Why do our Sacramento dentists perform an oral cancer screening at every routine dental exam? It’s not that Sacramento oral cancer rates are higher than in other areas. It’s because cancer screening is easy to do and can save your life! With some simple steps and understanding about the risks for oral cancer, our Sacramento Dentistry Group patients are able to protect themselves and be worry free.
An Initially Painless Disease
Oral cancers tend to be painless and many patients don’t even notice there might be something wrong until it spreads and affects other body systems. If detected early, oral cancer is curable with a significantly improved recovery rate over later detections. The screening is painless and very quick, so you probably don’t even notice when we check your gums, lips, tongue and palate for early signs of cancer.
Anyone Can Get Oral Cancer
Oral cancer doesn’t affect just smokers or tobacco users. Anyone can be at risk. It should still be noted, however, that tobacco users and patients who consume a lot of alcohol on a regular basis are at higher risk to develop oral cancers. New research also suggests that while most oral cancers are diagnosed in people age 50 and over, younger patients are also at risk due to complications caused by HPV, or the human papillomavirus.
What Are The Warning Signs
It’s a good idea to contact the Sacramento Dentistry Group if you experience any of the following symptoms that may be a warning sign of oral cancer:
- Persistent difficulty swallowing and/or hoarseness
- Bleeding in the mouth or throat
- Red or white patches in your mouth or lips that don’t go away
- Sores in your mouth that don’t heal after two weeks
- Swelling, lumps or growths in or near your mouth and neck.
The Sacramento Dentistry Group puts our patients needs and well-being in first place, especially when it comes to screening for oral cancer. So next time you see us for your exam and cleaning, feel free to discuss with us any concerns you have and remember — when it comes to oral cancer, safety is better than sorrow!