Eberhardt Dentistry

Oral Cancer Screening Is Key To Early Detection

Oral cancer causes nearly 10,000 deaths a year in the United States. According to the American Dental Association, early detection can prevent the risk of dying for most oral cancer patients. Scheduling an oral cancer screening appointment with Eberhardt Dentistry can help detect abnormal tissue early.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is the leading cause of throat, head, and neck cancer. Nearly 25% of all people with oral cancer have no known risk factors. However, according to the American Cancer Society, the following are risk factors for oral cancer:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Contracting the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Your sex—men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer

What Are Oral Cancer Symptoms?

Oral cancers usually are squamous cell carcinomas, a type of skin cancer. Many people miss early symptoms or mistake cancer on the floor of the mouth or the soft palate as a canker sore. You should see a dentist or other health professional if you experience symptoms in your mouth, including:

  • A sore that won’t heal
  • Loose teeth
  • White or dark patches
  • A lump or growth
  • Difficulty swallowing

What Is an Oral Cancer Screening Test?

Eberhardt Dentistry can screen for oral cancer during a regular dental visit. During a screening, a dentist will examine your mouth for oral cancer symptoms and refer you to a cancer doctor if needed. Dentists use a brush biopsy to test suspicious areas of your mouth painlessly to determine if cancer cells are present.

Although a screening can’t keep you from developing oral cancer, it can improve your survival chances. According to the National Cancer Institute, oral cancer is highly treatable and curable if a dentist or doctor detects it early. Call Eberhardt Dentistry of Akron, OH, to schedule an oral cancer screening at 330-836-5585.