Oral Cancer Screenings
Dental care is not limited to the appearance of your smile, but also involves taking care of your overall wellness. That is why we include screenings for oral cancer as a part of the regular dental exams conducted at our clinic.
If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer could become a life-threatening condition. The disease affects the gums, hard palate, throat, tongue, cheek lining, lips and the floor of the mouth.
Some signs of oral cancer are listed below:
- Sores or red or white spots anywhere in the mouth
- A small eroded area in the mouth, or a lump, crust, or rough spot on the neck or face
- A sore that does not heal or bleeds easily
- Pain, numbness or tenderness anywhere on the lips or in the mouth
- Difficulty chewing, speaking, swallowing or moving the tongue or jaw
- Changes in bite and in the way your dentures fit on your teeth
Please note that although these symptoms may be due to other problems, it is recommended that you see your dentist immediately if you experience any of them for more than two weeks.
During an oral cancer screening, Dr. Zachary Papadakis and Dr. Patricia Gonzalez will visually examine the tongue, lips, gums, cheek lining, throat and palate for the symptoms listed above. They will also touch and feel the tissues to check for any abnormalities or lumps. If they suspect something a brush test may be done to collect cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth and analyze it. If this test shows atypical or positive results, a biopsy may be recommended.
Preventing Oral Cancer
- Avoid all tobacco products (including chewing tobacco)
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Limit sun exposure. Apply sunscreen on your skin and lips.
- Visit your dentist for regular oral cancer examinations.
If you wish to get screened for oral cancer, schedule an appointment at Papadakis & Gonzalez DDS in NYC. Call us at: (212) 689-7199.