Why do Dentists perform Oral Cancer Screening?

Why do Dentists perform Oral Cancer Screening?

August 19, 2020

Oral cancer screening is an evaluation performed either by a physician or a dentist looking for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. The objective of oral cancer screening is to identify disease in the mouth early when the chance of treating it successfully is higher.

Dentists are regularly performing oral cancer screenings on the patient’s mouth during routine dental visits. Some dentists are using additional tests to help identify areas of abnormal cells in the mouth.

Debates are ongoing between medical organizations about whether healthy people without any risk factors for oral cancer should be screened for oral cancer. The risk of succumbing to oral cancer hasn’t been proven by any verbal or oral cancer screening tests. However, you and your dentist can decide whether an oral exam or a specialized test is appropriate for you after considering your risk factors. You do not have to research for oral cancer screening treatment near me if you are scheduling regular appointments with your dentist. He or she will perform the screening without even informing you as part of your routine visit.

Why Is the Screening Performed?

The dentist in Pleasant Hill CA, performs the screening to detect precancerous lesions or mouth cancer at an early stage when these issues are most comfortable to treat and likely to be cured comprehensively.

Studies haven’t indicated that oral cancer screening can save lives, and therefore not all medical organizations accept the benefits of an oral exam for oral cancer screening. Some organizations recommend testing, while others debate sufficient evidence isn’t available to support the same.

Although studies have not proven it, people who are at higher risk of oral cancer are more likely to benefit from oral cancer services near Pleasant Hill. Some factors increasing the chances of oral cancer include:

  • The use of tobacco by people in any form, including chewing tobacco, snuff, cigarettes, cigars, and pipes.
  • Excessive use of alcohol among individuals.
  • Oral cancer diagnosis earlier.
  • People with a history of significant exposure to the sun which increases the potential of lip cancer.

Over the last several years, more people are diagnosed with mouth and throat cancers, and the numbers are rising. Even though it isn’t clear why the numbers are increasing, some people associated with these cancers are also affected by the sexually transmitted infection of HPV. If you are worried about your cancer risks, you must talk to your dentist about how you can reduce your risks and the type of screening tests appropriate for your unique situation.

How to Prepare for Oral Cancer Screening Test?

No special preparations are needed if you are undergoing oral cancer screening with the Pleasant Hill dentist. During your routine dental appointment, the dentist at this facility will perform the testing without your knowledge. During the oral cancer exam, the dentist will look inside your mouth, checking for red or white patches or mouth sores. He or she will also feel that issues in your mouth to check for abnormalities or lumps. The dentist will also examine your throat and neck for bumps.

Some dentists may perform additional tests along with the screening for oral cancer. No clarifications are available whether the further tests are beneficial, but they may involve the following:

  • Screening dyes for oral cancer. You will be given a special blue dye to rinse your mouth before the exam. If you have abnormal cells in your mouth, they will take up the color and appear blue.
  • Screening light for oral cancer. The dentist may shine a light in your mouth during the exam that makes healthy tissue appear dark and abnormal cells appear white.

What Can You Expect after Oral Cancer Screening?

Suppose your dentist discovers any signs of mouth cancer or precancerous lesions. In that case, you will be recommended a follow-up visit after a few weeks to determine whether the abnormal area is still present and determine whether it has expanded or changed over time.

The dentist may perform a biopsy to remove abnormal cells for the laboratory to determine whether cancer is present in your mouth. You can either have the dentist’s biopsy or visit an oncologist who is a specialist in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

However, the screening is a precautionary measure to ensure you are not affected by any issues that indicate oral cancer and should, therefore, not be a cause for concern.