Are Oral Cancer Screenings Necessary?
By Dr. John Isbrandt
January 31, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Cancer  

Find out who should be getting oral cancer screenings and why.oral cancer

You aren’t a smoker and no one in your family has had oral cancer so maybe you think that it can’t happen to you. Just because you don’t have any risk factors doesn’t mean that oral cancer can’t happen to you. This is why you should be visiting our St. Charles, IL, general dentist every six months for routine exams so that we can make sure that everything looks healthy.

During an oral cancer screening, our St. Charles dentist will examine your mouth to look for any precancerous or cancerous symptoms. By performing these exams when you come into our office there is a greater chance that we will be able to detect problems early enough that it will be curable.

While everyone should get an oral cancer screening, those with a higher risk of oral cancer should absolutely take advantage of these simple screenings. Certain risk factors include:

  • Using tobacco products, whether chewing tobacco, cigars or cigarettes
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Long-term sun exposure (e.g. those who have to work outdoors)
  • Having oral cancer in the past

Besides getting regular screenings there are obviously some changes you can make to reduce your chances of oral cancer such as quitting smoking or reducing the amount of alcohol you drink.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

In between routine visits, it’s important that you are always on the lookout for any changes that may occur to your oral health that we should be aware of. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then it’s time to call us for a visit:

  • A red or white patch in your mouth
  • A sore or lump in your mouth or throat
  • Trouble or pain moving the tongue or jaws
  • Difficulty chewing or speaking
  • Loose teeth with no obvious cause
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pain or numbness anywhere in your mouth

Whether it’s time to schedule your next six-month cleaning or you are experiencing symptoms that have you concerned, never hesitate to turn to our St. Charles, IL, family dentist, Dr. John Isbrandt whenever you need it.