Oral Cancer Screening

Oral Cancer Screening

A free second opinion that can save your life!

When you visit Brite Clean Smiles’ Costa Mesa dental office, you’ll receive more than a great teeth cleaning and dental exam. Our dentists will also provide you with a thorough oral cancer screening to help ensure that not just your teeth and gums stay healthy, but your whole self.

While oral cancer is very treatable if caught early, it can metastasize and spread to other parts of the body if not diagnosed and addressed. With a regular annual or biannual appointment to your dentist, you can significantly reduce your chance of developing serious late-stage oral cancer.

People who smoke cigarettes or cigars have a significantly higher chance of developing oral cancer. The risk increases even more if you also regularly drink alcohol. Other risk factors for oral cancer can include using mouthwashes that are alcohol-based, excessive exposure to UV radiation from the sun, viruses, and fungi. Having a diet deficient in fruits and vegetables can also increase your chance of developing oral cancer.

Identifying Signs of Oral Cancer

For most people, the first signs of oral cancer are lesions that appear within the mouth. These are typically painless ulcers that look like red or white patches on the inside of the cheeks or on the gums. Without a regular visit to your dentist, you might start developing these patches and not even notice. In later stages, people with oral cancer sometimes develop tumors in the oral cavity or the throat. If you notice a lump in your neck or mouth, you should contact your dentist or your doctor.

Oral cancer can be easily treated if caught early. Through dental x-rays, visual examinations, and other health diagnostics, our Newport Beach dentists are well-equipped to diagnose the signs of oral cancer when you come in for a routine appointment. However, if you never make an appointment, there’s the chance that you might develop oral cancer without even realizing it. In the later stages, oral cancer can lead to loss of speech, inability to chew or swallow, and can spread to other parts of the body including the esophagus, the larynx, the lungs, and the stomach. You can help avoid all of these painful complications by visiting your dentist regularly.

The occasional mouth sore or cold sore is common and is no reason to panic, especially during the winter months. However, if you develop a sore or feel a lump in your mouth that lasts for more than 10 days, you should make a dental appointment right away. In dentistry as in all healthcare, prevention is much more affordable and much less painful than waiting for a problem to develop. Help give yourself the best chance at preventing oral cancer and other dental problems by scheduling a regular checkup with your dentist.  Make an appointment today to protect your oral health.