Poway and San Diego, CA
Historically, oral cancer has been known to be linked to tobacco use, but that is not the only cause of cancers of the mouth. Oral cancer is also caused by drinking alcohol excessively, lesions in the mouth, sexually transmitted diseases, and excessive exposure to the sun. Here is why getting an oral cancer screening should be on your list of priorities when visiting the dentist.
Oral cancer includes cancer of the soft tissue inside the mouth, under the tongue, and even your lips.
Early detection, better survival rate
Since early detection means a higher survival rate, routine dental checkups that include oral cancer screenings are vital to your health and could help save your life. Even if you do not smoke or use tobacco, you could be at risk of developing oral cancer. These screenings are so simple and painless and can easily be part of your dental checkup. Your Poway dentist performs these routine oral cancer screenings during your regular six-month checkups. However, should you notice anything out of the ordinary such as a mass, sore or lesion that does not heal, or anything else about your oral health that is of concern to you, come on in for a quick and painless oral cancer screening. Better to be safe than sorry!
Perils of not visiting the dentist
The problem is that many Americans do not visit the dentist regularly. Instead, they wait until a problem becomes painful. Unfortunately, oral cancer does not present any symptoms of pain until the later stages, meaning, a lower survival rate. If you are not visiting the dentist regularly, you are missing out on this life-saving screening. Not all dentists perform an oral cancer screening, but your dentist in Poway understands the importance of this screening, which is why it is part of our regular checkups for every patient, even if you do not use tobacco. At Smiles by Dr. Cook, we urge you to visit our office once every six months for routine cleanings and examinations that includes an oral cancer screening.
What to expect for an oral cancer screening
Our oral cancer screenings consist of gentle palpations of the soft tissue inside your mouth. Sometimes, a small instrument may be used to probe a suspicious area. If any area is found to be questionable, additional diagnostics or imaging may be used for conclusive results. Often, any lesion that is questionable may be removed for a biopsy and sent off to be tested. If oral cancer is confirmed, a treatment plan will be derived by Dr. Cook. Treatment outcomes will vary for each patient and are highly dependent on the stage of your oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Screenings in Poway
We encourage you to contact Smiles by Dr. Cook to schedule your next routine checkup. Your oral health is a top priority for us, which is why we include these important cancer screenings for every patient. If your current dentist does not perform oral cancer screenings, even more reason to call us today at (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway, Carmel Mountain, and Rancho Bernardo, California.