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Oral Cancer Screenings

Early-stage oral cancer is often overlooked, typically beginning as a lingering growth in or around your mouth. These growths can occur on the tongue, lips, palate, throat, floor of the mouth, or roof of the mouth.

Oral cancer isn’t to be taken lightly, with thousands of cases reported by the American Cancer Society every year. Regular screenings for the disease are extremely important. The earlier oral cancer can be caught, the more effective the treatments will be.

Who is Most at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Anyone can suffer from oral cancer, but there are certain risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing cancerous growths of the mouth.

Common oral cancer risk factors include:

While cigarette smokers are ten times more likely to develop oral cancer than nonsmokers, cigar and pipe users are also at an increased risk. Cigars are often smoked all at once, and one cigar can have the same nicotine content as an entire pack of cigarettes. Pipes increase your risk of developing lip cancer. Smokeless products like snuff and chewing tobacco can also cause oral cancer in the gums, lips, and cheeks.
Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light increases your likelihood of developing lip cancer. If you work outside, you should take special care to limit your exposure to direct sunlight.
Alcohol can irritate and damage the throat and mouth, leading to damaged cells trying to repair themselves. This process often leads to DNA changes which can cause cancer to develop. Heavy drinkers are at the greatest risk, but even moderate drinkers are at a greater risk than nondrinkers. Heavy alcohol use is also often linked to poor diet, which further increases the likelihood of cancer.
Men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer.

Note that you are still at risk even if these factors don’t apply to you. More than 25% of oral cancer diagnoses occur for victims who are nonsmokers and who only drink occasionally.

How Often Should I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?

An early diagnosis of oral cancer greatly improves the success rate of treatment. At Norman Smile Center, our dentists are trained to identify early warning signs of oral cancer and will closely examine your mouth at every routine checkup and cleaning appointment. Not only can Drs. Campbell and Sparks catch problems early with these checkups, but they will also be able to monitor any areas of concern for indications that a problem may be progressing.

Oral Cancer Screenings at Norman Smile Center

Oral cancer prevention begins at home. Making lifestyle changes to avoid additional risks is the best way to help avoid this serious condition. If you can, quit using tobacco products, minimize alcohol intake, and practice good oral hygiene. We know it can be challenging, but your body will thank you.
get an oral cancer screening at norman smile center

No matter how well you take care of yourself, oral cancer is still a risk. Norman Smile Center is committed to giving you the best in oral hygiene treatments, including oral cancer screenings. Take care of your mouth and give us a call at 405-329-6603 or fill out our form here to schedule your checkup today.