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Trip to Dentist Can Help Detect Oral Cancer Early

October 19th, 2015

Ask most doctors and they’ll tell you that your mouth is really the foundation of your entire health, so oral cancer screenings are a main reason that you shouldn’t skip your next trip to the dentist.

Dr. Bryan Wilson, of Contemporary General Dentistry, said checking for oral cancer, among other mouth diseases, is part of the routine.

He said 46,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year in America.

“A lot of times you can have cancer found in the mouth that can grow there and be undetected,” Dr. Wilson said.

While 75 percent of oral cancers are from smoking or tobacco, 25 percent can come from other sources, including the human papilloma virus, Wilson said.

“We’re looking for symmetry in the mouth, in the neck, any lumps, any bumps, any swelling lymph nodes. We’re looking for any lesions in the mouth that are white or red in coloration or any open ulcers,” he explained.

If your dentist finds something, they will usually send you to an oral surgeon for further evaluation.

“Early detection is key,” Wilson said.

This article was originally published on NBCConnecticut.com.

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