Oral Cancer Screenings in Silver Spring, Md.
What better time to be checked for oral cancer than when you go to the dentist for your exam and cleaning? Dr. Allen Gotora and the staff at Stellar Dental are happy to provide this quick and painless service!
What are the signs of oral cancer?
Oral cancer affects the floor of the mouth, the sinuses, the cheeks, the hard or soft palate, the lips, the tongue or the throat.
In the early stages, the patient may not have any pain or even any signs of oral cancer. However, it is very important to catch and treat this disease in the early stages before it has a chance to spread to another part of the body. Early detection can make all the difference when treating oral cancer!
Because there may not be any pain or any obvious symptoms, it is especially important that you see Dr. Gotora so he can give you an oral cancer screening.
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- A sudden change in the voice
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- A lump, rough spot, or bump in the mouth
- A chronic sore throat, or the constant feeling that something is stuck in the back of the throat
- Sores that bleed easily and don’t heal within two weeks in or around the mouth, or on the face or neck
- Tenderness or numbness in the neck or head
- A sudden change in the way dentures fit or in how teeth fit together when you bite down
- Difficulty chewing, speaking or swallowing
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
How will Dr. Gotora check for oral cancer?
Dr. Gotora will use a combination of good old-fashioned dentistry and the latest in dental technology to check for oral cancer. He will perform a visual exam and check for any sores or discolored tissue. He will feel for any lumps or irregularities on your head and neck, and in your oral cavity. Then, Dr. Gotora will use an ultraviolet light. This state-of-the-art piece of dental technology can detect potential cancer cells.
What can I do to prevent oral cancer?
You may think that if you don’t smoke, you don’t have to worry about getting oral cancer. However, although people who smoke have an increased risk of getting oral cancer, more than 25 percent of all oral cancers occur in people who don’t smoke!
An increased risk for oral cancer occurs in people who excessively consume alcohol, who have a family history of cancer or who have had an excessive amount of exposure to sunlight. It is most common in men, older adults and African-Americans.
To reduce your risk of oral cancer:
- Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco products such as chewing tobacco
- Drink alcohol in moderation
- Use sunscreen
- As always, maintain a healthy lifestyle, with exercise and a nutritious diet