Barbara McClatchie, DDS
Oral Cancer Awareness: Why Wellness Screenings are Essential
Oral cancer is a serious disease that can have devastating consequences if not detected and treated early. According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year, and more than 10,000 people will die from the disease. This is why oral cancer screenings are a crucial part of dental care. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, but we also share this important message every day of the year.
At Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus, we recommend oral cancer screenings as part of every wellness visit. Our dental hygienists are trained to look for any abnormalities that may be indicative of oral cancer. During the screening, we examine your face, neck, lips, jaw, cheeks, inside of your nose and oral cavity, and feel for unusual nodules or masses.
Early Detection of Oral Cancer is Key
It's important to note that oral cancer symptoms can sometimes be painful, but in its early stages, it is usually painless. This makes screenings even more essential, as it's possible to have oral cancer without knowing it. Early detection is key to successful treatment and prevention of further health problems.
Several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing oral cancer. These include the below. If you have any of these risk factors, it's especially important to get oral cancer screenings.
Tobacco and alcohol use
High-risk oral bacteria
An HPV diagnosis
Gender (twice as common in men as in women).
Oral Cancer Screenings in Columbus
If we find an abnormality during your screening, we will refer you to a local specialist for further testing. It's important to note that not all abnormal results are indicative of cancer. However, if cancer is diagnosed, early detection greatly reduces the likelihood of treatment-related health problems.
We understand that the idea of oral cancer can be scary, but screenings can provide peace of mind. This is also an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns you may have with us. If you have any questions about oral cancer or would like to schedule a screening, please contact us today. Your oral health is our top priority.
Taking care of your oral health is one step closer to maintaining a strong immune system and a healthy life. Located in Columbus, Ohio, Complete Health Dentistry offers personalized dental care, from cosmetic to restorative dentistry services. We strive to take a proactive and preventative approach to your health. Our mission is to optimize your oral and whole-body health.
Schedule an appointment by calling us at (614) 412-0916.