We can’t stress enough how important it is for patients to get screened for cancer. By keeping an eye out for the warning signs, doctors can act quickly once tumors or masses start forming. When it comes to body cancers, this mentality is easily adopted, but it is shocking how few people take the same stance when it comes to oral cancer. In fact, one of the best defenses against oral cancer is attending routine hygiene cleanings.
Dentists spend a lot of time in our mouths, so the chances of them noticing changes in our body before we even do are incredibly high. Are you experiencing problems with bad breath? Then you might have a problem with a medication. Has gum disease risen in your mouth? That may be the reason you are experiencing problems with your heart or breathing.
When it comes to oral cancer, a dentist can spot the dangerous condition before it has the chance to worsen into something truly problematic. And oral cancer is dangerous. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports over 48,000 new cases of the condition every year. And that is just in the U.S. This is why having oral cancer screenings performed is so important.
If you attend your regular oral hygiene appointments, then chances are you are already good to go, as oral cancer screenings are typically administered during these procedures. During your appointment, Dr. Grubb will carefully examine your neck and chin, looking for any unusual lumps or lesions. Then, he will move on to your gums, inside cheeks, tongue, and roof of your mouth, searching for any abnormalities that may need attention. During this appointment, Dr. Grubb is looking for: white or black discolorations, red or white patches, swelling, bumps, and anything unusual.
You will also be x-rayed during at least one of your two yearly appointments. Signs of oral cancer can show up on these x-rays, and Dr. Grubb will carefully check them for any warning signs.
Unfortunately, we don’t know of any definitive causes of oral cancer. That said, there are a variety of different factors that can increase your chances of developing the condition:
Oral cancer has the chance to appear on any structure in your mouth, including the tongue, inner cheek, gums, and roof of your mouth. Things you should keep your eye open for include:
Dr. Grubb makes a point of routinely checking his patients for any signs of oral cancer. This service is included as part of his dental hygiene services. If anything unusual is noticed, Dr. Grubb may choose to take samples of your oral tissues for further consideration and diagnosis. When found early, treatment for oral cancer has a much higher chance of being effective. Should oral cancer be found in your mouth, your next step will be to discuss treatment with your medical doctor or oncologist.
We never want patients to refuse to receive the care they need out of fear or because of anxiety. For this reason, our office provides sedation dentistry, which can help relieve your symptoms.
We have two sedation options available to Harve de Grace patients:
It is important that our patients in the Harve de Grace area are well aware of the risks that come with oral cancer. It is important that you do not hesitate to get screened, as early detection can literally save your life. If you are ready to learn more, contact our office and schedule your oral cancer screening today.
Richard V. Grubb
203 S. Washington St.
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Monday: 8AM – 4PM
Tuesday: 9AM – 6PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 4PM
Thursday: 8AM – 4PM
Saturday: 8AM – 1PM (once a month)