Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Important?

Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Important?

September 1, 2022

Do you know that dentists perform an oral cancer screening in Peabody, PA during your routine visits? If you are unaware, you might want to know why you must undergo screening for oral cancer during your exam to check for dental abnormalities such as tooth decay or gum disease. You might even wonder whether dentists had trained to perform these screenings and what happens during the procedure.

Dentists are experts in the oral and maxillofacial region and are the medical professionals you often see with your routine exams. Oral cancer screening is essential to detect oral cancer early when the chances of receiving successful treatment are the highest. Roughly 84 percent of early oral cancer is detected by dental professionals using state-of-the-art technology and the most updated techniques.

Is Oral Cancer Screening Mandatory?

No, it isn’t. However, whenever you schedule your appointment for routine exams with your dentist in Peabody, PA, the professional performs the screening during your visit without making it evident that they are searching for symptoms of oral cancer. Dentists don’t specify what they are looking for when examining different parts of your mouth, face, chin, head, and throat. Instead, they complete the screening within five minutes by using tools and looking for signs of discoloration or mouth sores, lumps, or other abnormalities.

If you are scared of oral cancer screenings, you can inform the dentist of your fears to ensure they don’t perform the test. However, as dentists complete oral cancer screening in Peabody, PA, in under five minutes and don’t require you to lengthen your appointment, you might as well undergo the screening fearlessly because you are not subjected to anesthesia or pain. The screening is similar to your dental exam, where dentists look for infections in your teeth and on your gums.

How to Determine Whether You Are at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Your risks of getting affected by oral cancer increase significantly if you are over 40 and smoke or chew tobacco. Men are more predisposed to oral cancer than ladies for unknown reasons. Excessive use of alcohol and an unhealthy diet also increases your risk. The human papillomavirus (HPV) affecting people through unsafe sex besides prolonged exposure to sunlight, are also risks of oral cancer.

If you are in one of the categories described, you find it beneficial to receive mouth cancer screening before it develops in your mouth to make you prone to receive treatment from different medical professionals.

Research reveals that people diagnosed with oral cancer are generally exposed to at least one of the risk factors mentioned above. However, the number of people diagnosed with oral cancer is also noted in people without any risks. No matter whether you have the risks or not, the screenings are essential to safeguard your overall health.

The American Dental Association recommends oral cancer screenings for people over 20 every three years and over 40 every year. Therefore when you receive the screening during your routine dental exam without paying extra fees, you must welcome it as a complementary gesture from your dentist.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

When dentists perform an oral cancer test, they look for symptoms like red or white patches in your mouth, spots bleeding continuously without healing, hard lumps or spots in your mouth, and numbness or pain when biting your teeth.

Oral Cancer Treatment or Prevention

You don’t find it challenging to seek oral cancer treatment from oncologists if you develop one cancer in your mouth. However, you must schedule separate appointments with the professionals and definitively pay higher prices than dental exams to receive treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, besides numerous other consequences.

On the other hand, if your dentist is checking your oral cavity or cancer, charging no extra fees, or delaying your appointment as a preventive measure, don’t you think you must prefer prevention over treatment?

The screenings aim to identify abnormalities in your mouth that might indicate oral cancer. Unfortunately, your dentist doesn’t have the tools or the training to diagnose oral cancer during the screening. However, if they notice unusual issues, they send a sample of your mouth tissue to a laboratory to determine oral cancer.

After receiving a diagnosis from the laboratory, your dentist in Peabody, PA refers you to a suitable professional with the training and tools necessary to treat your condition.

Premier Family Dentistry recommends oral cancer screenings for everyone as the ADA recommends. However, if you haven’t received your screening for various reasons, please do not hesitate to visit this practice to receive a complimentary screening for oral cancer with your dental exam and cleaning.

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