Oral Cancer Screening in Owings Mills, MD
Cancer. It’s a word that can strike fear in anyone’s heart. Fortunately, however, there is reason for optimism. Medical science has found cures for many cancers, and new research will hopefully lead to the eradication of this disease someday. In the meantime, for those cancers that are curable, early detection is critical. One of those curable cancers is oral cancer. At Diamond Dental of Owings Mills, Dr. Mattson conducts oral cancer screenings at every new patient appointment and each biannual dental exam and cleaning.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there are more than 28,000 cases of oral cancer each year, and 7,000 of those cases are fatal. Your 21117 dentist is determined to reduce those numbers by carefully screening patients for the early signs of oral cancer, which include:
- A mouth sore that doesn’t heal
- A thickening or lump on your tongue, gums, lips or another area of the mouth
- A white or red patch in your mouth
- A bleeding sore
In addition to these visual signs, there are other conditions that warrant an oral cancer screening by Dr. Mattson, the dentist Owings Mills residents trust:
- A spot in your mouth that feels numb, tender or painful
- A sore throat or hoarse voice
- Loose teeth or poorly fitting dentures
- Difficult chewing or swallowing
- Ear pain
For an oral cancer screening, Owing Mills dentist, Dr. Mattson, visually examines a patient’s lips and the entire oral cavity. She will also palpate your jaw and neck to feel for any lumps or unusual tissue changes. In addition, a radiograph review can show those cancers that are not visible to the naked eye.
Oral Cancer Risks
Using either smoking or chewing tobacco and consuming an excessive amount of alcohol are high-risk behaviors for the development of oral cancer. What is surprising, however, is that more than 25 percent of all oral cancers are diagnosed in people who do not use tobacco and who are moderate to limited drinkers of alcohol. Other risks include a family history of cancer, too much time in the sun (especially among young people) and human papillomavirus (HPV).
To reduce your risk of oral cancer, stop smoking if you do smoke, limit alcoholic beverages and use sunscreen on your skin and your lips. Also, you should conduct regular self-exams. Check your teeth, gums, cheeks, tongue—the top and bottom—and the roof of your mouth. Open your mouth wide to examine your throat, and take a close look at the exterior and interior of your lips.
Most importantly, schedule twice yearly dental exams and cleanings with Dr. Mattson at Diamond Dental of Owings Mills in Owings Mills, MD. Dr. Mattson and her team of dental hygienists and dental assistants want you to enjoy a long life of healthy and happy smiles. That’s why we conduct oral cancer screenings at each checkup. We also offer a comprehensive menu of general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry services that help patients maintain good oral and overall health.