Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States. The sooner oral cancer is detected, the more successfully it can be treated. Early detection of oral cancer can save lives, which is why we regularly screen for oral cancer at Bucks County Smiles.
As an integrative dentist, Bucks County Smiles prioritizes oral cancer screening as part of your regular twice-yearly exams. We know how important it is to catch oral cancer as early as possible for the best results in treatment. If we do find potential signs of oral cancer, we will work with your doctors to help put you on the path to healing.
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the mouth. It can happen when cellular mutations grow and spread. Oral cancer can start on the inside of the lips or in the mouth. Once it starts to grow, cancer can spread to the neck and head.
While oral cancer can occur in anyone, certain people are more at risk. First, some people are simply more genetically predisposed to cancer. But lifestyle choices such as smoking, heavy drinking, or chewing tobacco can be a factor in the development of oral cancer. Additionally, the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus (HPV) is also a leading cause of oral cancer. People over 40 are at higher risk of oral cancer, as well as males. However, both younger people and females can get oral cancer. Sun exposure is a leading cause of cancer on the lips, so wearing a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher is recommended.
Our commitment to integrative dental medicine means that all of our patients receive a thorough, complimentary oral cancer screening as part of every wellness exam. As recommended by the American Dental Association, we screen all our patients for oral cancer during every routine exam. We do this by examining the mouth, lips, and gums for any signs of cellular disturbance or sores.
If we find anything concerning, we can do further exploration with our advanced technologies as well as recommend a biopsy if necessary.
In addition to using traditional oral cancer screening methods, we use advanced oral cancer screening technology at Bucks County Smiles. This technology enables us to see changes before they are actually visible. One of the technologies we use is VELscope, which utilizes a special fluorescent light to identify cellular abnormalities that the naked eye cannot see.
A biopsy is the only way to confirm a diagnosis of oral cancer accurately. A biopsy is a method of looking at cells to see what is going on with them. A small sample of the tissue is taken and then sent to a laboratory, where it is examined thoroughly to see what is happening on the cellular level. An oral cancer biopsy takes some time, a few days or more, so it is not an instant diagnosis.
You should also check your mouth and contact us right away if you notice any potential signs or symptoms of oral cancer. Patients who have known cases of human papillomavirus (HPV) or use tobacco should be especially vigilant. If you notice any symptoms such as the following, contact us at Bucks County Smiles right away for a professional oral cancer screening:
Should oral cancer be diagnosed, we will collaborate with your oncologist and other physicians to ensure your treatment goes well. Common oral cancer treatments include chemotherapy, surgery to remove cancerous lesions, and medications. Should any restorative dental work be needed, we will create a plan for you at Bucks County Smiles.
If you need an oral cancer screening in Yardley, PA, contact Bucks County Smile for an appointment at (267) 365-3004.