Oral Cancer Screening
Unfortunately, cancer is something we hear a lot about today. One of the many types you may be concerned about is oral cancer. At Cornelius Dental Clinic we want you to understand what this is so you don’t fear it.
Defining Oral Cancer
There are several different types of oral cancer, the most common of which is “squamous cell carcinomas.” This type of cancer originates in your mouth or lip tissue, but from there it’ll also affect your tongue. Left untreated, this cancer can affect your mouth’s floor, cheek lining, gums, and the roof of your mouth.
When You’ll get an Oral Health Screening
We’ll typically include an oral health screening when you come to our office twice a year (once every six months) for a routine exam. When we think that we’ve found something abnormal in your mouth or between visits if you feel like you’ve found something unusual, then we’ll conduct a more thorough oral cancer screening.
Additionally, if we have reason to believe that you’re at a higher risk of developing oral health cancer (e.g., people who use any type of tobacco like cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipes, or snuff), we’ll suggest that you get an oral health screening.
How you Know you Need an Oral Cancer Screening
You can sometimes tell you need an oral health screening before you even arrive in our office. If you use tobacco or drink alcohol, you should get an oral cancer screening.
Additionally, canker sores that grow on the inside of your mouth may be a sign of abnormal cell growth. These are sores that look like an ulcer but have an indentation in the middle of them. This is especially true if this sore bleeds, tingles, stings, or burns. Bringing this to our attention during a routine office visit is important, but if you don’t have a checkup for a while call and schedule a time for us to look at it as soon as possible. This should be treated like any other oral health issue you may be dealing with (e.g., painful swallowing, loose teeth, a painful tongue, stiffness in your jawbone) – don’t delay in getting the help you need for it today.
How We’ll Perform Your Oral Cancer Screening
It would help if you weren't afraid of getting an oral health screening. When you arrive in our office, we’ll simply look at your lips and mouth to see if there are any inflammation, white patches, sores, or other abnormalities located there. If we see any of these things, we may decide to remove the tissue so that we can send it to a lab, and have it tested to see if it’s cancerous. This is painless since we’ll provide you with an analgesic before the procedure.
Hopefully, now that you have a better understanding of what an oral health screening is you won’t be afraid to have one done. To schedule yours, simply contact Cornelius Dental Clinic at (503) 359-0339. This is a simple, painless procedure that you shouldn’t put off any longer.