Your dentist may check for cancer during your routine dental exam. You can also call for an appointment if you notice white or red patches in your mouth. Signs of oral cancer also include sores that won’t heal, growths, and lumps. Your dentist may also check your throat and neck. If your dentist finds something unusual, you may need a biopsy to determine if you have cancerous cells. You may also need various other tests to confirm your diagnosis and get a proper treatment plan.
Signs you Need an Oral Cancer Screening Procedure
You may notice the signs of oral cancer at home before you visit the dentist. Dentists, however, also look for cancer symptoms during routine exams. If you notice symptoms of oral cancer you can also call for an urgent appointment with your dentist. You may notice small changes inside your mouth or on your lips. Some patients may also have pain in the neck. Talk to your dentist about an oral cancer screening procedure if you notice the following symptoms.
- Growth or lump in the mouth
- Pain in your mouth
- A sore in your mouth or on your lips that won’t heal
- Red or white patch inside your mouth
- Problems with swallowing
If you notice mouth cancer symptoms, get a prompt diagnosis from your dentist. Early treatment can decrease the spread of some cancers.
What happens if my dentist finds something serious?
If your dentist finds something serious, you may need more tests immediately. Specialists must analyze the type of cancer and find out if it has spread to other areas of your body. Dentists aim to get a fast diagnosis and treatment when patients show signs of cancer.
Oral Cancer Screening Dentist: What to Expect
The first step to screening for oral cancer is a thorough exam. Your dentist may do this during your routine visits. If you notice something unusual, however, schedule an immediate exam to get checked for oral cancer. Your dentist may look at sores, the inside of your mouth, and feel for lumps in various places. If your dentist determines you need further testing, you may need one or more of the following procedures.
- CT scan
The specialists at Edge Dental can examine you for oral cancer symptoms and help you with a treatment plan.
What are the screenings and tests for oral cancer?
Dentists may recommend a biopsy to test the tissue from your lips or mouth. If you have a lump, you may need an imaging procedure so the doctor can see the lump clearly. A biopsy may follow the imaging procedure if the doctor suspects a problem. More in-depth tests may become necessary for some cancer symptoms, such as an endoscopy or barium swallow.
Symptoms of Gum Disease Mouth Cancer
Since gum disease symptoms and gum cancer symptoms often mimic each other, schedule an exam quickly if you notice problems. You may have bleeding or cracking of the gums with both illnesses, for example. Teeth can also become loose when the gums get damaged. A lump or sore that won’t heal can also signal mouth cancer. Most dentists have concerns about sores that last longer than two weeks. Your dentist may treat a sore on your gums, however, a sore caused by cancer may not respond to treatment properly.
How can my dentist help detect oral cancer early?
Your dentist can help detect the signs of oral cancer early by giving you a thorough routine exam. Dentists recommend exams and cleanings twice each year.
Finding a Good Oral Cancer Dentist
Look online for dental clinics that specialize in oral cancer screening. You can also choose a full-service dental office with a variety of specialists in the same building. If you have signs of mouth cancer, call dentists in your area to find out about their screening process. Most dental clinic websites offer information about their services, staff, and payment options. Check the credentials of a new dentist, as well. Credentials such as education and experience can help you decide on the right dentist. You can also read customer reviews online. Visit Edge Dental for a proper assessment of the early signs of mouth cancer.
Where does oral cancer occur?
Oral cancer can occur anywhere in your mouth or on your lips. Some dentists also assess your face, jaw, and throat for signs of cancer. Look for sores, red or white patches, and lumps.
Preparing for an Oral Cancer Screening
Your preparation for a cancer screening depends on the procedure. During your first appointment, you can expect to have a simple exam in your dentist’s office. If your dentist determines you need further testing, you may need to visit a specialist or hospital. For a biopsy, you may need local or general anesthesia, depending on the location of the problem. You may need someone to drive you home from the procedure. Meet with your doctor to get the details of the procedure. You may need to take a day off of work for tests that take a lot of time, such as CT scans, MRI procedures, or an endoscopy.
Visit your dentist twice each year for a routine exam and cleaning. Dentists can find cancer symptoms earliest when you schedule routine care. Call your dentist for an immediate appointment if you notice unusual symptoms in your mouth, on your lips, or in your throat. Common signs of mouth cancer include red or white patches, sores that won’t heal, and lumps. Gum disease and gum cancer often have similar symptoms, so dentists must monitor patients carefully when treating gum disease. Lumps can appear in a variety of places. Your dentist may check for lumps in your neck, jaw, and face. Make an appointment with Edge Dental to get a cancer screening today.