A dental exam is performed to determine the condition of the patient’s oral health. The goal is to detect any concerns as early as possible so that they do not worsen or cause other health issues. This article discusses the types of oral issues your dentist may look for during a dental examination and cleaning…
How Preventive Dentistry Can Catch Signs of Oral Cancer
Many people do not know that regular dental checkups are the most important preventive dentistry procedures against oral cancer. The dentist’s objective is to prevent and diagnose any issue as early as possible, when treatment is easier. Preventive dentistry is all about keeping the oral cavity healthy for a long time. Oral cancer screening is typically done during dental checkups to uncover any developing signs.
The symptoms of oral cancer
Oral cancer can occur in any part of the oral cavity, including the lips, tonsils, cheeks, tongue, gums, and salivary glands. Ulcers or sores that do not heal, discomfort, lumps, bumps, swelling, or red or white patches are all possible oral cancer symptoms. Some people may also experience numbness, unexplained bleeding, voice changes, difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, and challenges with eating or swallowing.
There may be no symptoms in the early stages of oral cancer. That is why the dentist recommends regular dental examinations. The dental professional will analyze every area of the patient’s dental health during the appointments. When oral cancer is identified and treated early, there is a 90% chance of successful treatment.
The oral screening process
During the screening, the dentist will search for symptoms of abnormal tissue. Typically, they will observe red and white pimples, hard lumps, rough patches, or changes in the placement of the teeth as obvious signs. A significant portion of the screening is done visually. While wearing gloves, the dentist will feel the patient’s cheeks and the insides of the mouth. This is done to see if there are any unusual or hard lumps inside this tissue.
Note that oral cancer can affect any part of the mouth. Therefore, a comprehensive examination is necessary. Additional testing tools may be used when patients visit the dental office, and the dentist will be happy to discuss the procedure. The exam will be painless, and patients will be at ease throughout it.
Diagnosis of oral cancer
The dentist will do an oral cancer screening during a standard dental visit to rule out any anomalies. This quick and straightforward checkup can be life-saving. If the dentist finds anything worrisome, they may suggest a soft tissue biopsy, which entails extracting a sample of cells to submit to a lab for analysis. Early detection of malignant and precancerous alterations makes treatment easier and increases the chances of a full recovery.
Take steps to reduce oral cancer risks
Patients need to reduce smoking and drink alcohol in moderation. It is necessary to note the importance of keeping up with regular dental checkups to keep oral health in excellent form.
To learn more about preventive dentistry, contact the dental office to schedule a consultation appointment with the dentist. An oral cancer screening might potentially save your life, even if you have no symptoms. A highly skilled and knowledgeable dentist can provide tips to keep your smile healthy for years to come. Make an appointment for a dental exam and cleaning today.
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