The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings, such as those provided by the dentists at Bleu Dentistry in downtown Dallas, are designed to identify the early signs of oral cancer, allowing treatment to begin before cancer reaches more advanced stages.
Many people don’t realize that nearly 50,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a form of oral cancer every year, resulting in approximately 9,750 deaths on an annual basis. However, oral cancer is treatable if it is detected early enough, and a skilled dentist like those at Bleu Dentistry in downtown Dallas have the experience necessary to catch the signs earlier through comprehensive oral cancer screenings.
HOW IS AN ORAL CANCER SCREENING PERFORMED?
An oral cancer screening is often part of a routine appointment, such as coming in to see the dentist for a regular cleaning. During the exam at Bleu Dentistry, the doctor examines the surfaces in your mouth to spot signs of discoloration and identify sores. He’ll also physically check the mouth to confirm there are no lumps in any of the tissues or other structural abnormalities.
If something is detected during your screening, your dentist will take a small sample. The sample is then sent to the lab to undergo further testing to determine the cause of the abnormality and if there is any need for treatment.
AM I AT RISK FOR ORAL CANCER?
While it is possible for anyone to develop oral cancer, there are certain risk factors that make it more likely. Here are some of the most influential risk factors:
- Being over 40
- Smoking or use of tobacco products
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Heavy use of alcohol
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Prolonged sun exposure
It is also important to note that men have a naturally higher risk of developing oral cancer than women. However, everyone should undergo regular oral cancer screenings, even if there are no risk factors present because even people without any known risk factors can still end up with oral cancer.
ORAL CANCER PREVENTION
If you want to lower your risk of developing oral cancer, it is important not to smoke or use tobacco products, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, eat a healthy diet, and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Additionally, you need to keep your regularly scheduled checkups with your dentist to ensure an oral cancer screening is completed on a regular basis.
Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we encourage you to make an appointment to see your local Uptown Dallas dentist at Bleu Dentistry to make sure your oral health is given the attention it deserves. Call (214) 699-6344 to book your dental appointment or visit our office at 3607 Oaklawn Avenue today.