The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings During Dental Exams
Your dentist can assist you to achieve a beautiful smile and good oral health. Did you know, however, that your dentist can utilize preventive dentistry exams to save your life? That’s right, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, frequent oral cancer screenings are the absolute best way to reduce the number of annual deaths related to oral cancer.
No doubt, the best news regarding oral cancer is that it can be prevented, and that oral cancer screenings are fast and painless. In fact, your dentist can do it even without you knowing.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening
During an oral cancer screening
, your dentist will examine any area that can be affected by oral cancer including your face, neck, head, mouth, and throat. You will also be asked some questions to help determine your risk. we can quickly whether or not you are experiencing non-visual warning signs of oral cancer. The entire process of the oral cancer screening can be completed in a matter of minutes and is completely pain-free. Some of the symptoms that will be looked for during an oral cancer screening would include:
- Bumps in your soft tissue
- Swelling or hardening of lymph nodes
- Changes in texture of soft tissues
- Sore throat
- Hoarse voice
- Discoloration of soft tissue
Do I Need to be Screened if I Don’t Use Tobacco?
Of course, people who are habitual tobacco users are at highest risk of developing oral cancer, however it is not the only thing that causes oral cancer. Every year, about 25% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are not tobacco users. Your dentist will discuss with you all of the factors that increase oral cancer risk as well as help you to determine whether or not you are suffering from oral cancer.