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Why Early Detection is Crucial for Oral Cancer

Unfortunately, oral cancer is much more prominent than a lot of us realize. Here in the USA, around 50,000 people get it each year. And the vast majority of people only realize it much later on, when it’s difficult to treat effectively. The earlier you can detect signs of oral cancer, the better – because then we can get ahead of it and treat it successfully.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer occurs when cells in the mouth develop mutations in their DNA that cause various abnormalities. These can start on the lips or in the mouth itself and can rapidly spread if you don’t tackle it early. Like many other cancers, there are large variations in how these cancer cells come up, but some of the common behaviors that can lead to oral cancer include:

  • Smoking tobacco products.
  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Excessive sun exposure on your lips.
  • HPV, a sexually transmitted virus.
  • A weakened immune system.

Oral cancer can be very serious if you don’t catch it early enough – so it’s something that we should all be aware of as we consider our general mouth health.

Why Regular Dental Appointments are Important

This is yet another reason why visiting your dentist regularly is such an important habit. Many of us tend to put off dental visits because we don’t have any pain or any visible issues. But as we’ve discussed, early detection of things like oral cancer can make a huge difference to your overall mouth health – and you simply don’t give yourself that chance when you miss appointments.
If you haven’t been to a dentist in a while, now is the time to get started again. Come visit our Tenafly dentist and let’s leverage the cutting-edge technology to make sure that you’re in good health and that you’re covering all your bases. Dentistry is not just about cosmetics and aesthetics, it’s also about keeping you safe and healthy. Your health is not something to take lightly – especially in the era of modern health technology which can help us be proactive, rather than reactive.

How Do You Detect Oral Cancer?

In its later stages, oral cancer will show up as a growth or sore in your mouth that just won’t go away. Some of the other symptoms include swelling inside the mouth, unexplained bleeding, unexplained numbness, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and many more. It’s not pleasant, to say the least.

Luckily, there are ways to diagnose oral cancer early before some of these symptoms show up – and that’s with a piece of technology called the Velscope. This handheld device uses natural tissue fluorescence to help dentists identify oral mucosal abnormalities that might be signs of oral cancer. Here at Tenafly Dental, we’ve recently begun using it and have been blown away by the results. It is a game-changer in terms of dentistry technology and will make a big difference in the early detection of oral cancer.

Get in touch! Set up a consultation today.