When we think of dentists and dentistry, naturally our minds think of teeth and all that goes into keeping them healthy and white. But did you know that a crucial part of your exam at Royce Family Dentistry includes screening for oral cancers?

Oral cancers occur in the mouth and/or throat and can extend to the tongue and lips. The mouth and throat are made up of flat cells called squamous cells. These cells are arranged like scales in the lining of your mouth and throat, tongue and lips. When an abnormality occurs in the squamous cells, it could be cancerous. Risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, human papillomavirus, diet, sun exposure, and history of oral cancer. At Rocye Family Dentistry, we are careful to discuss these risk factors with you at your exam and it is extremely important for you to report any of these risk factors to your dental professional.

Some symptoms to look for if you are concerned about oral cancer are:
– Patches inside the mouth or lips
– Sore on the mouth or lips that does not heal
– Bleeding
– Loose teeth
– Pain or difficulty swallowing
– Lump in the neck
– Numbness of the lower lip and chin
– Persistent ear pain

Much like other cancers, oral cancer is treatable but early detection is key. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to schedule an oral cancer screening at Royce Family Dentistry right away. Our exam and screening can put you at ease and provide greater health security.