It may have come to your notice many times that whenever you go to your dentist for a routine check-up, they invariably performs an oral cancer screening on you. This is mainly because oral cancer is a very serious problem that is on the rise in modern times.
Oral Cancer Foundation recently released a statistic stating that approximately 42,000 suffer from oral cancer every year in the United States. That is why screenings are important as the best chance of a patient’s recovery is early detection of oral cancer.
Dental screenings are performed to identify many signs and symptoms that may otherwise be missed since many spots and sores are so small that they are very hard to detect. Excessive drinking and smoking contributes to an increase with the risk involved in oral cancer. Also HPV affected people have a greater risk of infection.
The dentist carries out your dental screening exam in order to check for lumps, sores or tissue changes in the oral cavity. Sometimes, he may also perform an oral brush biopsy if he suspects that a particular region is infected. The oral cavity test includes a check on the following parts:
The American Cancer Society has issued a guideline saying that it is necessary for everyone above the age of 20 to be screened at least once every 3 years whereas those above the age of 40 should be screened annually.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Once you start noticing certain symptoms of oral cancer, you should inform your clear lake dentist without any further delay. The most common symptoms that affect the oral cavity are –
- White/Red patches
- Persistent sores
- Difficulty swallowing
- Change in bite
Some of the things that can be done on your part to prevent oral cancer are:
- Make sure to eat a fiber and whole grain rich diet.
- Have a lot of fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid tobacco completely while at the same time limiting your alcohol intake.
- Use UV-A and UV-B blockers to to protect your lips and face from the sun.
If you are infected with oral cancer and need to follow a particular treatment, then keep in mind that during this period it is essential to keep your mouth moist. This can be achieved by regularly drinking water or by sucking on sugar free candy’s. Brushing and flossing should be done carefully and religiously in order to keep your mouth clean. Your local dentist might suggest you some other methods as well.