Dental Blog

Why You Need Oral Cancer Screenings

Why You Need Oral Cancer Screenings

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Oral Cancer Screening Dentist Holland, MI

The best way to spot early signs of oral cancer is to come into our office for oral cancer screenings.

Oral cancer affects more than just your mouth: it can develop in the throat, sinuses, lips, tongue, or cheeks. It can be fatal, but it’s treatable if it’s diagnosed early on.

Here’s what our dentist wants you to know about this potentially deadly disease.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is typically caused by tobacco use, alcohol consumption, poor diet, or too much sun exposure on the lips.

The resulting oral cancer symptoms are as follows:

  • Lump in throat, mouth, or on lips
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Numbness or pain when biting down
  • White or red patches in the mouth

Why Oral Cancer Screenings Matter

Early detection can be life-saving, not only with mouth cancer but with any cancer in general.

The best way to detect oral cancer before it gets out of control is to have oral screenings done at least once per year. The screening may seem simple and minuscule, but that one extra precaution could save your life.

There are two main types of screenings done: clinical examination and oral examination.

With clinical examinations, our dentist will look over the inside of your mouth for patches and sores and feel for any lumps on your cheeks, tongue, and other parts of your mouth. This is often squeezed into your regular dentist appointment because it is very simple.

Oral examinations, on the other hand, are more thorough and involve the use of screening devices to detect signs of mouth cancer or premalignant lesions.

Oral cancer is a rather dangerous type of cancer because it can spread without experiencing any pain or symptoms.

If oral cancer goes undetected in its early stages, our dentist may discover the cancer when it’s too late.

Having routine oral cancer screenings done can prevent this from happening, and the importance of these screenings cannot be stressed enough.

Oral Cancer Prevention

In order to reduce your risk of oral cancer, you should make some adjustments to your lifestyle.

By following these few guidelines below, you’ll have a better chance at having no issues arise in your oral cancer screening:

  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Maintain the cleanliness of your dentures.
  • Wear sun protection on your lips.
  • Avoid all tobacco products.

Whether you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or not, you should make it a priority to ask our dentist about scheduling an oral cancer screening.

That small step may end up saving your life.

Request an Appointment With Dr. Habecker

Our family dentist in Holland, MI, wants to help you maintain a healthy smile through preventive dentistry. Oral cancer can be scary, but it can be cured if it’s caught early.

To schedule your next oral cancer screening with Dr. Habecker, call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524. We’d be more than happy to set up your next appointment.

This blog post has been updated.


Dear Patient Family,

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care and we appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to follow orders from the Governor's Office.

We are happy to say that we are opening our office for all patient treatment on June 1st, 2020. Our hours of operation will go back to normal, Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm. We want you to know that there will be some changes at your next appointment. Please be patient with us as our protocols will inevitably change as new guidelines are released.

  • We ask that you use our parking lot as the waiting room.
  • Please wear a mask when you come into the office and leave it on until entering the treatment room. Homemade is acceptable.
  • Only the person receiving treatment should come in the building, all others will be asked to wait in the car if at all possible. The exception will be for our minor patients who may have one parent accompany them.
  • We will be asking you some questions when you arrive at the office and we will also be taking your temperature.
  • We will not be able to offer magazines, drinks, or toys at this time as they cannot be disinfected to our standards. Eventually this will change and we will be happy to offer our amenities once again.

These changes have been made to adhere to the latest CDC guidelines and for the benefit of our patients and our staff. We want you to know that our office has always taken the safety of our patients very seriously and that we will continue to follow the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection to keep you protected. If you would like more information on what measures we have taken we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

We cannot say how excited we are to see all of our patients again and to provide for their dental needs. We look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces soon!

Dr. Habecker and Team