You visit Gina Mancini Family & Cosmetic Dentistry every six months for a checkup and cleaning. While these exams help to preserve your oral health, did you know that Dr. Mancini could actually save your life?
Oral cancer screening in Jacksonville, NC, is part of the typical exam at our dental practice. Patients between 20 and 40 years old should have an oral cancer screening performed at least once every three years. That recommendation jumps to once a year for patients over age 40.
What is Oral Cancer?
Cancer can develop anywhere in your body, even inside your mouth. Here are the most common places for cancer to form in the oral cavity:
- Lining of your cheek
- Roof and/or floor of your mouth
The first signs of oral cancer often aren’t visible just by looking in your mouth. Dr. Mancini uses X-rays and special magnifying equipment to see if she can spot unusual bumps or lesions. Cancers originating in the head or neck are common, affecting approximately 54,000 people in the United States each year. The sooner you receive a diagnosis of oral cancer, the more likely it is that you will beat the disease.
Keep in mind that dentists cannot specifically diagnose oral cancer. What they can do is refer you to an oncologist for further investigation of any suspicious spots.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Oral Cancer
Smoking, heavy alcohol use, and frequent suntanning can all increase your risk of developing head or neck cancer. Other risk factors, such as genetic predisposition, are outside your control. If you haven’t had an oral cancer screening in Jacksonville, NC, within the recommended timeframe, please let us know at your next checkup. We want to see your smiling face for a long time to come.