Oral Cancer Screening
Oral Cancer is becoming an increasingly common condition. Oral or mouth cancer is essentially an uncontrollable multiplication of cells that spreads to surrounding tissues. Any part of the mouth may be affected such as the lips, the lining of the mouth, the tongue, the floor or roof of the mouth or the throat. Early diagnosis through oral cancer screening is crucial to prevent the spread or metastasis of cancerous cells to tissues all over the body.
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
It may be diagnosed through the presence of one or more of the symptoms such as :
- Any mouth ulcer that does not heal
- Any red/white patch on the mucosa or mouth lining that does not go away
- Lumps, swellings or thickened areas in the mouth
- Pain or difficulty during swallowing, speaking or chewing
- A long-lasting cough or hoarseness of voice
- Any swelling of the jaws
- A change in how the teeth meet or how dentures fit
- Numbness of the lips, tongue or anywhere else in the mouth
What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Oral Cancer?
The exact cause of oral cancer is unknown. However, several risk factors or probable causes of oral cancer have been discovered which include:
- Tobacco chewing
- Smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes
- Alcohol consumption
- Exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet rays
- Human papillomavirus
- Previous history of oral cancer
What is Oral Cancer Screening?
It is a check or screening procedure performed by the family dentist in Roswell, GA that helps identify oral cancer at an early stage. The aim of oral cancer screening is an examination of the oral tissues visually and physically to check for any signs of oral cancer.
How is Oral Cancer Screening Performed?
Oral cancer screening involves the following steps:
1. A dentist will first visually check your face and neck for any swelling, lumps or discolored patches. Lumps in the neck could indicate swollen lymph nodes.
2. Next, one of our dentist Roswell, GA will visually inspect the inside of your mouth including its lining and the gums for any discolored areas, lumps, redness, ulcers or swellings. Good lighting, a dental mirror and a piece of gauze are used to aid in the examination.
3. The tongue will be checked by holding it up, pulling it out and moving it from side to side to identify any lumps or restrictions in movement.
4. The roof and floor of the mouth will also be checked for any abnormalities.
In some cases, advances screening may be performed using methods such as:
- Tissue fluorescence
- Oral cytology
What Are the Benefits of Oral Cancer Screening?
Screening may help detect precancerous or cancer in preliminary stages before it has spread to nearby tissues. Timely screening and detection of oral cancer enhance treatment success and recovery rates. Some precursor or early lesions may regress by reducing risk factors such as cessation of smoking or alcohol restriction.
What Happens if A Suspicious Sign is Detected?
If a suspicious sign of oral cancer is identified during screening, it is important to remain calm. Further tests will be carried out to confirm the presence of oral cancer and reach a definitive diagnosis. Most commonly, a biopsy or a sample of the suspicious area is taken and sent to a laboratory to check for the presence of cancerous cells.
Oral cancer screening can save a life! Visit https://sunshinesmilesdentistry.com/book-an-appointment/ and book an appointment today!