Why Is Oral Screening Important?

Why Is Oral Screening Important?

November 1, 2022

What Is Oral Cancer Screening?

It is a test for identifying precancerous cells or cancerous conditions in the oral cavity and the surrounding areas. These tests mostly involve physical evaluations to identify any anomalies in the mouth. The dentist uses a gloved hand to touch various surfaces and identify lumps and bumps that may be cancerous tumors. Further, dentists may use screening dyes and lights to make unhealthy cells stand out from the rest. The screening test is generally quick and pain-free.

Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Important in Dentistry?

The importance of oral cancer screenings in Trafalgar is more appreciated by dental experts than patients, even though patients stand to benefit. Ideally, screening tests help detect oral cancer in the early stages when there is a greater chance of finding a cure. Sadly, many people lose their lives to oral cancer when it can be successfully treated and cured. The only catch is that you detect it very early before it spreads to a wide area in your mouth.

Further, oral cancer screening helps you stay on top of your oral health, particularly if you know you are at a high risk of mouth cancer. You can make several adjustments in your lifestyle choices to stay healthy always.

When Do You Need Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer screenings are procedures that can anyone can undergo. Since their role is preventive, there is no loss in taking some precautions to ensure you do not have oral cancer. However, medical experts agree that oral cancer screenings are more beneficial to patients with a high likelihood of suffering from mouth cancer.

Therefore, a dentist near you cannot encourage oral cancer screening without merit. Usually, dentists recommend screening tests when they identify anomalies in oral health that may point to a heightened risk for oral cancer screening. Your lifestyle choices and family history may also provide grounds for your dentists to recommend oral cancer screenings near you. Some of the factors that should prompt you to consider getting oral cancer screening are:

  • Lumps, bumps, and tumors in your mouth
  • Whitish or reddish velvety patches in your mouth
  • Bleeding you cannot explain in your mouth
  • Persistent swelling
  • A mouth sore that does not heal
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in parts of your mouth
  • Hoarse voice and a sore throat
  • Pain and difficulty eating and swallowing properly
  • Loose teeth that may start to shift
  • Dentures that fit differently
  • Dental pin that may also translate to ear and neck pain
  • Crusts or eroded areas on your lips

Who Is at Risk of Getting Oral Cancer?

At Indian Creek Family Dentistry, we comprehensively sensitize our patients about oral cancer as much as possible. The first way to avoid oral cancer is by learning about the risk factors of the disease so you can adjust your life accordingly. The common risks of oral cancer are”

  • Smoking and any other use of tobacco products
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • A previous diagnosis of cancer
  • Genetics
  • Age – people over 50 years are more likely to get oral cancer than younger persons.
  • Exposure to direct sun rays can cause lip cancer
  • Indulging in oral sex – you can get an infection called HPV (Human papillomavirus)

Is Oral Cancer Screening Enough to Fight Mouth Cancer?

As incredible as the screening test is, it does not cure oral cancer. It is simply the first step you must stake to know whether you have cancer or not. Typically, after an oral cancer screening test, the dentist will determine the next course of action based on the results of the test. If (s)he suspects you have cancerous cells in your mouth, you will need a series of new tests like biopsies. The further tests are to determine the nature of cells, providing a diagnosis of whether you have cancer or not. Afterward, you will begin different treatment protocols to treat the condition if you have oral cancer.

Prioritize oral cancer screening because some of the symptoms of oral cancer are similar to those of other oral conditions like gum disease. Therefore, making an early conclusion may just cause unnecessary anxiety.

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