Oral Cancer Examinations – Bible Hill Family Dentistry

Oral Cancer Examinations

ORAL CANCER EXAMINATIONS

Oral cancer can affect any area of your mouth including; Lips, cheek, gums, tongue, hard palate, soft palate and floor of the mouth. From here, the cancer can spread through the upper and lower jaw and into the lymph nodes of the neck before heading further throughout the body.
If oral cancer is detected in its early stages, there is an 80-90% survival rate. Therefore, you need to visit your dentist on a regular basis and seek professional advice if you see any warning signs.

ORAL CANCER WARNING SIGNS

If you have experienced any symptom for more than a week without improvement, schedule an appointment immediately. Symptoms or signs may include:
⦁ Mouth sores that don’t heal
⦁ Excessive weight loss
⦁ Unexplained mouth bleeding
⦁ Pain, numbness or tenderness anywhere in your mouth or lips
⦁ Color changes in oral tissue
⦁ A change in the way you bite
⦁ Trouble eating, speaking, chewing or moving your jaw and tongue.

RISK FACTORS

⦁ Alcohol consumption
⦁ Smoking tobacco
⦁ Prolonged sun exposure
⦁ Genetic predisposition (history of cancer in your family)
⦁ Health conditions such as HPV (Human papilloma virus) and EBV (Epstein-Barr virus)
⦁ Gastro-esophageal reflux disease
⦁ Unhealthy diet

ORAL CANCER EXAMINATIONS

The goal of cancer examinations or screenings is to detect any abnormality that may lead to cancer or precancerous lesions.
Visual exam
Physical exam:

The doctor will check lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, floor of the mouth, soft palate, hard palate and throat for any abnormality that could become or be cancerous.

Additional tests

Oral cancer screening dye: Consists on rinsing your mouth with a special blue dye before an exam. Abnormal cells in your mouth may appear blue.
Oral cancer screening light: It is a shining light in your mouth during the exam. This light makes healthy tissue look dark, and abnormal tissue look white.

If the dentist or dental hygienist see anything suspicious, we may recommend a biopsy or refer you to an oral surgeon.

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