Oral Cancer Screenings

Preventive Oral Care in Monroe, WI

Nobody wants to hear that they may have oral cancer. Although it can sometimes be fatal, it is quite treatable when caught early. For this reason, we are proud to provide oral cancer screenings for all of our adult patients as part of their regular examination appointments. We want to help our patients survive this serious disease.

What Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is any type of cancer involving the mouth, cheeks, lips, tongue, throat, or gums. It will typically show up as white or red patches or lesions inside your mouth. You may also notice lesions on your tongue or the floor of your mouth. Many people with oral cancer have a hard time swallowing, experience bleeding inside their mouth, or notice swelling in the face or neck.

Unfortunately, oral cancer affects more than 50,000 Americans each year. Major risk factors for oral cancer include:

  • Smoking any form of tobacco or using smokeless tobacco.
  • Drinking excessively on a regular basis.
  • Staying out in the sun without using sunblock to protect your lips.
  • Having a family history of oral cancer.
  • Contracting human papilloma virus (HPV).

Reducing Your Risk

Most oral cancer is totally preventable. You can decrease your risk by adopting healthier habits like:

  • using adequate sun protection on your face and lips every day,
  • cutting back on your alcohol consumption,
  • not smoking or using any kind of tobacco
  • visiting us every 6 months for an oral hygiene examination and oral cancer screening

Your Dentist Is Your Ally

When it comes to detecting oral cancer, your dentist is an excellent resource. Not only can they help you understand what to watch out for at home between dental visits, but each time you visit for an oral hygiene examination, they will also check for signs of oral cancer.

This is another area in which the high-resolution digital images and X-rays we take of your mouth can make a big difference. Using these images, your doctor can see details that may not be obvious with a mere visual inspection of your mouth. It is also easier to detect changes in your mouth when we have a history of these types of images to consult, increasing the chance of detecting suspicious lesions or abnormalities early, while treatment has the best chance of success.

Oral cancer is a serious disease. Fortunately, your dentist can help by providing regular oral cancer screeningsEarly detection is important, so please contact us to schedule your next check-up if you are overdue.