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Why are Oral Cancer Screenings Important?

Find out why you shouldn’t put off an oral cancer screening with your Shelby dentist.

While we wish that oral cancer just didn't exist, unfortunately it does and it affects millions of people each year. oral cancerLuckily, oral cancer can be treated if caught early enough by your Shelby, NC dentist Dr. Joseph Hendrick, Jr. In fact, the CDC believes that dental professionals could potentially detect about 84 percent of oral cancer cases if patients came in for regular screenings.

So, when should you come in for your oral cancer screening?

If you maintain six-month visits with your general dentist in Shelby, then you are already doing what you need to for your oral health. It’s usually during these visits that we examine your gums and other soft tissue to make sure that there aren’t any suspicious growths or lesions. If you are at an increased risk for oral cancer you may want to talk to us about whether or not you should come in more frequently for screenings.

What puts people at risk for oral cancer?

Here are some of the major risk factors to help you determine if you could be at risk:

  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Age (those over the age of 40 are at a higher risk)
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Your gender (Men are more at risk then women)
  • A poor diet
  • Heavy alcohol consumption

Even though many people diagnosed with oral cancer have had at least one risk factor, there is an increasing rate of those who don’t. This is why it’s still important to see your Shelby, NC dentist even if you don’t have any of these issues that predispose you to oral cancer.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

When you come in to our office we will look for these symptoms:

  • Red or white patches in your mouth
  • Bleeding or chronic spots or lesions
  • A hard lump in your mouth
  • Numbness or pain when biting down

These oral cancer screenings could just save your life. If you need to schedule your next visit with us let us know that you are interested in being screened as well. Call Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr, DDS, PA today.

Dentist in Shelby, NC
Joseph R. Hendrick, Jr., DDS,
511 N. Morgan Street
Shelby, NC 28150
Phone: (704) 484-0077
Dentist in Shelby, NCCall to Schedule Your
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