The Importance of an Oral Cancer Screening

The Importance of an Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screenings performed by your Naples, FL, dentists, Dr. Richard Linden and Dr. Maria Linden of Linden Dental, help you protect your oral and general health. Yearly screenings are a must, as oral cancer signs and symptoms are easy to mistake for less serious oral health issues.

Oral cancer screenings are essential for your good health

More than 54,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2021 and more than 10,000 people will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. If oral cancer isn't diagnosed and treated promptly, it may spread to the lungs, liver, bones, or other parts of the body.

Early diagnosis of oral cancer makes it easier to treat the disease and reduces the risk that cancer will spread. Fortunately, an oral cancer screening is part of every dental checkup. The screenings are important because the symptoms of oral cancer often don't seem alarming.

Although anyone can develop oral cancer, your risk may be higher if:

  • You smoke or use tobacco products.
  • You are a heavy drinker of alcoholic beverages.
  • You're 55 or older.
  • You don't eat healthy foods.
  • You have had human papillomavirus (HPV) infection of the mouth or throat.
  • You have a disease or condition that suppresses your immune system or take immune-suppressing medications.

What happens during an oral cancer screening?

During your visit to the Naples dental office, your dentist will examine your mouth and feel your jaw and neck. The entire screening only takes a few minutes, yet offers important benefits for your oral health.

Your dentist will look for signs and symptoms of oral cancer, including:

  • Painful sores that never heal
  • Pain in your jaw, mouth, or teeth
  • Red or white patches in your mouth
  • Lumps in your mouth, tongue, jaw, or neck
  • A sore throat that doesn't get better
  • Hoarse voice
  • Loose teeth or a change in the fit of your dentures
  • Trouble eating or swallowing

Is it time to schedule your next checkup and oral cancer screening? Call your dentists in Naples, FL, Dr. Richard Linden and Dr. Maria Linden of Linden Dental, at (239) 593-0777 to make your appointment.