Oral cancer screening services
At every dental hygiene visit we examine all of the tissues in the mouth. That includes areas such as the jaw, tongue, lips, cheeks, and gums. Many patients are surprised at how much surface area we cover during these dental examinations. It is vital that patients have regular oral cancer and soft tissue screenings as part of their oral hygiene plan.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth or throat. While some people may believe that the only patients at risk for oral cancer smoke or chew tobacco, this is not always the case. Anyone can develop oral cancer, though individuals who smoke or chew tobacco have a significantly higher risk of developing oral cancer in their lifetime. There are approximately 7,000 deaths each year and 30,000 new cases diagnosed annually, as reported by the American Cancer Society. Patients who have unusual or different changes occurring in the mouth may want to book an appointment for an oral cancer screening to rule out cancerous cells. Screening involves a thorough evaluation of the mouth and may include a biopsy, during which a sample of unusual tissue is removed and examined by a qualified laboratory.
How does tobacco use increase one’s risk of oral cancer?
Chewing tobacco itself has approximately 3,000 chemicals and compounds in it, including those used in products such as embalming fluids and pesticides. These can contribute to cellular changes that can result in the development of oral cancer. Because tobacco has highly addictive powers, it can be challenging to quit. Our dental team can advise patients on strategies and resources to help them stop smoking or chewing tobacco and help lower the risk of developing oral cancer.
Talk to your dental team about oral cancer screenings
If you live in or around Eugene, OR, and are interested in learning more about oral cancer and oral cancer testing, connect with Dr. Robert Gemmell and Dr. Ty Jaros of Distinctive Dentistry. The office is located at 1775 River Road and can be reached to book an appointment at (541) 255-1287.