March 25, 2019
Did you know that dentists alone detect around 84% of oral cancers each year? Your dentist in Beverly Hills can perform an oral cancer screening in a matter of minutes during your routine checkup. This screening allows your dentist to catch issues while they are still small, which leads to better chances of a full recovery after cancer. Keep reading to learn more about oral cancer screenings and what you can expect during the process.
What Can I Expect During My Screening?
During your oral cancer screening, your dentist will visually examine your face, lips, neck, inside of your nose, and mouth. You will need to take out any removeable dental appliances to give your dentist a view of your entire mouth. They will check for abnormalities, asymmetries, bumps, swelling, patches of color, and ulcerations. They also may use a light and mirror to get a better look at your entire mouth. Just like when you visit your doctor’s office, your dentist may ask you to say “Ahh” to expose more areas of your throat.
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
Unfortunately, warning signs and symptoms of oral cancer are hard to detect, but that’s why seeing your dentist for screenings is so important. During your screening, their trained eye will be looking for signs of oral cancer like:
- Red or white lesions in your mouth
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Lumps on or beneath soft tissue in your mouth
- Persistent sore throat
- Sores on, in, or around your mouth that won’t heal
- Spots on your mouth that feel numb
- Pain in your ears
While these symptoms are hard to catch on your own, if you do notice any, contact your dentist in Beverly Hills right away to receive a potentially lifesaving oral cancer screening. Oral cancers that are detected early on give you a much higher chance at a 100% recovery after.
What Should I Do After My Screening?
If your dentist detects any signs, they may recommend a biopsy for further investigation. After your screening, it’s important to stay healthy and practice good habits to remain cancer-free. Tobacco use, heavy drinking, and prolonged exposure to sun are all risk factors of oral cancer. So, you should make positive lifestyle choices, practice routine oral healthcare, and attend regular visits to your dentist to stay as healthy as possible. You should also be aware of any family history of oral cancers because this can sometimes be a risk factor.
When is the last time you received an oral cancer screening? Contact your dentist to ensure the health and safety of your smile and overall wellbeing.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Julie Valentine has been proudly caring for patients in Beverly Hills for over 25 years. She understands the importance of catching cancers early on, which is why she provides in-depth oral cancer screenings. She currently runs her own practice, and she can be contacted through her website or by phone at (310) 551-2955 for any questions.
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