During routine dental examinations, the dentist at OKC Smiles in Oklahoma City looks for any signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer refers to cancers in the tongue, mouth, lips, jaw, and throat.
Many people don’t appreciate the seriousness of oral cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 39,000 people will get oral cancer this year.
Consider this sobering news from the Oral Cancer Foundation:
The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of cancers which we hear about routinely such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer, cancer of the testes, and endocrine system cancers such as thyroid, or skin cancer (malignant melanoma).
When we perform an oral cancer screening during your dental examination, we look for red or white spots, bleeding, lumps, difficulty swallowing, loose teeth, any color changes, and mouth sores. Is is critical to tell us if your bite has changed, if you have sores that won’t heal, and prolonged hoarseness.
The existence of any one symptom does not mean you have oral cancer, as they can be caused by any number of other conditions. However, if we discover something unusual, we may order additional tests or refer you to a medical doctor for further diagnosis and treatment if necessary.
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