oral cancer screening

oral cancer screeningKnoxville and Maryville, TN

Oral cancer refers to any type of cancer affecting the tongue, cheek, tonsils, throat, gums, and any other soft tissue inside the mouth. Oral cancer tends to affect men twice as often as women, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Certain risk factors may increase your risk of developing oral cancer, such as tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, and human papillomavirus (HPV), but oral cancer can strike anyone of any age. Protect yourself by coming to Crestview Dental Care for an oral cancer screening in Maryville.

Why get an oral cancer screening?

Early treatment of oral cancer is critical and increases your chance of survival. In fact, early detection equates to about an 80 or 90 percent survival rate. Often, the initial stages of oral cancer are not noticeable by the patient. This is why oral cancer screenings are vital to your health. If you wait until the signs and symptoms of oral cancer appear, it is likely that you are in the later stages, meaning a lower survival rate. In fact, oral cancer will kill more than 9,750 people this year—averaging out to one per hour, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. The morbidity rate for oral cancer is so high because, in many cases, cancers of this type are not diagnosed until they have progressed into later stages. The five-year survival rate of oral cancer cases is just 43 percent.

The OralID screening device

At Crestview Dental Care, we use OralID, an oral cancer-screening device that uses fluorescence technology to identify pre-cancerous and cancerous skin cells inside the mouth. Using OralID for cancer screenings allows us the opportunity to catch the disease in its early stage, meaning a higher survival rate. Your Knoxville dentist puts on a special set of eyewear and, when the OralID light is shined into the oral cavity, any areas of abnormal tissue will appear dark when viewed with the glasses.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

Symptoms may vary for each patient.

If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to contact us at Crestview Dental Care for an oral cancer screening:

  • Lesions or lumps in the soft tissue inside the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Hoarseness sound when talking
  • Sores or breaks in tissue that do not heal
  • Persistent mouth pain
  • White or red patches on any of the soft tissues in the mouth, including the tongue

Some patients may experience more severe symptoms, such as loosening teeth, unexplained weight loss, tooth pain, jaw pain, or swelling in the jaws.

Can I prevent oral cancer?

As with any cancer, living a healthier lifestyle helps decrease your risk. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, avoid alcohol and tobacco, practice good oral hygiene, and maintain your regular schedule of dental cleanings and exams. All of these measures can help reduce your chance of developing oral cancer. Prevention is key!

Oral cancer screenings in Maryville

At Crestview Dental Care, we can perform a screening for oral cancer as part of any routine check-up. If you are noticing any of the symptoms listed above or you would like to become one of our patients and schedule your initial check-up, contact our Maryville office today by calling (865) 982-1700. We welcome patients of Knoxville and Maryville, Tennessee.