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Port Clinton Dental Care

Oral Cancer Screening: Understanding Your Risk

Oral health is about more than just cavities and cleanings. Regular dental care can also help detect serious health conditions and diseases, including oral cancer. This form of cancer can develop anywhere inside the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, lining of the cheeks, and the root and floor of the mouth.

Port Clinton Dental Center in Highland Park, IL, offers advanced oral cancer screenings in our warm and friendly facility to detect the disease as early as possible. Our state-of-the-art facility includes the latest technology and our staff will always treat you with respect. Dr. Michael Wasserman, DDS has been providing expert cosmetic and restorative dental services, as well as oral cancer screenings, for more than 10 years in the Highland Park area.

Why Are Oral Cancer Screenings Necessary?

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, oral cancer accounts for about three percent of all cancers diagnosed. Early diagnosis is vital in order to detect and treat oral cancer with less invasive treatments before it spreads to other parts of the body. Port Clinton Dental recommends that you get regular checkups every six months.

Early diagnosis is vital in order to detect and treat oral cancer with less invasive treatments before it spreads to other parts of the body.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

While regular dental checkups can help detect oral cancer, you should also be aware of the symptoms so you can know when to go to the dentist for an examination. While oral cancer symptoms can be different for everyone, some of the most common ones include:

  • Loose teeth
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • A persistent sore throat
  • Bleeding sores in the mouth
  • Pain or discomfort in the gums or other oral soft tissues
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Pain or difficulty when swallowing
  • Thickening of the skin that lines your mouth
  • Jaw stiffness

If these symptoms appear between normal checkups and persist for more than two weeks, you should make an appointment to see your dentist or doctor. It is important to note that all of these symptoms could be a sign of something else, but it is always better to get checked out as soon as possible. 

Woman undergoing oral cancer screening
Oral cancer screenings require no invasive examination. In most cases, it will take only a few painless minutes to complete. 

What to Expect during an Oral Cancer Screening

An oral cancer screening is not complicated or invasive, nor should it cause you any discomfort. It is simply an examination of the gums, cheeks, tongue, and throat. Your dentist will probably also ask about your medical history and any use of tobacco and alcohol, as these substances increase your likelihood of developing oral cancer.

If any suspicious lesions are found, these will likely require further examination and diagnostic procedures. The American Dental Association recommends an immediate biopsy of the affected area. If the results of this biopsy are positive, patients will be referred to a trusted oncologist for treatment.

Contact Port Clinton Dental Center

Port Clinton Dental Center provides comprehensive dental services, with an emphasis on building a trusting, comfortable relationship with all of our patients. We accept most insurance plans and major credit cards. We also offer CareCredit® payment plans. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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Highland Park Office

1770 1st St
Ste 360
Highland Park, IL 60035

Open Today 8:00am - 1:00pm

Open Monday and Thursday By Appointment Only

More Info Directions (847) 432-1416