Oral Cancer Screenings in Vienna, VA
Oral cancer is a serious health condition that can affect your general health and wellness. It develops in the oral cavity and can include the lips, gums, tongues, cheeks, or the roof or floor of the mouth. When cells in the mouth or lips mutate, oral cancer forms.
What Are the Symptoms of Mouth Cancer?
The signs and symptoms of oral cancer vary per patient, but they may include:
- Loose teeth
- Mouth pain
- Ear pain
- A mouth or lip sore that doesn’t go away
- White or red patches on the inside of your mouth
- Unexplained oral bleeding
- A lump or growth inside your mouth
- Difficult or painful swallowing, speaking, or jaw or tongue movements
- Rough patches or eroded areas in or around the mouth
- Unexplained numbness, pain, or tenderness in the mouth, face, or neck
- Chronic sore throat
- Pain or swelling in the jaw
- Dramatic weight loss
- Change in how your teeth fit together
If you notice any of these symptoms or see a change in your oral health, please get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment.
Who Is at Risk for Oral Cancer?
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation study, about 54,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2022.
Risk factors for mouth cancer include:
- Smoking – People who smoke cigarettes, cigars, or pipes are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than nonsmokers.
- Smokeless tobacco – People who use chewing tobacco products, dip, or snuff are 50 times more likely to develop oral cancers, specifically in the lining of the lips, gums, and cheeks.
- Excessive alcohol use – Oral cancers are six times more likely in alcohol drinkers than nondrinkers. Using tobacco and alcohol together also drastically increases your risk of oral cancer.
- Family history of cancer – If your family has a history of cancer, we strongly encourage you to get screened regularly as this can run in families.
- Excessive sun or UV exposure – Ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds can lead to lip cancers, so limiting exposure and protective wear is essential.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) – This virus typically often affects otherwise healthy individuals under 50 who have multiple sexual partners. Some strains of HPV can lead to oropharyngeal (throat) cancer.
- Age – Oral cancers can take several years to develop. Most people with oral cancers are 55 or older.
- Gender – The American Cancer Society states that men are twice as likely to develop mouth cancer than women, and men over 50 face the most significant risk.
How Do You Identify Oral Cancer?
At Tysons Dentistry, we perform oral cancer screenings as part of your routine dental exam. During the exam, Dr. Ardalan Sanati or Dr. Shohreh Shahram will conduct a thorough visual examination, take digital x-rays and intraoral images, and check for any irregular tissues in the mouth, neck, head, and face.
Your dentist will also check for any sores, discolored tissues, and other signs and symptoms of oral cancer. If your dentist notices anything abnormal, they can take a biopsy to test the tissue and determine if cancer is present and develop a custom treatment plan.
How Do You Treat Oral Cancer?
Typically, dentists and medical professionals can treat oral cancer by surgically removing it. They may also recommend radiation, chemotherapy, or other medical treatments to remove any remaining cancerous cells.
How Can I Prevent Oral Cancer?
Some of the ways you can prevent oral cancer are to:
- Stop smoking or using tobacco products.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Limit your UV exposure and use sunscreen and protective clothing while in the sun.
- Visit your dentist regularly for routine check-ups and oral cancer screenings.
Oral Cancer Screenings in Vienna, VA
Oral cancer screenings are an essential part of dental health and wellness. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is here to ensure your smile stays healthy and problem-free. Please get in touch with us today to schedule your next dental exam and oral cancer screening!