According to the American Cancer Society, there will be an estimated 48,330 people that will be diagnosed with oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer in 2016. An estimated 9,570 people will die of these cancers. The cancers occur most often in the tongue, tonsils, oropharynx, the gums, or the floor of the mouth; however, oral cancer can appear in any part of the mouth.
As such, we provide our patients with oral cancer exams as a preventative measure. In addition to the oral cancer exams, our surgeons also perform and recommend biopsies if they find any abnormal tissue or lesions during an examination. A biopsy is a procedure in which our periodontal surgeons will remove an abnormal piece of tissue and send it to an oral pathology lab for evaluation and proper diagnosis and to rule out that it is cancer related. The procedure is completed in office and just local anesthetics (a small injection to numb the area). There is minimal preparation for this quick procedure. After we receive the results back, our periodontal surgeons will discuss it with you and any necessary treatment. The lesions are benign the majority of the time but is best to take precautions as it always best to treat sooner rather than later.
If you notice any of of the abnormalities below, it is important to schedule an evaluation as soon as possible:
- White patches of the oral tissue (leukoplakia)
- Red and white patches (erythroleukoplasia)
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- A mass or lump in the neck
- An abnormal lump or thickening of the tissues of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
If you every have questions about an area of the mouth, please call and schedule an examination we can evaluate the area. At Implant & Periodontal Therapy, we have one focus: your oral health!