THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ORAL CANCER SCREENING
If your dentist doesn’t give you an Oral Cancer Screening during every hygiene visit, you should consider going elsewhere.
Westlake Smile Design conducts Oral Cancer Screenings during every hygiene visit making sure that oral cancer isn’t present.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, your dentist is the first line of defense. A visit to your dentist is no longer just about dental examinations, cleanings, filling and crowns. Oral Cancer Screenings that are done properly can help save lives.
In the past, it was difficult to determine if any abnormal tissues that were discovered should be of concern. Most people have conditions that may resemble pre-cancerous changes. In fact, a recent study showed that your dentist may witness as many as five patients every day who exhibit abnormalities, most of which are discovered to be benign. Even things like canker sores, sore spots or an accidental bite on the inside of cheek share similarities to oral cancer. Poorly fitting dentures or other dental appliances can also cause soft tissue sores. Only your dentist will be able to determine which of these conditions needs to be watched.
If you experience discoloration, sores, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or irritation that persists for a couple of weeks, it is vital that you schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Every year nearly 42,000 Americans are diagnosed with throat or oral cancer. If it is discovered during your Oral Cancer Screening, early detection and treatment is imperative.
During your Oral Cancer Screening, your dentist will check your gums, cheek lining, lips, the floor of your mouth, the roof of your mouth and the front part of your tongue. A visual inspection of your neck, jaw, and mouth will also be conducted. Your dentist will also discuss your health history.
If you notice white or red patches, have an irritation or a sore that will not go away or tenderness, pain or numbness in your lips or mouths, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Other signs to look for include difficulty moving your jaw or tongue or problems with swallowing or chewing. If your teeth are not fitting together properly when you open and close your mouth, see your dentist immediately.