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oral cancer screening

Why Oral Cancer Screenings are Vital to your Overall Health and Wellness


Regularly visiting your dentist for checkups and cleanings can help prevent cavities, keep your smile’s appearance intact, and help you maintain fresh breath. In addition, the American Dental Association states that you should receive an oral cancer screening every six months during your dental appointment. Early detection and treatment can help protect your oral and overall health. Therefore, our Lake Forest dentists that offer oral cancer screenings share on the blog today why these screenings are vital to your overall health and wellness.

Oral Cancers’ Troubling Numbers

An oral cancer diagnosis includes cancerous cells in the mouth area, lips, tongue, or gums.

  • Approximately 53,000 Americans will receive an oral cancer diagnosis each year.
  • Oral cancers cause one death per hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, equaling 9,750 deaths in the United States each year.
  • The five-year survival rate average is 57% when detected in advanced stages.
  • More people die from oral cancer each year than testicular, cervical, and brain cancers combined.

How to Protect Yourself

The best defense against oral cancer or other adverse medical conditions is prevention. Begin by limiting sun exposure, reducing alcohol consumption, ceasing tobacco product use, and instilling a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and exercise. Our Lake Bluff dentists who offer oral cancer screenings also recommend visiting our office for regular checkups and cleanings twice a year. Below are some symptoms that should garner immediate attention from a qualified oral cancer screening dentist to determine the presence of oral cancer.

  • Red or white spots or sores that form in your mouth
  • Any rough area, lump, or a thick patch of skin in the mouth
  • Tender mouth sores that bleed easily or seem not to heal
  • Consistent tenderness, pain, or numbness on the lips or in the mouth
  • Challenges with swallowing, chewing, speaking, or moving your tongue or jaw

What to Expect From an Oral Cancer Screening

The oral cancer screening process is straightforward. Our experienced oral cancer dentists in Lincolnshire perform screenings using a Velscope, a handheld, wireless device that uses natural tissue fluorescence to identify abnormalities invisible to the naked eye. The unique light highlights cellular structure changes or precancerous cells that signify cancer. If irregular cell presence gets discovered, we may recommend a biopsy for further testing.

How does oral cancer affect my overall health and well-being?

Your mouth and other bodily systems connect. For example, when your mouth has an increased volume of harmful bacteria, it can create poor health conditions in different body areas. The same is true for oral cancer. Cancerous cells can develop in other areas of your body, even though they originated in your mouth. Furthermore, some treatment plans may include processes that affect your overall health in various ways. Therefore, since your oral health and overall health directly connect, we recommend you visit our Lake Forest dental office often to detect oral cancer early. Early detection can help prevent adverse effects throughout your body.

Oral Cancer Screening in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire

Oral cancer screenings may seem unnecessary to some. However, the key to effective oral cancer treatment is uncovering the condition in the early stages. Therefore, our oral cancer dentists in Lake Bluff recommend scheduling regular appointments that include an oral cancer screening. Feel free to contact Dr. Douglas Campbell or Dr. David Schmidt at Lake Forest Smiles by calling (847) 234-4800 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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