Benefits of Oral Cancer Screenings

Benefits of Oral Cancer Screenings

Cancer is a dreadful disease that takes many lives every year. There are various types of cancers and oral cancer has become one of the most eminent types of cancer affecting people across the globe. Did you know that your dentists can diagnose the early signs of oral cancer? It may sound surprising but it is a fact! The dentists always recommend getting routine checkups done as it allows them to evaluate your dental health and look for signs of oral cancer as well.

It doesn’t take a lot of time and the oral cancer screening can be performed within 5 minutes during your routine dental checkup. It can help in identifying any malign lesion before it can spread or transform into a malignant one.

Why Are Oral Cancer Screening Important?

The Oral Cancer Screenings near you can be done by any experienced or your family dentist. The screening is important as oral cancer, just like any other type of cancer, can be treated successfully. The only pre-requisite is that it should get diagnosed at an early stage. It is estimated that approximately 84% of oral cancer can be detected early by a dental health professional. The dentists have many methods of detecting early signs of oral cancer with the latest state-of-the-art technology.

When the dentist performs oral cancer screening, they look for your lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat. The dentist might put one finger in your mouth, under the tongue and a couple of fingers on the skin under your chin. He will move these fingers to feel the tissue between them. The dentist will also try to feel underneath your jaw. This examination will take less than 5 minutes.

The dentist aims to look for lumps and spots and see if anything looks unusual about the spit which covers all the pink parts inside your mouth. If at all you happen to notice these things on your own, you can call the dentist and schedule an appointment. The dentists may perform in-depth tests for oral cancer screening. He might ask you to rinse your mouth with a blue dye before the exam. Any unusual cells in the mouth will absorb the dye so that the dentist can see them.

In case the dentists observe any signs of abnormalities, he will ask you to come after a few weeks to see if anything has changed. The dentist may also ask you to go for a biopsy. The biopsy is a procedure where a small piece of tissue is extracted from an area that looks troublesome. Then the tissue sample is sent to the lab for testing for cancer. The dentists may perform the biopsy or refer you to a doctor who can perform it.

How To Know If You Are At Risk of Oral Cancer?

  • People above the age of 40 can be considered at higher risk of developing oral cancer.
  • People who are addicted to smoking and chewing tobacco are at increased risk of oral cancer.
  • Heavy alcohol usage can also lead to oral cancer.
  • Men are more vulnerable to oral cancer than women.
  • It is said that prolonged sun exposure can also lead to oral cancer.

Though it has been observed that people with oral cancer have at least one of these factors, there are a growing number of people diagnosed with oral cancer with no risk factors at all. Therefore, it is suggested that one should get regular dental checkups along with Oral Cancer Screenings in Houston, TX, so that early signs of oral cancer can be diagnosed and the patient can get treated in time.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

  • Red or white patches in your mouth
  • Feeling numbness or pain when you bite
  • Spots that continuously bleed or don’t heal
  • A big lump or coarse spot in your mouth

You must know that not all spots and bumps are cancerous but if they are, diagnosing them earlier means you will have more treatment options to choose from. Thus, if you notice any unusual signs you must see the dentist for further examination.

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