Oral cancer affects nearly 35,000 Americans every year. The key to surviving oral cancer is early detection which begins with your regular oral cancer screening that will take place during your routine dental exams and cleanings at Winterholler Dental Implants & Cosmetic Dentistry. An oral cancer screening at our practice takes just minutes and is pain-free. If you are male, a regular oral cancer screening is especially critical—oral cancer is more than twice as common in men as it is in women. Other people at high risk for oral cancer include those over the age of 60, tobacco smokers, and heavy drinkers. If we detect oral cancer during your oral cancer screening, a detailed plan of action will be developed for you by our experienced doctors so that you can begin treatment as soon as possible.
With today’s technology and improvements in dental care, we can detect any abnormal cell growth in the oral structures before it is visible to the human eye. Cancers are thought of in four stages, and the earlier they are diagnosed, the better are your chances for successful treatment. The early stages of oral cancer are often unnoticeable by the affected person and not every dentist performs oral cancer screenings. At Winterholler Dental Implants & Cosmetic Dentistry, we use a highly advanced oral pathology screening tool called a VELscope that comfortably and quickly verifies irregularities in the oral structures that may otherwise go undetected.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
If you notice any of the following in your mouth, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Winterholler at your earliest convenience for early diagnosis:
- Red or white patches in the mouth.
- A sore in the mouth or on the lips that fails to heal and/or bleeds easily.
- A chronic sore throat or hoarseness and/or difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
- Sores on the face which easily bleed and do not clear up in about two weeks.
- A change in your bite—that is, in the way your teeth (or dentures) come together.
- Numbness, pain or tenderness in the face and neck areas which has no apparent cause.
- Swelling or thickening in any area of the mouth.
- A lump or bump, or any a rough area with crusting in any area of the mouth.
- Loss of tissue in any area of the mouth.
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth. (Be sure and come for your regular hygiene visits so we can rule out periodontal disease as the cause of the bleeding.)
- Difficulty moving the jaw. That could translate into difficulty with speech, chewing or swallowing. If you notice these symptoms, please contact us to arrange for an appointment to check for a possible temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD/TMJ).
Oral pathologies can range from a simple canker sore to a more serious issue, such as oral cancer. Don’t worry—most changes in your oral cavity will not be serious, but they should always be examined by your dentist.
Oral Cancer Screening in Scottsdale, AZ, and Payson, AZ
If you find anything that seems abnormal in your mouth, we recommend you schedule an oral cancer screening with our trusted doctors. Your health and well-being are our priority, and we will make every effort to see you in our practice as soon as possible.