Oral Cancer Screening
Our team at Lanier Valley Dentistry are proud to do an oral cancer screening for you. Cancer occurs as a result of the uncontrollable growth of cells that cause damage to the tissues around the area. Oral cancer manifests as a sore or growth in the mouth that lingers for a long time. Oral cancer is also known as mouth cancer. Oral cancer screening is the examination of the mouth by a doctor or dentist to detect signs of cancer or precancerous conditions. Oral cancer screening serves to detect abnormal cells or precancerous lesions in your mouth that may develop into oral cancer at an early stage and curb them easily.
Certain factors can make one have a high risk of oral cancer. People who take alcohol heavily are at risk of getting oral cancer. The use of tobacco of any kind like cigarettes, pipes, and snuffs can also place one at risk of mouth cancer. People who have a history of an oral cancer diagnosis can also get it again. Also, people who are highly exposed to the sun are at risk of lip cancer.
Oral Cancer Screening Process
There is no special process for oral cancer screening. The screening is usually carried out during a routine dental/medical appointment. The oral screening process involves our dentist looking over the inside of your mouth to check for sores and white or red patches. He or she also feels the tissues of your mouth to detect lumps, painful areas, and other abnormalities. For people using removable dentures, our dentist may ask you to take them off for him or her to examine the underlying tissues.
Aside from oral screening, our dentists can also perform a further oral examination to achieve a thorough search. One of such extra screening is looking inside your mouth with a special light. Under this light, healthy tissues are seen as dark while abnormal tissues are seen as white. Another test is to rinse your mouth with a special blue dye which will make abnormal tissues appear blue while the healthy areas will not take up the blue color of the dye.
After The Oral Screening
After the oral screening, the results will show if you have oral cancer or not. If it turns out to be positive, our dentist will require you to come for a follow-up visit over some time. This will help us know if the sore or abnormal tissue is lingering, and if it has changed in any way or grown over time. Our next step is contingent on the outcome of the follow-up visit. We can also carry out a biopsy procedure to take a sample of cells for examination in the laboratory to decipher if there are cancerous cells.
Whether or not you have oral cancer, general hygiene is highly recommended. Brushing your teeth often, flossing, and other hygienic routines should not be compromised. Having a routine dental appointment is also necessary. To know more on Oral Cancer Screening or to book an appointment, contact us at Lanier Valley Dentistry at (678) 802-8654