Oral Cancer Screening in Aurora, IL
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a disease where harmful cells grow in the mouth, including soft tissue areas like the lips, tongue, gums, and even throat. Some signs of oral cancer include:
- oral pain or jaw pain
- trouble swallowing
- sores that don’t heal
- lumps or rough spots in the mouth
- red or white patches in the gum tissue or mouth tissue
How is Oral Cancer Detected?
You can perform self-examinations by checking your mouth regularly for any unusual lumps, sores, or whitish or reddish patches in the oral tissue. While this can help with early detection, regular dental exams are essential. Dentists have the training to spot the early signs of oral cancer, which might not be noticeable if you don’t know what to look for.
When you have your regularly scheduled dental cleaning, our dentist will also include an oral exam to look for any abnormalities like sores, discolored patches, or lumps that may indicate precancerous conditions.
If the dentist sees any warning signs of cancer, they may refer you to a specialist or suggest taking a biopsy of the tissue.
What Increases the Risk of Oral Cancer?
There are several factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer:
- Using tobacco products
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Not eating a healthy diet
- Having a virus called HPV
- A family history of cancer
- Too much sun exposure without sunscreen
- Being assigned male at birth or being older than 35 years
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening in Aurora, IL?
When you come to Fox Valley Dental Care for a screening, our dentist may do several tests to look for signs of oral cancer. They may:
- look in your mouth for any unusual spots or sores.
- feel inside your mouth for any lumps or bumps.
- use a special type of dye or light that helps see things not visible with just the eyes.
- take a small sample from your tongue to look at it more closely in a lab.
- take a small piece of tissue from the mouth or neck to send to a lab for more testing.
How Can You Lower Your Risk For Oral Cancer?
There is no way to completely prevent oral cancer, but taking certain steps can lower your risk. Avoid smoking, using tobacco products, and heavy drinking, as these are significant risk factors for oral cancer. Keep your teeth and gums healthy by getting regular teeth cleanings. Additionally, if your family has a history of cancer, be sure to inform your dentist so they can recommend more frequent check-ups to monitor your oral health.
Do You Need an Oral Cancer Screening in Aurora, IL? Visit Us Today!
Detecting cancer early can make a huge difference in your health and may prevent the need for costly treatments in the future. Contact Fox Valley Dental Care today to schedule your oral cancer screening in Aurora, IL.