Your routine dental checkup is a great way to clean your teeth of tartar, polish surface stains and monitor the health of your teeth and gums. Part of this checkup also includes a short inspection to look for any signs of oral cancer. This usually happens at the end of the checkup. Your dentist will inspect your mouth, looking under your tongue and feeling around your chin and neck.
According to the American Dental Association 1 in 92 adults will develop oral or pharyngeal cancer. Men are more likely to develop oral cancer than women. The median age of initial detection is 62. However many factors can contribute to oral cancer developing at a younger age. Tobacco and alcohol use are two key risk factors.
We occasionally ask you to update your medical history in part to keep track of any increased factors. This is even more likely if you’ve had cancer before or oral or pharyngeal cancer has been prevalent in your family, it is important to share that information with your dentist.
Early detection greatly increases the chances for successful treatment. As cancer develops it advances in stages and the risk of it metastasizing and spreading to other parts of the body.
If you have questions or concerns about oral cancer or would like a screening please call us at 214-613-1500 to schedule an appointment.