Like many Americans, you strive to visit your dentist regularly. If so, good for you! Are you taking advantage of regular oral health screenings at your checkup? Here at Fine Periodontics, Dr. Norman B. Fine and his capable staff perform oral cancer screenings every six months during your oral exam.
Why do we do this? About 132 people in the United States are diagnosed with oral cancer and 24 people die from it every single day. If we can catch your oral cancer in its early stages, you’ll have a much better chance of curing it; in fact, there is an 80-90% survival rate. If we fail to catch it soon enough, the rate of survival goes down.
How does one contract oral cancer? Tobacco and alcohol can radically increase your probability. If you smoke or drink regularly, we encourage you to cut back or better yet, quit entirely. Oral sex can also increase your chances of getting a virus called HPV, which then develops into oral cancer. For about 7% of those diagnosed, the cause is unknown.
What is the process like? First, we’ll ask you to take out any removable dental appliances in your mouth, such as dentures, retainers or partials. Then we will carefully examine your face, neck, lips, and mouth for any rough patches, lumps or sensitivity. You will finally stick out your tongue while we examine it for swelling and odd discolorations or textures on all sides of it.
If you are looking for a dental checkup in Greenville, South Carolina, you can give us a ring at864-299-5900 to reach a member of our dental team. You can ask us any questions you may have about our oral cancer screenings as you book your appointment.