Understanding the Importance of Oral Cancer Screening
At Artistic Expressions Dentistry, Dr. Bruce Wilderman can help prevent oral cancer by providing an oral cancer screening during your dental cleaning and examination at his Philadelphia, PA, practice. As one of the more aggressive forms of cancer, oral cancer's side effects are often undetectable in their earliest stages. However, using advanced technology, Dr. Wilderman can detect tissue abnormalities to help protect your overall health and improve your chance for a complete recovery.
Protect Your Overall Health
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, oral cancer affects close to 50,000 people in the United States each year, and of those, just over half will survive past the five-year mark. Because of its aggressive nature and high mortality rate, we are passionate about early prevention and providing oral cancer screenings for our patients.
Although oral cancer can affect anyone, you are at a much higher risk of developing it if you:
- Smoke or use tobacco products
- Consume alcohol excessively
- Follow a poor diet
- Have a family history of cancer
- Are repeatedly exposed to sunlight and UV light
- Are over the age of 50
- Have a weakened immune system
The Signs and Symptoms
Oral cancer can develop in the soft tissues of the mouth, including the throat, gums, tongue, lips, larynx, pharynx, and salivary glands. Since early side effects are virtually undetectable to the untrained eye, it is important to visit Dr. Wilderman for your routine dental examinations. If you notice any of these symptoms between office visits, you should contact us right away:
- Chronic mouth sores
- Pain, swelling, numbness inside or around the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Increased pain when chewing or speaking
- Thick, unusual white patches in or around the mouth
- Persistent sore throat or hoarseness
- Jaw or ear pain
- Loose or shifting teeth
Understanding the Exam
During your routine examination, Dr. Wilderman will check your teeth, gums, and jawbone using x-ray technology and compare any changes from your last examination. He will then gently feel along your jawline, face, and neck for lumps or other abnormal symptoms.
A routine dental cleaning and examination not only extends the life of your teeth, but can help protect your overall health.
Using advanced technology, Dr. Wilderman will screen for mucosal abnormalities within the soft tissues of your mouth. This non-invasive test takes just a few minutes and can easily identify hidden precancerous cells and irregularities. Screening for the early symptoms of oral cancer can be lifesaving.
If Dr. Wilderman detects any tissue abnormalities, he will take a biopsy and send it to a lab for further analysis. For biopsies that come back positive, he will refer you to an oncologist in the area for further testing and treatment.
Schedule Your Appointment
A routine dental cleaning and examination not only extends the life of your teeth, but can help protect your overall health. If you have a family history of oral cancer, it is important to schedule an oral cancer screening as soon as possible. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Wilderman.