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Most people are aware of the oral health threats posed by untreated tooth decay and gum disease. Yet the serious threat posed by oral and pharyngeal cancer should not be underestimated. While your twice-annual dental checkup at Riverwalk Dental Spa includes a screening for oral cancers, you should not ignore symptoms that occur between appointments.

Early onset symptoms of oral cancer could include a persistent pain in your mouth, which might also be associated with swelling or a lump in your cheek or gums. You should also be suspicious of red or white patches on your gums, tongue, or tonsils.

Pharyngeal cancer, which is also known as throat cancer, can be harder for you to visually detect yourself. Early symptoms could be a persistent sore throat or a feeling like something is stuck at the back of your throat.

An oral cancer screening is included in your routine dental exam at Riverwalk Dental Spa. This includes a thorough examination of your tongue, throat, face, and neck for signs of swelling or discoloration. Be sure to mention any increased risk factors for oral cancer you may have, such as a family history of oral cancer as well as regular alcohol or tobacco use.

If Dr. Carrie Sessom finds any overt signs of oral or pharyngeal cancer, he will refer you to a specialist for further diagnosis and treatment. Early detection significantly improves your treatment options and chances of treatment success.

If you live in the Jenks, Oklahoma, area and you are experiencing symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer, you should call 918-770-0027 to schedule an exam and oral cancer screening.