Have you ever wondered what a dental crown restoration is? It is one option for repairing your teeth if you have a cracked or broken tooth or if your tooth has extensive wear and tear. A crown is made from porcelain and metal alloy, which makes them very strong and durable. This is a common…
Is It Common to Have an Oral Cancer Screening?
One of the benefits that come with seeing a dentist at least two times each year is getting an oral cancer screening regularly. Oral cancer can be a life-threatening condition when it progresses to its later stages. However, current treatments for oral cancer have a high success rate when the problem is detected early on.
Getting regular dental checkups allows the dentist to detect oral issues like gum disease and tooth decay in their early stages, as well. That typically leads to lower dental bills since it is easier to treat developing dental problems in their infancy. The American Dental Association recommends going to a dentist at least two times each year.
Benefits of getting an oral cancer screening regularly
Oral cancer often appears as a sore or growth around the lips, tongue, cheek, throat, palates or the floor of the mouth. During routine checkups, the dentist will examine the patient's oral cavity, face and neck, looking for symptoms of oral cancer. Depending on the dentist's findings, a tissue sample might be collected and sent to a lab.
The oral cancer screening process
Prior to performing an oral cancer screen, the dentist will go over the patient's medical history, paying close attention to any new medication or diagnosis since the patient's last visit. The dentist might also ask the patient about factors that increase their risk of developing oral cancer. Habits like smoking and habitual drinking, which can increase a person's risk of developing oral cancer, will be discussed.
According to Dentistry Today, men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women. It is the sixth most common type of cancer that affects men.
During an oral cancer screen, the dentist will examine areas outside and inside the patient's mouth. They will examine soft tissues in the mouth like gum tissues, the tongue, the cheeks and lips. The purpose of an oral cancer screen is to detect any irregular tissues, sores or lumps around the patient's oral cavity. If anything suspicious is detected, the dentist might recommend a biopsy.
Patients can protect themselves against oral cancer by looking for signs and symptoms like:
- Eroded areas on the lips
- Rough spots, bumps or lumps on tissues inside the mouth
- White and red patches on the tongue
- Unexplained mouth bleeding
- Tenderness, numbness or pain in the neck, mouth and face
- Difficulty swallowing or moving the tongue
- Persistent sores developing on the mouth, neck and face
- Weight loss
- Bite issues
- Chronic sore throat
- Ear pain
When to see a dentist
Anyone who notices symptoms of oral cancer, like sores that do not clear up within a couple of weeks, should visit a dentist for an oral cancer screening. Symptoms like having trouble speaking or swallowing are also signs that a person is due for an oral cancer screening.
Dentists advise patients not to wait for symptoms to become painful since that gives the disease time to progress.
Get screened for oral cancer
Contact our Hemet clinic if you are interested in being screened for oral cancer.
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