Oral Cancer Screening Atlanta
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 49,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year. Most oral cancer cases are not detected until symptoms are severe and when they are much harder to treat. Oral cancer screenings play an important role in early detection and treatment. For this reason, Drs. Dina Giesler and Marianna Kovitch perform an oral cancer screening as part of every patient’s regular dental checkup. Early diagnosis, along with oral screenings during your regular dental checkups, is one of the best defenses against oral cancer.
Signs of Oral Cancer
- Recurring pain in the mouth
- Ulcerous lesions and other sores and bumps inside the mouth
- Difficulty moving the mouth and jaw
- Difficulty swallowing and chewing
- Soreness in the throat
- Bumps in the neck
- Ear pain
- Bleeding in the tongue, gums and cheeks
- Numbness in the mouth or jaw
Because these symptoms can occur on their own or as a result of another condition, it is important to visit your dentist immediately for an oral cancer screening and proper diagnosis.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
It is not known what the exact cause of oral cancer is. However, research shows that people with an increased risk of developing oral cancer include those who:
- Use tobacco
- Drink alcohol
- Have been diagnosed with HPV
- Are age 55 and older (although oral cancer rates among younger patients have been on the rise)
- Have a family history of oral cancer
- Have been exposed to UV light for prolonged periods of time
- Eat a diet low in vegetables and fruit
What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening
An oral cancer screening is quick and easy, and is performed during a regular dental checkup with us. If you wear partial or full dentures, you will be asked to remove them so we can better examine the soft tissues around the mouth.
During the oral cancer screening, our dentists will examine the face, head, neck and jaw. We will check for any suspicious changes in growths (symmetry and color). We will feel around the neck and the area under the jaw for enlarged lymph nodes. Sometimes subtle abnormalities, such as minor swelling on the side of the face causing asymmetry or slurred speech, are signs that oral cancer may be present.
Our dentists will also examine the lips, the inside lining of the lips, and inside lining of the cheeks and gums. They will look for changes in pigmentation, color, texture and other abnormalities. They will also check the tongue, the floor of the mouth and the hard and soft palate for lesions, growths or other abnormalities.
If an abnormality is detected, our dentists may recommend taking a small biopsy and sending it to a lab for clinical diagnosis.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you notice an abnormality, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. For more information about oral cancer screenings, please call (404) 262-7733 or email our practice today firstname.lastname@example.org.