WHY ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS SHOULD BE COMMONPLACE STARTING AT AGE 20
Oral cancer is a condition where cancer of the tongue, gums, muscosal lip, mouth or palate is found within a patient. Oral cancer can be caused by a number of factors including tobacco use and HPV.
It is important that individuals begin to be screened by a dentist for oral cancer beginning at age 20. This may seem young, but in most cases, oral cancer is not detected until it has spread. By taking preventative measures, you will be able to have an early diagnosis and receive early treatment for the disease.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
In any form, tobacco use is a risk factor for oral cancer. So is excessive use of alcohol. Dietary deficiencies involving fruits and vegetables are also risk factors. Individuals who smoke or drink heavily will be recommended to stop in order to avoid an oral cancer diagnosis. Our goal is to help individuals learn the risk factors and early screenings can help detect oral cancer so treatment can begin.
To screen for oral cancer, the patient’s mouth will be evaluated visually. An examination is needed to determine if any oral cancer issues exist. Additional testing may be needed to determine if abnormal cells are present in the mouth.
The age of 20 might seem too young to begin such screenings, but it only takes a few minutes and can save your life. From regular cleanings to checkups, it is essential that you practice good oral health so you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for the long term.
If you are a smoker or heavy drinker, it is advised that you are screened for oral cancer at least once a year. This will help to catch any early signs of oral cancer. We are happy to assist with such screening so that you can avoid oral cancer or catch issues early so treatment can be provided.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (469)264-8921 today.