Prevent Oral Cancer with Regular Screenings
Oral cancer is a serious threat to your health, but it doesn’t have to be. With regular screenings and the right care, you can protect your smile and live life to the fullest. At Dr. Larson’s practice in Prescott Valley, AZ, we understand how important your oral health is to you, and we’re here to help.
With our state-of-the-art technology, expertise, and commitment to patient care, we’re dedicated to providing the best possible outcomes for our patients. Whether you’re looking to schedule a routine screening or you have concerns about your oral health, we’re here to help. Let’s work together to protect your smile and your life.
What Are Oral Cancer Screenings?
Oral cancer screenings are an essential part of maintaining good oral health. These screenings are performed by a dentist, such as Dr. Larson, to detect the presence of oral cancer in its early stages. Early detection of oral cancer is critical for successful treatment, and it increases the chances of a full recovery.
Oral cancer screenings typically take place during a routine dental exam and only take a few minutes to complete. During the screening, Dr. Larson will thoroughly examine the inside of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, and other tissues.
Benefits of Cancer Screenings
There are numerous benefits to having regular oral cancer screenings, including:
Early Detection: As mentioned earlier, early detection of oral cancer is critical for successful treatment. With regular screenings, Dr. Larson in Prescott Valley, AZ can catch the disease in its early stages, allowing for prompt treatment and increasing the chances of a full recovery.
Improved Oral Health: Regular oral cancer screenings also help to maintain good oral health. During the screening, Dr. Larson can identify and address any other oral health concerns, such as gum disease or cavities, helping to prevent the development of other oral health problems.
Peace of Mind: Knowing that you are taking the necessary steps to maintain good oral health can provide peace of mind and help to reduce stress and anxiety. With regular oral cancer screenings, you can be confident in the knowledge that Dr. Larson is keeping a watchful eye on your oral health.
Signs of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can develop in various parts of the mouth, including the tongue, gums, lips, and other oral tissues. The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms of oral cancer:
- Sores or growths in the mouth that do not heal
- Pain or numbness in the mouth or lips
- White or red patches on the gums, tongue, or other oral tissues
- Difficulty swallowing or speaking
- A persistent sore throat or hoarse voice
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment at our Prescott Valley office for an oral cancer screening. Early detection and prompt treatment can make all the difference in the outcome of the disease.
Several factors can increase your risk of developing oral cancer, including:
Tobacco Use– Tobacco use, including smoking cigarettes and using smokeless tobacco, is one of the most significant risk factors for oral cancer.
Alcohol Consumption– Heavy alcohol consumption can also increase your risk of developing oral cancer.
Age– The risk of developing oral cancer increases with age, with most cases occurring in people over the age of 50.
Exposure to Sun– Prolonged exposure to the sun can increase the risk of developing lip cancer.
Poor Oral Hygiene– Poor oral hygiene can also increase the risk of developing oral cancer.
What to Expect: Visual and Physical Exam
If you’ve never had an oral cancer screening, there’s nothing to fear. The screening is usually both visual and physical. This visual exam includes checking the face, neck, lips, oral cavity, and inside the nose. Some of the things Dr. Larson will look for when examining a patient include:
- Patches of color
In contrast, the physical exam consists of Dr. Larson checking for abnormalities around the jaw, cheeks, and head by touching and feeling. Your dentist may also check under the chin and the oral cavity for signs of oral cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens during an oral cancer screening?
During an oral cancer screening, your dentist will examine the inside of your mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, and other tissues. If any unusual or suspicious growths are discovered, a biopsy may be necessary to determine whether the growth is cancerous or benign.
How often should I have an oral cancer screening?
It is recommended that adults have an oral cancer screening at least once a year as part of their routine dental exam. However, if you have any risk factors for oral cancer, such as tobacco use or excessive alcohol consumption, it may be necessary to have more frequent screenings. Your dentist can advise you on the frequency of your screenings based on your circumstances.
Is oral cancer screening painful?
No, an oral cancer screening is not painful. During the screening, your dentist will simply examine the inside of your mouth, and if necessary, take a small tissue sample for biopsy. The biopsy is usually done under local anesthesia to minimize any discomfort.
Can oral cancer be treated?
Yes, oral cancer can be treated. The success of treatment depends on the stage of cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment, and regular oral cancer screenings can help to ensure that the disease is caught in its early stages.
What happens if a dentist finds signs of cancer?
If your dentist spots signs or symptoms of oral cancer, he’ll take a sample of the tissue, if possible, and have it tested. If taking a sample isn’t possible, he’ll have you referred to an oncologist or another specialist for further evaluation and/or treatment.
Protect Your Smile with Oral Cancer Screenings in Prescott Valley, AZ
Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your oral health! Schedule your oral cancer screening with Dr. Larson today. Whether you live in Prescott Valley, AZ, or in the surrounding areas, such as Chino Valley, Dewey-Humboldt, or Mayer, AZ, we are here to serve your dental needs. Call us now at (928) 772-8128 to schedule your appointment and take the first step towards a healthier, happier smile.
Early detection is key to successful treatment, so don’t delay. Contact us today to learn more about our oral cancer screenings and how we can help keep your smile healthy for years to come.