According to statistics compiled by the Oral Cancer Foundation, as many as 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and only around half of those diagnosed will still be alive five years later. At Smiles in Springfield, Quang Tran, DDS, Bryan Grimmer, DDS, and Nhu-Quynh Phung, DMD, understand the importance of professional oral cancer screenings, and they integrate these services into all dental exams. If you’re overdue for an exam, or if you have concerns about changes in the soft tissues of your mouth, schedule an appointment at our Springfield, Virginia, dental office right away. Online booking is fast and easy, or you’re always welcome to call to check appointment availability.
All forms of cancer are characterized by abnormal cellular growth that invades surrounding tissues and disrupts normal function. Oral cancer includes cancers of the tongue, cheeks, lips, soft and hard palates, throat, sinuses, or the floor of your mouth.
If you’re like most, you probably spend little to no time examining the interior of your mouth. That can make it hard to determine when tissue abnormalities are present. Professional dental exams include an evaluation of your soft tissues, making these checks a critical part of catching oral cancer in the earliest stages.
The most common sign of oral cancer is a sore in your mouth that does not heal. Additional symptoms include:
If you notice these changes, call Smiles in Springfield right away to set up a diagnostic exam. When oral cancer is caught early, there are treatments to address it.
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of oral cancer. If you’re a smoker or use any form of tobacco products, find a cessation program that works for you and quit the habit for good.
You should also take care to protect your lips from sun damage. Use a high-quality balm with SPF protection, and avoid spending time in the sun during peak daylight hours. Choosing a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also a great way to prevent all forms of cancer.
The treatment path for oral cancer is similar to that of other types of cancer. Whenever possible, cancerous tissue is removed through a surgical procedure. The surrounding tissue is checked for signs of cellular abnormalities.
Radiation and chemotherapy can help destroy any cancer cells that remain. Once your treatment is complete, you need to return for frequent oral health screenings to make sure there are no further cellular abnormalities.
If you or a loved one has signs of oral cancer, don’t wait to seek help. While rare, oral cancer can be deadly, and early intervention is the best way to increase your chances of recovery.
Booking a visit is as simple as a phone call or a visit to the online booking page. The team at Smiles in Springfield is here to help you navigate any dental need, including diagnostics and treatment for oral cancer.