Oral Cancer Screening
When you think of your dentist the first thing that pops into your mind is oral care and dental hygiene. Oral cancer isn’t something one considers getting screened for at a local dental clinic, however, routine dental exams usually covers an oral cancer screening as well. If you haven’t had a dental exam in a while, it’s important to get one as soon as you can, as well as expecting that we perform an oral cancer screening. You can drop in at Singing River Dentistry to find out more about oral cancer screenings.
Probable Causes Of Oral Cancer
Although there is no definite reason as to why one gets oral cancer, there are a few factors that could increase the chances of oral cancer. These include factors such as using tobacco in any form (cigarettes, chewing or snuff). Each of the methods is equally harmful and increases the chances of oral cancer. Research also shows that people who consume a lot of alcohol are more likely to suffer from oral cancer than those that do not consume alcohol.
If you spend too much time outside in the sun without applying good quality sunscreen on your lips, then this increases the chances of contracting cancer on your lips and this is something that can be detected during a check-up at your dentist. Certain kinds of human papillomavirus (HPV), can also result in oral cancer. Chewing betel leaves or betel nut is another reason for contracting oral cancer. Smokeless cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and such can also result in oral cancer. Although these factors increase the chances of oral cancer, there is no guarantee that someone who does not relate to any of these factors cannot suffer from oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Screening Test
There are various kinds of oral cancer screening tests that dentists conduct. However, unless your dentist notices something that raises concern, you will need to go through a basic screening that is part of the dental examination. This screening consists of a detailed examination of your lips (inside & outside), close monitoring of the gums, your tongue, the insides of your cheek, your palette, and the back of your throat.
During the screening, we usually look for early symptoms of cancer, such as redness or soreness, growths or lumps or painful spots that seem unnatural. If for any reason, during the basic screening, we feel that there is something that doesn’t look or sit right with us, we will let you know and most likely perform a few additional tests.
The basic cancer oral screening doesn’t take any longer than five minutes. However, if it’s a detailed screening then may recommend that you rinse your mouth with a blue dye a day before the exam. This procedure helps us identify unusual cells more effectively and suggests further testing if needed.
Basic oral cancer screening can help save your life by identifying the signs of cancer at an early stage. It is for this reason that you should give us a call at 256-712-2240 to schedule an oral screening along with your dental cleanings. You can also visit Singing River Dentistry to learn more about the screening.