The Importance of an Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screenings are an effective way to identify oral cancer in its early stages when treatment can be most effective. Getting an oral cancer screening is as simple as scheduling your regular dental exam and teeth cleaning. Dr. Jeffery Kendrick, the highly skilled dentist at Heritage Dental Associates in Fayetteville, GA, can perform an oral cancer screening while you are already in the office for a routine checkup.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors and Signs

Like many cancers, oral cancer is often thought of as a disease that primarily affects older adults. However, while the majority of patients diagnosed with oral cancer are over 40 years of age, many younger individuals are diagnosed with it as well. Risk factors for developing oral cancer include:

  • Exposure to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16)
  • Frequent sun exposure (can affect the lips)
  • Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption
  • Long-term tobacco use
  • Heredity/genetics

Various symptoms that develop in the mouth can be signs of oral cancer. It is important to see the experienced dentist at our office in Fayetteville, GA, as soon as possible if you develop any of the symptoms associated with oral cancer. The sooner cancer is detected, the better it can be treated.

Signs of oral cancer include the development of white or red patches in the mouth, as well as sores or lumps. Swelling in or around the mouth can also be an indication of the presence of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer screenings can lead to early detection of oral cancer. Early detection of any cancer can dramatically improve a patient’s prognosis. When cancer is caught early it is easier to treat. It is also easier to stop it from spreading so it does not have a chance to metastasize in other areas of the body. Plus, less invasive treatment methods can often be effectively utilized in the early stages of cancer.

Oral cancer screenings can be performed in conjunction with a routine dental checkup. During a screening, the Fayetteville dentist thoroughly examines all areas of the mouth and checks for signs of cancer on the lips and gums, as well as the on top and bottom of the tongue. Adults of all ages can benefit from scheduling an oral cancer screening with their dentist every year.

Undergoing an oral cancer screening can lead to early detection of the disease, which is one of your best defenses to overcoming it. Dr. Jeffery Kendrick can perform a screening during your next dental exam and cleaning. To schedule an appointment with the dentist, call Heritage Dental Associates in Fayetteville, GA, at (770) 460-9795.