Why Do We Need Oral Cancer Screenings?

At least once a year, all adults should see the dentist for an oral cancer screening. In today’s blog, we’re looking at the importance of having your smile screened, as well as the reason all smiles need checkups and cleanings too. In today’s blog, your Austin, MN, dentists will be discussing the importance of preventive dental care!

The Importance of a Screening

According to studies from The Oral Cancer Foundation, over 53,500 people will be diagnosed with the disease in 2020 alone. What makes the disease so dangerous is the high mortality rate, as half of those diagnosed will succumb to the disease within just five years. The reason for this high mortality rate? The issue is rarely discovered in the early stages and is often recognized only in the later stages, at which point recovery is less likely. However! With a routine annual screening as part of your dental visit, we have the ability to carefully examine your smile with advanced technology, uncovering early warning signs of trouble so you can undergo a biopsy and see if you need to begin treatment. The earlier the issue is discovered, the greater the chances of a full recovery.

Warning Signs of Trouble

You should also be aware of common warning signs of trouble. For example, if you notice areas with red and white spots in your mouth, persistent pain or tenderness, lesions that don’t heal after two weeks, and rough patches, please let us know. Other warning signs could include difficulty chewing or swallowing, a sore throat that persists for more than two weeks, changes to your voice, or hoarseness that doesn’t pass after a week or two. If you experience one or more of these warning signs, then please let us know. You can also make a point of looking at your mouth for these visual warning signs at least once a month!

Checkups and Cleanings

You should attend your six-month checkup and cleaning visits so we can employ advanced digital aging technology to not only look for oral cancer, but the warning signs of issues like cavities, infections, gingivitis, and gum disease. Again, the sooner we identify these issues, the sooner we can administer treatment. During the same visit, we will also clean your teeth to lower your risk of periodontal issues! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today.


With preventive and general care our team helps safeguard smiles and protect them from the onset of serious oral health issues. To learn more and schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.