Oral Cancer Screening
Part of good preventive dentistry is to check for signs of oral cancer. This should be a regular part of your healthcare, just as you get screened for other types of cancer throughout the body.
Our dentist at Creekside Family Dental can check for this form of cancer during your dental hygiene/exam visits.
How Does an Oral Cancer Screening Work?
It’s easy to receive an oral cancer screening through your dentist’s office. This process takes place automatically during your regular exams and cleanings.
When our dentist is checking your overall oral health during your exam, he also checks for early signs of oral cancer. In addition, he checks for precancerous conditions in the mouth that should be addressed to reduce the risk of oral cancer. At our office, we believe in being transparent about any concerns we have and fully involving you in decision-making about your dental care.
If signs of cancer or precancerous conditions are present during this initial screening, Dr. Leffler may recommend additional screening. Testing helps to confirm whether or not certain signs indicate cancer. If not, we can work to determine whether the signs indicate a different problem and keep an eye on any changes over time.
Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Important?
Screening for oral cancer is one of the reasons why it is so important to visit the dentist for checkups every six months. Through regular screenings, we are better able to catch signs of oral cancer early, which improves treatment options and survival rates. During early stages, it is easier to treat the problem by removing cancer cells or precancerous lesions.
What Does the Dentist Look For During Screenings?
Dr. Leffler has the expertise to check your mouth for signs of oral cancer, which is also called oral cavity cancer or mouth cancer. During your exam, he looks at various parts of your mouth, including your teeth, tongue, inner mouth and lips. He checks for signs like red or white patches, lumps, growths, continuous sores and loose teeth.
Nonetheless, not all signs of oral cancer are ones a dentist can see or feel during an exam. Other symptoms include pain in the mouth and ears, having difficulty swallowing and coughing. Share any symptoms you have been experiencing during your exam. Our dentist can more accurately make a diagnosis of a problem by having both your information and physical signs he notices during an exam.
Can I Reduce My Oral Cancer Risk?
You can take steps to lower your oral cancer risk by focusing on your lifestyle. Tobacco use and excess alcohol use are both associated with this type of cancer, so stopping or cutting back reduces risk. Too much sun exposure also increases risk.
Nonetheless, some people have a higher risk regardless of lifestyle choices. These include people who have a medical history of oral cancer or human papillomavirus (HPV).
Our dentist checks for signs of oral cancer in all patients. Nonetheless, let him know if you may have a higher risk.
Make Your Exam Appointment
You receive cancer screening as part of your regular exam and cleaning visit. If you do not have one scheduled with us already, contact our Gahanna, OH office to set up your next visit.
Contact us to schedule your appointment.