Oral Cancer Screening
Here at Todd L. Jolly, DMD, we perform comprehensive oral cancer screening.
Many people tend to associate cancer with other parts of the body, except the mouth. More often than not, it comes as a shock to people when they are diagnosed with oral cancer. It is important to be aware of the possibility of contracting oral cancer, what causes it, and how it can be prevented.
Regular oral cancer screening can help detect any signs of cancer before the condition becomes severe. When the cancer is caught early, there is a better chance of getting cured. Oral cancer screening should be part of your routine dental checkups. You should get an oral cancer screening along with your dental exam with us every six months.
Oral Cancer Risks Factors
Oral cancer screening has not been proven to reduce the risk of contracting and succumbing to oral cancer. However, there are known oral cancer risks factors. Oral cancer screening could be helpful to people exposed to the risk factors.
Tobacco use is a risk factor for not only oral cancer but also throat and lung cancers. Tobacco use of any kind is detrimental to your teeth, gums, and jaw bone. The risk of developing oral cancer from tobacco use depends on how long you’ve been smoking.
Alcohol abuse is an oral cancer risk factor as well. Drinking excessively will damage your oral structures starting with the teeth and gums. People who smoke and drink are at higher risk of contracting oral cancer.
There is a risk of contracting oral cancer as a result of poor oral hygiene as well, although it is very slim.
What to Expect During Oral Cancer Screening
The oral cancer screening process is not very different from that of an ordinary dental exam unless extra tests are required. Our dentist will inspect the inside of your mouth during an oral cancer screening session. They will check for red or white sores and patches on your lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, and palate. They might also touch and feel various parts of your mouth to check for swellings or any abnormalities.
If a deeper examination is required, an x-ray image might be taken. A detailed x-ray image of your mouth can reveal any unusual lumps or swellings in your mouth.
If the presence of precancerous lesions is suspected, more tests will be required to ascertain whether you have oral cancer. A biopsy procedure will be conducted to extract some cells from your mouth, which will be tested in a laboratory to determine whether cancer is present.
It is important to be aware of the risks and the possibility of contracting oral cancer. Our dentists will always have a conversation with you about it and make oral cancer screening part of your regular checkups. You can also visit us if you have any oral health concerns as well.
Schedule Your Appointment
To learn more about the services we provide call (973) 284-7363 and schedule your appointment now!