When to Get an Oral Cancer Screening From Your Family Dentist

When to Get an Oral Cancer Screening From Your Family Dentist from Valley River Dental in Murphy, NCOral cancer occurs inside the mouth and is so often called mouth cancer or oral cavity cancer, and a family dentist will usually check for this disease during routine dental visits. However, if you are experiencing abnormal mouth pain, lumps, or lesions before your next exam, it may be a good idea to schedule an oral cancer screening. Here are a few more things to know about mouth cancer checks.

Why obtaining an oral cancer screening is beneficial

A family dentist can perform an oral cancer examination to look for indications of cancer or precancerous conditions within the mouth. These examinations aim to identify any abnormal growth early to increase the chance for successful treatment.

High-risk individuals

High-risk individuals are more likely to benefit from frequent oral cancer screenings. Risk factors that often contribute to developing this condition include:

  • A previous mouth cancer diagnosis or cancer history
  • Alcoholism
  • The use of any tobacco products
  • A history of extended exposure to the sun

Identifying signs and symptoms

Since mouth cancer falls under the umbrella of head and neck cancers, signs of the disease may appear in many places on or near the mouth. This cancer often occurs on the gums, lips, tongue, lining of the cheeks, or roof of the mouth. Mouth pain or an abnormal growth can indicate oral cancer, and additional symptoms include ear pain, difficulty swallowing, or loose teeth. Patients should make an appointment with a dentist or doctor if any symptoms last longer than two weeks.

What to expect during a screening

Although there is no proven way to prevent oral cancer, scheduling a screening or consistently visiting a family dentist for routine exams can help diagnose it more quickly. Patients may reduce anxiety about a screening exam by knowing what to expect.

Additional testing

Some dentists may use additional tests in conjunction with a routine exam to identify mouth cancer properly. Conducting an oral cancer screening dye test is one way many dentists can recognize abnormal cells within the mouth. Additionally, an oral cancer screening light test helps dentists discern healthy dark tissue from abnormal white tissue within the mouth.

Screening results

When signs of oral cancer are present, often dentists will schedule an additional follow-up visit within three to four weeks to verify the problem area is still there or observe any growth or changes. During this visit, a dentist or doctor may also conduct a biopsy or sample of cells from the mouth to determine if any cancerous cells exist. Sometimes results are readily available, but more frequently patients may not get test results for several days after the initial procedure.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp:
Family Dentist Oral Cancer Screening in Murphy, NC

Conclusion

Maintaining consistent oral cleanings can allow a family dentist to identify any problem areas within the mouth before they become worse. However, if patients have any concerns before a routine check-up, it may be wise to schedule an additional appointment. An oral cancer screening can pinpoint if any other treatment is necessary and help individuals on the way to recovery.

Request an appointment or call Valley River Dental at 828-360-9114 for an appointment in our Murphy office.

Related Posts

A Family Dentist Discusses Healthy Living Techniques

Lifestyle choices are as important to good oral and dental health as visiting the family dentist twice per year. Establishing healthy day-to-day routines protects the teeth and gums and keeps mouth chemistry balanced. Develop good practices in children at a young age to help build habits that can last a lifetime. Making changes at any…

Tips From A Family Dentist On Preventing Cavities In Children

A family dentist plays a key role in the oral health of patients both young and old. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately one in five children between the ages of 5 and 11 have untreated cavities. There is more access to dental care than ever before, but many parents struggle with establishing…

All About Fluoride Treatments From Your Family Dentist

A natural mineral found in teeth, fluoride is a treatment frequently recommended by a family dentist. Fluoride helps prevent cavities, keeps teeth strong, and has been part of healthy oral hygiene for many years. This mineral has an incredible impact on the enamel of the teeth, the hard protective layer around the nerves. It also…