Oral Cancer Screening
Your mouth is part of the oral cavity, which also includes your lips, cheek lining, gums, front part of your tongue, floor of the mouth and the hard palate (roof of your mouth). The throat (pharynx) starts at the soft part of the roof of your mouth and continues back into your throat. It includes the back section of your tongue as well as the base where the tongue attaches to the floor of your mouth.
During your dental visit, your dentist can talk to you about your health history and examine these areas for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. Regular visits to your dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily.
In many instances, we will perform an oral cancer screening during your routine exam. Screening is the best way to reassure you that there are no apparent problems related to oral cancer. We may recommend an oral cancer screening in response to your lifestyle choices, such as excessive drinking or smoking. Most of the time it is simply a precautionary measure.
More often than not, an oral cancer screening is a great opportunity for you to ask questions, and reduce your risk factors. If we notice any potential symptoms of oral cancer, we may recommend further testing or a biopsy. It is important to note that additional testing is not indicative of a cancer diagnosis. Additional testing is needed to reveal the root cause of a particular symptom. If cancer is ultimately found, early diagnosis drastically reduces related health problems later down the line.
Symptoms of Mouth or Throat Cancer
|Sores that bleed easily or do not heal
|Thick or hard spot or lump
|Roughened or crusted area
|Numbness, pain or tenderness
|Change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
Make sure to tell your dentist about any problems you have when chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw.
At Dennis Bradshaw Dentistry in Kennewick, Dr. Bradshaw will include a thorough oral cancer screening during your comprehensive exam. Call us today to schedule an appointment!