There are several different types of oral cancers, and if left untreated, they can have a horrible effect on your mouth and smile. To avoid the problems associated with oral cancers, there are two things that you need to consider. The first is stopping any cancer-causing behavior such as using tobacco or smoking. The second is seeing the dentist regularly to get examinations. During these examinations, oral cancer screenings are routinely performed. At DiMaggio Dental dentist in Astoria, NY, we know exactly what to look for and can save your smile from oral cancer with early detection.
Oral cancer screening should be a part of your routine dental visit. Your dentist or hygienist will screen for oral cancer at your six-month dental cleanings. These exams don’t feel any different than a regular exam. The dentist is looking for a couple of different things, one of which is red or white spots in the mouth. These are indicators that something is abnormal. The dentist will also feel around the mouth, looking for any abnormal masses. If you have any partials, the dentist may ask you to remove them to do a thorough check.
As stated above, one of the biggest risk factors is tobacco use. Smokeless tobacco has a lot of harmful chemicals that degrade the tissue in the mouth, not only hurting teeth and gums but drastically increasing cancer chances. Another risk is heavy drinking. Making these lifestyle changes can help. If you are in the sun quite often, then your lips run the risk of getting cancer as well. Of course, if you are someone with a previous oral cancer diagnosis or come from a family where oral cancer has history, then you are also at risk for oral cancer.
Oral screenings are very routine, and our staff knows exactly what to look for and how to help. To schedule a screening along with your cleaning, give DiMaggio Dental a call today.