Oral Cancer Screening
Oral health is far more important than most patients fully realize. It can not only affect your teeth and gums, but the throat and soft tissue of the tongue as well. While many practices do not include the screening as part of their routine cleanings, we screen for oral cancer during the semi-annual professional examination and cleaning by our team at Wilson Dentistry. The cheeks, gums, the roof of the mouth, jaw, and tongue are all examined. We look for open wounds, abscesses, and abnormal tissue growths which could require closer examination or treatment.
Who Needs Oral Cancer Screening?
It is important that all patients be screened for oral cancer for early detection of potential cancerous cells, however, it is even more imperative when the patient smokes cigarettes, cigars, or even e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco which places them in a high-risk group. Anyone who abuses alcohol or has an extended, long-term, exposure to the sun on their lips has a higher occurrence of oral cancer.
Any patients who notice strange sores either on their gums or somewhere in their mouth when flossing or brushing should schedule an appointment with our office to have a screening done by our staff.
Reasons for Oral Cancer Screening
If found early, our staff can put together a health plan to provide a more positive outcome for all patients. If the cancer is not properly treated, the tumor may spread to any tissue in the mouth. If it spreads to the lymph nodes, treatment becomes infinitely more difficult because the cancer can spread through the patient’s body.
Oral Cancer Screening
While our staff cannot directly diagnose oral cancer, the screening process performed will identify any abnormal cells. Many times, patients do not realize they have oral cancer because it rarely causes any symptoms. There may be a discoloration of the gums or abscesses in the mouth with a colored depression in the center but no associated pain. When our staff identifies these cells, we let the patient know a biopsy needs to be done on the affected tissue. The biopsy will determine whether the cells are cancerous or not. Screening only takes minutes and provides patients with the reassurance they are cancer free.
Oral Cancer Screening Frequency
The American Cancer Association recommends oral cancer screening for those over the age of the twenty-six be done every thirty-six months. Over forty years of age, they recommend it every year. Regardless of the age of our patients, we screen for oral cancer at every appointment.
At your next appointment with us at Wilson Dentistry be sure to ask about our screening process for oral cancer. We would love to help all of our patients. Please, call us today at (346) 340-5440 or pay us a visit during our office working hours to schedule your next visit.