Oral Cancer Screening


At Winning Smile Dental Group, we provide you with regular dental exams. These exams are critical for the early detection, treatment, and prevention of serious oral health issues. We check the condition of your teeth, your gums, and your other oral tissues, looking for signs of damage, decay, and disease. Another important part of your dental exam is the oral cancer screening.

What is Oral Cancer?


Oral cancer is a serious disease that can strike anywhere in your mouth – lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, palate, the floor of the mouth, or at the back of the mouth near the entrance to your throat. It affects approximately 40,000 people in the United States every year. Oral cancer is deadly, especially if not detected, and treated, early. Of those diagnosed, only about half survive longer than five years. By detecting oral cancer in its earliest stages, we can help to increase your chances of remission.

What Raises Your Risk?


There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing oral cancer:
•  Smoking. Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals. Smoking, or other tobacco products, greatly increase your risk for cancer. Up to 90% of those diagnosed with oral cancer were smokers.
•  Heavy drinking. While an occasional drink may not play a part in your risk, excessive drinking can. Between 70% and 80% of oral cancer patients were heavy drinkers at one point.
•  Drinking and smoking. Both excessive alcohol consumption in conjunction with smoking can increase your risk exponentially.
•  Family history. If a family member has suffered oral cancer, your risk is increased.
•  Your age. The older you get, the more your risk is increased.
•  Certain strains of human papilloma virus (HPV).

Symptoms to Watch For


There are several symptoms that can indicate the presence of oral cancer. These symptoms, however, can show up at any time. They will not wait for your 6-month visit. Knowing what to watch for is important:
•  Unusual growths, such as red or white patches, on the soft tissues of your mouth.
•  Sores that will not heal.
•  Difficulty chewing, speaking or even swallowing.
•  Changes in your bite.
•  Changes in the way your dentures fit.
•  Noticing a numbness in your chin or jaw.

Diagnosing Oral Cancer


At Winning Smile Dental Group, an oral cancer screening is a part of your regular 6-month exams. We inspect the soft tissues of your mouth, as well as check your face and neck for signs of swelling. This examination is only a part of the diagnostic process. If we do notice anything unusual, we may take some digital images, which will allow us to get a closer look at the hidden structures of your mouth.

A key diagnostic tool, however, is a soft tissue biopsy. A biopsy is the best tool we have to confirm or rule out oral cancer. It involves the removal of some of the lesion so that we can perform a closer examination. There are a few different types of soft tissue biopsy:
•  Incisional (diagnostic) biopsy. This type of biopsy is usually done on a larger lesion.
•  Excisional biopsy. This biopsy is done on smaller lesions and may be used to remove the entire thing.
•  Punch biopsy. A special tool is used to remove several layers of the lesion. It is often used on lesions toward the back of the mouth.
•  Brush biopsy. Rather than surgically removing a part of the lesion, a small brush is used to remove some of the cells from the surface of the lesion.

If you notice anything unusual in your mouth, don’t wait until your next visit. Call Winning Smile Dental Group to schedule your appointment today.

Get in touch!



Location


2500 Ridge Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201

Phone


(224) 307-4977

Email


contact@winningsmiledentist.com

Weekend and Evening
Appointments available!

Winning Smile Dental Group | www.winningsmiledentist.com | (224) 307-4977
2500 Ridge Ave Suite 102, Evanston, IL 60201
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