Oral cancer is a strain of cancer that starts in the mouth and can appear anywhere within or around the mouth, such as along the gums, the roof of the mouth, the lips, or on the tongue. Mouth cancer is especially dangerous, as it can be hard to spot in its early stages and it can spread and metastasize quickly. For this reason, early detection is pivotal to the health and wellness of patients. Luckily, the experienced dentists at Belle Meade Family Dentistry can function as the first line of defense to help prevent and detect oral cancer.
Who Should Get Screened
When you have a routine dental exam and cleaning, the dentist will check for signs of oral cancer. Individuals who use tobacco frequently, smoke cigarettes or cigars, drink alcohol heavily, and those who have a family history of cancer should consider getting screened annually.
If you are worried about lumps, lesions, or spots in your mouth, difficulty when swallowing, or bleeding and pain in your mouth, you should request an oral cancer screening as soon as possible. While a dentist cannot diagnose mouth cancer, they can help determine if you should see an oncologist.
Advanced Technology Aids Detection
Advancements in technology have led to improved cancer detection rates. At Belle Meade Family Dentistry, our dentists use VELscope technology to look beneath the tissue surface and detect cancerous or pre-cancerous spots that may otherwise be hidden from view. Using the VELscope system, dentists are better able to view and detect abnormal tissues, which may help discover cancer early and allow patients to begin treatment before the cancer can metastasize.
Scheduling regular checkups with our dentist in Nashville, TN, can help detect the signs of oral cancer, which is crucial to successful treatment and eradication. Contact our office to speak with our professional staff and schedule your cleaning or cancer screening today.