What Is The Purpose Of Oral Cancer Screening

Healthcare professionals use oral cancer screenings to identify the signs of cancer in your oral cavity. They examine the inner linings of lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, roof, and floor of the mouth for abnormalities and lesions. If the healthcare professionals find anything suspicious, they will refer you to an oncologist for further evaluation. 

What Is An Oral Cancer Screening?

An oral cancer screening can be defined as the examination of the mouth for signs of cancer. Oral cancers include jaw, mouth, and tongue cancer. 

The areas examined during an oral cancer examination have been mentioned in the pointers below:

  • Roof and floor of your mouth
  • Check the inner lining of the mouth
  • Tonsils
  • Lips
  • Gums
  • Tongue

Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Important?

Oral cancer is a common cancer of the neck and head that affects people all across the globe. Reports say that almost 54,000 Americans suffer from oropharyngeal or oral cancer diagnosis every year. 

You need to know that oral cancer has a five-year survival rate of 57%. This implies that more than half of the individuals diagnosed with oral cancer are alive five years after their diagnosis. Oral cancer is not very difficult to diagnose. But, the fatality rate is high as oral cancer is often detected in later stages of development. Going for oral cancer screening sessions is the best tool available for early diagnosis and treatment

When Are You Recommended To Go For Oral Cancer Screenings?

Oral cancer screenings are specifically used to identify the signs of cancer before it is too late. The earlier you can diagnose the problem, the more the chances of the treatment being successful. 

Can A Dentist Notice If You Have Oral Cancer?

While a variety of healthcare professionals can perform oral cancer screenings, dentists usually offer them as a part of routine checkups. Healthcare providers use this kind of screening to look for the signs of cancer. If they find anything abnormal, you will be recommended to undergo further testing, diagnosis, and treatment. It is imperative to note that oral cancer screenings are not explicitly used to diagnose cancer. 

How Is Oral Cancer Detected At An Early Stage?

Oral cancer screenings can help detect the early signs of oral cancer. But, the only surefire approach to figuring out if you are suffering from oral cancer is to collect suspicious cells and test them in a laboratory. 

How To Prepare For The Screening?

You need to do nothing specific to prepare for oral screening. The examination usually takes place while undergoing a routine physical or dental checkup. 

What Should You Expect During An Oral Cancer Screening?

Your healthcare professional might use a combination of oral cancer screening methods, which includes palpation, visual exam, oral screening dyes, and lights. They can also capture photographs of areas with abnormalities with the aim of monitoring. In general, the oral screening procedure does not take more than five minutes. 

Visual examination

Your healthcare professional will look for lesions in your throat and mouth during this examination stage. The abnormalities can include erythroplakia and leukoplakia.

Palpation

Your healthcare provider will use his/her fingers to look for bumps or lumps around your neck, face, and jaw. You should be careful to inform him/her if there are any other sore or tender areas. 

Oral cancer screening dye

Many healthcare professionals use oral cancer screening tools like toluidine blue dye to look for signs of oral cancer. They coat the lesions with dye which can help identify areas more likely to become cancerous.  

Oral cancer screening light

There are also special lights available that can help identify tissue abnormalities in your mouth. To use this tool, your healthcare professional will ask you to rinse your mouth with a fluorescent mouthwash. Next, he/she will use the special light in your mouth, where the healthy tissue looks dark, and the abnormal tissue seems white. 

Final Thoughts

The head and neck are frequently affected by oral cancer. Due to the alarmingly high fatality rates, accurate and early detection is essential for correct treatment and diagnosis. Find out how often you should go for screenings to ensure your health. Undergoing routine screenings will give you the best scope for finding oral cancer in its early stages.

When Should You Visit Your Dentist For An Oral Cancer Screening?

What Is An Oral Cancer Screening Test?

In general, it is wise to visit your dentist for regular oral and dental exams. It plays a significant part in the early detection and prevention of numerous oral diseases. But let us try to know a bit more about oral cancer screening tests. Oral cancer screening can be defined as a procedure where a dentist examines your mouth for any early signs and symptoms of oral cancer. The goal of oral cancer screening is to detect mouth cancer as early as possible when there is a better chance of therapy.

During a routine dental visit, most dentists will investigate your mouth to check for oral cancer. Additional tests can also be used by some dentists to aid in the identification of areas of abnormal cells in your mouth.

The Steps Involved In This Screening Test

In case you have dentures, you will be required to remove them so that the oral tissue behind them may be examined. Your dentist may also place one finger in your mouth beneath your tongue and another on the skin under your chin and move them around to feel the tissue between them. He or she will also check underneath your chin. 

The exam should last no more than 5 minutes. There are many levels of an oral cancer screening test, and your dentist will most likely perform a basic exam that involves a comprehensive examination of all areas of your mouth, including:

  • Both the interior and the exterior parts of your lips
  • The upper and lower parts of your tongue.
  • The insides of both of your cheeks.
  • The back section of your throat
  • The roof of your mouth. 

Various Devices Used For Oral Cancer Screening

Various devices can be used by your dentist for your oral cancer screening exam. They can include:

  • An oral lesion screening employs the use of a mouth rinse to aid in the visual examination of your oral tissues.
  • An oral brush biopsy for painlessly extracting cells to be used for testing.
  • An improved fluorescent light-based oral evaluation system tool for detecting suspicious oral tissues.

 The Correct Time To Get This Test From Your Dentist

Oral cancer screening tests include more than just a physical examination. It is a chance for you to discuss your anxieties and worries regarding oral issues with your dental practitioner. Early identification and detection of oral cancer can increase a patient’s chances of a good treatment outcome. As per American Dental Association. Adults over the age of 20 should be screened for oral cancer every three years, while those over the age of 40 should be screened for oral cancer annually. Those individuals who are addicted to nicotine, or consume large amounts of alcohol, or have a family history of cancer should obtain an annual oral cancer screening.

 We hope that our blog has helped you in understanding the importance of oral cancer screening tests and when to get them. If you need the best oral screening services in Cypress, TX, then please visit us at Emmy Dental. We offer a whole range of dental treatments for all your dental needs.