Why are we discussing oral cancer screening? As of 2003, the dental industry has officially named November 1st through the 31st mouth cancer action and awareness month, and while this may be the first you’ve heard of this, you can rest assured it is certainly a cause worth knowing about!
As you probably know, cancer in all its forms is an extremely serious and potentially life-threatening illness, however there are but few types of cancer that are more treacherous and worrisome then that of oral cancer. Oral cancer is a particularly aggressive type of cancer that can manifest within the throat, cheeks, lips, or tongue, and may continue to spread throughout the body.
Every year countless people worldwide are diagnosed with oral cancer, and with an annual total of approximately 7,500 oral cancer related deaths occurring within the U.S. alone, (particularly among heavy users of alcohol or tobacco) it’s clear that oral cancer is not something to be taken lightly. However, if oral cancer is detected within its early stages, it may in fact be relatively easy to treat. Therefore, scheduling your next dental checkup might be a bit more important than you might expect!
When going in for your routine dental exam, perhaps you may find yourself primarily concerned with the idea of missing time at work, or the prospect of undergoing any lengthy or painful procedures. While such concerns are certainly understandable, when preforming your exam, Dr. Roberts is actually looking for more than just cavities. Although you may not be aware, an oral cancer screening is a standard part of receiving a regular dental checkup. This means that not only is Dr. Roberts checking for cavities in your teeth, but he is also simultaneously giving you an oral cancer screening as well!
Related Article: 6-Month Dental Appointment: Why it’s Important
The process of receiving an oral cancer screening is quick, painless, and can very accurately identify the early signs of oral cancer. Despite the serious threat posed by oral cancer, the early signs and symptoms of the disease are often relatively benign and thereby present little concern. These early warning signs may include; an unusual hoarse or raspy voice, mouth ulcers, oral bleeding, or the appearance of lumps or swelling within the mouth and neck region. This may in part be a likely culprit for the considerably high number of deaths attributed to oral cancer, as the minor early symptoms may go ignored for a prolonged period, which in turn will allow the cancer to continue to worsen and spread. If left undiagnosed and untreated, the earlier-mentioned symptoms will become significantly more pronounced over time, there for causing permanent damage that may distort the jawline and facial features of the afflicted individual, thus disfigurement is not uncommon among those suffering from oral cancer.
While there certainly is hope for successfully treating the oral cancer patient, unfortunately such hope may come at heavy price as completely eradicating the cancer and at least partially repairing the facial damage, will require a multitude of lengthy treatments and grueling surgeries.
Therefore, it is prevalent in the prevention of oral cancer as well as the development of gum disease or cavities, that you receive a standard dental checkup every six months as a general rule. While the six-month rule applies to all patients, adhering to this rule should be particularly important to regular users of tobacco and alcohol products. As a chronic user of tobacco and alcohol has an increased likelihood of developing oral cancer by almost ten times compared to that of a non-user.
As recent advancements in technology continue to improve and expand the field of dentistry, dentists nationwide, including Dr. Roberts, have begun receiving new tools enabling them to better assist their patients, and further combat illnesses such oral cancer.
In further improving the effectiveness and accuracy of the basic oral cancer screening, a cutting edge new technology known as the OralID is now available to assist Dr. Roberts in providing you with the most comprehensive oral cancer screening possible. In giving a basic oral cancer screening, Dr. Roberts visually examines your mouth, carefully noting and looking for any swelling, bumps, or discoloration. This is a process that Dr. Roberts has been specifically trained to do and this technology has proven itself as an excellent method of identifying the tell-tale signs of oral cancer.
However, thanks to the experts at The Forward Science Company, this effective process has been even further improved by introducing the OralID. The OralID is a florescent-based technology that essentially allows Dr. Roberts to scan the entirety of the patient’s mouth and jaw, thus enabling them to further identify cancerous or pre-cancerous abscesses, lesions, ulcers, or other abnormalities, some of which simply cannot be seen to the naked eye.
While Oral Cancer still remains a major health concern for people across the globe, the field of professional dentistry continues in attempting to halt the continuation of this disease by identifying oral cancer in its earliest stages, in hopes that a patient may seek treatment and make the necessary changes before its too late!
Therefore, as we are in mouth cancer action and awareness month, on behalf of all of us here at Adams Dental, we ask to please consider scheduling your next routine dental exam/oral cancer screening as soon as possible. Remember, it may not seem like a big deal, but sometimes a simple dental checkup can be a lifesaver!
Travis A. Roberts and his experienced, friendly team at Adams Dental Group offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Kansas City, KS area. We have two locations that are conveniently located and offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Adams Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including perio-planing, dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at our East location (913) 621-3113 or at our West location (913) 296-8030 to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Travis A. Roberts, DDS November 7th, 2017
Posted In: Dental Health Tips
Tags: oral cancer screening