Elkin Dentist Explains the Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings in Preventing Severe Dental Issues

Home > Elkin Dentist Explains the Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings in Preventing Severe Dental Issues

Elkin Dentist Explains the Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings in Preventing Severe Dental Issues
Elkin Dentist Explain the Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings in Preventing Severe Dental Issues.

One of the reasons why dentists are always the first to discover precancerous tissues in the mouth is as a result of routine oral cancer screenings. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), about 58,450 new cases of oral cancer have been diagnosed in 2024, and 12,230 of them resulted in death. This indicates the severity of oral cancer and how it needs to be identified early on.

Many people are not aware of the symptoms and risks associated with oral cancer, and the fact that many patients ignore visiting dentists for routine dental check ups leads to delayed diagnosis and treatment. At ManiDental Family Practice, we provide oral cancer screenings in Elkin, NC, to detect signs of cancer in your mouth and recommend life-saving interventions that increase the chances of successfully treating the conditions.

Our dental team in Elkin, NC, has explained in this guide the primary reasons why oral cancer screenings are essential, what happens during an oral cancer screening, and why it is important to schedule routine visits with your dentist. 

What is an Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screening is a dental examination a dentist performs to detect signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. Oral cancers often consist of tongue cancer, mouth cancer, and jaw cancer. 

The symptoms of oral cancers are not usually known by the individuals exhibiting them, but with an oral cancer screening, the dentist can quickly identify them. During an oral cancer screening, your dentist will examine the following areas: cheek lining, lips, floor and roof of your mouth, gums, tongue, and tonsils.

The goal of performing an oral cancer screening is to enable your dentist to identify signs of mouth cancer early, especially when the chances of successfully treating it are greater.

Why Does Our Elkin Dentist Perform Oral Cancer Screening?

Mouth cancers or precancerous lesions that may result in oral cancers are best discovered early during an oral cancer screening. Identifying them during this stage makes it easier for the lesions to be removed and most likely treated successfully. 

Our dentists in Elkin, NC, offer oral cancer screening as a form of preventative dentistry by examining your mouth during routine dental checkups to identify signs of possible dental issues, such as gum diseases. Our years of experience have helped us understand that people with a higher risk of oral cancer are more prone to benefit from our oral cancer screenings. The factors that could make you susceptible to oral cancer include:

  • Heavy use of alcohol
  • Previous oral cancer diagnosis
  • Tobacco use of any kind, including snuffs, cigars, pipes, and cigarettes
  • Sexually transmitted infections, such as Human Papillomavirus (HPV) 
  • Frequent exposure to sun which increases the risk of lip cancer.

Considering the mortality rate posed by oral cancer, our Elkin dentists recommend our patients routinely schedule dental examinations and screening appointments with us. This helps us detect cases of mouth cancers at an early stage and reduce the risk of it becoming severe before being treated.

Benefits of Oral Cancer Screening

There are various intertwined benefits of coming in for an oral cancer screening in Elkin, NC. The benefits include:

Find Oral Cancer Early

Oral cancer screenings help dentists and doctors detect precancerous conditions in the mouth that could result in oral cancer. Early detection leads to removing abnormal tissues, preventing the formation and spread of cancerous growth.

Non-Invasive Examination

Oral cancer screening is a mild and comfortable dental examination. Although the procedure may require you to keep your mouth open for a while, it majorly involves our dentist checking your mouth for red or white patches, mouth sores, and other symptoms that could indicate cancer. The non-invasiveness of an oral cancer screening also includes checking the lips, cheek lining, gums, tongue, and the through and neck for any form of irregularities or lumps.

Improved Prognosis

Successfully treating and recovering from oral cancer is significantly attributed to detecting it during its early stages. Recognizing the early development of oral cancers in their early stages helps improve prognosis and treatments that can help cure them. This eventually results in a high success rate with treatment and enhances life’s quality and overall well-being.

Increased Treatments Options

Early oral cancer diagnosis enables patients and doctors to have a wide selection of treatment alternatives. With oral cancer screening, doctors can easily and quickly choose the most suitable treatment for your condition. Healthcare professionals may choose to perform surgery, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy to improve success probability and reduce the risks of complications.

Lower Treatment Costs

Oral cancer screenings work like a first responder to cancerous conditions in your mouth. Detecting these issues early can reduce the need for invasive, extensive, and more expensive treatments associated with advanced stages of cancer. 

Oral Cancer Screenings in Elkin, NC

Oral cancer screening in Elkin, NC, provided by our dentist, Dr. Nicole Manigault, DDS.

An oral cancer screening takes a few minutes to complete, but it can go a long way in detecting problems early and ensuring treatments are provided as soon as possible. When our dentists perform oral cancer screenings in Elkin, NC, they look out for abnormalities in your mouth, including persistent sore throat, sores or lesions that don’t heal, and an unexplained lump on the side of the neck. These signs could make us suspect oral cancer, gum disease, dental abscess, and other oral conditions, and provide the necessary treatments required to prevent them from progressing.

We also check your salivary glands for signs of inflammation. Our screening procedure also involves examining the top, underneath, both sides of your tongue, and the back of the mouth for indentations, irritations, and growths or red and white lesions. We also look for signs of gum diseases and conditions that can affect oral health.

Early intervention can save you from invasive cancer and dental treatments, as the case may be. This is why our dentists in Elkin, NC, see the importance of talking about the importance of oral cancer screenings. Schedule an appointment with our dentists today for a routine dental checkup and oral cancer screening. We will carefully examine your oral health to ensure optimum overall well-being.

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