Oral Cancer Screening
Most patients fail to realize just how important oral health can be to their overall well-being. It not only affects your gums and teeth but also your tongue and throat. Oral cancer screening is simply too important to not include in our patient’s semi-annual, professional cleaning and examination by our staff at O'Sullivan, DeLuca & Ressel Dental Care. Our trained professionals assess the inside of the cheeks, jaw, tongue, gums, and roof of the mouth. They search for sores and ulcers in the mouth as well as odd tissue growths all of which may require further testing.
Who Needs Oral Cancer Screening?
Although every patient should have regular oral cancer screening done, it is even more important for patients in higher risk groups. Those patients who regularly smoke cigars or cigarettes and even those who smoke e-cigarettes are considered high-risk. Smokeless tobacco users are in the higher risk group as well. Anyone who abuses alcohol or has long term sunlight exposure to their lips. All of those conditions have been known to cause a higher instance of oral cancer.
If a patient notices an odd growth or sore in their mouth along their gums or on their tongue while brushing or flossing or simply has a chronic sore throat, loose teeth or difficulty eating, they should definitely schedule an appointment with our team to have an oral cancer screening.
Reasons for Oral Cancer Screening
The best way to have a positive outcome is to practice preventive oral health care. Early detection is the key in combating oral cancer. If it is not treated the tumor could easily spread to the tongue, gums, throat and even the floor of the mouth. If it infects the lymph nodes, it can attack the rest of the body, becoming more difficult to treat.
How Is an Oral Cancer Screening Done?
We cannot diagnose oral cancer. However, our highly trained staff can identify any cells which appear abnormal. Because oral cancer typically causes no pain or discomfort in the early stages, most patients have no idea they have it. Although there may be gum discoloration or small sores in the mouth there may not be any associated pain. If our staff discovers these during a screening, they will recommend a biopsy to determine if the cells are cancerous. Even though the oral cancer screening just takes a few minutes, it can give patients the peace of mind that they have a healthy, cancer free mouth.
How Often Should Oral Cancer Screening Be Done?
For those over twenty-years old, the American Cancer Association recommends a screening every three years for oral cancer. For those patients over the age of forty, they recommend a yearly screening. Despite this, every cleaning and examination at our office includes an oral cancer screening by our qualified staff. Again, early detection is the key for a successful course of treatment.
The next time you schedule an appointment with our team at O'Sullivan, DeLuca & Ressel Dental Care We will provide the service at no additional cost to you. Please, call us today at (352) 666-9898 or pay us a visit during our normal office hours to schedule your next visit.