Importance of getting oral cancer screening with the dentist

Importance of getting oral cancer screening with the dentist

Sep 01, 2019

As you get ready to visit the family dentist in Phoenix, do you think why oral cancer screening is important? Regular check-ups with the dentist give results more than just smile. The routine checks allow seeing for cavities and gum problems. It is also important because dentists get a chance to check for the signs of oral cancer. The dentists in Phoenix recommend visiting twice a year for oral cancer screening.

Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore which do not go away. They become life-threatening if they are not detected and treated early. Oral cancer screenings are important if you have a higher chance of getting the disease. This includes-

  • Use of tobacco
  • Smoking and drinking
  • Earlier diagnosed with oral cancer
  • Over-exposure to sunlight
  • Some types of human papillomavirus
  • Chewing betel quid

There are different levels of oral cancer screening and the dentist starts with the basic examination which includes checking for the signs of mouth cancer screening.

  • Lips both inside and outside
  • Gums
  • Tongue from all sides
  • The roof of the mouth
  • Back of the throat

If you wear dentures, the dentist will check for the tissues beneath them.

The dentist will check your medical history before the examination. This is done to find if you are prone to any new disease or taking any medications. It also helps to know the risk factors for oral cancer which includes smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol. Such people are at higher risk of oral cancer. The oral cancer is common among men as compared to women.

The dentist would want to know your current overall health including any dental concerns. Don’t hesitate in sharing any kind of information or concerns if you have.

In the oral cancer screening, the inside and the outside of the mouth are checked. The one finger is put in the mouth under the tongue and few fingers on the skin under the chin and moves around to feel the tissue. This examination takes at least 5 minutes.

The main purpose is to check for the lumps and spots to see if anything unusual looks about spit that covers the pink parts inside the mouth. If there are any, the dentist will check more deeply and rinse the mouth with a blue dye before the examination. An unusual cell in the mouth absorbs the dye. The dentist may suggest another appointment a few weeks later to see if anything has changed.

In some cases, a biopsy may also be recommended where a small piece of tissue is taken from the affected area and send to the lab for cancer cells testing.

Common signs and symptoms of oral cancer-

  • Lumps or rough spots on the lips, gums and other areas inside the mouth.
  • Red patches in the mouth.
  • Bleeding in the mouth.
  • Numbness or tenderness in the area of face, mouth or neck.
  • Persistent sores that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks.
  • Soreness or a feeling that something is stuck in the back of the throat.
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking and moving the jaw or tongue.
  • Pain in the ear.
  • Sudden weight loss.

If your lesions do not go away within two weeks, then visit the dental office in Phoenix. Don’t wait for signs and symptoms to become more painful. Pain is not a predictable symptom because it does not hurt.

Oral cancer screening is important because this is one of the worst cancers. It results in deaths as signs and symptoms are not easily identified by many people. The dentists possess the necessary skills and can find the disease early. It may move into the neck lymph nodes if you don’t go for its early detection. Therefore, it becomes non-curable.

Regular dental check-ups will help you in getting relieved from the problems with your teeth. The dentist must be experienced to identify the signs of oral cancer. This will allow you to get the treatment early. Therefore, visit the dentist in every six months as it is considered as a good routine. Talk to them about your oral health and dental goals and get the best treatment plan.

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