At National Dental Upper East Side, we aim to provide you with the best care possible. When you come in for your regular exams, which are essential for preventative maintenance, we thoroughly inspect your mouth, checking for signs of decay, gum disease, and other damage. Another important part of your oral exam is the oral cancer screening.
Oral cancer is a devastating disease that affects over 40,000 people in the United States every year. Of those 40,000, only about half survive past five years. Oral cancer can strike anywhere in the mouth – the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, roof, floor or the entrance to the throat. It can affect all the functions of your mouth, such as eating and speaking. If oral cancer goes undetected for too long, there is very little chance for survival.
There are several factors that put you at risk for developing oral cancer. Some you have control over, while others you do not:
Part of your biannual dental exams includes an oral cancer screening. During this screening, we check the inside of your mouth, as well as your face and neck, for any signs of oral cancer. However, these signs can show up at any time, not just at your regular visits. So, it is important that you the signs and symptoms be on the lookout for:
Our visual inspection of your mouth is only a part of diagnosing oral cancer. If we find anything suspicious in your mouth, further testing will need to be done. This testing may involve X-rays or a soft tissue biopsy. With a biopsy, we take a small sample of the lesion in your mouth so that we can examine it under a microscope. There several types of biopsies, including:
With a biopsy, we can diagnose, or rule out oral cancer. Should cancer be detected, we can then take the necessary steps for treatment.
While we check your mouth thoroughly for signs of oral cancer, the disease can strike at any time. If you notice something strange about your mouth, contact National Dental Upper East Side at (646) 736-2206 right away!