Screening Saves Lives, Routine Care for Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment of Oral Cancer

According to research by the National Institutes of Health, almost 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral and/or opharyngeal cancer annually. These mouth and throat cancers have reportedly been increasing since the 1970s.However, this type of cancer is largely preventable. Preventing this condition is built on a healthy routine, which includes regular visits to Jepsen, Murphy & Associates Dental in Westminster, Colorado.

The Power of Screening

Dental checkups primarily involve examining the teeth, gums, mouth, and interconnected tissues and structures once every six months. During these visits, we also conduct professional cleanings to minimize the risk of developing conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease. Our friendly and gentle team will also check for anomalies that could indicate pre-cancerous lesions and cancers. These potential signs include:

  • Facial and neck asymmetry
  • Swelling of the facial and neck tissues
  • Swollen (not painful) lymph nodes
  • Painless, persistent, and firm lumps
  • Visible lip sores or thickened areas
  • Clear blisters around the lips
  • Discolored and ulcerated oral tissues
  • Oral sores that bleed easily when touched
  • Small, hard, pea-sized bumps on the tongue

Our dentists have the training and knowledge to detect potentially suspicious areas which may warrant further investigation. It is also important to share any changes you may have noticed with your dentist. For instance, tell your doctor if you have had problems swallowing, moving your tongue, or have had frequent hoarseness and sore throats. Any behavior outside the norm is worth bringing up to us. Our advanced diagnostic tools can detect or confirm what we cannot see with our eyes. Imaging allows us to spot minimal abnormalities or suspicious lesions that might otherwise remain hidden. Prompt detection is critical because these cancers are easiest to successfully treat when diagnosed and resolved early into the disease process. It is not an overstatement to say that early detection saves lives.

Another vital component of the dental checkup is professional guidance. Our team takes great pride in and enjoys getting to know each patient as the unique individual they are. We will work with you to isolate risk factors that might make you more susceptible to developing oropharyngeal cancers. From there, we can work to address, minimize, or eliminate these risks. Significant risk factors include smoking and the use of tobacco products, excessive alcohol consumption, and exposure to dangerous UV light from the sun’s rays or tanning beds (as is the case with lip cancers).

Do not wait for concerns to arise before contacting us. Schedule your appointment at Jepsen, Murphy & Associates Dental in Westminster, Colorado. Call (303) 800-6884 or click on the “Schedule Now” tab on this website.