Regular visits to your dentist can help you look for oral cancer indications. Oral cancer is a form of swelling or soreness that appears in the mouth. A dentist conducts the oral cancer screen test to determine the presence of precancerous or cancerous conditions within your mouth. It can include mouth cancers, tongue, cheeks, upper and lower palate. It may be life-threatening if it's not diagnosed and treated in the early stages.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The most frequently reported signs of oral cancer are:
- Unusual bleeding in the mouth.
- Trouble swallowing, chewing, speaking, or moving your jaws.
- Dramatic weight loss.
- Lump in the neck.
- Swellings, lumps, rough spots, crusts, eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth.
- The appearance of soft white and red, speckled patches in the mouth.
- Chronic sore throat or a change in the voice.
- A strange numbness, loss of sensation, or pain in the mouth, face, neck, or ear.
- Permanent sores on the face, mouth, or neck which bleed easily and don't heal in two weeks.
- A feeling like something is stuck at the back of the throat.
Need for Oral Cancer Screening
Screening for oral cancer aims to find oral cancers or precancerous lesions in the earlier stage when lesions are easy to treat and more likely to be curable. Factors that may make it more likely to develop oral cancer are:
- Consumption of alcohol.
- Use of tobacco, in any form like pipes, cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco.
- Previous diagnosis of oral cancer.
- Significant exposure to the sun, which can increase the risk of cancer in the lips.
How to Prepare for Oral Cancer Screening?
The screening for oral cancer doesn't require additional preparation. It is usually carried out during a regular dental appointment. When you undergo your screening, your dentist will examine the insides of your mouth, looking for white or red patches and mouth sores. With gloves on, your dentist can feel the oral tissues to look for lumps or other irregularities and check the neck and throat for abnormal growth.
The dentist may employ special tests in conjunction with the oral exam. The tests could include:
- Screening dye for oral cancer. Rinsing your mouth with a specific blue dye prior to an examination. The abnormal cells in your mouth might absorb color and turn blue.
- Screening light for oral cancer. Shining a light into your mouth in the course of an examination. The light causes healthy tissue to appear dark and makes the abnormal tissues appear white.
Please reach out to Persimmon Dental Care in Dublin, CA, to have a consultation with our dentists. Please call us at (925) 999-8282 or schedule an online consultation, and we’ll guide you further.