During your dental examination, our dentists checks you neck and oral tissues for lumps, red or white patches or recurring sore areas. Screening for early changes in the oral tissues can help detect cancer at a stage when it can be more successfully treated. If oral cancer is not found early, tumors may grow deep into local tissues and spread to lymph glands in the head and neck, making successful treatment more difficult.
You can reduce your risk when you stop smoking (cigarettes, cigars, or pipes), especially combined with heavy alcohol consumption (30 drinks a week or more), is the primary risk factor for oral cancer. In fact, this combination is estimated to be the most likely trigger in about 75 percent of oral cancers diagnosed in this country.
Other lifestyle and environmental factors also may increase your risk of developing oral cancer. For example, use of smokeless tobacco products has been linked to oral cancer development and exposure to sunlight or long periods on a regular basis could be a factor in lip cancer development.
In addition to avoiding these risk factors, you may be able to help protect yourself from oral cancer by modifying your diet. Studies suggest that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may help prevent the development of precancerous lesions.
With the innovative ViziLite® Plus system, you can easily check for oral cancer at your next dental visit. First, you rinse with a cleansing solution. Then our dentist will inspect your mouth with a specially designed light, mark any suspicious lesions with blue dye, and voila – you’re done! The American Cancer Society recommends an oral cancer screening every year. Ask your dentist at Bull Valley Dentistry about ViziLite®