Oral Cancer Screening
At every hygiene visit, we examine all the tissues of your mouth including gums, cheeks, lips, tongue, and jaw. Many patients are surprised at the large amount of surface area that we examine during an oral exam. It is just as important to have regular soft tissue screenings as it is to have a professional dental cleaning.
Oral cancer can afflict anyone although tobacco users put themselves at significantly higher risk than non-users. Cellular changes below the surface are not always detectable until they've advanced to a critical stage.
Early detection and treatment of oral cancer can significantly increase your chances of a quick and complete recovery. The American Cancer Society reports that about 7,000 deaths result from oral cancer out of 30,000 cases diagnosed annually. If we suspect any unusual changes in your mouth tissue, we may suggest a biopsy and microscopic analysis by a qualified lab.
Are you at risk for oral cancer?
Highest risk: Patients 40 and older with lifestyle risk factors (tobacco and/or alcohol use, exposure to human papillomavirus [HPV]).
High risk: Patients 40 and older without lifestyle risk factors.
Increased risk: Patients 18-39 without lifestyle risk factors.
We understand tobacco holds strong addictive powers over even the most health-conscious people. If you are determined to quit, we want to support you in your efforts. Talk to Dr. Seera about the strategies and resources we have available so you can kick the habit.