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While the majority of your routine dental checkup focuses on cleaning your teeth, detecting tooth decay and gum disease, it also includes a basic oral cancer screening. Detecting oral or pharyngeal cancer early greatly improves the chances of speedy and successful recovery.
The American Dental Association reports that 1 out of every 92 adults will develop some form of oral or pharyngeal cancer in their lifetime. Even though the average age of detection is 62 years old, increased risk factors like regular tobacco use and alcohol consumption can greatly increase the chances of developing oral cancer at a younger age. Statistically men are nearly twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women.
Early symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer include a persistent pain in your mouth, which could also be associated with swelling or a lump in your cheek. White or red areas on your gums, tongue and tonsil are also a cause for concern. Many people with pharyngeal cancer complain of a persistent sore throat or a feeling like there is something stuck in the back of the throat.
Dr. Natalya Ramsay performs a basic cancer screening at the end of your regular dental checkup. This involves a basic examination of your tongue, throat, face, and neck for any discoloration or signs of abnormal swelling. If you have increased risk factors for oral cancer you should let Dr. Natalya Ramsay know about them.
If you have questions or concerns about oral cancer, or you are overdue for your regular dental checkup please call Dr. Natalya Ramsay at 503-472-1402 to schedule an appointment.