We hate to even utter the words "oral cancer", but it's important to our team of Sacramento dentists to make the public and our patients aware of the risk factors and symptoms. Early detection may result in better treatment outcomes and may help save you or your loved ones. Here's a quick overview and some information about our free oral cancer screenings at Miyasaki Dental in Sacramento, California.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
It's important to be aware of the following signs and to see your dentist if they do not disappear after two weeks.
- A sore or irritation that doesn't seem to go away
- Red or white patches around the mouth
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness around the mouth and lips
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
- A change in the way your teeth fit together
- Hoarseness or a change in voice
Please keep in mind that these symptoms can be attributed to many other health ailments and serious concern should not be raised until a proper diagnosis is made.
Risk Factors of Oral Cancer
Oral cancers make up 2.9% of all cancers in the United States according to the American Dental Association and men are twice as likely to get oral cancer as they get older. Here are some of the leading risk factors:
- Smoking regularly
- Excessive drinking
- A poor diet
- The human papilloma virus (HPV)
Free Oral Cancer Screenings with VELscope®
If you're a patient at Miyasaki Dental in Sacramento, California, we provide all of our patients free annual oral cancer screenings. During a new patient exam and regular dental check ups, our general dentists will ask about changes in medical history and any new and unusual symptoms. They'll proceed to check the oral cavity, including the throat, tonsils, tongue, jaw, and neck.
One of the devices used in office is VELscope® - the worldwide leader in discovering tissue abnormalities. The VELscope® handheld device emits a harmless, bright blue light which is used to inspect the mouth and tongue for signs of oral cancer.
If the dentist finds something suspicious, stay calm. The dentist may refer you for more testing or reexamine you in a week or two. Together, the two of you can determine the best strategy for diagnosis and treatment if needed.
It is our mission to be the best dentists in Sacramento and we are dedicated to your lifetime of dental health! If you would like to learn more about the oral cancer screenings at our dental office in Sacramento, give us a call at (916)442-8911 or click below to request an appointment.