There is clearly a need to raise public awareness towards oral cancer and the risk factors for developing the disease. Regular dental visits can play an important role in the early diagnoses and treatment of oral cancer. The oral cancer screening process is incredibly simple, painless, takes no more than 10 minutes and can help your dentist identify issues early.
All dentists are trained to and should perform visual mouth cancer screening at every examination. The outlook for mouth cancer can vary depending on which part of the mouth is affected and whether it has spread from the mouth into surrounding tissue. Mouth cancer can affect any part of the mouth, including the tongue and lips.
Once you have discussed symptoms, your dentist will use gloved hands to check your mouth, including the sides of your tongue and underneath, inside your cheeks and they will feel along your jaw looking for any signs of swelling, lumps, or red (erythroplakia) or pale (leukoplakia) patches or mouth sores. The doctor wants to know the exact location and size of the malignant tissue, and in what extent it has spread in other areas of the mouth or neck.
Some dentists may use special tests to screen for oral cancer. A couple of these oral cancer screenings may involve:
• Shining a light in your mouth during an exam. The light makes healthy tissue appear dark and makes abnormal tissue appear white.
• Rinsing your mouth with a special blue dye before an exam. Abnormal cells in your mouth may take up the dye and appear blue.
• Using a special brush to obtain cells from areas of the mouth and possibly the throat and lips. These cells are then viewed under a microscope to determine if they’re abnormal.
Men over the age of 45, along with elderly patients, have the highest risk of developing oral cancer. Regular screening for oral cancer is among the most important services provided to you at the dental office. Ensure that you keep regularly scheduled visits with your dentist and do your part to take your oral health seriously!
To schedule your routine cancer screening today , please call 480-924-2300 or visit the Robison Dental Group’s website