Why do I Need to Have Regular Oral Cancer Screenings?

Thousands of people across the country develop oral cancer each year, and for a percentage of them, the cancer is fatal. Do not let this happen to you. Please read on and reach out to our compassionate dental team to learn more about oral cancer, how to prevent it, and how we can help. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What causes oral cancer?

Oral cancer is most commonly caused by harmful habits, such as tobacco or alcohol addictions. Additionally, overexposure to sunlight, as well as a weakened immune system can all contribute to oral cancer. Oral cancer begins when cells in the mouth develop mutations in their DNA, causing the cells to multiply at a far faster rate than normal. Very often, oral cancer will spread, and sometimes, it can be life-threatening.

Are there different types of oral cancer?

There are several types of oral cancer, and it can be found in your gums, throat, tongue, salivary glands, or your face itself. Some of the most common types of oral cancer include melanoma, teratoma, malignant squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma.

What are some warning signs of oral cancer?

There are several potential symptoms of oral cancer, though oftentimes, there may be no symptoms at all, which is why if you are someone at risk, you must regularly go for oral cancer screenings. Some of the most common symptoms of oral cancer can include loose teeth, painful swallowing, a lip or mouth sore that does not heal, a growth or a lump in your mouth, white or reddish patches in the mouth, or even frequent ear or mouth pain.

What happens at an oral cancer screening?

When you go for an oral cancer screening, your dentist will examine your mouth, looking for thickened tissues, lesions, red patches, lumps, and other abnormalities. If your dentist suspects something is wrong, you will undergo a biopsy to determine whether the abnormality is cancerous. These are painless screenings, and they may save your life, so it is crucial you receive them regularly.

Dental Associates of Basking Ridge is a compassionate, gentle, and professional state-of-the-art dental practice serving Basking Ridge, Morris & Somerset County. Our office is always ready to greet our patients with a smile, take the time to answer any questions, and provide the quality dental services our patients expect. Please contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!

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