Oral Cancer Screenings

Our most important job

Your Spring dentist is in a unique position to detect and diagnose oral cancer in the early stages, before it progresses. Think about it – you only see your doctor when a problem arises, and chances are you are not regularly inspecting the inside surfaces of your mouth. You (should) see your dentist twice yearly for regular cleanings and exams. Along with your regular exams, your dentist will perform a comprehensive screening of your mouth to look for any changes that could be potential signs of oral cancer.

What we look for

Some of the warning signs and symptoms of oral cancer that we look for, that you should also be on the lookout for at home, and let your doctor know if you have noticed any of the following (can occur on the lips, mouth, tongue, gums, throat, or any area inside the mouth):

  • Swelling, thickening, lumps, rough spots, crusting, or erosion
  • Velvety white, red, or speckled patches
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Numbness or loss of feeling
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Persistent sores
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, change in voice
  • Ear pain

Risk factors

Risk factors for developing oral cancer include:

  • Smoking – Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers
  • Chewing – Patients who dip, snuff, or chew are 50 times more likely to develop oral cancer
  • Alcohol – Oral cancer is six times more common in drinkers than non-drinkers
  • Family history of cancer
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • HPV

If you have any questions about oral cancer screenings, or would like to schedule an appointment with your Spring dentist – Dr. Oakley, Dr. Henley, Dr. Miller, or Dr. Wendt – contact us at Spring Creek Dentistry today at (281) 407-8333.

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