Maintaining a good relationship with your dentist is imperative for your overall health wellness. While the commonly experienced oral issues include cavities, gum disease and plaque, in some cases there is also the risk of developing oral cancer. The condition is exhibited by uncontrollable growth of cells that attack and damage oral and surrounding tissues. Areas affected could include the lips, tongue, cheeks, sinuses, throat and floor of the mouth.
What is Oral Cancer Screening?
Any medical examination performed by a dentist or doctor to check for signs of cancer in the mouth qualifies as oral cancer screening. It includes a physical and visual exam of the entire oral cavity which includes the lips, tongue, hard palate, the gums, the buccal mucosa, underneath the tongue and any other surrounding tissues. For more conclusive results, you may need to undergo additional tests such as use of oral cancer screening dye or light and a biopsy.
When getting oral cancer screening in 77581 at Harmony Dental, our medical experts look out for any signs of abnormal tissue. The symptoms we look out for include red and white bumps, rough spots, hard lumps, tenderness, sore that are not healing or any changes in the position of your teeth. We have a team of well-trained and experienced physicians that make the process simple, quick and thorough to detect both cancerous and precancerous conditions.
Why It’s Done?
The reason people are encouraged to regularly go for oral cancer screening is to ensure early detection, which increases chances of successful treatment. The disease has shown to have a low survival rate of 60% in just 5 years. It spreads rapidly and the symptoms are not always instantly alarming. It is therefore highly recommended you go for screening at least once every year to ensure your oral health is in good state.
The increased awareness about oral cancer is in response to the increasing number of oral cancer cases, especially among individuals below the age of 40. There is also the issue of late diagnosis where oral cancer is not detected until it is in advanced stages. To make it convenient for most people, the screening can now be performed along with your routine dental check-ups. About 84% of oral cancer cases can easily be detected by a dental health professional.
Preparing for Oral Cancer Screening in Pearland, TX
There isn’t much to do in terms of preparation when it comes to oral cancer screening. The procedure is relatively quick and straightforward. However, there are some expectations you can keep in mind that include:
- Removing any dental appliances such as dentures that may get in the way of the screening.
- Having the dentist physically examine parts of your mouth, cheeks and neck to check for lumps or any other abnormalities. They should however always use gloved hands.
- For further testing you may have to wash your mouth with a special blue dye to distinguish the healthy cells from the abnormal ones. Alternatively, a shining light may be used.
- You may be scheduled for a follow-up visit in case your dentist suspects any early stages of cancerous or precancerous lesions.
- To be scheduled for a biopsy. This may be done by your dentist or a doctor that specializes in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Can You Prevent Oral Cancer?
There are certain risk factors that increase your chances of getting oral cancer. They include heavy use of tobacco and associate products, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), heavy consumption of alcohol, prolonged sun exposure and having an unhealthy diet. Controlling these risk factors is an effective way of keeping off oral cancer. In addition to that, make sure to go for your regular oral cancer screenings near your area. Making a point to be informed about the associate symptoms can also help you stay in touch with the state of your mouth, which h makes it easy to notice any suspicious changes.
If you are in Pearland or looking to get oral cancer screening near Friendwood, TX, visit Harmony Dental or make your appointment today. We provide comprehensive dental services to keep both your oral health and overall health in good check.