OralID at Smiles By Shields

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and at this Jacksonville, Florida dental practice is celebrating with a new tool, the OralID. The OralID is a new oral cancer screening tool that enables dentists to quickly and easily screen for oral cancer in their patients. If you have yet to be screened for oral cancer this year, call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shields.

What Is Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is cancer that affects the tissues of the mouth and can extend into the throat by causing cancer in the pharynx. Oral cancer is diagnosed in more than 49,000 Americans every year and is the cause of death of over 13,000 individuals every year. The mortality rate for this type of cancer is quite bleak, and mostly due to the fact that diagnosing oral cancer does not normally occur until the cancer has reached late stages. One reason that this disease is allowed to develop unnoticed is because the symptoms of oral cancer are commonly dismissed as everyday oral occurrences. Lumps, discoloration, and sores in the mouth are all indications of developing oral cancer; however, these symptoms also occur when the mouth is burned, a canker sore develops or the mouth tissues are damaged by one’s own teeth. Similarly sore throat and difficulty swallowing or chewing could be mistaken for a viral or bacterial infection, yet these are also symptoms of oral cancer. This is why oral cancer screenings are so important. Next time you are at your Jacksonville, Florida dentist’s office ask for a screening. Everyday occurrences, like sores or sore throat, will generally resolve themselves within two weeks. If any symptom persists for longer than two weeks, it’s imperative to see your dentist and ask about OralID.

What Is OralID

OralID is an easy way for your Jacksonville, Florida dentist to make a big impact on your oral health. To perform an oral cancer screening all she needs to do is shine OralID in your mouth and examine what she sees. OralID resembles a small flashlight. This tool uses fluorescence technology to shine a 435-460 nm blue light into the mouth. This device illuminates signs of cancer by calling out abnormal and potentially cancerous cells. It is used by many dentists to identify cancerous, and precancerous lesions earlier. This is an amazing new addition the tools we use here at Smiles By Shields because it can easily be added to any check up, and can provide Dr. Shields a better view of any abnormal tissues that may be developing. If during your cancer screening Dr. Shields does find tissues that concern her, she will alert you and begin the process of identifying and diagnosing your condition.

Risk Factors For Oral Cancer

There are many risk factors that contribute to the development of oral cancer. First and foremost, the consumption of tobacco products. Tobacco contains many known carcinogens and when consumed it affects the mouth a considerable amount. Many cases of oral cancer are attributed to the consumption of tobacco products because these harmful chemicals destroy DNA rapidly. By quitting smoking you can significantly reduce your risk of developing oral cancer. Genetics also play a role in the development of oral cancer. If cancer has been a factor in the lives of your family members. Getting regularly screened is advised. Finally a relatively new risk factor is causing quite a stir in the medical community. A virus known as Human Papilloma Virus 16, or HPV16, has been causing record numbers of oral cancer diagnoses in a previously unaffected demographic, young non-smokers. Because you don’t have to be a smoker or genetically predisposed to develop oral cancer having your Jacksonville, Florida dentist provide you with an oral cancer screening at your appointments is very important.

Oral cancer is a serious condition that must be discovered and diagnosed as soon as possible. With OralID, Dr. Shields is able to easily and accurately begin the process of diagnosing this often fatal condition. Next time you are having your teeth cleaned, or attending a routine cleaning ask for an oral cancer screening with OralID!

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