Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral Cancer Screenings in Whitby, ON

Oral cancer screening is a comprehensive assessment performed by a dentist to check for cancer signs in your mouth. The primary objective of oral cancer screenings in Whitby, ON is to identify mouth cancer early, while there’s plenty of time for successful treatment. Usually, oral cancer screenings are performed as part of your routine dental exams. However, our dentist near you may request a standalone oral cancer screening if there’s an urgent need for the same.

Oral cancer screenings near you are entirely painless. No anesthesia is required during this assessment which typically lasts less than five minutes. If you’re aged 20 and above, we recommend getting checked for cancer every three years. If you’re older than 40, it would be best to book annual oral cancer screenings.

Causes and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

As is the case with other cancers, mouth cancer develops when the oral cavity cells mutate abnormally and uncontrollably and destroy healthy body tissue. This abnormal mutation may be triggered by various risk factors, including excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption, excessive exposure to the sun, exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV), and genetic predisposition.

Oral cancer symptoms include:

  • Pain in the ear, mouth, and facial areas
  • Bad breath
  • Red or white patches
  • Persistent mouth or lip sores
  • Coughing
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Loose teeth
  • Swelling or lumps

Oral Cancer Screening Procedure

Our dentist in Whitby, ON begins the screening procedure by visually inspecting your oral cavity, ear, neck, and chin areas to check for any apparent signs. The dentist also uses a gloved hand to feel for lumps and swellings. The dentist may also use an oral screening light or dye to highlight the presence of any abnormal cells or tissue. If any worrisome signs are detected, the dentist may order or perform a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure whereby the dentist obtains tissue and then examines it under a microscope to check if any cancerous cells are present.

It’s worth noting that oral cancer screenings aren’t diagnostic. Only a biopsy can determine with definitiveness if you have oral cancer. If the biopsy test comes back positive for cancer, our dentist gets you started on the appropriate treatment to combat the spread of cancerous cells.

Are you looking to undergo oral cancer screenings in Whitby, ON? Call DSV Dental – Brooklin Village today to book an appointment with our dentist near you.

Answers to Oral Cancer FAQs:

How often should you be screened for oral cancer?

At DSV Dental we do a dedicated comprehensive oral cancer screening during your initial visit, and then bi-annually during your check-up and dental cleaning appointments.

What does oral cancer screening consist of?

Screening for oral cancer starts with a visual inspection and palpation of the head, neck, oral and pharyngeal regions. This procedure involves digital palpation of the neck node regions, bimanual palpation of the floor of the mouth and lateral portions and base of the tongue. It also includes inspection with palpation and observation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa.

Why is early detection important?

The Canadian Cancer Society statistics indicate 7,500 Canadians will get diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2022. Of these, 2,100 Canadians will die from the disease. Early detection of oral cancer is the most effective way to improve survival.

Who is most at risk of oral cancer?

Tabacco use is one of the strongest risk factors for head and neck cancer, including oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer. This includes people who smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and use oral tobacco products. Other risk factors include alcohol use, infection by human papilloma virus (HPV), precancerous conditions, and a weakened immune system. Prolonged sun exposure has also been linked to cancer in the lip area.

What are the warning signs of oral cancer?

Oral cancer presents itself in many different ways. Some obvious warning signs include a lip or mouth sore that does not heal, a white or reddish patch on the inside of the mouth, loose teeth, a growth or lump inside the mouth or neck, mouth pain, ear pain, difficulty or pain while swallowing, opening or chewing, weight loss and constant bad breath.

How can you reduce the risk of oral cancer?

Risk of oral cancer is reduced by steering clear of tobacco, drinking alcohol in moderation, getting vaccinated for HPV, using sun protection for your face and lips, and keeping up with regular check-up and teeth cleaning appointments at DSV Dental.

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