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Dentist Chair

At Southdale Dental Associates, we are dedicated to your overall health and not just your smile. During routine cleanings, not only do we clean your teeth, we also perform a screening for oral cancer. Oral cancer can be life threatening if not diagnosed early.


Our dentists are trained in detecting the early signs and symptoms of oral cancer. Some symptoms could be caused by other oral health issues less serious than oral cancer. That is why it is so important to have an oral cancer screening at least once a year. According to the Mayo clinic, below are some symptoms that may indicate a problem:


  • A lip or mouth sore that doesn't heal.

  • A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth.

  • Loose teeth.

  • A growth or lump inside your mouth.

  • Mouth pain.

  • Difficult or painful swallowing.


During your exam, the dentist will perform a screening of your entire mouth including the tissue areas at highest risk of oral cancer. In addition, they will feel the tissue around your head and neck. If there are any concerns, we will have you return to check the tissue again or refer to a specialist.


In addition to coming in for regular exams, it is important to be aware of other risk factors.  According to the Mayo Clinic, the following may increase your risk for oral cancer:

  • Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others.

  • Heavy alcohol use.

  • Excessive sun exposure to your lips.

  • A sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV).

  • A weakened immune system.

Please schedule an appointment with your Southdale Dental Associates dentist if you have any concerns.

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