Larchmont Family Dental
General Dentists & Cosmetic Dentists located in Westchester, Larchmont, NY
According to the American Cancer Society, 49,670 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year, and men are twice as likely to get these cancers than women. Luckily, oral cancer screenings are part of the dental cleaning procedure, along with removing plaque and tartar to prevent tooth decay. Avi Malkis at Larchmont Family Dental provides patients of all ages with professional teeth cleanings in the Westchester County of New York, including Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Harrison, and New Rochelle, New York. To schedule a dental cleaning, call today or book an appointment online.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer is when there’s uncontrollable growth of cancer cells that invade certain tissues in the oral cavity, including:
- Lips, tongue, and cheeks
- Floor of the mouth and palate
- Pharynx (throat)
Anyone can get oral cancer, but the risk is higher if you:
- Are male
- Drink a lot of alcohol
- Have human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Get frequent sun exposure (for lip cancer)
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Swellings, bumps, or rough spots on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
- Velvety white, red, or speckled patches in the mouth
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- Sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within two weeks
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your tongue or jaw
How can getting dental cleanings prevent oral cancer?
An oral cancer screening is part of the dental cleaning procedure. During every teeth cleaning, Dr. Malkis asks you about changes in your medical history and whether you’ve been experiencing any new or unusual symptoms.
Then, Dr. Malkis performs a physical examination in which he checks your entire oral cavity, including your lips, cheek lining, gums, tongue, and the floor and roof of your mouth. He also examines your throat, including your tonsils. Finally, Dr. Malkis checks your jaw and neck for any lumps or abnormalities.
If there’s any suspicious tissues, lumps, or symptoms, Dr. Malkis may recommend a biopsy to learn more about the cells. If the cells are cancerous, treatment for oral cancer is similar to how other cancers are treated: With surgery to remove the growth, followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
How often should I get an oral cancer screening?
The American Cancer Society recommends that you get an oral cancer screening every three years if you’re over the age of 20 and every year if you’re over 40. Oral cancer can be life-threatening, but early diagnosis and treatment can result in better treatment outcomes.
Dr. Malkis offers oral cancer screenings as part of every dental cleaning. To schedule a cleaning, call the office or schedule an appointment online.
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