Do I Need Oral Cancer Screening?

Do I Need Oral Cancer Screening?

March 1, 2022

The term oral cancer screening shouldn’t scare you because it doesn’t indicate you have oral cancer. It is merely a preventive measure to detect signs of oral cancer in your mouth because early detection leads to successful outcomes from the treatments provided. Dentists and scientists recommend adults over 20 must have oral cancer screening every three years, and adults over 40 require the screenings every year.

If you have the risk factors of oral cancer such as excessive use of alcohol, Tobacco, a family history of cancer, and the human papillomavirus, you must have an oral cancer test every year to ensure you have peace of mind knowing full well you are not affected by this devastating disease.

What Is Involved during Oral Cancer Screenings?

Would you believe that you get an oral cancer screening every time you visit your dentist for dental exams and cleanings? If not, please realize you merely have to schedule your appointments with your dentist to check for tooth decay and cavities and receive an oral cancer screening simultaneously without even realizing it.

Oral cancer screening in York, ON, starts with a clinical exam of your mouth and throat. Don’t express surprise at why the dentist is looking at areas of your oral cavity other than your teeth and gums. Dentists are trained to perform oral cancer screenings because they are the professionals you visit most often unless dental anxiety keeps you away from them.

An oral cancer detection test will likely cause no discomfort or require visits to an oncologist every year or six months. On their hand, your dentist performs the screening during your regular visits, looking for signs of abnormalities such as bumps, red and white patches, ulcerations, and swelling in your mouth. Dentists examine your entire mouth, including the roof, tonsils, inner cheeks, gums, and tongue. While you may not express surprise when the dentist looks at your gums, you undoubtedly will when they examine other areas of your oral cavity and wonder what the dentist is trying to accomplish by looking at sites unrelated to the dental exam.

Your dentist may also palpate your jaw, neck, under the chin, and the cheeks exteriors feeling for unusual masses or nodules. If the dentist notices any abnormalities, they might use a special dye or light to evaluate the area for oral cancer further.

Oral cancer screenings are completed in under five minutes during your routine checkup without charging you extra fees and requiring no additional procedures other than sitting in the dentist’s chair with your mouth open.

What Happens If Dentists Discover Abnormal Masses in Your Mouth?

If dentists detect any abnormal masses in your mouth, they request a return for a follow-up visit to monitor the masses to determine whether they have advanced or remain as they are. If they notice changes, dentists may recommend a biopsy for removal of sample cells for examination in a pathological laboratory to determine whether cancer cells exist in your mouth. They may also perform various tests using laser lights that reflect abnormal tissue differently than normal tissue.

Dentists may also spread toluidine blue dye over the suspicious area, turning blue when irregular tissue is detected. They may ask you to rinse your mouth with a solution of acetic acid and use a special light to evaluate the abnormal area. Dentists suggest all adults complete self-checks every month for oral cancer and apprise any transformations they notice like white patches, lumps, and sores to them. The screening modalities are preventive and in no way suggest you may have oral cancer that needs treatments from specialists.

Why Mustn’t You Fear Oral Cancer Screenings?

As mentioned earlier oral cancer screenings do not suggest you have a problem in your mouth. You receive the screening from your dental care provider every six months if you are diligent with your dental hygiene regimen and schedule regular appointments with them. The screenings are performed by a familiar healthcare provider merely to identify unusual growths in your mouth that might lead to oral cancer. Detecting abnormal lesions in your mouth enable dentists to suggest treatments early before the condition aggravates.

Suppose you neglect dental exams and cleanings frequently and develop cancerous lesions in your mouth to get them detected later. In that case, you require intensive treatments at considerable expenditure, especially if the condition is advanced. It is why everyone must have oral cancer screenings at least once a year to prevent unnecessary complications in their oral cavity.

Now that you know oral cancer screenings are essential, would you still like to ignore the exam? Please schedule an appointment with Marlee Dental Office for dental exams and cleanings and receive oral cancer screening as a complimentary gesture from the facility.

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