Screening for Oral Cancer

If you have concerns that you may have a type of oral cancer, it’s crucial that you see a medical and dental professional immediately.

There are several types of oral cancer, and like cancer in general, the earlier we catch it, the better our chances are of preventing it from getting worse or spreading. In most cases, if the cancer is not detected early, it becomes more difficult to treat. It can even become life threatening.

If you suspect that you are showing symptoms of oral cancer, please contact us immediately at Alaska Dental Associates in Anchorage. During the screening, our dentist Dr. Kyle Triggs will examine your tongue, gums, and inner cheek lining for sores that could be cancerous. Oral cancer is one reason why regular dental exams at our office are so highly recommended. We can perform oral cancer screenings and increase the chances of catching it early.

When Does My Dentist Do an Oral Cancer Screening in Anchorage?

Oral cancer screenings would definitely be performed at a time of crisis. However, you do not have to wait until you start feeling any symptoms to have one done. Since oral cancer is a serious condition, we have included a comprehensive list of symptoms to help you be alert to the possibility of oral cancer:

  • A persistent sore throat or feeling that something is caught at the back of the throat
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • A persistent or lasting sore on the face, neck, or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal within two weeks
  • Unexplained loss of feeling, pain, or numbness in the face, neck, or mouth
  • Ear pain
  • Lumps, bumps, or rough spots on the gums, lips, or other parts of the mouth
  • Red, white, or speckled red and white patches in the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together

The best time to get an oral screening, however, is before you’re experiencing systems as a preventative measure. If you have a standing arrangement with us for regular exams, take advantage of those and have our dentist perform an oral screening to be on the safe side.

How Often Does My Dentist Check for Oral Cancer?

We take oral cancer seriously because it can be life-threatening. If our dentist performs a screening and finds signs of oral cancer, immediate treatment will be recommended. After the treatment heals the affected area, he may recommend another screening after a short time to make sure the area is cancer-free.

As a guideline, it is wise to have an oral cancer screening once a year. If you have regular exams twice a year, use one of them to have a screening done.

Conclusion

Oral cancer is not something to ignore. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact Dr. Triggs, our dentist in Anchorage, Alaska.

Remember, oral cancer can be life-threatening, and we will do all we can to detect and treat the oral cancer. The sooner we can detect it, the sooner we can treat it. You don’t want to risk having it end up in advanced stages, which can be difficult to treat and overcome.

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