Saving Your Oral Health through Cancer Screenings

oral cancer screening

At Niles Family Dentistry, we offer oral-cancer screenings to keep you healthier and to protect you from the damaging (and sometimes fatal) effects of oral cancer. Have you had your screening? In this year alone, almost 50,000 adults are estimated to be diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer, which can lead to death. Doesn’t sound too pleasant, right? An oral cancer examination can help detect subtle changes in your oral health and could even save your life in the long run. We have other screenings and exams that can also help your oral health. These include comprehensive exams, digital x-ray imaging, screenings, and preventative treatments. Come in for your oral cancer screening today! 


Oral Cancer: A Silent Killer

You may have thought about practicing proper nutrition and good oral hygiene habits before, but have you ever thought about oral cancer? If you are like most patients, probably not. Oral and oropharyngeal cancer are two of the most common types of oral cancers. This year alone, around 50,000 adults are estimated to be diagnosed with oral cancer, or approximately 35, 720 men and 13, 950. Judging by the statistics, this cancer is more prominent in men (about twice as high). Oral cancer is actually the 9th most common form of cancer in men.

Why is oral cancer a big deal? It can kill. 9,700 of the 50,000 diagnosed will die. The best way to avoid the effects of oral cancer is to get diagnosed early on through oral-cancer screenings. If cancer is detected early, there is an 83% survival rate. That number goes down to a little over 30% if it’s detected in its later stages. Hence, the reason why we do these screenings and do them often!


Your Oral Cancer Screening

How does a proper screening work? During your routine visit to our office, we will conduct an oral examination for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. We will thoroughly exam all the hard and soft tissues of your mouth to detect lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face and oral cavity. We will also look for sores or discolored tissues, as these are serious causes for concern. If your risk for oral cancer is higher (for hereditary or lifestyle reasons), we recommend receiving more frequent cancer screenings. Using tobacco of any kind, alcohol use, previous cancer diagnosis or a history of significant sun exposure ups your chances for cancer. Our #1 goal when it comes to oral cancer screenings is to detect mouth cancer early so it can be treated and you have the best chance for recovery.

What Other Services Are Available to Me?

We don’t stop just at oral cancer screenings. We also have comprehensive exams, digital x-ray imaging, cleanings and preventative treatments to keep you healthy and living your life.

  • Comprehensive Exam – This exam is so important for each patient to have often, as we can detect changes in the teeth and gums that lead to tooth decay and gum disease. This includes the examination of all hard (teeth) and soft tissues of the mouth. Your exam is generally paired with a professional cleaning.
  • Digital X-ray Imaging – This imaging allows us to see the inside of your teeth and if any breaks or cavities are present. Focused beams of x-ray particles are passed through our bone, which produces an image for us to examine your tooth and supporting internal bone and gum tissues. Sometimes, this is the only way to detect infection and pathology that require attention.
  • Cleanings – We recommend coming into our office at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning. We can remove heavy plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth, check your gums for recession or gum disease and also detect tooth decay or cavities. Cleanings are essential for stripping your teeth of all the bad stuff that will erode them.
  • Oral Hygiene Care – Generally you are your own best resource for preventing oral problems. Knowing and practicing proper hygiene practices and utilizing them several times a day is what is going to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and cancerous problems the most. Practice good oral hygiene! If you don’t know much about this, we can help.

When it comes to dentistry, oral cancer is something we take very seriously. We love our wonderful patients and want to do all we can to keep them healthy.  An Oral Cancer Screening can literally save your life. If you haven’t had yours recently, call our Niles Family Dentistry office today at (303) 652-0040 to schedule your appointment!

Ashley Niles

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