Annual oral cancer exams are important for your family
According to research conducted by the American Cancer society, more than 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year. The good news is that oral cancer can easily be diagnosed with an annual oral cancer exam, and effectively treated when caught in its earliest stages. At Shortline Dental in Tulsa, OK, there’s nothing our dentists take more seriously than your family’s health. Preventative dentistry is a big part of our practice, so by regularly screening you for oral abnormalities, we can address any issues before they become bigger problems.
And, because the majority of oral cancers are linked to modifiable behaviors such as smoking, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, our trained family Tulsa dentists will also take the time to educate you on how making lifestyle changes and smoking cessation can significantly reduce your risk of oral cancer.
What exactly is oral cancer?
Oral cancer is a pathologic process beginning with an asymptomatic stage during which the usual cancer signs may not be readily noticeable. This makes the oral cancer examinations performed by the dentist critically important. There are many different places in the oral cavity and maxillofacial region in which oral cancers commonly occur, including the:
- Salivary glands
- Oropharyngeal region (throat)
Any noticeable abnormalities in the tongue, gums, mouth or surrounding area should be evaluated by one of our Tulsa dental professionals as soon as possible.
What to expect from your oral cancer exams
During each oral cancer exam here at Shortline Dental in Tulsa, your dentist and dental hygienist will be scrutinizing the maxillofacial and oral regions carefully for signs of pathologic changes. During bi-annual check-ups, the dentist and hygienist will thoroughly look for changes and lesions in the mouth, but a dedicated comprehensive oral cancer screening should be performed at least once each year.
During a routine—and completely painless—oral cancer exam, you will be inspected for:
- Red patches and sores
- Leukoplakia (hardened white or gray, slightly raised lesions)
If any of these abnormalities are apparent, your dentist will develop a treatment plan specific to your diagnosis and needs.
Contact us today for better dental health tomorrow
Our dentists and staff at Shortline Dental in Tulsa, OK look forward to serving you and your family. Call one of our three Tulsa offices today to schedule a visit, or make your appointment online. We offer flexible office hours, including some weekend hours, and we even accept walk-ins. Shortline Dental believes that high-quality dental care doesn’t need to come with a high cost, so we also gladly accept Medicaid and SoonerCare.