July 15, 2024

What Methods Do Dentists Use to Look for Oral Cancer?

As a result of its late diagnosis, mouth cancer has a disproportionately high mortality rate. Some of the earliest signs of oral cancer, such as white or red patches of tissue or a lesion mimicking a common canker sore, are asymptomatic, leading many patients to dismiss them as harmless. Untrained eyes may miss harmful tissue changes, but dental specialists can easily see and feel them. So, it’s not surprising that frequent dental checkups are important for overall health, with the significance of early diagnosis. 

What should you expect throughout the screening process when looking for oral cancer?

Your advanced sedation dentistry will examine your lips, cheeks, tongue, palate, the floor of the mouth, and gum tissues, in addition to conducting a more thorough examination of your head and neck, during an oral cancer screening. Dentists perform several diagnostic tests to identify any irregularities, such as:

  • Asymmetries
  • Bumpy areas
  • Negative aspects
  • Crusts
  • Degraded land
  • Soft white, red, or white-and-red spotted areas with a velvety texture.
  • abnormal bleeding

And what if they do find something fishy?

If your dentist notices something during the screening, they may do one of the following diagnostic procedures to learn more:

The dye used for screening for oral cancer is a simple procedure that facilitates the detection of cancerous cells. Before a dental exam, patients are asked to rinse with a blue dye. Color is absorbed by abnormal cells in the mouth and highlights their presence.

A non-invasive screening device for oral cancer, the blue light wavelength illuminates healthy tissue while hiding precancerous or cancerous areas.

What can I do to prevent mouth cancer?

The value of knowing oneself cannot be emphasized, especially when compared to the value of refraining from using tobacco products and drinking to excess. If any of the following symptoms persist for more than two weeks, a visit to the dentist is needed.

  • One that bleeds or won’t stop hurting
  • Tumor: a mass, growth, or thickening of the skin, mucosa, or other oral tissues.
  • Numbness or discomfort in the tongue
  • Trouble chewing or biting due to jaw pain or stiffness
  • Pain or difficulty eating, swallowing, or talking (the sensation of food getting caught in your throat)
  • Hoarseness that won’t go away
  • Lack of feeling in the mouth and face.
  • An ongoing problem with pain in one ear
  • Inexplicable dental looseness

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