An oral cancer screening is a visual and physical examination of the oral cavity as well as connecting tissues. The purpose of the screening is to identify signs or issues that can lead to cancer. The screening can also reassure patients that there are no problems indicating the presence of oral cancer.Dentists suggest oral cancer…
What to Know About an Oral Cancer Screenings and Dental Check-Ups
One early detection exam that the importance of is often understated is oral cancer screening. While some people may not have risk factors, it is still essential to check the mouth for signs of this disease. Fortunately, if a person goes to regular dental check-ups, a cursory search of the mouth is likely already being done. Discover why this screening should be on your radar and what are some of the signs a dentist may notice.
Oral cancer basics and common risk factors
It may not be something talked about as often as other types, but oral cancer is not to be taken lightly. According to Cancer.Net, roughly 58,000 adults will find out they have oral cancer this year. This type of cancer occurs more often in men than in women. Cancer.net reports it is the eighth most frequently diagnosed cancer in males. As such, getting screened is crucial.
Certain habits and risk factors may lead some dentists to recommend that a patient get more frequent screenings:
- History of tobacco use
- Frequent alcohol consumption
- Prolonged exposure to the sun
- Previous diagnosis of any other cancer
If a patient with higher risk is found to have indications of oral cancer, the dentist is likely to move forward with a biopsy or additional testing to rule it out.
The dentist's role in oral cancer screening
Regular annual or semi-annual trips for regular dental cleanings and examinations gives the dentist the perfect opportunity to do an oral cancer screening. There is a good chance patients have been getting this screening done without knowing it. A dental practitioner has a good vantage point to take note of things appearing in the mouth that do not belong there. If anything becomes of concern, the dentist should alert the patient and either conduct further testing in office or recommend another doctor become involved.
During a routine check-up, the dentist may see or feel evidence that may point to a possible oral cancer diagnosis. Become familiar with the two most common indicators.
Lesions or sores
There is a good chance that at some point, every person gets a sore in the mouth. These in and of themselves are not indicators of oral cancer. However, a dentist has the knowledge to distinguish between routine anomalies, such as canker sores, and those that may warrant further investigation. Sores that are white or splotchy red lesions typically signal an infection of some kind. If a patient indicates that the sores are prevalent, cause pain and never seem to go away, it may be cause for further investigation.
A dentist may see or feel raised bumps around the mouth that were either not present at the prior exam or should not be there. A patient should immediately report any appearance of bumps or lumps, especially if they have been painful or had any kind of discharge or taste.
A dentist's role as a medical provider is more comprehensive than patients may believe. When it comes to oral cancer screening, these practitioners are on the frontlines.
Are you considering an oral cancer screening in the Boca Raton area? Get more information at https://www.ismileboca.com.
Proper dental hygiene and a healthy diet may not always be enough. We can help identify early signs. Call for details.We can provide a quick oral cancer screening during a checkup to ensure that you are cancer free. If we find any symptoms or early signs, we will recommend the next best course of action…
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At iSmile Dental, Dr. James Helmy provides oral cancer screenings for patients throughout the Boca Raton, FL area. If you haven’t been screened for oral cancer, call our dentist office at (561) 225-2054 to schedule an appointment. Patients throughout the 33431, can ensure that oral cancer does not slip past undetected by simply scheduling an…