Did you know that over 49,000 adults are estimated to be diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancer this year alone? The average age of diagnosis is 62, but it’s possible to develop the disease much younger than that. Fortunately, the outlook for the average person is significantly improved if the disease is detected and treated in its earliest stages. For this reason, it’s important to schedule an oral cancer screening with your periodontist in Matthews, NC.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer can occur anywhere inside the mouth, including on the tongue, cheeks, gums and even in the tonsils. It is most likely to develop after the age of 40, and men are more likely to have it than women. If treated early, it is very curable. Common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Chronic mouth ulcers that won’t heal
- An unexplained lump or thickening of the skin anywhere in the mouth
- Persistent swelling that lasts longer than three weeks
- Red or white patches lining the tongue or mouth
- Loose teeth with no apparent cause
- Pain or stiffness in the jaw
- Sensitive tongue
- Pain when swallowing
- Hoarse voice
- Feeling that something is lodged in the throat
- Persistent neck or ear pain
- Chronic sore throat
If you notice any of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have mouth cancer. However, it’s important to see your periodontist for an oral cancer screening in Matthews, NC to rule it out. If cancer is detected, seek treatment immediately.
How Oral Screening Is Performed
Dr. Kiya Green screens for oral cancer by taking pictures of the mouth with a special intraoral camera. If any abnormal areas are observed, she typically takes a biopsy and sends it to a laboratory. If the laboratory results show cancer cells, Dr. Green develops a customized treatment plant to meet the needs of each patient. Depending on the type and stage of cancer, treatment may be aggressive or conservative.
Schedule Your Screening
It’s wise to schedule an oral cancer screening every year, especially once you reach the age of 40. To reserve your appointment with Dr. Green, call Matthews Periodontics at (704) 815-5440 or schedule an appointment online today.