When most people hear “oral cancer,” they envision someone smoking or chewing tobacco, and call to mind cautionary photos from high school health classes depicting tumors resulting from years of tobacco use. While using tobacco products and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol do increase the risk for oral cancer, 25% of patients never engage in any of the associated high risk behaviors. The good news about oral cancer is that, in its early stages, it is a treatable disease. The bad news is that many patients are unable to detect oral cancer until it has progressed. In the advanced stages, oral cancer can be devastating and deadly. Call Dr. Allan J. Milewski and his Medina, OH dental team to find out more about oral cancer, and dental health screenings today.
Why is Oral Cancer Screening Important?
There are many reasons why our practice emphasizes preventive dentistry for any oral health concern, but when it comes to regular oral cancer screenings, the difference could be life or death. The symptoms of oral cancer are some of the most difficult to detect, and can be attributed to other health concerns. Some of the warning signs of oral cancer include:
- White or red patches in mouth
- Vocal Changes
- Weight loss or fatigue
- Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
- Lumps in mouth
- Blood in saliva, coughing up blood, and nose bleeds
- Difficulty speaking, chewing and swallowing
- Hearing loss
- Warning signs of oral cancer are subtle. Patients with untrained eyes are unlikely to notice them right away, and dentists who do not treat patients regularly are likely to overlook some of the earliest indicators.
- In the beginning stages, oral cancer can be treated with simple surgery, but in the advanced stages, radiation and chemotherapy are likely to be necessary. These treatments can be detrimental to overall health, and oral health.
- Oral cancer’s side effects can be just as devastating as the disease. Patients with advanced oral cancer often struggle to speak, eat, and swallow making daily life challenging.
- Oral cancer has easy access to the entire body, and metastasizes quickly.
Oral cancer screenings are essential because
How is Oral Cancer Detected by the Dentist Medina Relies on?
At regular six month dental checkups, Dr. Milewski can analyze any questionable areas, and keep track of irregular lumps or discolored soft-tissue between appointments. If there are areas of special concern, Dr. Milewski may recommend consulting with a specialist, or taking a biopsy. Because our Medina dentistry team is able to examine your oral health at regular intervals, any changes in soft tissue will be noticed right away allowing us to treat patients quickly and effectively.
Call Your Medina Dentist Today
Don’t wait for the detrimental effects of oral cancer to become apparent. Call Dr. Milewski and the Medina, OH dental care team to schedule a regular six month checkup and oral cancer screening today. We help patients from Middlesburg Heights and surrounding areas achieve and maintain optimal oral health for life.