Oral Cancer Screening in Belchertown
Mark D. Medaugh DMD at Valley Dentists of Belchertown, MA screens his patients for oral cancer as part of a routine dental examination. Quick and painless, Belchertown oral cancer screening can detect suspicious lesions at their earliest stages for accurate diagnosis and better chance of cure.
Dentistry involves much more than fillings, crowns and braces. While these are important, dental care also is about how your oral health can affect your overall well-being. That’s why Mark D. Medaugh DMD of Valley Dentists of Belchertown, MA includes oral cancer screening in his routine dental examinations.
The American Dental Association states that more than 42,000 people in the United States are diagnosed annually with throat or oral cancers. Left alone too long, these lesions can be deadly.
Caught at their earliest stages, cure rates are high. Dentists such as Dr. Medaugh are on the front line of defense against this disease.
What causes oral cancer?
Both age and lifestyle seem to play a role in the development of oral cancer. Most of these cancers occur in individuals who:
- are over 50 years old
- chew tobacco or smoke cigarettes, pipes or cigars
- drink excessive amounts of alcohol
- are exposed to HPV (human papilloma virus)
- spend a lot of time in the sun without protection
Regardless of risk factors, however, Dr. Medaugh screens all his patients.
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Symptoms are not always obvious to the individual. However, some signs of oral cancer, even pre-cancerous ones, may be noticed by the patient--things such as:
- difficulty chewing, swallowing or talking
- a change in how teeth bite together
- pain or soreness in the mouth
- red or white patches on the tongue, cheeks, gums or lips
When Dr. Medaugh performs Belchertown oral cancer screening, he takes both a visual and a hands-on approach. He carefully looks for lumps and lesions inside the mouth (back of the throat, cheeks, tongue, palate) and on the lips. He also feels the jaws and neck for any lumps or soreness.
Some dentists may use special mouth rinses which highlight areas of concern inside the mouth. In addition, the Velscope detection system, which shines a special light inside the mouth, shows the dentist which oral tissues are healthy and which are suspect. Altogether, 01007 oral cancer screening is fast, pain-free and accurate.
Lasting dental health rests on preventive care.
Oral cancer screening in Belchertown is only part of preventive dentistry. At Valley Dentists of Belchertown, Dr. Medaugh and his friendly staff deliver many important dental services, including:
- dental cleanings
- pediatric dentistry
- mouth guards
- cosmetic veneers
- dental implants
- tooth-colored fillings
To find out more about preserving your teeth and gums for better systemic health, call Valley Dentists of Belchertown for a consultation: (413) 289-5113.