Routine dental checkups typically include multiple phases. They start with a dental hygienist cleaning and polishing your teeth before our dentist administers a comprehensive dental exam which will detect areas of tooth decay and potential signs of gum disease.
Each dental exam administered by Dr. Tyjuan Williams also includes a basic screening for early warning signs of oral or pharyngeal cancer. Identifying these serious oral health problems early can significantly improve treatment success rates.
The American Cancer Society notes that the 5-year relative survival rate for a person with localized oral or pharyngeal cancer is 83%. If the cancer has spread to the nearby lymph node or another part of the body the treatment success rate can drop as low as 38%.
If you have noticed something abnormal in your mouth or throat in between your regularly scheduled dental exams, you should not hesitate to set up a screening with our dentist.
Early symptoms of oral cancer often manifest as a persistent pain in your mouth, which might also be associated with swelling or a lump in your cheek or gums. Red or white areas on your gums, tongue or tonsils should also be a cause for concern.
Pharyngeal cancer symptoms sometimes manifest as lingering sore throat or a feeling like something is stuck at the back of your throat.
Some patients with oral or pharyngeal cancer also experience problems with dry mouth and chronic bad breath.
If you are in the Augusta, Georgia, area and you have noticed a change in your mouth or throat, please do not delay in calling 706-868-4200 to set up an oral cancer screening at our office.