Cavities are tiny holes that form on teeth due to decay. A dental filling is the standard way to address cavities. Silver amalgam fillings were the norm for decades, but composite resin fillings have emerged as one of the most popular types of dental filling.Tooth decay is caused by acids made by bacteria in the…
Why Get an Oral Cancer Screening from a Complete Health Dentist?
Oral cancer is hardly anyone’s major reason for visiting the dentist. While the condition may not be as prevalent as cavities, it is far more severe. Oral cancer is one of those issues that is not immediately apparent because the symptoms appear only after the condition has progressed. This makes it worrisome since you might be developing it without even knowing. Like every other condition, an early diagnosis from routine oral cancer screening from the complete health dentist can increase the chances of successful treatment.
The need for oral cancer screening
In summary, oral cancer screening is done by the dentist to examine the oral cavity for any indication of cancer or precancerous tissues. The primary aim is to detect the disease early when there is a better shot at treatment. The screening is usually performed during a routine dental appointment.
Cancer can develop in the oral cavity, which is enough reason for anyone to see a dental professional for screening. There is dissension about this because some people believe that healthy people who are asymptomatic do not need the test. However, certain categories of people are at higher risk of developing the condition and would benefit from the routine tests. Some of the risk factors of oral cancer include:
- Excessive alcohol intake
- The use of tobacco in any form: pipes, cigarettes, cigars, snuff or chewing
- Excessive sun exposure can increase the risk of lip cancer
- A previous case of oral cancer
- Exposure to some types of human papillomavirus (HPV)
The dentist may decide to perform the screening based on certain risk factors, even if patients do not belong to the high-risk category.
Early signs of oral cancer
The symptoms are not always the same with every symptom, but the common symptoms related to oral cancer include:
- Trouble chewing or swallowing
- Trouble moving the tongue
- Pain and swelling
- Irritation or dry patches on the tongue
The issue is that these signs only become apparent after the disease has worsened, but patients need to visit the dentist’s office for screening as soon as they notice them. The oral screening typically includes a thorough exam of different parts of the oral cavity, including the lips, gums, every side of the tongue, back of the throat, cheeks and palates. The screening typically lasts for about five minutes. The dentist will try to find lumps, spots or anything unusual that might indicate something is wrong.
Visit the complete health dentist
There is no yardstick on how often you can visit the dental office for oral cancer screening. Most dental professionals suggest undergoing screening annually. Since each patient is unique, it is advisable to discuss with the dentist to know how often to undergo the screening. Some people will benefit from routine tests than others.
Although you might not belong to the high-risk category, you will be playing on the safe side by having your mouth checked occasionally. You can contact the dental office if you have additional questions or to schedule a consultation.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Complete Health Dentistry in Madison, MS.
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