Every year, more than 40,000 people in America are diagnosed with oral cancer, which includes cancers of the mouth, palate, esophagus, throat, and other oral/maxillofacial structures. When patients catch it early, however, they have a good chance of successfully treating the disease, and oral cancer screening is essential part of your routine oral health care. Today, we answer a few questions about oral cancer screening and its importance to your continued good oral and overall health.
How often do I need oral cancer screening?
Oral cancer screening is a part of every routine checkup appointment with your dentist. During the examination, your dentist will carefully check for signs, such as lesion, sores, lumps, changes in tissue color and texture, and more. Your dentist will also teach you to perform self-screenings at home at least once a month between visits to increase your chances of spotting trouble early.
What is an oral biopsy?
If your dentist notices signs of concern during your examination and screening, then an oral biopsy may be ordered to further investigate. A biopsy involves removing a small amount of the tissue for more detailed examination in a laboratory, and can help determine with certainty whether or not oral cancer is present.
Is oral cancer preventable?
Unfortunately, there are no guaranteed preventive methods to avoid oral cancer. However, avoiding certain habits, like chewing and smoking tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, can help you reduce your risks of developing it. Also, maintaining a strict schedule of routine checkups, cleanings, and oral screenings will help you keep a close eye on your oral health and act quickly, if necessary.
About Your Birmingham, MI, Dentist
Dr. Mitchell Milan is a cosmetic, implant, and restorative dentist whose goal is to enhance your smile and improve your dental health. Celebrating his 31st year in practice and 28 years serving the Birmingham community, Dr. Milan and his experienced staff offer porcelain veneers, bridges, crowns, bonding, root canals, gum disease treatment, and more. Take your first step toward smile improvement today by scheduling a consultation with Dr. Milan by calling our office in Birmingham, MI at (248) 644-2136.