By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
July 20, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Oral Cancer ScreeningWhat your dentists in Westland want you to know

You don’t have to use tobacco products to have oral cancer. In fact, about 42,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral and throat cancer this year, according to the American Dental Association. That’s why oral cancer screening as part of your yearly dental examination is so important. Your dentists at Carey & Aylwood in Westland, MI, want to share the facts about oral cancer screening.

Oral cancer screening is a valuable tool to help detect oral cancer in its earliest stages. Diagnosis of tissue abnormalities and precancerous tissue at an early stage leads to earlier treatment and a better outcome for you. It’s important to get treatment as early as possible because unfortunately, oral cancer has a five-year survival rate of only 64 percent.

Oral cancer screening is important, and it’s also easy. During your regularly scheduled dental examination, your dentist will visually check your soft tissue including:

  • Your lips
  • The roof of your mouth
  • Your gums and inside your cheeks
  • Underneath and on the sides and top of your tongue

It’s also important for you to do a self-check of your soft tissue regularly, especially if you smoke, chew tobacco, or drink excessive amounts of alcohol. You need to:

  • Check your gums
  • Pull back your cheeks to check inner cheek tissue
  • Stick out your tongue and check the back of your throat
  • Check the top, underneath, and sides of your tongue

Soft tissue changes can range from barely noticeable to obvious, and you should be looking for:

  • Red or white patches of tissue
  • Wrinkled or thickened tissue
  • Open sores or irritations that don’t heal
  • Pain or numbness in your mouth
  • Painful or swollen lymph nodes
  • Difficulty swallowing or moving your tongue or jaws

Oral cancer screenings are vitally important to your continuing good health, and they could save your life! For more information about oral cancer screenings and other dental topics, call your dentists at Carey & Aylwood in Westland, MI, today!

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