As one of the fastest-growing types of cancer, Dr. Alexander and her team at Alexander Family Dental perform a visual oral cancer screening on every patient who visits us for a comprehensive dental exam or professional teeth cleaning. Why is this so important? The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that “oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient.” Further, “it can frequently prosper without producing pain or symptoms . . . and because it has a high risk of producing second, primary tumors.”
Additionally, many symptoms associated with oral cancer can only be detected through a medical examination, including those performed at Alexander Family Dental. It’s true that some patients may notice signs such as rough spots on their gum tissue, but many will not be able to access the portions of their mouths that our dentist near you can when using specialized equipment.
Contrary to popular belief, oral cancer does not only affect the lives of individuals who smoke. Risks also come from genetics, sun exposure, alcohol use, smokeless tobacco products, and exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV).
One symptom that a patient may notice at home is bleeding gums. Unfortunately, many patients will ignore their bleeding gums, believing it’s merely a sign that they are brushing or flossing too hard. But in fact, it’s their body telling them that something is amiss. Bleeding or sore gums may not always be a sign specific to oral cancer since they can also signify early gum disease, infection, and more. However, in any instance of bleeding gums, early diagnosis, and treatment by our dentist in Queen Creek, AZ, is recommended to prevent any condition from worsening.
The Oral Cancer Foundation concludes that “the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development.” Dr. Alexander invites you to make routine screening for oral cancer near you a part of your annual health exam by making an appointment for a comprehensive dental exam today.