Oral cancer can appear in all parts of the mouth including the surrounding areas like the sinuses and vessels in the neck. This condition can be frightening, but the earlier it is diagnosed, the better your chances are of fighting it. Advancements in dental technologies have made it even easier to find the origin of oral cancer as accurately and comfortably as possible. Regular oral cancer screenings are vital for early cancer detection and developing a treatment plan that is more likely to succeed. Your dentist at Gentle Care Dentistry can utilize the latest in cancer screening technology to determine if you can benefit from additional treatment.
What Oral Cancer Screenings Can Do
- Early oral cancer detection
- Examination of the gums, cheeks, lips, and tonsils
- Lesion diagnosis
Oral Cancer Screening Options
While oral lesions are not always indicative of cancer, it is crucial to have them looked at by a professional. Your dentist may recommend a biopsy to diagnose the cause of a troubling lesion in your mouth. Depending on the size and depth of the lesion, your dentist will take a small sample of the target area using an exfoliative or incisional technique. The extracted cells will be to a dental lab for thorough testing and examination.
The Panorex is a digital X-ray that takes panoramic images of the teeth, jaw, sinuses, and blood vessels in the neck. The procedure is quick and painless, and the results are immediate. Your dentist will position your chin comfortably on the machine, at which point the rotating arm moves around your head, taking a comprehensive image of your oral structures.
Oral Cancer Prevention
You can dramatically decrease your risk of developing oral cancer by adopting a healthy lifestyle and avoiding carcinogens. Some of the recommended actions for optimal cancer prevention include:
- Quitting the use of all tobacco products
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Wear lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher
- Avoid direct sun exposure without adequate protection
- Talk to your doctor about obtaining the HPV vaccine