Detecting oral cancer early significantly enhances the chances of successful treatment. So, dentists advise regular screenings that access the entire oral cavity. For individuals aged 20 and above, oral cancer screenings are advised every three years. While those above 40 should opt for annual screenings.
The risk factors of oral cancer vary from person to person. Adults with higher risk oral cancer screening thrice a year, while those at low risk are advised to do it once a year. High-risk individuals have excessive consumption of tobacco and alcohol, have a Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection, and are aged above 40, have prolonged exposure to sunlight or have a family history of cancer.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer can appear anywhere in the mouth. These types of cancers are asymptomatic, and thus, preventive measures like routine oral cancer check-ups are important.
Cancerous cells can form lumps or discolor patches in these areas –
Inside the lips
Roof of mouth
Both sides of the tongue
Inside both cheeks
Floor of mouth
Besides routine checkups, you must understand the effectiveness of proper nutrition for maintaining oral health and preventing oral cancer.
What To Expect From An Oral Cancer Screening?
The objective of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer in its early stages. It is a crucial preventive measure to avoid dental emergencies and minimize risks.
During oral cancer screening, you can expect –
Visual exam: Your dentist will visually examine your mouth for abnormalities, lumps or ulcers.
Palpation: Dentists may use their fingers to feel any lumps or bumps.
Oral screening dye or light: Dentists may also coat your mouth with oral cancer screening dye or use light in which healthy tissues look dark and abnormal tissues look white.
If any abnormal tissue is found, the dentist follows the process further –
Cytology: It involves the collection of tissue or cells from your mouth with a brush or cotton. A pathologist then checks it under the microscope.
Biopsy: A portion of the abnormal tissue is removed and sent to the pathologist for analysis.
Oral cancer screening is a painless, non-invasive procedure that hardly takes five minutes. Dentists also recommend adults to do monthly self-exams for oral cancer by checking for any lumps, sore, or white patches at their home.
Act Proactively Now And Stay Ahead Of Oral Health Risks
Take control of your oral health with the best dentist in Dallas. Dent Urgent understands the importance of individualized oral care.