|Oral Cancer Screenings
It is necessary to look for signs of oral cancer and identify them at an early stage so there are better chances for successful treatment. Dentists recommend regular oral screenings, especially for those at risk for oral cancer.
What Are Oral Cancer Screenings?
An oral cancer screening is an evaluation done by the dentist in which they examine your whole mouth, including the cheeks, gums, lips, and roof of the mouth, for signs of precancerous conditions or cancer in your mouth. Some additional tests besides routine dental exams might aid in identifying any abnormal areas in your mouth. If the dentist finds anything unusual, they will refer the patient to an oncologist.
Why Are Oral Cancer Screenings Done?
Dentists recommend oral cancer screenings in order to detect oral cancers at early stages where they can still be removed and treated. The risk factors that lead to oral cancers are:
Detection of oral cancers is possible at a comparatively later stage than other types of cancers, and that is why the fatality rates are high and more individuals diagnosed with it live for only five years after the diagnosis. Oral cancer screenings are the best step toward diagnosing and treating oral cancer early on.
What Can You Expect From Oral Cancer Screenings?
Oral cancer screenings involve several examination methods, such as a visual exam, where your dentist will look inside your mouth for signs of red or white patches. Then comes palpation, where your mouth is checked for lumps and other tissue abnormalities. Additional tests include oral cancer screening dye, in which a toluidine blue dye is applied, taken up by abnormal cells, and identified. Oral cancer screening lights help identify cancerous or abnormal cells, using a fluorescent mouthwash to rinse the mouth, which causes the abnormal tissues to look white in a special light.
Limitations and Risks Involved with Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings cannot save someone diagnosed with oral cancer. However, they can help with early detection and proper treatment. Oral cancer screenings cannot detect most cancerous regions that easily go undetected. A simple visual exam or palpation is not enough to identify a precancerous area in your mouth. Sores in the mouth are common, and a dentist cannot identify whether the sore is cancerous or not without additional tests. A biopsy or oral screening test is recommended to check the mouth for signs of cancer.
When Should You Ask a Dentist for an Oral Cancer Screening?
If you notice abnormal growth or pain in one or more regions of your mouth, including lumps and red lesions, schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. You can also self-examine at home by looking for bumps and discoloration along your inner cheeks, lips, tongue, and gums. Run your fingers along your jaw, neck, and face to feel for abnormal swelling or rashes. A lump in the neck is alarming, so don’t hesitate to see your dentist as soon as you find one.
Request an Appointment at Brush & Floss Dental Center
Oral cancers have high fatality rates, and routine oral cancer screenings are the best chance to detect and defeat them. Our healthcare providers our doctors and Our doctors can provide excellent screenings and guidance, so call us now at (203) 683-5253 to request an appointment.