2 Minutes That Could Save Your Life

Oral Cancer Screening…it takes 2 minutes and it could save your life.

of people out there are scared of visiting the dentist but oral cancer is even scarier.  Just take a look at these oral cancer statistics:

Over the last 8 years Oral Cancers have increased, most other cancers have declined.

49,670 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year.

Even though the two main risk factors are tobacco and excessive alcohol use, there is increasing numbers of young non-smoking oral cancer patients due to certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV).

70% of oral cancers are found in late stages (stages III or IV).

9,700 deaths this year will be due to late diagnosis of oral cancer, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

At TLC Dental Care we perform the The American Dental Association mandatory protocol for detecting oral lesions which is an annual health history review with a visual and tactile (look and feel) examination but we have added a Laser Assisted Screening also.  We have done the research and feel that the laser can help us find cancers when they are smaller and at an earlier stage.

It is our goal to have no one die from oral cancer in our practice and finding the cancer at earlier stages will go a long way toward that goal.  We decided that doing the screening is so simple that we’ll do it more often, at every check-up appointment instead of once a year, and we’ll use the laser every time.

We also realized that we couldn’t accept that someone might end up with a late stage cancer because they felt they couldn’t afford the Laser Assisted Oral Cancer Screening, so we made the decision that we’ll provide this service at no charge even though we’re gonna use a fancy laser each time.

And for the month of April, this complementary screening is extended to everyone in Knoxville even those folks who are not yet our patients.  Just contact us and we’ll find a 5-minute slot to do your 2-minute screening.

We know a lot of people out there are scared of visiting the dentist but oral cancer is even scarier.   So if you don’t go to the dentist for anything else, at least get screened for oral cancer every year.  It is a simple process, it takes 2 minutes, and it could save your life.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Oral cancer affects over 200,000 Americans every year. Among these people include members of our community, including some of our own patients.

We consider our patients to be friends and family and we want you to live healthy and happy lives.

This is why we are excited to be able to offer Oral Cancer Screening in Plano, TX using the latest technology to our patients and community.

We have offered oral cancer screenings at yearly exam visits for over 20 years now. The challenge has always been to be able to detect oral cancer fast enough. Oral cancer can grow at a rapid rate. The earlier the detection, the better the likelihood of a successful treatment.

Today, we use a proven, optically based method of detection called, “fluorescence technology.” The fluorescence technology of the OralID examination light uses a blue light to aid the doctor in the visualization of oral cancer, pre-cancer, and other abnormal lesions.

Using this cancer screening tool, we can now detect oral cancer and pre-cancer earlier than we ever could using previous methods. As we mentioned already, it is critical to identify issues as soon as possible in order to have a successful treatment.

The procedure is simple, painless, fast, affordable and proven to save lives.

We recommend performing this screening every 6 months at your regular dental exam visit. This gives you and your doctor the best opportunity for early detection.

While it is possible to get cancer at any age, we advise anyone from age 17 and up to take advantage of this life-saving exam.

Ready to schedule your oral cancer screening in Knoxville, TN area?

Contact us today to set up your complimentary screening. Dr. Cribbs has over 19 years experience and can detect oral cancer issues. She will be able to identify possible issues and recommend further treatments if needed.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the care you need.

Call us:

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped thousands of patients with a wide variety of dental health issues from general to cosmetic dentistry, ClearCorrect clear braces, dental implants and full mouth restorations.

Oral Cancer Foundation
Mayo Clinic
Mouth Healthy
Early Signs of Oral Cancer

5 Ways to Prevent Oral Cancer

The Prevent Cancer Foundation states that oral cancer is a highly preventable disease and also very treatable, IF caught early. Here is their list of 5 ways to prevent oral cancer:

  1. Don’t use tobacco in any form. If you use tobacco, quit. SmokeFree.gov has advice, recommendations, plans and apps to help you become an ex-smoker.

  2.  Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman or two drinks per day if you’re a man.

 3. Stay out of the sun, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when sunlight is strongest. If you are going to be in the sun, apply at least SPF 30 sun screen and wear a hat.

  4.  Always use lip balm with SPF 30 or higher. Your lips have no natural protection from the sun so be kind and smear ’em with some SPF goop. Remember soft moisturized lips are much more kissable than sun damaged ones.

5.  Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Isn’t this true for virtually everything?

Not using tobacco and not drinking alcohol in excess can prevent most oral cancer. However, one in four people diagnosed with oral cancer have no risk factors.  It’s important to see your dentist regularly for screenings because early detection is vital to treating oral cancer successfully.

At TLC Dental Care we do an Oral Cancer Screening at every cleaning and check up appointment. It is our commitment to the Knoxville community leads us to You should have an Oral Cancer Screening at least once a year. It’s two minutes that could save your live.

Fighting Back Against Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a subject we’d all prefer not to have to think about, but it’s critical to have a basic understanding of risk factors and symptoms. More than 50,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with oral cancer last year, and that number is expected to rise. That’s why, in honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we’re dedicating a blog post to giving our patients the tools they need for early detection.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that increase a person’s chances of developing oral cancer. Some of them are out of our control, such as age and sex. Men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer, and it is far more common in people over 45. But there are plenty of risk factors that we can control, the biggest of which is tobacco. A whopping 85 percent of oral cancer cases are linked to some kind of tobacco use (even e-cigarettes). The next biggest avoidable risk factor is frequent, heavy alcohol consumption.

A few of the less-obvious risk factors include getting too much sun (which can cause lip cancer), HPV, and neglecting your oral hygiene, particularly if you also smoke. You can eliminate this risk factor by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling regular dental appointments!

Symptoms To Watch Out For

Unfortunately, even people with none of these risk factors will sometimes develop oral cancer anyway, which is why it’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms, which include:

  • A sore in the mouth or on the lip that doesn’t heal
  • Red or white patches inside the mouth
  • Unusual lump on lip, mouth, neck, or throat, or strange thickness in the cheek
  • Persistent sensation of having something stuck in the throat
  • Numbness of mouth or tongue
  • Difficulty with chewing or swallowing
  • Chronic bad breath

If you do have one or more of the risk factors for oral cancer, getting regular general health screenings can catch it before you even notice any symptoms. The earlier oral cancer is caught, the easier it is to beat it.

Where Does The Dentist Fit In?

Another way oral cancer is caught early is at regular dental exams! In addition to checking your teeth for cavities and your gums for signs of gum disease, we can spot many of those early symptoms of oral cancer while we’re looking at your mouth, which is just one more reason why it’s so important to keep scheduling your dental appointments!

Even if you don’t have oral cancer or any of the risk factors, you can still help the people who are fighting this disease. Ask us how you can get involved!

We look forward to seeing you soon!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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