This year alone, tens of thousands of Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer, which, when left untreated, can become life-threatening. For Dr. Wayne Myles, his priority is providing his patients with high-quality preventive care, because their overall wellbeing is his number one priority. That’s why he provides thorough oral cancer screenings during each of his patient’s routine checkups and cleanings in his Reston, VA office.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer refers to any cancer that forms in or around the mouth and can include:
- Oral tissues
- The roof of the mouth
- The floor of the mouth
What Happens During a Screening?
An oral cancer screening is quick and painless. Most patients don’t even notice that they get one during their routine checkups and cleanings. When you visit our office, you’ll be greeted by one of our friendly dental professionals and taken back to a treatment room.
Dr. Myles will go over your health history and ask you whether any of your family members have had oral cancer. He’ll conduct a thorough visual examination of your mouth, including your throat, in search of any abnormalities or common signs of the disease such as oral sores that won’t heal or red and white patches. He’ll also feel your jaw, neck, and mouth to check for any suspicious lumps.
Who is at Risk of Developing Oral Cancer?
Certain habits and health conditions can increase your risk of developing oral cancer, which is why it’s especially important to visit Dr. Myles for routine screenings if you:
- Use any kind of tobacco products.
- Consume excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Expose your lips to the sun regularly.
- Have human papillomavirus, or HPV.
- Have a compromised immune system.
Why is Early Detection So Important?
The sooner oral cancer is detected, the higher chances that it can be successfully treated. With routine preventive treatment, Dr. Myles aims to reduce deaths caused by this disease and ensure that his patients live long, healthy, and active lives. If the cancer is left to spread to other areas of your body, it can be harder to remove and can drastically impact the quality of your life. In most cases, your dentist is the first line of defense against this disease. They can also alert you as to whether you’re at an increased risk of developing it so you can take action to reduce your chances of getting it.
At Smiles by Myles, our entire team is fully dedicated to maintaining the overall wellbeing of each of our patients by providing them with the highest quality of preventive treatment. With semi-annual oral cancer screenings, Dr. Myles hopes to reduce the number of people who die from the disease. Early detection can save a life!