Oral Cancer Screening
During your routine dental exam, one of the things that your dentist is checking for will be the early signs of oral cancer. It is important to maintain a routine checkup to catch any oral cancer as soon as possible.
At HomeTown Dental at Sherman we provide our patients with oral care screenings. This screening includes a visual and physical exam of each part of your mouth and face.
Oral cancer screenings are an important part of patient wellness. The National Cancer Institute suggests that patients with certain risk factors get oral cancer screenings every year. These risk factors could include family history and a personal history of tobacco product use.
What To Expect
Each part of your face and neck will be examined during your screening. Our dentist will carefully examine the inside of your mouth and throat but expand the examination to include the areas beneath your chin and jaw. Your neck will also be examined for any signs of cancer.
The inside of the lips and nose will also be examined. Some of the signs that could raise a red flag could include strange bumps, asymmetry, inflammation, unusual patches of color, and ulcers. During the examination, the gums, tonsils, and roof of the mouth will also all be examined.
There will be no discomfort during the procedure, as we pride ourselves on the care and comfort of our patients during checkups. Our dentist will perform both a thorough physical and visual examination.
Oral Cancer Screening Follow-ups
Your oral cancer screening is a precautionary examination. The examination is not diagnostic. If anything unusual or worrisome is uncovered, our dentist may recommend additional testing. It is important to note that the recommendation for additional testing should not be an indicator that cancer is present.
If no concerns are found, our dentist may suggest returning for additional oral cancer screenings. This is important if there are risk factors that include tobacco use or a family history of oral cancers.
Early detection of any cancer can increase the recovery prognosis. Which is what makes it so important to keep up with your follow-up appointments.
Lifestyle Factors To Address
There are a number of lifestyle factors that can potentially contribute to the onset of oral cancer. The use of tobacco products can significantly increase your risks. Whether your smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco, you are exposing yourself to thousands of chemicals that are often connected to being known carcinogens.
Furthermore, a healthy diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can also help to keep you as healthy as can be. Another potential risk factor is the use of tanning beds. The lips and other soft tissues on the face can be at a higher risk of oral cancer due to the lights used for tanning beds.
It is important to differentiate between the oral cancer screening and the regular dental examination you have every six months. This screening is an opportunity to evaluate risk factors, ensure there are no current areas of concern, and learn about how to lower your risks.
Protect the health of your mouth with an oral cancer screening at HomeTown Dental at Sherman. Call (430) 202-5033 to schedule your appointment.