Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, sinuses, hard and soft palates, and phalanx (throat). Tobacco use, smoking, and a family history of cancer are all risk factors for the disease, but any individual is at risk for it. Oral cancer can be life-threatening if not detected early, which is why oral cancer screenings are important – oral cancer, like other diseases of the mouth, does not always present clear symptoms until it has reached a more advanced stage, when it is more difficult to treat. It can only be detected by your dentist at Crystal Creek Dental during a regular dental check-up in Plano.
Though it can occur without presenting any symptoms, some common signs of oral cancer include:
An oral cancer screening is usually performed by your dentist during a routine dental visit. It is an examination that is performed to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in the mouth. It will begin with a look over the inside of your mouth. Your dentist will be checking for white or red patches and mouth sores. Using gloved hands, your dentist will then feel the tissues in the mouth to detect lumps and other abnormalities. If you wear dentures, you will need to remove them.
For a more thorough test (which may be used if you have a history of oral cancer in your family), a special rinse will be used. After it is swished in the mouth, when a special light is shone into the mouth, any problem areas and abnormalities will appear darker than healthy ones. If your dentist in Plano suspects any problems, a follow-up visit will be recommended. A biopsy may be necessary to determine whether or not the cells in the area of concern are cancerous.
At Crystal Creek Dental, our goal is to maintain the overall oral health of our patients in Plano. In addition to keeping the teeth and gums healthy, this also includes diagnosing and treating oral cancer.