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The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

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Worldwide, cancer is the number one cause of deaths. Although technological advancements continue to improve treatment mechanisms, more and more lives are lost to cancer yearly. Oral cancer is one of the many cancer types that have resulted in high mortality rates, mainly because of late diagnosis.

Therefore, the number one strategy for oral cancer prevention is early diagnosis. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case as very few people visit the dentist regularly, so the cancer may not be caught in its early stages. Oral cancer screenings are a crucial part of maintaining good oral health. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of these screenings and what to expect during the process.

What Is Oral Cancer Screening?

This is an examination by a doctor or dentist to check your mouth for any signs of cancer or precancerous conditions. These screenings aim to catch mouth cancer in its early stages when there are better chances for a cure. Dentists may perform the screening during routine visits or employ additional tests to identify areas of abnormal cell growth in the mouth.

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Why Are Oral Cancer Screenings Done?

While often overlooked, oral cancer screenings have several benefits. They are necessary for the following reasons:

  1. Early Cancer Detection: As you may have already read, detecting mouth cancer in its early stages before it advances can increase your chances of getting cured.
  2. Determination of Risk Factors: While anyone can get cancer, some groups are more susceptible to the menace than others. Without the screenings, your dentist can’t ascertain your oral cancer risk levels.
  3. Prevention of Cancer: After a screening session that yields negative results, your dentist may take that opportunity to advise you on how to prevent oral cancer, particularly if your chances of developing the disease are high.

Who Should Undergo an Oral Cancer Examination?

Anyone can benefit from regular oral cancer screens. If the results are negative, you can learn to lead a healthy life and avoid mouth cancer. However, our dentist at Dental on Wellesley recommends periodic screenings if you are a high-risk patient.

Some of the groups highly susceptible to oral cancer include:

  • Tobacco Smokers: Besides deteriorating your lung health, tobacco smoking heightens your risk of developing oral cancer.
  • Previous Cancer Diagnosis: If in the past your doctors diagnosed you with cancer, especially mouth cancer, there is a high chance that you will get it again.
  • Genetics: Cancer can be hereditary, so if your family has a history of oral cancer, you are at risk too.
  • Alcohol Consumers: Heavy drinking increases your risk of developing mouth cancer.
  • People with STIs: HPV, for instance, has been associated with the ever-increasing cases of oral cancer globally.

Preparing for Oral Cancer Screenings

These screenings do not require you to prepare in any special way. This is because your dentist typically performs these exams during routine dental visits.

What to Expect During Oral Cancer Screening

During the screening, your family dentist puts on gloves and checks the inside of your mouth for mouth sores or patches (white or red). They also feel your mouth tissues for any lumps or other anomalies and examine your neck and throat for lumps.

Besides the oral exam. Some dentists may perform additional tests, namely:

Oral Cancer Screening Dye: Before the exam, your dentist will direct you to rinse your mouth using a special blue dye. This way, if there are any abnormal cells in your oral cavity, they will assume the colour of the dye.

Oral Cancer Screening Light: Your dentist may shine a flashlight in your mouth during the screening. This light darkens the appearance of healthy tissue and whitens that of abnormal tissue.

So what next after the screening? If there are signs of oral cancer or precancerous cells, your family dentist may recommend a follow-up visit and biopsy procedure. The former is for monitoring the abnormal area, while the latter is for determining the presence of cancer cells.

Final Thoughts

Like many kinds of cancer, oral cancer is curable, but only if discovered early. To achieve this, regular screening sessions are imperative. Whether you do not have oral cancer or are a high-risk patient, regular screenings are a necessary assessment.

Do you want to know more about oral cancer screenings? Our family dentist at Dental on Wellesley will walk you through every step. Get in touch with us today.

Dental Studio On Wellesley: Best Dentist on Yonge and Wellesley

Dr. Sobhi has been practicing dentistry for over 14 years. She and her team of experienced dental professionals love helping patients achieve their healthiest and most beautiful smiles possible.

Yonge and Wellesley Dental proudly provide comprehensive dental care in Yonge and Eglinton. Our beautiful and modern office has the latest in dental technology which assists us in providing our patients with the best care possible.

For more information, You can find us in DENTAL STUDIO ON WELLESLEY to schedule an appointment in our office, schedule an appointment online, or give us a call at 1.416.858.4949

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Are you perplexed about the dental treatment you need? Or you are concerned about which dental clinic is the right option for your dental treatment? Don’t worry we have the best dentists in town with high-tech services. For your convenience, we have multiple dental offices at different locations. Let us know your location and queries we will guide you to your nearest dental office. The location of the dental offices is as follows:

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