Yearly, nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer, and over 9,000 of the cases end fatally. These statistics are unacceptable, so something has to be done to reverse the trend. The good news is that through early detection, the chances of beating this potentially life-threatening disease and reaching the five-year survival benchmark is as high as 75%.
That’s why we encourage you to be proactive in visiting us at Jacksonville Complete Dentistry for preventive care. While you’re here, Dr. Barker will conduct a complete oral cancer screening. Contact our friendly dental team today to schedule a visit so you can be protected!
Oral cancer typically starts in the flat cells of the mouth and along the tongue and lips. Some of the warning signs to be on the lookout for are red or white spots, sores on the tongue, ulcers or odd lumps. Other parts that can be affected are the teeth, gums, the area beneath the tongue and the roof of the mouth.
You should also take special notice of these happenings:
If any of these issues persist for more than two weeks, then don’t hesitate to give us a call so you can be examined by Dr. Barker.
One of the best ways to prevent oral cancer is through maintaining six-month preventive care visits. Along with receiving a cleaning and dental checkup, you’ll also undergo an oral cancer screening in Jacksonville. The thorough process will be completed in two parts: a visual assessment and tactile examination.
It begins with Dr. Rose Johnson or Dr. Wayne Barker checking the gums, inner cheeks, rood of the mouth, tonsils, throat and underneath the tongue, looking for any of the previously mentioned warning signs. Then, he’ll use his hands to probe the head, cheeks, around the jaw, under the chin and in the oral cavity to feel for unusual growths or masses.
If the thought of visiting the dentist is a little intimidating to you, then don’t worry; the oral cancer screening process is completely painless. Dr. Barker will use standard tools like a light, mirror, tongue depressor (used to evaluate the tonsils) and his expert eyes and hands. Even better, you don’t have to worry about placing your life on hold to have the procedure done, as the screening typically takes no more than five to 10 minutes to complete.
Along with being a means of early detection and prevention of oral cancer, this process also provides you the comfort of knowing where you stand health wise. Then, armed with the right information, you can place yourself in the driver’s seat and move forward with sustaining or restoring your health.