Oral Cancer Checks Are Smart For Your Smile & Body Health
An oral cancer check is crucial at identifying any potential signs of cancer in its early stages. As with all cancer types, recognizing it early will increase the likelihood of successful treatment. Dentists screen for signs of oral cancer during regular checkups.
As a part of a routine dentist appointment, dentists perform a physical examination of different areas of the mouth to check for abnormalities. As part of this oral cancer check, they will inspect for signs of irritation, sores, and discolouration.
There are several specific areas that a dentist inspects when performing an oral cancer check. This includes the mouth cavity, tongue, floor and roof of the mouth, and tonsils. If there is any sign of potential cancer, the dentist will request further testing to find out more.
A more thorough oral cancer check is available using dyes or fluorescent lights. In both methods, the dye or light reveals potentially cancerous areas visually. Dentists apply a blue dye throughout the inside of the mouth. All abnormalities will turn to a darker shade of blue. Similarly, dentists can shine a fluorescent light into the mouth. In light, potentially cancerous tissue will have a different appearance than healthy tissue.
If needed, the dentist will take a tissue sample from the area in question to get it tested in a lab. The lab will check the sample for any signs of cancer. Even if cancer is not found, this testing method is also effective in identifying any indicators that a person is at-risk of cancer in the future.
It is important to visit the dentist regularly as recommended to perform oral cancer checks. It is especially important for people who drink alcohol, use tobacco of any kind, have a history of cancer in the family, and are heavily exposed to the sign to get checked often.