How Many Steps Are Involved in Oral Cancer Screening?

How Many Steps Are Involved in Oral Cancer Screening?

Sep 20, 2022

If cancer is dangerous oral cancer is not an exception. Oral cancer doesn’t exhibit any visible symptoms, and you may not realize it until it has progressed to an advanced stage. It is why oral cancer screenings in Peoria, AZ, are essential.

You don’t need to schedule separate meetings with an oral cancer specialist nearby to determine whether you have unusual growths of lumps in your mouth. Instead, you receive the screening during regular sessions with your dentist for exams and cleanings. During the procedure for examining your mouth and cleaning your teeth, your dentist checks for oral cancer to ensure this devastating condition is not present in your mouth.

The dental office you frequent adopts different steps when examining your mouth for oral cancer. The dentist completes the screening in under five minutes without you even realizing why the professional is looking at areas of your mouth unrelated to your teeth and gums. However, you mustn’t express surprise if the dentist requests you to cooperate when going through the different steps of oral cancer screening. They are:

  • Tongue and Gauze: This step requires you to push your tongue out as far as possible for dentists to examine the sides and underside, looking for red-and-white patches and feeling your tongue for lumps. Tongue cancer is a familiar problem with non-smokers.
  • Lip and Cheek Roll: after the first step, the dentist uses gloved hands, feeling for lumps and bumps on your lips and cheeks, besides trying to identify red-and-white patches that shouldn’t present themselves in the mouth.
  • Double-Digit Probe: the dentist also examines the floor of your mouth from top and bottom, looking for the familiar red-and-white patches.
  • Palate Tickle: Your mouth roof is also examined for lumps and soft areas on the hard palate. Needless to say, the professional also looks for red-and-white patches.
  • Neck Caress: Enlarged lymph nodes are often signs of infections or a severe condition. Your neck is also examined for abnormalities.
  • Checking the Tonsils: Using a tongue depressor and a dental mirror, the dentist examines your tonsils for enlargement, redness, unusual bumps, or symmetry.

Can a Dentist Identify Whether You Have Oral Cancer?

The dentistry near you is a practice you visit pretty often, although you might dislike meeting them once every six months. Dentists are professionals in detecting any issues with your oral cavity, including oral cancer besides, tooth decay, gum disease, et cetera. In addition, dentists receive training in dental school to identify the initial signs indicating the presence of oral cancer in your mouth.

If the dentist discovers any suspicious areas in the mouth, they perform additional tests using blue toluidine dye and lights to identify whether the site needs further evaluation. Dentists recommend waiting a few weeks to re-examine your mouth to determine whether the areas are healing or progressing before referring you to an oncologist, a specialist in treating cancerous conditions. Dentists aim to identify the earliest stages of oral cancer when the outcome of treating them is generally better. Dentists can identify the early signs of this problem to ensure you receive appropriate treatment from specialists with the training and infrastructure to treat oral cancer.

Where Does Mouth Cancer Usually Start?

Mouth cancers generally begin in the lips, gums, tongue, inner lining of the cheeks, mouth roof, and under the tongue. When you visit your dentist for regular dental prophylaxis, the professional examines the areas mentioned besides your head and neck because mouth cancer includes several categories, also called head and neck cancers.

How Do the Early Stages of Oral Cancer Appear like?

The early stages of mouth cancer include painful ulcers that don’t heal after several weeks and unexplained persevering lumps in the mouth or neck that do not go away by themselves. You might also experience loose teeth or sockets not healing after tooth extractions besides persistent numbness or odd feeling on the tip of your tongue. Red-and-white patches on your mouth lining or tongue also indicate oral cancer that needs examination as soon as possible. Besides the above, you might also notice changes in your speech with a lisp affecting you.

You must see a general practitioner or your dentist if the symptoms described above do not recover within three weeks, primarily if you use alcohol and smoke.

If you wish to keep yourself safeguarded from this devastating infection, you must schedule a visit with Westbrook Village dental for your routine exams and cleanings because you also receive a comprehensive oral cancer examination as a preventive measure costing you no extra dollars.

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