It is quite unfortunate that oral cancer is still a cause of death for so many people globally. While other forms of cancer are claiming lives, oral cancer is taking a big part in it. Ideally, regular dental visits are a great way to ensure oral cancer doesn’t become a predicament in your home. However, very few people regard dental checkups and visits as highly as they should. It is why we encourage independent oral cancer screenings in Friendswood, TX, regardless of your disciplined dental visits or not. The screenings can go a long way in ensuring we prevent cases of oral cancer in the world, not to mention, reduce the death rates significantly.
What is Oral Cancer Screening?
It is a special dental exam performed by a dentist to check for any signs of cancer in your oral cavity. Oral cancer screenings near you are about taking the precautionary measures to ensure that fewer people suffer from cancer. Ideally, your dentist will use different techniques to identify precancerous cells in your mouth. The entire goal of oral cancer screening in general dentistry near Friendswood, TX is to detect oral cancer early. The earlier you find out you have cancer, the better your chances of treating it before it has permanent damage on your mouth.
What is Termed as Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a general term used to refer to any precancerous cells present in the mouth. Technically, the mouth is a large organ, that covers many areas. Oral cancer, therefore, has many types, including the following:
- Tongue cancer
- Throat cancer
- Cancer of the gums
- Jawbone cancer
- Lips cancer
- Roof or floor of the mouth cancer
All these types of cancer occur in the oral cavity. They feature abnormal cells that grow in any area of your mouth. While there are many signs to notify you of oral cancer, it may not always be easy to tell them apart. This is because some of the signs can be mistaken for a mere gum infection, a cold or flu. This is why you should seek the help f your dentist about the risk of oral cancer.
Signs of Oral Cancer
Some of the signs you should look out for when it comes to oral cavity cancer include the following:
- Mouth sores – these are not typical canker sores. Cancerous mouth sores are usually recurrent and do not heal.
- Pain and discomfort – can be felt when you chew or bite into foods. It is experienced on the jawbone as well as the gums.
- Reddish or whitish patches in your mouth – check the inside of your cheeks, the roof, and floor of your mouth, as well as around your gum tissue.
- Difficulty swallowing foods.
- Soreness in your throat, making it hard to speak and eat.
- Ear pain – since your oral cavity is closely linked to your ears.
Why is Oral Cancer Screening Important?
Cancer is a big word in the 21st century. As treatment options increase in variety and effectiveness, cancer is still a huge health problem. Knowing that you should not allow yourself to remain at risk of oral cancer when there are screening services available. Some benefits include:
- Early detection – with cancer, the earlier you find it, the better your odds for total treatment.
- Proper diagnosis and prognosis – the symptoms of oral cancer can be confused with those of other types of dental problems. For example, people with periodontal disease have very similar symptoms like those of oral cancer. Therefore, a screening helps will accurate diagnosis and prognosis of your oral problem.
- Risk management – even though you may not have oral cancer, you may be at a higher risk of getting it than other people. During your screening sessions, you can learn about risk management, to ensure you do not get cancer in the first place.
- Lifestyle counseling – you may never have a reason to question your lifestyle until there is a need to. Your dentist will give you a couple of tips on how to manage your lifestyle to avoid oral cancer. This may include nutritional advice, quitting alcohol and smoking, protecting your skin while outdoors, to mention a few.