Screening Candidates for Oral Cancer
Because your mouth is made mostly of a mucous membrane, it is vulnerable to germs and disease throughout your life. Although yearly dental visits may only be for teeth cleanings, it’s important for your entire mouth to be examined. Ask your trusted dental professional about oral cancer screenings that can save your life with just one thorough examination.
Although everyone is vulnerable to oral cancer, certain individuals have a higher chance at developing it. People who are especially advised to schedule an oral cancer screening include:
• Caucasian men
• Adults 65 years and older
• Patients with known HPV or human papillomavirus infections
You should speak candidly with your dentist regarding any other risk factors. A family history of oral cancer should be discussed because genetics can play a part in your risk level. Your doctor might suggest more frequent screenings based on your history. Catching any mutated cells early on is always the goal for you and your dentist.
The Examination Process
A basic oral cancer screening begins with a palpitation of your mouth. The dentist will touch, manipulate and visually examine your oral cavity. Your dentist is looking for a few different indicators, such as:
• Unusual colors
• Abnormal textures
• Overgrown tissues
Dentists have more precise screenings that they can perform when the findings are too subtle to make a definite diagnosis. Mouthwash dyes that highlight affected tissues can be used, or the dentist might employ a specialized light inside your mouth.
Regular screenings are just a small part of your overall dental health. Call Classic Smiles Dentistry today to schedule your next appointment. Our dedicated support staff and talented professionals can provide the dental care you need.