3 Reasons to Ask for an Oral Cancer Screening
Cancer is something you do not want to mess around with. Many people overlook many of the signs of oral cancer because cancer may not be the first thing that comes to mind. In Sebastopol CA, requesting a cancer screening from your dentist may save your life, especially if you have a family history of various types of cancer. Even though you visit the dentist for your yearly exam, symptoms may appear between visits that should not be overlooked. If you notice changes in your mouth and teeth, do not hesitate to set up an appointment with your dentist.
Family History of Cancer
Cancer tends to follow family lines. If another member of your family has been diagnosed with oral cancer, there is a possibility that you may be at risk for it too. Oral cancer screening services can perform diagnostic tests to determine if you have cancer cells or if there are any abnormalities that could possibly transform into cancer. Make sure to inform your dentist if a family member has been diagnosed with oral cancer. They may recommend that you have a cancer screening performed just to make sure there are no immediate concerns.
Even if you do not have family members who have been diagnosed with cancer, it does not mean you are immune to the disease. Any of the following unexplained symptoms could be associated with oral cancer. They include:
- Unexplained lesions or sores
- Loose teeth
- Gums that are easily irritated
- Discolorations in the soft tissues of the mouth
In some cases, symptoms disappear rather quickly. If any of these signs last for more than seven to ten days, call your dentist and schedule an evaluation and possible oral cancer screening. Catching oral cancer in its earliest stages is the best way to beat the disease. Self-care is the first step.
Regular Cigarette or Tobacco Use
One of the most common reasons for getting tested for oral cancer is the regular use of cigarettes or other forms of tobacco. Tobacco and cigarettes are two of the leading causes of oral cancer. If you use either on a regular basis, you are putting yourself at an increased risk. Having an oral cancer screening performed each year when you have your annual dental checkup is the best way to identify the signs of cancer in their earliest stages. No matter how old you are, an oral cancer screening should always be a priority if you are a smoker or use other forms of tobacco.
For residents who live in the Sebastopol CA area and who are looking for a dentist to perform oral cancer screenings, your first call should be to Dr. Silvano Senn at Whole Health Dentistry. The staff takes great pride in providing each patient with the highest quality of care possible. Call 707 549-6333 and schedule your first visit today! Combine an oral cancer screening with your annual dental checkup to ensure all is well and that your mouth is as healthy as possible.