Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screenings are an important part of our oral exam that we perform for our patients at our office in Wall, NJ. Dr. Avi Israeli of Sage Dental believes that every patient should be screened at least once a year. Higher risk patients should be evaluated twice a year. This would include smokers, tobacco chewers, males, people with frequent sun exposure, unhealthy diets and excessive alcohol consumption. In addition, people with GERD (gastro-espohageal reflux disease) or have a genetic predisposition for cancer especially should have check-ups even more frequently.
While the Illinois Department of Public Health recently published an article claiming that 90% of oral cancer patients use tobacco, it is not limited to those with tobacco usage. Smokeless tobacco also known as “snuff” or “chewing tobacco” creates more issues in the cheeks, gums and inner surfaces of the lips, whereas smokers may have higher risk on the lips, especially if exposed to the UV light associated with sunlight. Alcohol usage and poor diet are two other factors associated with higher risk for oral cancer.
Some of the symptoms of oral cancer include persistent pain or discomfort in the mouth, a thickening of the tissue especially in the cheek, difficulty in moving the tongue, lumps in the mouth or neck area, lingering sore throat, and white or red patches inside the mouth. Please note that these early signs or symptoms alone DO NOT always equate to you having oral cancer! These symptoms could be from a tooth abscess, a cheek biting, trauma, pizza burn, canker sore, or strept throat as well.
By identifying these lesions in the mouth, the dentist can take the next step to have the area evaluated further. By treating these types of issues early, the success recovery rate is significantly higher.
If you have noticed any dramatic weight loss, unexplained ear pain, tongue soreness, sensitive blisters or mouth sores that don’t heal or cause difficulty swallowing or speaking, please contact Dr. Avi Israeli at Sage Dental immediately for a consultation. We offer gentle, empathetic and skillful assessments to help keep our patients healthy.