Why are routine oral cancer screenings important?

As we age, we may visit the doctor regularly for certain types of medical screenings, including skin cancer screenings, colon cancer screenings, or screenings for breast cancer. But one type of cancer that often gets overlooked is oral cancer. Drs. LouAnn Van Liew and Deborah Hoover of All About Smiles Dentistry in Forked River, New Jersey, can help with routine oral cancer screenings during regular dental visits.

What are the causes of oral cancer?

For some patients, the reason they develop oral cancer might be unknown. But for others, the cause is more evident. Patients who chew or smoke tobacco are much more likely to develop oral cancer than those with a healthy and active lifestyle. That is because tobacco is known to have certain cancer-causing ingredients that make them harmful to one’s health. Other patients might have a family history of oral cancer that makes their chances of developing it greater than someone who does not.

What happens during an oral cancer screening?

Because oral cancer is often visible, Drs. LouAnn Van Liew and Deborah Hoover will evaluate the soft tissues of the mouth to look for patches of white, new bumps or lesions, or other signs of cancer. If an area of concern is found, a biopsy is performed to take a small sample of the site to check for cancerous cells.

What types of oral cancer exist?

Oral cancer can develop anywhere in the mouth, including the tongue, the gums, and the throat. With routine evaluations at the dentist, many of these concerns may be spotted easily during regular visits and can be diagnosed and treated quickly. Detection in the earliest stages significantly increases the chance of survival.

Schedule a visit at All About Smiles Dentistry today!

Forked River, NJ area patients ready to take charge of their oral health are encouraged to schedule routine oral cancer screenings. Drs. LouAnn Van Liew and Deborah Hoover can help! Call (609) 891-3637 to request an appointment with our team—especially if you notice the symptoms of the early stages of oral cancer. The office is located at 615 Lacey Road, Suite 5, and accepts new and current patients seeking oral cancer screening or detection.