According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 53,000 Americans were diagnosed with oral cancer in 2019, and only about half of these individuals will still be alive in 5 years. The high death rate of this type of cancer is a result of late stage diagnoses. At Dentistry by Angela Britt we make it a priority to screen for oral cancer during your routine dental exam because early detection is the best way to prevent it from developing and spreading.
Oral cancer often goes undetected because the early stages virtually painless and unnoticeable, but here are common signs we look for:
- Red and white patches in the mouth lasting more than two weeks
- Lump or sore in the mouth, lips or throat
- Pain or tenderness around mouth or lips
- Pain when swallowing
- Difficulty moving tongue or jaw
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
During your oral cancer screening exam, we look inside your mouth to check for red and white patches and sores. Since it can be difficult to detect these patches or lesions with the naked eye, we utilize the latest technology to give us a better view of your mouth. The Velescope® VX is a handheld tool that can detect abnormalities that we might otherwise not be able to see. The device emits a safe blue light that causes the healthy tissue in the mouth to appear fluorescent, while abnormal spots in the mouth do not.
Along with checking the tissue in the mouth, we also feel the inside of your mouth and examine your throat and neck for lumps or other abnormal signs. We want our patients in Brunswick, GA and the surrounding area to be aware of oral cancer symptoms. If you would like to speak with one of our dentists about oral cancer or would like more information on oral cancer screenings, please call our office at (912) 452-8221.