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Oral Cancer Screenings – Venice, FL

How Early Detection Can Save Your Life

A dentist talking to a young man

If you think your dentist appointments only include a thorough cleaning by a dental hygienist and a quick check by your dentist, you’ll be surprised to learn that they include more than that. As part of the preventive care offered by Tarpon Shores Dental, we believe in the importance of providing our patients with an oral cancer screening in Venice. This quick and painless examination allows Dr. Thompson to examine your mouth, throat, and neck for any signs of the disease.

In 2019, the American Cancer Society estimates more than 50,000 people will be diagnosed with some form of oral cancer, and of those who are diagnosed, only half will live to see the next five years. Early detection is crucial when successfully treating oral cancer, so if it’s been a while since your last visit, call us to schedule an appointment.

What is Oral Cancer?

A young man touching his throat

When oral cancer develops inside the oral cavity, it can appear on your tongue, lips, cheeks, and even the roof of your mouth or your throat. Some individuals think the only way a person can get oral cancer is through excessive smoking, and while tobacco use is a high-risk factor, there are plenty of people who’ve developed this disease and never once picked up a cigarette.

Some conditions and lifestyle habits that can put you at risk for developing oral cancer include:

Although the disease once was believed to appear more often in males over the age of 50, that demographic has changed with the recent rise in HPV. More and more cases are now appearing in younger men and women.

What Happens During a Screening?

A female dentist and female patient smiling

Since you’ve had an oral cancer screening before but didn’t know it, you’re probably wondering what actually happens during the screening process. Once Dr. Thompson sits down to begin, he will discuss your oral health, as well as your medical history. He will find out if you are having any problems with a sore or dry throat, difficulty swallowing or chewing, or you have any issues with your jaw.

He’ll examine your lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, neck, throat, and both the roof and floor of your mouth. This will enable him to check for any warning signs that may be undetectable by the average person.

Should he see any causes for concern, he will help you take the next steps to receive an official diagnosis and begin treatment planning.

Why is Early Screening for Oral Cancer Important?

A female patient at the dentist office

It is estimated that 84% of oral cancer cases can be detected by a dental professional. Your dentist in Venice has a trained eye to look for signs and symptoms that you may be unaware are present. This is why we strongly encourage all our patients to keep their regularly scheduled dental appointments. If we are able to detect oral cancer in its early stages, we have a greater chance of treating the disease successfully. Unfortunately, for many who have oral cancer, they learn about their diagnosis too late, making it difficult, if not impossible to treat.

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