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The Importance of Regular Oral Cancer Exams

Getting your mouth checked during a dental exam is about more than just cleaning and minor issues – it’s about detecting potential health problems early, including oral cancer. As your trusted oral care partners, our dentists at Nevada OMS encourage everyone to make oral cancer screenings a regular part of your routine. 

We all know major health conditions are often most treatable when caught early. Unfortunately, oral cancer sometimes goes unnoticed until it has progressed, since symptoms do not always appear right away. By the time a lump or sore is obvious, it may have started to spread. That’s why we can’t stress enough the importance of scheduling oral cancer exams annually, even if you are feeling fine. 

Some general risk factors for oral cancer include using tobacco or drinking alcohol regularly over many years. The good news is that with screening, early signs can be spotted before problems arise in both low and high-risk patients. Things like persistent red or white patches, lumps, or sores that won’t heal can potentially indicate oral cancer if they last longer than 2 weeks.

During your visit, we will carefully examine all the soft tissues inside your mouth using bright lights and gloves hands to gently feel for any abnormal bumps or hardened areas. If we notice anything suspicious, we may take a small sample of cells for further testing under a microscope. This allows us to determine if the cells look normal or show early changes that need closer monitoring.

If a concerning area is found, the dentists will discuss the results and next steps. Thankfully, early-stage oral cancers often respond very well to initial treatments like surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. This helps avoid more aggressive therapies later on that could impact swallowing, talking, or appearance. 

At Nevada OMS, our goal is to catch problems as soon as possible through cancer screenings and follow-up care. We value supporting patients’ overall well-being, so please contact us to schedule your annual exam and discuss any risk factors or concerns. By making oral health a priority, you are empowering yourself with the best chances of full recovery if oral cancer is ever detected down the road. Your continued care and commitment to screening could potentially save your life.