visit our clinic for oral cancer screening at least once every six months, along with your professional dental cleaning appointment. If you are at higher risk of developing oral cancer, this recommendation may shorten to three to four months.
You can contact our team to book your appointment today.
For most people, a visit to a dental clinic is marred with feelings of worry or terror because of the possibility that you may have cavities. Unfortunately, cavities are not the worst thing that a dentist can find.
Oral cancer is one of the dental issues that tend to go unnoticed for a while as symptoms do not show up immediately. Symptoms begin to show up shortly after the disease has progressed. This makes oral cancer especially dangerous because it could be developing and putting your health in danger without you even realizing it. For this reason, our team at Apple Dental Group suggests that you visit our dentist near you regularly for oral cancer screening.
What is Oral Cancer Screening?
In essence, oral cancer screening in SW Calgary works to check your oral tissues for any signs of abnormalities that indicate cancerous or precancerous cells.
This examination aims to detect oral cancer early to provide patients with a higher chance of successful treatment and recovery. Generally, oral cancer screenings are a routine part of your regular dental visits.
Who Should Get Oral Cancer Screening?
Technically, anyone could develop oral cancer, and for this reason, our dentist recommends that everyone gets an oral cancer screening. However, some people are at higher risk of developing oral cancer who should ensure that they are diligent about attending oral cancer screening appointments often.
Here are some factors that lead to an increased risk of oral cancer:
- Tobacco use of any kind- including pipes, chewing, cigars, cigarettes, and snuff
- Heavy alcohol use
- Overexposure to sunlight without sunscreen
- Having oral cancer in the past
- Human papillomavirus
What Are Early Signs of Oral Cancer?
The symptoms of oral cancer will vary from person to person, but typically, the following signs can be associated with oral cancer:
- Difficulty swallowing and chewing
- Swelling and pain
- Difficulty moving your tongue
- Dry, discolored, or irritated spots that are not healing in the mouth or throat
If you notice any of the above symptoms, visit your dentist for an oral cancer screening near you.
What Happens During Oral Cancer Screening?
In most cases, an oral cancer screening will involve your dentist performing a basic examination of:
- Your gums
- The inside and outside of your lips and cheeks
- All the sides of your tongue and underneath your tongue
- The roof of your mouth
- The back of your throat
Most of the time, this exam takes about five to ten minutes. The aim is to identify lumps, spots, discoloration, and any other abnormalities that may indicate the need for further investigation or treatment. If our dentist finds any signs of oral cancer or precancerous cells, they may recommend:
- That you return for a checkup in a couple of weeks to check whether the abnormality has changed or grown
- A biopsy to get a sample of the cells in the area to test and confirm whether or not cancerous cells are present
How Often Should You Get Oral Cancer Screening?
Although there may be mixed opinions on oral cancer screening, the process is quick and painless and can end up saving your life. At Apple Dental Group, our dentist recommends that you