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Spotting the Warning Signs of Oral Cancer


About 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and only about half of those people will live more than five years after their diagnosis. Oral cancer isn’t particularly deadly, but it tends to be discovered late in its development. It’s important to get an early diagnosis of oral cancer for the best chance of survival.

Here at Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry, our dentists carefully screen all of our patients for oral cancer at each checkup — free of charge! We use the latest screening techniques and can provide you with information to help you keep an eye on your oral health. Many people haven’t heard of oral cancer, and even fewer know the warning signs.

The warning signs of oral cancer


It’s easy to overlook the early stages of oral cancer because the symptoms can be quite subtle. In addition to getting regular oral cancer screenings from your dentist, you can increase your chances of catching oral cancer early by learning the warning signs. These include:
•  Mouth sores that don’t heal
•  Spots or lumps in your mouth that don’t go away
•  Persistent sore throat
•  Difficulty chewing or swallowing
•  Swollen jaws
•  Pain when swallowing
•  Tooth or jaw pain
•  Neck lumps
•  Chronic bad breath
•  Numb tongue
•  Hoarse voice
•  Unexplained bleeding on your face, neck, or mouth

Because these symptoms may not be severe, and could indicate other illnesses or conditions, it’s important to get checked out immediately by a medical professional.

How is oral cancer diagnosed?


At Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry, we provide all our patients with an oral cancer check during each dental visit. Your dentist examines your lips, mouth, head, and neck for any abnormal tissue, swelling, or other changes that could indicate cancer. This check only takes a few minutes, and concludes with a screening using the VELscope® Vx blue light system.

The VELscope Vx is a device that we use to detect oral cancer. It uses light technology to identify areas with abnormal tissue. Your dentist can then further examine any areas of concern.

Oral cancer sounds scary. If it’s caught early, treatment is most effective, and the chances of recovery are good. It’s critical that you know the warning signs of oral cancer and have regular screenings.

At Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry, we attend to all your dental needs, including regular screenings for oral cancer during every visit. Our experienced and compassionate dentists strive to provide you with a comfortable and quality dental care experience.

Call our office today!