Oral Cancer Screening in Houston, TX
In recent years there has been a steady increase in oral cancers occurring in younger patients. In particular, females under 40 with no known risk factors have been hit at an alarming rate. Even more, many cases go undiagnosed until the disease has reached the advanced stages. Now, this is not necessary because mouth cancer is very detectable at early onset during regular dental checkups and medical exams. In the beginning, the potentially life-threatening condition is treatable.
Preventive Care at Lux Dental Studio
Despite modern advances in imaging technology, screening methods, and primary care access, too many cases are still not diagnosed until the late stages. Before the disease develops, abnormal tissue or precancerous lesions are present. At times the person is unaware of these changes until they experience symptoms. The good news is these budding issues can be identified during oral cancer screenings or a routine exam. Once identified, precancerous lesions must be monitored and treated before they lead to oral cancer.
Dr. Newlin advises tobacco users and heavy drinkers to perform self-exams every month. Keep an eye on changes throughout your oral cavity and tongue. For all Lux Dental Studio patients, yearly or twice-yearly dental exams are vital to early detection.
If we find anything suspicious, your Houston, TX, dentist may recommend a biopsy. Then a proper diagnosis and effective treatment plan can be established. If a lesion is not cancerous or precancerous, active surveillance is often suggested.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Self-exams should be performed between routine dentist visits. Doing so will allow you to uncover the presence of any of the following oral cancer signs and symptoms:
- Any mouth or jaw pain
- Bleeding without any apparent cause
- Growing or changing white or red patches on the tongue or mouth lining
- Loose teeth
- Painful swallowing
- Sensory and motor nerve issues
- Speech difficulties
- Unexplained ear pain
While an oral cancer diagnosis can be devastating to hear, there are steps you can take to safeguard your health. If you believe you may have oral cancer or are at risk, talk to Dr. Newlin about mouth screenings and ways to reduce the risk. Call us now to book an appointment with our dentist near you at Lux Dental Studio.