Oral Cancer Screening
You have noticed that whenever you have routine exams and check ups, the dentist feels your cheeks, and neck, and inspects the tissue in your mouth. Your routine checkups also comprise cancer checkups. The team at Granite View Dental wants you to know whether or not cancer is present in the mouth. This is because, when you have the disease identified early, you are able to get treatment early. Receiving treatment for oral cancer early means less time spent recovering from the disease. It also means less effort in treatment. Cancer is easier cured when it is detected early before it starts to show symptoms.
What is Oral Cancer?
Also known as mouth cancer, oral cancer is a form of cancer that affects the tongue, cheek, lips, palate, throat, and lips. Men are two times more likely to get mouth cancer than women. Oral cancer is considered the sixth most common form of cancer in men. When you come to us, we make an evaluation of your oral cavity part of our exam. As dental professionals, we are your first line of defense against oral cancer.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Cancer of the mouth appears as a tissue growth or sore that never goes away. You may have continuous sores on the neck, face, or mouth that easily bleed and they do not heal fast. Oral cancer may also present with symptoms and signs such as rough spots, eroded areas, and crusts on the gums, lips, and inside the mouth. You may experience unexplained pain, tenderness, or numbness in areas of the neck, mouth, and face. Chronic sore throat, voice changes, or hoarseness are also possible signs. Discoloration of mouth tissue whereby you notice red, white, or white-and-red patches in the mouth are also other signs.
What Does the Screening Entail?
When checking for mouth cancer, we look for signs such as abnormal tissue. We check for visible symptoms like rough patches, changes in teeth position, hardened lumps, red and white tissue masses, and other irregularities in the mouth. Additionally, we feel the cheeks to determine if there are any unusual tissues. Palpating the cheeks can help detect irregular tissues that are not easy to spot.
Additionally, we feel inside the mouth. When we notice any strange lumps in the tissue, we suggest further examination. A biopsy may be called for to further investigate the tissue of the mouth. Much of mouth cancer screening involves visual examination. Using a tiny mirror, light, and tongue depressor, a dentist is able to check the inside of a mouth.
How Frequently to Be Checked for Oral Cancer
Our dentist will check for signs of mouth cancer when you come in for cleanings and exams, which are conducted every six months. Typically, you should get screened once a year if you are at risk of cancer. Too frequent screenings have their downsides. Talk to us to determine when and how often you should come in for screenings.
Schedule Your Appointment Now!
We want you to prevent the development of cancer, and if it is present in your mouth, catch it early so that we can commence with treatment. Schedule a mouth cancer screening appointment today at Granite View Dental. Dial (928) 589-1776 to find out about oral cancer screening at our dental clinic.