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Oral Cancer Screening With Your Gainesville Dentist

Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer is a big deal. Not only is it affecting Americans at increasingly high rates, but when left unattended, it can be deadly. A simple cancer screening by your Gainesville family dentist can help identify harmful areas in your mouth and correct them just in time.

Anyone can be susceptible to oral cancer. However, there are heightened risks for people who are over the age of 40 and who have previous experience of oral cancer or severe oral issues. Cancer screenings are diagnostic tests that allow our dental professionals to thoroughly inspect your mouth for cancerous lesions and/or tumors. They are easy, quick and extremely beneficial.

If any of the conditions listed below apply to you, you may be more likely to obtain oral cancer. You should visit an oral dentist as soon as possible.

Who is at Risk for Oral Cancer?

An oral cancer screening may save your life!

1. Those with a heavy dependence on alcohol.

2. Those who use tobacco products (cigars, cigarettes, pipes, etc.).

3. Those who have experienced abnormal exposure to the sun.

4. Those who have contracted or are at-risk for human papillomavirus (HPV).

Oral Cancer Screenings Are Necessary

We don’t have to tell you how serious (and even fatal) cancer can be. In particular, oral cancer causes tumors and cancerous lesions to spread rapidly throughout your mouth, and may even permeate to several areas in your body. You may be surprised to experience painful symptoms in your bones and head.

A quick oral screening can detect trouble areas early on. This way, your mouth can be restored and healed quickly before the cancer spreads or becomes too violent.

How Oral Screenings Work

Oral cancer screenings are simple. In most cases, they do not involve incisions and are painless. If you wear full or partial dentures, you will be asked to remove them. Depending on your dentist’s preference, blue dye or a bright light may be placed into your mouth to help detect trouble areas.

An experienced dentist will look into your mouth and check for red, yellow or white patches of skin or pulse. He/she will touch different areas of your mouth, often applying pressure. This method is done to check for abnormalities and lumps.

Oral Cancer Screenings in Gainesville, FL

What Happens When Trouble Areas are Detected?

If we find trouble areas in your mouth, we may do the following:

  • Schedule a follow-up exam. Sometimes, lumps develop in our mouths because of harsh toothpastes/mouthwashes, heavy brushing, or intake of strong acidic foods. Or, you may have simply bitten the side of your cheek. These type of lumps are normal and completely healthy. They usually go away independently within a few days or weeks.  During a follow-up exam, we will check to see if the lumps are still there. This can help to determine if your oral lumps are malignant.
  • Perform a biopsy. General dentists are not always able to detect if a lump is cancerous by looking or touching trouble areas. When this happens, a biopsy may be needed. Biopsies allow us to remove a sample of your oral cells to use in laboratory testing, which will examine your sample to determine if they match the makeup of cancerous cells.

Overall, an oral cancer screening is easy, quick and painless.

Oral Health Professionals in Gainesville, FL

If you are concerned about a lump in your mouth, or if it has been awhile since you have gotten a thorough dental check-up, contact oral care professionals at Van Dyke General & Implant Dentistry. We will be happy to provide you with an in-depth cancer screening and take all of the necessary steps to restore your oral health. Contact us today.

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