Why Is It a Good Idea to Get Screened for Oral Cancer?
You visit your dentist for routine exams and cleanings every six months along your dentist to detect problems for cavities or gum disease. Are you aware your dentist also looks for signs of oral cancer as the first line of defense against the severe infection?
Twice yearly checkups are recommended by the American Dental Association to have your teeth cleaned adequately and identify signs of tooth decay or gingivitis. However, dental professionals are also using these visits to conduct oral cancer screenings on you. The appearance of oral cancer is often a growth on the tongue, cheeks, lips, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, and the throat. Oral cancer gains life-threatening proportions when it is not detected and treated early.
How Is Oral Cancer Screening Performed?
Before your dental exam, the dentist near you will update your medical history to understand if you have any new diagnosis or are taking any additional medications since your last visit. The dentist asks questions about your risk factors for oral cancer, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. If you are accustomed to these habits, you are at a higher risk of the affliction.
The incidence of oral cancer among men is twice as high as in women. The dentist in 78660 inquiries about your overall health and any dental problems you are encountering. You mustn’t hesitate to share any information or ask any questions you have in your mind.
During oral cancer screening, the dentist examines various both inside and outside your mouth. Screening exams include intraoral and extraoral evaluations of your head and neck and the lips, cheeks, tongue, floor of the mouth, gum tissues, and palate. The dentist looks for signs of lumps, irregular tissue, sores, and discoloration. If any suspicious lesions are located, the dentist recommends a biopsy or refers you to an oral surgeon.
Significant Signs Indicating Oral Cancer
Some of the common symptoms and signs the dentist in Pflugerville, TX, looks for are the following:
- Lumps or bumps in your mouth, eroded areas on the lips, rough spots on other locations in the mouth.
- Red and white speckled patches in your mouth.
- Bleeding, pain, tenderness, and numbness in any area of the face or mouth that cannot be explained.
- Persistent sores on the face and neck or mouth that bleed easily.
- Difficulties chewing and swallowing foods or speaking and moving your jaw or tongue.
- Changes in your bite and unexplained weight loss.
Is Oral Cancer Screening Essential?
Many medical organizations disagree on whether people in good overall health and without risk factors need oral cancer screening. They contend that oral cancer screening is not proven to reduce or prevent the risk of dying from oral cancer. However, you may, in conjunction with the dentist near Pflugerville, decide that an oral cancer screening or a particular test is appropriate for you based on your risk factors.
The reason why oral cancer screening is performed by dentists is to identify mouth cancer early when treating it successfully is higher. Dentists are regularly performing oral cancer screenings during routine dental visits. You can discuss this issue with your dentist you have any of the risk factors described earlier to understand whether you want to know oral cancer screening or not. However, you may not even be aware that the dentist is screening you for this condition as dental professionals are aware of your anxiety and will not want to heighten your fears of the dentist’s office.
Is There Any Way You Can Identify Oral Cancer Signs Yourself?
If you notice any lesions in your mouth that don’t clear up in two weeks, it would be an excellent time to visit your dentist for a checkup. Any difficulties with chewing, swallowing, when talking accompanied by pain or numbness, should prompt a visit to your dentist or physician right away. It helps if you don’t wait for any symptoms to become painful before considering a visit to a medical professional.
Visiting your dentist every six months helps you to stave off any dental issues. Your dentist is also in an excellent position to detect signs of oral cancer early, allowing you to begin treatment for the condition sooner. You are not required to schedule separate apartments for oral cancer screenings and only needed to keep up with your dentist’s recommendations and see them every six months.