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The healthy function of your mouth relies on more than just preventing cavities and gum disease. In fact, your mouth and throat have diverse tissues that play an important role and can also be affected by oral health problems.

Along with a consistent daily oral hygiene routine, the American Dental Association also recommends that you have a dentist like Dr. Victoria Nguyen perform a dental checkup twice each year. This important appointment is intended to clean your teeth and detect any oral health issues before they can worsen.

The dental exam portion of the appointment also includes a preliminary screening for any early signs of oral and pharyngeal cancer. This is typically done at the end of the dental checkup and involves a brief inspection of your tongue, throat, face, and neck for any swelling or abnormal discoloration.

If an area of concern is found, our dentists, Dr. Karl Schneck or Dr. Victoria Nguyen will refer you to an oncologist or other specialist to confirm the diagnosis and start the treatment process. The American Cancer Society notes that with early diagnosis the 5-year relative survival rate for oral or pharyngeal cancer can be as high as 83%.

If you live in the Medford, Oregon, area and you have an oral health concern, you should call 541-779-4344 to schedule a dental checkup and oral cancer screening at Crater Lake Dental.