Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening is a service that our team here at Advanced Family Dentistry is always ready to offer. This procedure is a precautionary exercise to help detect or identify early oral cancer cases and treat them before they become serious or malignant. Cancer cases are best treated early. While there is some debate as to the necessity of screening for those without obvious risk factors, these screenings are minimally invasive and offer the best chance of a quick recovery with early diagnosis.
Why an Oral Cancer Screening Is a Necessity
Medical science has proved that oral cancer, like the rest of the cancers, is easier to treat at the earliest stages. While the screening itself is not a cure, after knowing one’s status, careful and effective planning for treatment can be made. Also, our dentists give helpful advice on how to keep the mouth healthy from cancer and other factors that may compromise your oral status.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer screening is vital for people in the high-risk bracket. Tobacco users are classified as the most affected and are, therefore in need of regular oral screening exercise. Tobacco use is not limited to active smokers alone. People that chew tobacco, use snuff and are cigar or pipe smokers are in this risk bracket too.
Alcohol use also increases the chances of developing mouth ulcers. Regular alcohol use compromises the mouth as well as other organs of the body. One who drinks heavily should, therefore, go for early oral cancer screening and adopt healthy oral activities. Regular and proper periodontal care can also reduce your chance of oral cancer.
Diet can often define a person. A poor diet coupled with poor oral hygiene may increase the risk of oral cancer. Regular intake of sugary foods like sweets, cakes, juices, sodas, and biscuits can lead to a build-up of bacteria in the mouth. Not only does a high sugary intake have an impact on dental diseases, it can also affect your waistline. Obesity is a risk factor for all cancers, which should be tackled by healthier food choices in reasonable quantities.
Oral cancer screenings do not require prior bookings. This procedure is often a part of routine dental exams with your twice-annual visits. Our dentist will take a thorough look inside the mouth to identify any unusual patches or sores. If there are lumps that look doubtful, we may recommend a biopsy and have the sample taken to the lab for testing.
In case there are suspicious sores or lumps, the dentist could also rinse the mouth with a special blue substance. After spitting this out, culprit lumps or sores may retain the blue tint. A torch can also be used to check if there are suspicious swellings within the mouth. Healthy sores appear darker when light falls on them while the risky ones look brighter, or white.
After the examination, our dentist will schedule another visit to check on the swellings. It is important to note that even people with no risk factors may still develop oral cancer. A screening is, therefore, advisable for everyone. To discuss more about oral cancer screenings, feel free to contact us at Advanced Family Dentistry at (765) 287-5338.