Your biannual dental visits are vital to your oral health. Not only do they keep your teeth and gums in their best condition, but they also give your dentist a chance to catch any issues before they become more serious. An important part of this exam is to give you an oral cancer screening. There are more than 49,000 cases of this condition every year in the U.S. so it’s essential that your dentist keeps track of your situation in case something changes. Continue reading to learn about the stages of oral cancer and the kinds of treatments available!
As with any type of cancer, oral cancer progresses in stages. This is why preventive care is so important—it gives your dentist the opportunity to catch it before it can progress. If some signs of oral cancer are found during your screening, then they will assign which stage you’re on. There are five phases in total. They are as follows:
The recommended treatment methods for oral cancer will depend entirely on the stage and location of the tumor at diagnosis. One major option is to perform surgery to remove the tumor and cancerous lymph nodes. Several forms of therapy—like radiation, targeted, and chemotherapy—specifically focus on and eliminate the cancer cells, often in combination with each other.
An important part of helping with your treatment and recovery is to eat nutrient-rich foods. Since you’ll have to remain cautious with your mouth and throat, it is wise to ask your dentist about which foods could be most helpful. Also, maintaining good dental hygiene is essential for healing from and preventing oral cancer.
Taking the time to visit every six months will not only keep your smile bright and healthy but protect you from any advancement of more serious issues like oral cancer. The sooner you catch anything, the quicker you can get the treatment you need.
Dr. Robert Sue and his team at Glendale Dental Wellness Center are dedicated to delivering outstanding comprehensive care. With over 40 years of experience, he provides a range of services with the goal of keeping your smile healthy for years to come. His preventive care includes using the latest dental technology and treatments to detect any issues early on. To schedule a checkup and cleaning, contact him through his website or call 818-243-3838.