Oral Cancer Screening
One of the reasons regular dental exams are so important is that they give dentists a chance to check for signs of oral cancer. The more regularly a patient visits the dentist, the more likely this form of cancer is caught during early stages when it is the most treatable. These routine exams are an important part of preventive dental care and overall health.
At Linworth Family Dental, our dentists automatically perform oral cancer screenings during each exam and cleaning visit with us. This is one of the ways we provide high-quality care to our patients.
Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Important?
Just as you may get screened for other types of cancer, a screening at your dentist’s office checks whether you have signs of oral cancer, also known as mouth or oral cavity cancer. These checkups are part of keeping up with your overall health and wellness.
The sooner oral cancer is noticed, the simpler the treatments and the better the survival rates through treatment. Early treatment may involve the removal of cancer cells or precancerous lesions, which is simpler at this stage. Visiting the dentist for twice-yearly exams ensures that we regularly check your mouth to give you a clean bill of health or recommend treatment as soon as possible.
What Is the Oral Cancer Screening Process?
When Dr. Whittaker, Dr. Glasgow or Dr. Soungpradith perform regular exams and check for signs of oral damage or disease, they also check for signs of oral cancer. They also look for precancerous conditions that require attention to reduce the risk of cancer.
During the screening, one of our dentists looks at all parts of the mouth, including the teeth, tongue, lips and mouth tissue. They may also check your lymph nodes and ears. If they notice any cause for concern, they may use some of the dental technology at our office to get a deeper view of whether cancer may be present.
What Is the Dentist Looking For?
The dentist for your appointment checks for signs of oral cancer such as loose teeth, sores that won’t heal, red or white patches, lumps or growths. They may see and/or feel these symptoms, possibly using technology if they need a closer inspection.
Also, share any symptoms you experience with your dentist. Oral cancer features some symptoms the dentist won’t notice during an exam. For example, you may experience pain in your mouth and ears. You may have a cough and have difficulty with swallowing. Sharing this information helps your designated dentist provide a more accurate diagnosis.
Also, it helps our dentists to have a complete picture of your health within your medical and dental history and information. Please update our office with any changes. For example, you may have a higher risk of oral cancer if your medical history includes human papillomavirus (HPV), mouth cancer or throat cancer. Your risk is also higher if you use tobacco or have excessive exposure to alcohol or the sun. It helps our dentists to have this information to best understand your risk factors and to provide proper diagnoses.
Schedule Your Visit
To receive regular oral cancer screenings, come to our office for bi-annual exam and cleaning appointments. Our team is happy to welcome you into our office family and be part of your long-term care.
Contact our office at 614-799-9500 to schedule your next exam.