We partner with patients to reduce risks of oral cancer by detecting problems early

Each year, almost 1,500 new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancers will be diagnosed in our state, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. As scary as any cancer diagnosis can be, as with other cancers, early detection is key. Oral cancers have a high rate of being successfully treated if professionals like the Smile Today Dental team in Glenview, Illinois, have the opportunity to detect them early. 

As specialists in oral anatomy and function, our dentists, Drs Evelyn Kidonakis, Jinyoung Yoo, and Amir Danesh, are often on the front lines of identifying pre-cancers and early-stage cancerous lesions during routine oral cancer screenings. Moreover, we get to know our patients. We understand their risks for cancers and other damaging oral health conditions. In turn, our team proactively partners with patients to minimize or eliminate those risks. Keeping screenings at our practice is an excellent start.

Screenings explained 

During your screening, our dentists are looking for potential red flags. They’re pinpointing trouble spots by sight and by touch (palpating). We will also discuss and note any changes since your last visit. 

We encourage you to contact us immediately if you notice any of the following potential symptoms: 

  • Unusual pain, numbness, bleeding, and swelling 
  • Persistent hoarseness 
  • Frequent sore throats
  • Sudden problems with swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Changes to how dentures fit, possibly due to unexplained swelling
  • The ongoing sense that something is “stuck” in your throat
  • Speech-related changes, such as slurring your words
  • Sores that don’t heal 
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Problems moving your tongue 
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Earaches
  • Facial asymmetry or drooping

What can’t be seen with the eyes or felt by touch can be detected with our sophisticated diagnostics. We use safe and precision digital x-rays to pinpoint potential abnormalities as early as possible. Depending on what we find during this thorough screening, we may refer to a head and neck surgeon or other specialists. In addition to getting into a habit of visiting us regularly for exams and cleanings, we may also recommend: 

  • Ways to stop smoking or the use of other nicotine-containing products, including e-cigarettes 
  • Limiting your consumption of alcoholic drinks
  • Sun protection measures, such as the application of the UVA-UVB sunscreen products to the lips and other exposed areas 
  • Dietary changes, introducing antioxidant-rich and tooth-friendly “whole” foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains 

Do not wait until your next visit if you are concerned about changes in how your mouth looks or feels, especially if you have any of the risk factors noted here. We look forward to partnering with you and your family for a long time and helping you to live to the fullest. Call us today at 847-440-3331 to schedule your appointment.