April 19, 2019

Screening for Oral Cancer

Cancer is perhaps the most frightening word a medical professional can utter to you. We fully understand this, however, sometimes it can be lifesaving. If there is a possibility you have oral cancer, it would be best to catch it early-on and therefore prevent it’s progression as much as possible. Gentle Dental offers biopsies so that you can rule oral cancer in or out. Let’s talk about the signs of oral cancer, the biopsy process, and how Gentle Dental can help you during this worrisome time.

How Are Biopsies Done?

What is a biopsy?

A biopsy is defined as an examination of tissue removed from a living body to discover the presence, cause, or extent of a disease. Essentially, your doctor will use a brush to scrape some tissue from the inside of your mouth. This tissue will then be evaluated and used to determine whether or not you are sick. It is very easy to have a biopsy done and essentially painless.

If you have lesions in your mouth that have no explanation, you may want to get tested for oral cancer. We especially encourage this if you are an active tobacco user.

What Are the Signs?

If you have a dental emergency, it can’t wait

Oral cancer may at first seem like symptoms for other dental problems. For example, you may mistake the swelling for being related to your teeth, or the crustiness for being related to gum disease. However, you do not want this illness to sneak up on you. Let’s consider the warning signs:

  • Persistent swelling, reoccurring/remaining bumps and lesions, rough spots, crustiness around your lips or gums
  • White or red patches in your mouth
  • Bleeding
  • Loss of feeling or numbness, or alternatively, pain and tenderness in your mouth and neck
  • Throat discomfort, hoarseness
  • Ear pain (as if you had an ear infection)
  • Teeth or dentures changing in bite pattern
  • Losing weight

What Are the Risks?

We have to stress that most, if not all, forms of cancer can lead to death if left untreated. This disease progresses rapidly by changing your cell structure. If you suspect that you may have oral cancer, it needs to be evaluated immediately by a medical professional.

If you have a history of cancer in your family, use or have used tobacco in great amounts, or have been diagnosed with HPV, you are at risk for this disease.

Left to its own devices, oral cancer will infect your entire mouth, throat, and sinuses. It will cause persistent pain and discomfort accompanied by swollen lymph nodes and even ulcers. You want to do everything you can to prevent yourself from developing this disease, or from the disease progressing.

Contact Gentle Dental for Oral Cancer Screenings

If you are worried about having oral cancer, do not hesitate to put yourself in contact with a medical professional. Your health is incredibly important. To speak with us, fill out our contact form here or call one of our many locations. We can help you ease your worries or prepare you for the future. Speak with one of our assistants today!