Did you know that you should regularly be screened for oral cancer? Oral cancer can happen to anyone. Our Redondo Beach Dental Center dentists can screen you for oral cancer at your regular appointment or at a separate visit. Keep reading to learn more about everything you need to know about oral cancer screenings.
How Often You Should Get Screened?
Most people under the age of 40 need to be screened for oral cancer at least every three years. Older adults over 40 should be screened once a year. Risk factors for oral cancer increase the older you get. If you meet the risk factors for oral cancer, you should get screened yearly, no matter your age.
Why Oral Cancer Screenings Are Important
Oral cancer is a serious disease that can cause long-term, irreversible side effects. These side effects can lead to damage across your whole body, serious health issues, and even death.
However, if caught early enough, oral cancer can be treated. Because oral cancer symptoms may not be obvious to everyone that has it, it is important that your dentist examines your mouth for you. If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your dentist today:
- Open sores or bleeding inside the mouth, including white or red patches
- Sores in your throat, on your jaw, or on your lips
- Pain in or around your mouth, such as in your ears, your jaw, your throat, and more
- Weight loss
- Strange sensations in your face, such as numbness or tingling
What Are the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?
Anyone can develop oral cancer, which is why it is important to be screened regularly. However, some populations are more at risk for developing it:
- Adults over the age of 40, especially men who are 50+
- Anyone who has used tobacco or nicotine products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and vapes
- Those who have a family history of types of cancer
- Anyone who has experienced excessive sun exposure
- Those with poor diets, which may include consuming an excess of sugary or caffeinated foods and beverages and otherwise poor nutrition
The Oral Cancer Screening Process
Our Redondo Beach oral cancer screening includes an examination of your mouth, lips, and throat. He or she will use a mirror, tongue depressor, and a bright light to inspect you thoroughly. Your dentist will be checking for sores, discoloration, loose teeth, and other oral cancer symptoms.
Next, an oral cancer x-ray will be performed. This oral cancer x-ray will check for any deeper, hard-to-detect issues. Your dentist will also speak with you about any other symptoms that you may be dealing with. This is helpful for telling your dentist to know what areas need a more thorough examination or if a biopsy should be done.
Visit Our Redondo Beach Dental Center Today
Are you ready to take the first steps in staying healthy? Get your Redondo Beach oral cancer screening at the Dental Center of Redondo Beach today. Schedule an appointment with our link or visit our website for more information.