Oral cancer is easily detectable and prompt screening and treatment can save your life. At our Miami dental office, Dr. Gallardo, as well as our registered hygienists, provide a variety of services including oral cancer screening.
Important Information about Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer in the United States. Early detection and treatment can save your life. In fact, The Oral Cancer Foundation states that the survival rate for oral cancer is 80-90% when it’s detected early.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you need to promptly make an appointment for an oral cancer screening:
- Swelling, lumps, rough patches, on any area inside your mouth
- Velvety or speckled patches in your mouth
- Loss of feeling in your mouth, face, or neck area
- Unexplained bleeding inside your mouth
- Sores on the mouth, face, or neck that bleed easily and don’t heal within 2 weeks
- Chronic sore throat and hoarseness
- A feeling that something is stuck in the back of your throat
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, speaking, moving your jaw, or moving your tongue
- Ear pain
- Dramatic weight loss
- Change in the fit of your dentures
Who Is At Risk:
Some people are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer including:
- Those who smoke or chew tobacco (depending on the duration and frequency of tobacco use)
- Those who drink heavily (about 70% of people diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers)
- Those that are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time
- Those with a diet low in fruits and vegetables
- Those with a weak immune system
- Those who have been exposed to HPV16, or human papilloma virus type 16, through oral sex or open mouth kissing
- A very small percentage of people are genetically predisposed
- Those with poorly fitting dentures that tend to trap agents that have been proven to cause oral cancer, such as alcohol and tobacco
What can I expect during the exam?
We provide a complimentary oral cancer screening during your first visit and at every continuing care visit with our hygienists.
Oral cancer screening is quick and there is no discomfort involved. It will take less than five minutes to complete. During the screening, we will be looking inside your mouth for lumps, abnormalities, red, white, or grey areas, and any tenderness that you may be experiencing.
We are proud to have the latest and most cost effective oral fluorescence technology called OralID, which uses a blue light that allows us to identify abnormal lesions at an early stage. This technology, in conjunction with the clinical oral examination, helps us detect and discriminate between benign, dysplastic lesions and oral squamous cell carcinoma. Some mucosal, dysplastic, or even early stage cancer lesions may manifest in mucosa that appears to be normal clinically.
OralID was created by Forward Science Technology, a pioneer in the dental oncology field.
How will I be treated?
If an irregularity is found, it may or may not be cancer. Your periodontist and oral surgeon will have a discussion with you about any further actions that need to be taken.
You will be treated with the utmost care at our dental office. You will find that your exam is thorough, and our professionals treat their patients with superior care.