Oral Cancer Screening
The American Cancer Society reports that about 7,000 deaths result from oral cancer out of 30,000 cases diagnosed annually. While the use of tobacco products continues to be the largest group at risk for oral cancer, the fastest growing demographic at risk is young adults 20-28 due to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). For these reasons, our dental hygienists perform a thorough oral cancer screening at each re-care visit.
Every time we provide care, we’re observing many different aspects of your overall health. Most people are surprised at the large amount of surface area that lines the mouth. While this lining repairs itself quickly, it is susceptible to changes that may require monitoring or further evaluation.
However, early detection and treatment of oral cancer significantly increase the chance of a positive outcome. If we suspect any unusual changes in your mouth tissue, we may suggest a biopsy and microscopic analysis by a qualified lab.
Many other non-cancerous changes can occur in your mouth’s tissue, from oral warts to autoimmune lesions. Dr. Hughes draws on his background in oral pathology to determine if any abnormalities should be removed or simply monitored.
As a side note, we understand tobacco holds powerful addictive powers over many health-conscious people. If you’re determined to quit, we want to be a supportive partner in your efforts. Talk to your hygienist or Dr. Hughes about strategies and resources for kicking the habit.