Be proactive with oral cancer screening
Oral cancer health screening is a beneficial measure to take. The goal of this diagnostic procedure is to recognize the early stages of oral cancer when there is a higher chance for effective treatment. If left undetected and untreated, mouth cancer can lead to a variety of serious problems, and can even be fatal.
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Oral cancer signs include:
- White or dark red patches in your mouth, or on your lips or tongue.
- Lumps or changes in the texture or colour of the mouth tissues.
- Bleeding or numbness in the mouth; sores or patches that do not heal.
- Difficulty swallowing; changes in taste or tongue sensation.
Types of oral cancer screenings
Visual exam: Major parts included in a visual oral cancer screening exam are your neck, lips, face, inside of the nose and oral cavity. Pre-screening, all removable dental appliances must be dislodged to expose all areas of the mouth. While the patient sits or lays down, your dentist will search for abnormalities using a light, mirror and a tongue depressor. Other tools may be used in the cancer screening process, however, it will be minimally invasive.
Physical exam: A physical oral cancer screening exam consists of your dentist touching around the chin, around the jaw, in the oral cavity and the head and cheeks looking for abnormal masses or nodules. Another indication would be immobility in normally mobile tissue.
An oral cancer screening is a preventative measure for reducing the risk of cancer in your oral care. It is an exam to open up the conversation with your dentist about precautions that can be taken and any concerns that you have about oral cancer.
Regular oral cancer screening and dental check-ups can result in early detection. Take an active role in your oral health, and book a dental exam at our Lethbridge clinic today – 403-327-7202.