Oral Cancer Screenings in Snoqualmie, WA
Oral cancer is a severe condition that can lead to long-term complications if not addressed at the right time. Oral cancer may affect the lips, tongue, hard and soft palate, the inner lining of the cheek, tongue, or gums. When caught early, oral cancer is treatable via chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
Prevention is undoubtedly the best approach to dealing with oral cancer. Here at Snoqualmie Falls Dental, we encourage patients to incorporate regular oral cancer screenings into their dental care routine. Ideally, patients over the age of 40 should have annual oral cancer screenings, while those older than 20 years should undergo screenings every three years. However, our dentists in Snoqualmie, WA may vary this frequency depending on your unique needs.
What to Expect
Our dentists near you start by visually checking for signs of oral cancer. These include lip or mouth sores, lumps, white or red patches, and unexplained bleeding. The dentist also asks if you’re experiencing any difficulties when swallowing, chin numbness, jaw pain, sore throat, or tongue pain. If any of these tell-tale symptoms are present, the dentist may further use a special dye to highlight the presence of abnormal cells in your oral cavity.
The outcome of your initial oral cancer screening dictates the next steps. If our dentists determine that there’s enough cause for worry, the next step involves ordering a biopsy. It’s worth noting that oral cancer screenings in Snoqualmie, WA are not diagnostic. Only a tissue or cell biopsy can definitively determine or rule out the presence of cancerous cells in your oral cavity. If the biopsy results come back positive, our dentists collaborate with cancer specialists to get you the treatment you require.
Who Should Get Screened for Oral Cancer?
All age groups should prioritize oral cancer screenings. However, individuals who score highly on oral cancer risk factors should be particularly vigilant about oral cancer screenings. You may be highly susceptible to developing oral cancer if any of the following apply to you:
- You have a family history of cancer.
- You’ve been diagnosed with the human papillomavirus (HPV).
- You’ve recently suffered excessive sun exposure.
- You have a compromised immune system.
- You’re a heavy smoker.
Take better control of your oral health today by scheduling comprehensive oral cancer screenings near you. Contact Snoqualmie Falls Dental to find out more.