Close to 10,000 people die from oral cancer every year in the U.S. There are nearly 50,000 people diagnosed with this deadly disease annually, but the prognosis is good for those who catch oral cancer early. At Smile Structure Dentistry & Braces, we offer oral cancer screenings as part of our preventive oral health care. We strive to help patients protect their smile and overall health with preventive health care services.
Signs of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer has very few signs or symptoms in the early stages. It is possible to have oral cancer and have no noticeable symptoms. However, if oral cancer is detected during these first stages, it can be treated, and there is a high chance of full recovery. Oral cancer screenings during dental exams can spot minor changes to tissue that are not detectable by the naked eye and may not cause any symptoms.
In some cases, oral cancer does produce symptoms that can alert the patient of an issue. Signs of oral cancer can include:
- Sores inside the mouth that do not heal within two weeks
- White or red patches on gums or oral tissues
- Sore throat
- Painless lumps in mouth or throat
- Trouble swallowing, speaking or chewing
Any changes in your oral cavity that do not go away should be investigated. These slight changes can be signs of oral cancer or other problems that could affect your health.
Oral cancer screenings are not painful and can be quickly performed during your dental checkups. Our dentists use a special light that can detect slight changes in the tissue that may be signs of oral cancer. They also perform a physical exam to check for any other symptoms.
Routine oral cancer screenings are the best way to catch this disease in the earliest stages for improved chances of successful treatment. Smile Structure Dentistry & Braces in San Antonio offers comprehensive dental exams and oral cancer screening to protect your oral and overall health. Contact us today to schedule your next visit at one of our clinics in Northwest and South San Antonio.