When it comes to protecting your mouth, getting it professionally examined helps identify any potential issues that may have not been caught by the patient. An oral cancer screening is one of the most important things when it comes to a mouth examination–especially so for high-risk patients such as active smokers.
We will be going over what happens during an oral screening and why it is important for your oral health. If you are concerned about the state of your oral health, we urge you to contact us after this read.
Breaking Down An Oral Cancer Screening
We will ask you a few questions relating to if you smoke or partake in heavy drinking, for example, to determine if you are at risk. It is important that you are honest with us, we are here to help. Us knowing vital information will enable us to accurately screen and treat you.
From there we will check for any signs of mouth cancer, such as white and red patches–a red flag when it comes to patients who have developed oral cancer. We will also examine the throat and tissue in the mouth for any lumps. If we have determined that there is a high chance that you have developed oral cancer, we may perform a biopsy procedure that involves taking a sample of tissue and examining it for cancer cells to come to a final conclusion.
Catching early signs of oral cancer is crucial since it can possibly prevent it from getting worse. If we have determined that without a doubt that a patient has mouth cancer, we can talk about your options and go from there.
Preventing Oral Cancer
If you are a smoker, it is important to try to work on quitting. We know it is hard and is a long journey to get to the end goal. But starting now will significantly reduce your risk of developing mouth cancer. Smoking actively changes the cells within the tissues of the mouth, which is why it is one of the biggest causes of this condition.
In addition to this, if you are a heavy drinker, we strongly suggest cutting back as this also puts you at risk, especially combined with smoking. Drinking in moderation is fine, in fact, beneficial depending on the beverage. But drinking should be limited to no more than 14 units spread throughout the week. If you have concerns about your oral health, don’t hesitate to call us at 479.646.0706 to schedule an appointment with us at River Valley Smile Center.