Oral Cancer Screening
Achieving optimal oral health requires that you invest your time in regular checkups with the dentist. Some conditions may go unnoticed for a considerable time, and when they are discovered, it might be too late. One of these conditions is oral cancer, which can present a serious problem to any patient. It is therefore important to ensure that you have regular dental checkups to prevent you from getting the disease during the early stages. Our team of qualified dentists at Smiles of Groton can perform an oral cancer screening, using modern techniques and equipment to ensure that the disease is detected early enough or prevent it from occurring.
What Is An Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is an inspection or assessment performed by a doctor or dentist to check for any symptoms or signs of precancerous or cancer conditions in a patient's mouth. The main objective of the examination is to detect mouth cancer in the initial stages where the chance for a cure is greater. Most often, a dentist will conduct the assessment of your oral health during a routine dental visit to look for any signs of cancer. In other cases, a dentist may recommend additional tests to assist identification of areas with abnormal cell growth in your mouth.
Why Do I Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screenings are a vital procedure because they can show early signs of mouth cancer. Early detection of cancerous cells can be important in preventing the disease from advancing. People likely to benefit from the screening are those at a high risk of oral cancer. Some factors that increase the risk of oral cancer include a history of sun exposure, an oral cancer diagnosis in the past, and heavy alcohol abuse and use of tobacco. Currently, the number of people diagnosed with cancer has increased, especially those that are affected with sexually transmitted infection human papillomavirus (HPV).
What To Expect During Screening
The dentist begins by checking if you have white or red sores in your mouth, and feeling if the tissues of your mouth have lumps, also focusing on the throat and neck.
If a visual examination is not conclusive enough your dentist can perform some additional tests to ascertain whether or not you have oral cancer.
Extensive tests during screening such as the oral cancer screening dye, which is rinsing the mouth with a blue dye before any exam is undertaken. Abnormal cells may appear blue after being absorbed by the dye.
An oral cancer screening light is another test, where if a light is shone into the mouth during the exam the tissue will be black and the abnormal tissue appears white.
Schedule an Oral Cancer Screening
You can pay us a visit at Smiles of Groton and let our caring team of experts perform a comprehensive screening to ensure you achieve optimal oral health. If you require additional information regarding oral cancer screenings, give us a call at (351) 251-1230 and you can also schedule an appointment at our offices.