Identify Problematic Signs Early with an Oral Cancer Screening
Regular screening for oral cancer can save lives by identifying issues before they escalate. Jersey City Dental uses ViziLite® technology to detect potentially cancerous growths early on. An oral cancer screening can be performed as part of your regular dental exam at our Jersey City, NJ, practice. Patients diagnosed with the early stages of oral cancer have an 80 to 90% chance of making a full recovery, which is why our doctors place such great importance on preventive care.
Why Routine Oral Cancer Screenings Are Important
Oral cancer affects the soft tissues and lining inside of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, throat, and salivary glands. In fact, most head and neck cancers have been linked to oral cancer. About 50,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with oral cancer. Of those, only 56 percent will survive past five years, due to the high mortality rate of oral cancer. However, if the signs are detected early and treatment is sought immediately, patients have a much greater chance of avoiding extensive medical treatments and making a full recovery.
What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?
The doctors at Jersey City Dental place a high priority on routine oral cancer screenings. Your oral cancer screening will only take a few minutes and can be administered as part of your six-month dental examination. This service can help protect both your oral and overall physical health. During the evaluation, the doctor will physically check your head, neck, and face for lumps or abnormalities. After rinsing with a special rinse, the doctor will examine the inside of your mouth using ViziLite® technology.
When signs are detected early and treatment is sought immediately, patients have a much greater chance of avoiding medical treatments and making a full recovery.
This cutting edge technology scans the soft tissue inside your mouth by emitting a special fluorescent light. While tissue that is healthy will absorb the light and appear dark, unhealthy tissue will appear white, immediately alerting the doctor of a problem. ViziLite® has revolutionized the way oral cancer is detected by identifying the earliest signs invisible to the naked eye. If problem areas are found, the doctor may recommend that you visit a specialist for further testing.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
The biggest risk factor for oral cancer is smoking or using any other forms of tobacco. Although patients over the age of 40 are more at risk, there has been a rise in the number of oral cancer diagnoses in patients in their 20s and 30s due to human papillomavirus (HPV).
You may also be at risk if you:
- Drink alcohol heavily
- Are exposed to high levels of UV rays
- Maintain an unhealthy diet low in fruits and vegetables
- Have a family history of oral cancer
While these factors can certainly place you at risk, anyone is susceptible, which is why oral cancer screenings should be considered as part of your preventive dental care plan.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Knowing the signs of oral cancer can help save your life. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, and they persist for more than two weeks, schedule an appointment with us immediately.
- Bleeding and painful mouth sores
- White or red lesions on your lips, tongue, or inside your mouth
- Sore throat or the feeling you have a lump in your throat
- Numbness or swelling inside your mouth
- Significant weight loss
- Jaw pain
- Pain when chewing, swallowing, or speaking
- Loose teeth or ill-fitting dentures
Protect Your Oral Health
Patients can help protect their oral and overall health by undergoing an oral cancer screening at Jersey City Dental. To schedule your next appointment, contact us online or call our office at (201) 332-0403.