What Happens During Oral Cancer Screenings?

What Happens During Oral Cancer Screenings?

Mar 01, 2022

Oral cancer screenings are visual and physical exams of your oral cavity and the connecting tissues. Oral cancer screening aims to identify symptoms or issues that might lead to cancer. In addition, the screenings assure patients they have no problems in their mouths indicating the presence of oral cancer.

Are Oral Cancer Screenings Painful?

You probably don’t even realize you just underwent an oral cancer screening when you visit the dentist near me for routine exams and cleanings. The dentist completes the full screening in under five minutes by probing in areas other than your teeth and gums and looking for symptoms of oral cancer. However, you might experience pain if you confront challenges answering questions about whether you excessively consume alcohol every day, smoke, or are exposed to sunlight for lengthy periods during your regular dental check-up.

You might not find it challenging to provide answers but may wonder why your dentist is inquiring into a subject other than your teeth and gums during a routine visit to them for exams and cleanings. However, it helps if you understand oral cancer screenings are merely a precautionary measure to detect cancerous or precancerous lesions in your mouth early when any treatment provided delivers better outcomes. Even if your dentist detects any suspicious lesions in your mouth, it doesn’t indicate you have oral cancer. The screening by the dentist is to catch oral cancer early to increase the chances of treating it effectively. The screenings are entirely comfortable and will not cause discomfort or pain during your routine dental exam.

Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Essential?

Oral cancer screening is essential because the condition can develop at any time in your mouth and aggravate silently, making it challenging for you to treat it. If you are right at the risk of oral cancer with the habits described above, it increases the chances of oral cancer, making it necessary for you to receive oral cancer screenings every six months.

Currently, many people are diagnosed with mouth and throat cancers, and the number has been increasing over the last few years, although the reasons aren’t clear. However, experts have noted a higher number of oral cancer is associated with the STD human papillomavirus.

If you are worried about your cancer risk, you can discuss the issue with the dentist in Heath, TX, on ways to reduce your risks and which tests might be appropriate for you.

Risks of Oral Cancer Screening

Some limitations exist for oral cancer screenings. They are:

Oral cancer screenings in Heath, TX, might suggest additional tests on sores in your mouth that are noncancerous because an oral exam doesn’t help determine which sores are cancerous or non-malignant. When your dentist detects an unusual sore, they may recommend you go through further testing to determine its cause. The optimal way to decide whether or not you have oral cancer is to take some abnormal cells from your mouth and test them for cancer after a biopsy.

Oral cancer screening doesn’t detect all mouth cancers. Dentists find it challenging to see areas of abnormal cells merely by looking at the mouth. Therefore it is highly possible that small cancer or precancerous lesions can remain undetected.

Oral cancer screening hasn’t proven to save lives, and no evidence is available to confirm routine oral exams looking for signs of oral cancer reduce the number of fatalities caused by this disease. However, the screening undoubtedly helps detect oral cancer early when the chances of a cure a higher.

What to Expect during Oral Cancer Screenings?

During oral cancer screenings, expect the Heath dentist to look inside your mouth in areas other than your teeth and gums, looking for red or white patches or mouth sores. The dentist will use glove hands to feel the tissues in your mouth and check for lumps or other abnormalities. The dentist also examines your throat and neck for lumps. However, the screening isn’t painful and doesn’t require anesthesia to relax you.

If your dentist discovers any signs of oral cancer or precancerous lesions, they might recommend a follow-up visit in a few weeks to evaluate the abnormal area and note any changes that may have occurred. If required, they might suggest a biopsy by removing cells for laboratory testing to determine the presence of oral cancer in your mouth. If you need further treatment, the dentist refers you to a professional specializing in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Oral cancer screenings are straightforward as your routine dental exam. However, you probably don’t realize the dentist performed oral cancer screening unless you are informed about it. If you want to learn why you need this procedure regularly, please visit ARC 32 Family Dentistry for consultation and receive all information you wish to about oral cancer screenings.

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