal growth in the mouth
  • White or red patch inside the mouth
  • Teeth that become loose
  • Sore throat that doesn’t go away

If you experience these symptoms, it is essential to seek medical care and dentistry to properly diagnose oral cancer. When it comes to cancer, the earlier you get diagnosed, the better your chance of effective treatment and cure.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Unfortunately, oral cancer can happen to anyone regardless of medical history, age, or ethnicity. On the bright side, you can take specific preventive steps to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.

For example, you can increase your risk of this type of cancer by:

  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Getting too much sun exposure

As such, you can prevent oral cancer by limiting the amount of alcohol and sun you get and avoiding tobacco use. 

What Takes Place During Dental Oral Cancer Screening

During a dental cancer screening, a dental hygienist will ask about your medical history and any dental issues. You’ll need to share information about recent diagnoses and/or medication you’re taking. A dental hygienist will also ask about your alcohol consumption and whether you use tobacco to learn about your cancer risks.

Then, a dentist will check your mouth and tongue for sores, lumps, or any tissue changes. The dentist will also examine your head, neck, cheeks, and lips for signs of cancer.

Oral Cancer Screenings are Essential

We will show you that oral cancer screenings are crucial to keep you healthy and your teeth smiling brightly. For instance, having an oral cancer examination as part of your regular dental cleaning every six months will ensure any signs of cancer are caught early before cancer spreads and becomes more challenging to treat. 

The Cost of Oral Cancer Screenings

You’ll likely find that your dental insurance plan covers the costs of oral cancer screenings, as the majority of dental insurers do so. This type of service is part of routine dental cleanings. To find out whether your insurance plan pays for oral cancer screenings, call Grove City Smiles today.

Contact Grove City Smiles to Improve Your Oral Health

If you want a team of dental professionals who will partner with you to improve your oral health, you’ve come to the right place. Our specialists will listen to you carefully and make sure you’re comfortable during all procedures. 

If you believe you may have symptoms of oral cancer, it’s essential to make an appointment for a streamlined diagnosis and immediate treatment. With a prompt oral cancer diagnosis, you’ll maintain your smile well into the future. Call (614)350-5300 to schedule an appointment today.

We Can’t Wait To Meet You

We look forward to meeting you. Call (614) 350-5300 or request an appointment online to set up your first visit. We’ll be in touch soon.

Request An Appointment

Please call (614) 350-5300 or use the form below to schedule your appointment.

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