While examining the inside of the mouth is already a typical part of a regular dental check-up, for many people it is also worth scheduling an appointment for an oral cancer screening. The American Cancer Society predicts that more than 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oropharyngeal or oral cavity cancer in 2020, and together…
A General Dentist Discusses Oral Cancer Screenings
A general dentist professional would be the most obvious choice of people to go to get an oral cancer screening. Because your dentist has most likely seen you before, they will be able to screen your mouth without any issue.
Since a lot of people are not educated on oral cancer screenings, the most common questions and answers are listed below. These should help inform you about oral cancer screenings and if you should be getting one on your next trip to your dentist.
If you are worried about oral cancer, you can discuss your concerns with your dentist. They can answer any questions you may have. They will explain to you how they can screen you for the disease and inform you of all the signs that you should look for in the future so you can catch any issues as soon as they come up.
What is an oral cancer screening?
An oral cancer screening is an exam done by your dentist or any oral professional that checks for any signs of cancer in your mouth. With gloved hands, a dentist will see if your mouth has any abnormal sores or infections.
Why are oral screenings done?
Any oral screening is done to try and catch oral cancer in the early stages, where there is a better chance of stopping it. If an oral issue is left unattended for too long, the side effects could be deadly. Life is scary enough, and in some cases, with preventative screenings, you can eliminate some of the scary from coming to light.
Preventative measures are such a very important part of your health. Everyone should go to their doctor routinely and follow up with any preventative screenings or tests. Taking chances with your health should never be the option you choose.
Am I at risk of getting oral cancer?
This is a tough question because you never are 100% sure if you have any issues without a proper check-up or a screening, but the following activities can increase your chances of getting oral cancer.
- Heavy alcohol drinking
- A lot of exposure to the sun (lip cancer)
If you are participating in any of the above activities, getting an oral cancer screening on your next trip to the dentist would be very wise.
How can I prepare for an oral cancer screening?
You don’t have to do anything special to prepare. Your general dentist can do an oral cancer screening during a routine check-up without much hassle. If you want to get an oral cancer screening, you can mention it when making your next appointment.
Are there any risks?
There are no apparent risks involved with a simple oral cancer screening. You may be told you have oral cancer, which would result in more visits to the dentist, and for a plan to be made. But overall, there are no risks with an oral cancer screening.
What happens during the test?
Your dentist will look in your mouth for any abnormal growths or sores. Your neck area may also be examined for any lumps or abnormalities. The process is fairly quick and easy to get through. Your dentist will explain to you the process as they go.
Oral cancer screening overview
Getting an oral cancer screening done on your next trip to the dentist could be the difference between getting a major gum infection or catching it early. The great thing about oral cancer screenings is that they are easy to accomplish. You can do an oral screening on your next visit without any trouble, and you could catch any infections or diseases before they get out of hand.
Taking proper care of your mouth with oral hygiene is extremely important and getting an oral cancer screening is a part of that. Unfortunately, if an infection in the mouth goes untreated, it could be deadly. So getting a general dentist to look at your mouth professionally could be life-changing.
Learn more from your dentist
Your dentist is the source for you to go to for all of your oral health questions. They will help guide you through all of the steps that go into oral cancer screening and will also inform you of what to do if they feel you may be showing signs of oral cancer. Speak with your dentist today to learn more about the oral cancer screenings available to you.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Cancer Screening in Houston, TX.
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