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If you are needing an oral cancer screening Brady Dental of Amarillo is here to help. Oral cancer screening refers to an exam of your mouth, looking for cancer signs before a person displays the symptoms of mouth, jaw, or tongue cancer. Men have a higher chance of contracting oral cancer than women. The only way to diagnose it early is through oral cancer screening at Brady Dental of Amarillo.

Why is an oral cancer screening important?

There is a 5-year survival rate for people who contract oral cancer. That is because most people receive the diagnosis late, making treatment even harder.

Therefore, it is vital to catch oral cancer early to increase your chances of survival. The only accurate way to achieve that is through regular oral cancer screenings at Brady Dental of Amarillo.

Can a dentist tell if you have oral cancer?

No. A dentist can only perform an oral cancer screening to determine if you have symptoms of oral cancer or precancerous conditions, such as growths in your mouth. The only way to definitively tell if you have oral cancer is to take a biopsy.

A biopsy includes extracting a tissue sample from the suspected area and observing it under a microscope to confirm or disclaim the presence of oral cancer.

Who does oral cancer screening?

Healthcare providers like dentists or doctors. You can also screen yourself, but it’s no substitute for a medical check-up.

Will a dental X-ray show cancer?

A dental x-ray will not show all types of mouth cancers. Dental x-rays are only good for diagnosing jaw cancer.

How often should you screen for oral cancer?

If you are aged 20 to 40, you should screen for oral cancer every three years. For our patients at Brady Dental Group we do oral cancer screening yearly after the age of 18. The key to success in beating oral cancer is early detection.

Is oral cancer a screening routine?

No. There are no recommended routine oral cancer screening tests. However at Brady Dental Group we do make oral cancer screening a routine evaluation in our office. 

What does cancer in the mouth look like when it starts?

Growths or lumps, open sores that persist for more than two weeks and red or white patches or a mix of both that are distinctive from the normal oral cavity tissues could be an indication of cancer in the mouth. Also, loose teeth, ear pain or a sore on your tongue is also an indication of mouth cancer.

How is oral cancer detected early?

Regular oral cancer screening and a biopsy when you spot symptoms can help detect oral cancer early. You can either carry out the screening process by yourself or visit a doctor, dentist, or dental hygienist:

1. Self-screening

Wash your hands before you examine your oral cavity. Pull your lower lip, observe and feel the surface and gums, and do the same to your upper lip.

Using the flashlight, inspect and feel the inner surfaces of both cheeks. Lift your tongue and examine and feel the surface under your tongue and the lower part of the tongue.

Stick your tongue out and feel and examine the upper and sides of your tongue. Open your mouth wide and scrutinize the soft palate and back throat area.

If you spot any of the mentioned indicators of a potential oral cancer infection, visit a specialist for further examination and confirmation.

2. Dentist, doctor, or dental hygienist screening at Brady Dental of Amarillo

Remove all oral utilities, such as retainers and dentures, to reveal the oral tissues:

Visual exam: The specialist examines your neck, face, lips, inside of the nose, and oral cavity in search of white patches, lumps, bumps, swelling, rough patches, sores, or any other oddities.

Palpation: They will use their finger to feel for bumps or lumps around your neck, jaw, or face.

Oral cancer screening dye and light: Coating lesions with the dye will help identify places that may become cancerous. Using a fluorescent mouthwash and shining a particular light makes abnormal tissue look white while healthy ones look dark.

How quickly does oral cancer develop?

The rate of cancer development varies from one person to the other. Individuals at greater risk of developing oral cancer include:

  • Alcoholics

  • Smokers

  • Tobacco users

  • Individuals with human papillomavirus (HPV) strains

  • Individuals with a family history of developing cancer

  • Persons with poor dental and oral hygiene

  • Individuals whose fillings, rough teeth, or dentures have rubbed on their oral cavity tissues or gums for an extended period

  • People aged 50 years and above

Oral cancer develops in stages and it takes about five years for oral cancer to move from stage one to five.

You can delay or prevent the possibility of developing oral cancer by improving your oral hygiene, reducing alcohol intake and smoking, and staying away from tobacco. Further, get professional treatment for the health issues caused by HPV.

Oral cancer screening is the only way to ensure early detection of oral cancer and improve the chances of a successful cure. Brady Dental Group will routinely do an oral cancer screening yearly. Call or come by and make an appointment with Brady Dental of Amarillo for all your dental needs.

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