Oral Cancer Screening: Signs, Procedure, and Benefits

Oral Cancer Screening: Signs, Procedure, and Benefits

Nov 01, 2021

If you’re at a higher risk of developing oral cancer, regular oral cancer screening can come in handy to prevent, identify, and manage the condition. During the oral screening, your dentist or periodontist checks your mouth, including the tongue, neck, throat, cheeks, gums, and bone, for early signs of oral cancer.

Primarily, general oral cancer screenings are performed through visual, physical, and x-rays techniques. If the dentist suspects that you might have oral cancer, they will schedule additional tests such as a dental biopsy. South Hadley Dental Group is ready to help you prevent and identify oral cancer through oral cancer screening.

Is it Necessary?

The key goal of an oral cancer screening is to detect early signs of cancer, at a stage where there’s a greater chance for treatment. Keep in mind that it’s unlikely to notice early signs of oral cancer on your own unless you’re a dental professional. For instance, oral cancer may begin with a simple pimple, which to many people might look harmless. However, your dentist will be able to tell that this is unusual and request further tests.

It’s evident that oral cancer screening is beneficial, especially if you’re at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Factors that increase the danger of oral cancer include:

  • Heavy alcohol use.
  • Use of tobacco products including cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, and snuff.
  • A previous oral cancer diagnosis.
  • Family history of oral cancer.
  • Significant sun exposure – lip cancer.

Signs of Oral Cancer

Knowing the signs of oral cancer can help you find help sooner. Common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Mouth, ear, or jaw pain.
  • Mouth sores that don’t heal.
  • Pain and difficulty swallowing.
  • Lumps or growth inside the throat or mouth.
  • Red or white patches inside your mouth.
  • Loose teeth that are not associated with other dental issues.

Keep in mind that oral cancer doesn’t won’t go away on its own. However, it’s relatively easy and affordable to treat if caught early enough. If you are concerned about your risk of oral cancer or have cancer symptoms, visit a dental office near you right away for an oral cancer screening.

What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening

Typically, an oral cancer screening is a simple and straightforward process. The dentist begins by checking your mouth, lips, neck, throat, bone, and other structures for abnormalities or unusual symptoms. X-ray images may also be taken at this time.

If unusual growths are discovered, the dentist will recommend a biopsy procedure. During an oral biopsy, the dentist collects small tissues from the affected area for further analysis. After receiving the results, the dentist will share the details and advise you accordingly.

Benefits of oral cancer screening

Oral cancer screening is beneficial in a numerous of ways, including:

  • Easy, quick, and painless

Oral cancer screening itself, is non-invasive, meaning that you won’t experience any pain during the procedure. If a biopsy is required, dental anesthesia can be administered depending on the type of biopsy used.

  • Helps to catch and manage oral cancer in time

It’s very unlikely for one to detect oral cancer without professional help. During an oral cancer screening, your dentist is likely to notice or discover early symptoms of oral cancer. At its initial stages, oral cancer can be treated effectively.

  • Saves lives

Oral cancer screening makes it possible to detect oral cancer at its initial stages of development. If oral cancer is discovered, treatment is relatively easy and affordable. This prevents oral cancer from worsening, which could lead to serious complications, including death.

  • Inexpensive

The cost of oral cancer screening is relatively low. Actually, most dentists include it in your regular dental exam at no extra charge. If cancer is detected, treating it in its early stages is less costly.

  • Protects your comfort and resources

If oral cancer isn’t detected until its late stages, it can lead to severe discomfort and complications. Early diagnosis and treatment eliminates the need for complex and expensive treatments.

Final Verdict

Oral cancer is a serious, scary, and life-threatening disease. Regular oral cancer screenings ensure that oral cancer is caught on time and treated quickly. For oral cancer screening services, contact South Hadley Dental Group today to book your appointment.

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