By James L. Pyle, DDS
December 13, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer  

When was the last time you visited your dentist for an oral cancer screening?oral cancer

Here at Durham, NC, Dr. James Pyle can help assess and examine your oral health.

Oral Cancer:

Oral cancer is responsible for killing one person every hour, every day, in the USA. While this may be a small percentage, compared to other cancers, the danger of oral cancer is it's usually not detected until it has reached an advanced stage. When individuals reach that advanced stage, about 6 in 10 people will survive after five years of treatment.

Early detection increases survival rates. Your Durham, NC, dentist conducts a fast and painless oral examination that increases survival rate by 80 percent or more. Never underestimate your biannual dental checkups. Dr. Pyle identifies any changes in the lining tissues of the mouth, lips, and tongue by using a special light or dye. The oral cancer screening is both visual and tactile. If your doctor thinks there are any abnormalities, a small tissue sample is sent to a laboratory for testing.

Who's At Risk for Developing Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer doesn't just affect older individuals. It manifests mostly in people over the age of 40, but oral cancer patients are getting younger. This is primarily due to the sexually-transmitted Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16).

Other major risk factors include:

  • Middle aged or older
  • Moderate to heavy drinker
  • Long-time tobacco user
  • Chronic exposure to the sun
  • Genetic factors

Detecting Oral Cancer

Your dentist's dental checkup includes:

  • Checking for red or white patches or unusual sores
  • Lumps and swellings
  • Abnormal sores or color changes in the tissue of your mouth, lips and tongue
  • Sores or other unusual changes that haven't gone away by themselves after 2-3 weeks

For more questions or concerns, call your Durham, NC, dentist, Dr. James Pyle, today!