Oral Cancer Screening in Louisville, KY & New Albany, IN
Oral cancer screening is an examination we perform to identify any signs of cancer or precancerous conditions. There are a variety of reasons why it is wise to schedule regular dental exams twice a year, but one that is often overlooked is the opportunity to screen for oral cancer. These routine check-ups allow us to perform deep cleanings or monitor how recent procedures are doing, as well as exams by PerioImplant Associates to monitor your overall oral health and spot potential issues early. We are examining more than just your teeth, we are probing your glands, the areas outside your mouth, gums, lips, palate, temporomandibular joint, and skin.
Are You a Candidate for Oral Cancer?
Signs of oral cancer were initially seen with smokers, but now are appearing in more patients of all ages. Smoking is still the primary cause of oral cancer, but other criteria such as poor oral hygiene, age, genetics, and alcohol consumption can also cause the development of this condition. You should have an oral cancer screening exam if you are experiencing one of the following symptoms:
- Swelling, eroding areas, or white or red patches inside your mouth.
- You have an increased sensitivity of your face, mouth, or neck.
- You are encountering unexplained, excessive oral bleeding.
- You are finding it difficult to swallow, chew, speak, or to move your tongue.
- Sores in your mouth that will not heal.
- You have developed ear pain.
- A persistent, nagging pain in your mouth.
Screening for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer screening takes place during every one of your routine exams. The screening is with visual and direct methods as our PerioImplant Associates team carefully examines your mouth and throat for any signs of lesions. If detected, we will next take a biopsy of the suspicious sore to determine if it is cancerous. If the biopsy returns from the lab as positive, we will now involve a specialist, guiding effective treatment in the shortest time possible.
We do not treat oral cancer directly, but we do work closely with several trusted and experienced oncologists who can provide you the correct treatment.
Contact Our Practice Today
Our goal is to get you back to smiling and chewing with confidence. With our qualified staff and compassionate team, we will listen to your questions and desires to find the best solution for your dental health.
Monthly Self Evaluations
Around 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year and about 10,000 will be fatal. Initially considered to be a risk factor limited to smokers, new research now indicates that there are other factors, such as alcohol consumption, gender, ethnicity, and genetic predisposition. Oral cancer is the sixth most common occurring cancer in men. With these statistics, it is extremely important to have regular oral cancer screenings, which will be conducted at your regular dental exams.
One of the best things to do to detect oral cancer early is to practice simple monthly self-exams. These evaluations will create an awareness.
- Tilt your head back and examine the roof of your mouth.
- Feel your gums to see if there are any abnormalities or new growths.
- Use your index finger to fishhook and stretch out your cheeks. By doing this you can observe the surrounding teeth and gums to see if there are any abnormalities or new growths.
- Massage or prod your jaw and neck to see if there are any indications of enlarged glands or lumps.
- If applicable, remove your dentures or other orthodontic appliances.
In addition to this self-exam, make sure to call PerioImplant Associates if you notice or are experiencing any of the following:
- Red and white patches in your mouth.
- A chronic cough, hoarseness, or a sore throat.
- Lumps or masses that have suddenly developed in your neck.
- Sores that are bleeding or are not healing.
- It is becoming difficult to swallow.
If you have noticed any suspicious changes to your oral health, it is critical that you schedule an appointment with PerioImplant Associates as soon as possible.
Oral Cancer Treatment Options
If the biopsy confirms that you do have oral cancer, there will be several treatment options which PerioImplant Associates can introduce you to. Removing the tumor is the first method for addressing oral cancer. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy is another method for treating oral cancer, especially if the affected area involves a significant amount of tissue. This approach will target the specific cancerous cells and protect the tissue that is healthy.
The best approach to treating your oral cancer is to design a unique treatment plan with PerioImplant Associates and an oncologist that is aligned to your oral health history, any current oral health issues, the severity of your case, and what kind of post-treatment care will be the most effective in helping with your recovery and minimizing your chances for issues reoccurring.
Preventing Oral Cancer
Although it is impossible to completely protect yourself from the risk of developing oral cancer, there are some precautions you can consider, including:
- Practice good oral hygiene habits at home.
- Avoid using tobacco products and secondhand smoke as much as possible.
- Limit your sun exposure, especially your lips.
- Minimize your alcohol consumption.
- Practice Monthly Self Examinations.
The Cost of Your Oral Cancer Screening
The cost of your oral cancer screening is minimal because it is a part of your regular exam but can vary depending on lab findings and your treatment plan. We will discuss with you the cost of your oral cancer treatment and each of your available payment options if necessary, so that you can make an informed decision for your situation. We will work with your insurance provider to make sure that your coverage meets your needs and your budget.
Our Specialists Tell Our Story Best
Ramsey Burton, DMD
Dr. Ramsey Burton is originally from Nashville, TN. He received both his undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Louisville. Following dental school, he completed periodontal specialty training at the University of Kentucky.
Courtney Shearer, DMD, MS
Dr. Courtney Shearer was born and raised in Louisville, KY. She attended Washington and Lee University for her undergraduate degree. She then attended the University of Louisville School of Dentistry where she received her Doctorate in Dentistry.
Jodie Lusby, DMD, MSD
Dr. Jodie Lusby is a Board Certified Periodontist and grew up in Florence, KY. He attended the University of Kentucky where he received his biology degree and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He then attended the Louisville School of Dentistry.
A Warm and Caring Welcome to Our Practice
Our entire team at PerioImplant Associates has one primary focus, and that is your total oral health. It can be natural for you to be anxious about visiting a dentist, or even a specialist such as a periodontist. Understanding that, we will always take our time in explaining the benefits of any procedure that is being proposed for your dental health. Both offices, Louisville, KY, and New Albany, IN, are completely trained to address all issues with your oral health. We will explain the aspects of periodontal treatment, introduce our staff, and share any general office policies. Call us today about an oral cancer screening exam for you. Each of us will greet you with a warm smile and send you home with a healthy smile that you will be eager to share.