What is oral cancer, and how can it be screened?
At Family Dentistry of Caledonia, we are well aware of what can happen when oral cancer develops and is left untreated. This is why we screen patients for oral cancer at each appointment to ensure early detection if it arises. Knowing what the oral cancer symptoms are and the best way to intervene will help you be proactive about protecting your smile–and your life!
What is oral cancer?
Drs. Gary Scott and Allyson Grove describe oral cancer as a malignant, or cancerous, growth that starts in the mouth, lips, or throat. While oral cancer can start anywhere in the mouth and upper throat area, it most commonly begins on the tissues of the tongue or inside of the cheeks. The tissue in both areas is made up of thin layers that make it easy for cancer cells to invade.
What happens if I do not spot oral cancer early and avoid treatment?
If not treated, the cancer can spread to different parts of the body, just like other types of cancers do. This is why our team at Family Dentistry of Caledonia stresses the importance of regular oral cancer screenings. There are several stages of oral cancer, and in the earliest stages, oral cancer treatment can be highly successful.
How do I know if I have oral cancer?
Knowing the oral cancer symptoms will help determine if you should make an appointment with our team. Symptoms of oral cancer may include sores in the mouth that do not heal, white patches in the mouth, difficulty swallowing or chewing, and lumps or thickening of tissue in the neck or face.
The good news is that with early detection and intervention, many patients can successfully treat oral cancer and prevent it from worsening.
Who can I call for an oral cancer screening?
If you need an oral cancer screening or are just seeking a new dental team in Caledonia, Michigan, for quality care, call Family Dentistry of Caledonia today at (616) 899-4486. Our office is at 9021 North Rodgers Court SE, Suite E, and serves patients in and around Freeport, Alto, Hastings, Kentwood, Cutlerville, Grand Rapids, and Middleville, Michigan.