Oral Cancer Screening
Dental examinations for cancer screening are not as invasive as other cancer screenings. At Painfree Dentistry we offer oral cancer checks. The examination will be performed by compassionate and professional dentists. It is important to get examined so a diagnosis can be given and treatment can be begun. The earlier symptoms are spotted the better. We want our patients to get any symptoms checked.
Who is at Risk?
There are a few main risk factors and these include older age, heavy smoking and alcohol consumption. The latest research has suggested that the HPV virus is linked to cancers of the tongue, back of the throat, soft palate and tonsils. This now means that a wider range of ages can be at risk of oral cancer. Sun damage is also a major risk factor as this can be the cause of skin cancers developing.
What Does the Examination Involve?
During the examination, your whole mouth will be checked. Our dentists will be looking at the oral cavity and will be checking for symptoms. Dental x-rays will also be looked at for anything abnormal. Patients who have had the screening have reported no pain or discomfort.
What are the Symptoms?
- Red Patches
- White Patches
- Loose Teeth
- Chronic Hoarseness
- Sores or Lesions – that take a long time to heal
- Numbness in the Tongue
Symptoms can arise because of many issues. However, it is important to get any symptoms checked. The earlier symptoms are diagnosed, the faster you can receive treatment. If you spot a red or white patch in your mouth or have any difficulties chewing or swallowing then contact us.
Preventing Oral Cancers
There are things you can do to the lower the risks of oral cancer. One of the most important ways to keep up to date with your health is to be aware of what your mouth looks like. When you are familiar with what is normal for you, then you will find anything that is different. Then you can discuss your concerns with your dentist on the next visit. Other things you can do are:
Visiting Your Dentist Regularly – This will allow dentists to check for anything unusual. This way symptoms can be detected early and treatment can begin.
Having Good Oral Hygiene – This will help lower the risk. Keeping your mouth healthy is part of keeping your body health. Have a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables. All these things will keep your body and mouth healthier.
HPV Vaccine – Oral cancer is linked to the HPV virus. So, you can talk to your GP about vaccines that will help to prevent HPV related oral cancer.
Stop Drinking and Smoking – For long term prevention try to quit smoking and try reducing how much alcohol you drink. These will reduce the risk.
Protecting Yourself from the Sun – When going out you should apply sunscreen, wear a heat and wear SPF lip balm. These stop you being exposed in the sun and will lower the risk of cancers in the face and lips.
The team at Painfree Dentistry care about your health and wellbeing, so if you are concerned about your dental health contact us today. We can answer any questions you have and we can book you in for an examination.