At National Dental Hicksville, we perform regular oral exams, during which we inspect your teeth and gums for signs of damage, tooth decay, and gum disease. However, this is only a part of your exam. Included in your oral exam is an oral cancer screening.
Oral cancer is a serious disease that has a serious impact on the daily functions of your mouth, not to mention your overall wellbeing. Every year, it affects approximately 40,000 people across the United States. It can affect anywhere inside of your mouth, including your lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, palate, and the back of your mouth near the entrance to your throat. It is fatal cancer, with just about half of those diagnosed surviving past five years. Early detection, and therefore early treatment, however, can greatly increase your chances of survival.
There are several factors that can increase your likelihood of developing oral cancer:
An oral cancer screening is a part of your regularly scheduled oral exams. During these exams, we check the inside of your mouth for anything unusual and check the outside of your mouth (your face and neck) for signs of swelling. However, oral cancer will not conveniently wait until your dental exams to show up. Knowing what to look for is essential in early intervention:
A visual inspection of the inside of your mouth is only a part of the diagnostic process. We will also take some images so that we can get a better picture of what is happening under the gums. One of our most important diagnostic tools is a soft tissue biopsy. A biopsy is a simple procedure that involves removing a small section of a suspect lesion inside your mouth so that we can further examine it under a microscope. This test is the best way to confirm or rule out oral cancer. There are a few different types of soft tissue biopsy:
Oral cancer is a devastating disease that should be treated right away. If you notice any signs or symptoms, or are concerned about something in your mouth, contact National Dental Hicksville today at (516) 629-5086.