Oral Cancer Screening in Fort Worth, TX
Our dental office provides oral cancer screening in Fort Worth, TX, as part of our preventive care services. Mouth cancer is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that affects any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, and hard and soft palate. Early detection is critical for successful treatment, so be sure to schedule regular screenings at our office.
What Are the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?
Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for oral cancer. Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, including over 70 known carcinogens. Habitual smokers are six times more likely to develop mouth cancer than non-smokers. This is because the smoke and other toxins in cigarettes cause genetic damage to cells in the mouth and throat, which can lead to cancerous growth.
#2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol abuse has long been linked to oral cancer, and heavy drinkers are 2-6 times more likely to develop the disease than non-drinkers. The body metabolizes alcohol into acetaldehyde, a carcinogen that damages the cellular DNA in your mouth and throat.
#3. Poor Oral Hygiene
Poor oral hygiene can increase a person’s risk of developing mouth cancer and other oral health issues. Plaque and bacteria buildup in the mouth can lead to chronic inflammation, which is associated with various types of cancers, including those of the mouth.
#4. Lifestyle Choices
Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as poor diet, can increase your risk of developing cancer in the mouth. A balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your risk, as can avoiding excess sun exposure (which increases your risk of lip cancer).
The Importance of Regular Oral Cancer Screening
Regular cancer screening is essential for early detection and successful treatment. Mouth cancer can be difficult to detect in its earliest stages, as the symptoms can be pretty subtle, so it is essential to get a professional evaluation regularly. Our dentist in Fort Worth will examine your mouth, lips, tongue, and throat during the screening procedure. We will also feel the lymph nodes in your neck to check for signs of infection or swelling. If any abnormal tissues are detected during the oral exam, additional tests may be necessary.
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
Oral cancer patients may experience any of the following signs or symptoms in its advanced stages:
- Sores or patches in the mouth that do not heal within two weeks
- Swelling, lumps, bumps, or rough spots in the mouth or beneath the soft tissue
- Unusual red or white patches in the mouth
- Pain when speaking, chewing, or swallowing
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Unexplained bleeding from the mouth
It is important to note that these symptoms can also be associated with other conditions. If you experience any of these symptoms, seeking a professional evaluation as soon as possible is essential.
What Can You Do To Prevent Mouth Cancer
Avoid Tobacco Products
Smoking and using other tobacco products are the leading causes of mouth cancer. Quitting smoking is the most critical thing you can do to reduce your risk.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption can help reduce your risk of developing oral cancer, as excessive alcohol intake has been linked to an increased risk.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Practicing good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly, can help reduce your risk of developing oral cancer and other dental issues
Regular Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer exams typically involve a visual examination of the face, head, and neck and a physical examination of the mouth. Early-stage oral cancer is often asymptomatic, so regular screenings are essential for early detection and successful treatment.
Book an Appointment Today!
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms mentioned above, schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible. Custom Periodontics and Implantology is dedicated to providing the highest level of care and will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that is right for you.