Preventative Dental Care: Oral Cancer Screening

Preventative Dental Care: Oral Cancer Screening from Palm Beach Dentistry in Delray Beach, FLScreening for oral cancer is an important part of preventative dental care. Unfortunately, oral cancer is a disease that is not often talked about. Very few events support oral cancer research and awareness, even though oral cancer takes one life every day in the United States. Many people do not seek or receive treatment until cancer has progressed. As is the case with all types of cancer, early detection is key to treating it in time before it spreads to other parts of the body. Here we outline how oral cancer screenings work, how often you should have an oral cancer screening, who is susceptible to getting oral cancer, and preventative dental care measures against oral cancer.

How common are oral cancer screenings?

Unfortunately, oral cancer screenings are not commonly performed as a part of preventative dental care routines, which is why oral cancer is not often detected in the early stages. Most people never have an oral cancer screening done. If you have never been screened for oral cancer, it is recommended that you schedule an oral cancer screening as soon as possible. Oral cancer screenings should be done twice a year.

What happens during an oral cancer screening?

Your dentist will look for signs of abnormal tissue, which includes checking for visible symptoms such as red and white bumps, hard lumps, rough patches, or changes in the position of your teeth. Most of the screening is done visually. Your dentist will also feel your cheeks and the inside of your mouth while wearing gloves. The purpose of this is to identify whether you have any lumps in these soft tissues. Since oral cancer can affect any area of your mouth, the exam must be done very thoroughly. With the constant improvement of technology, there may be other tools and tests your dentist will use to screen for oral cancer, as well as the methods described above.

How often should I have an oral cancer screening done?

How often you are screened for oral cancer depends on your risk level for getting oral cancer. Most patients are advised to have an oral cancer screening done annually as a measure of preventative dentistry. If you are at high risk of oral cancer, you should have screenings done twice a year.

Who is susceptible to getting oral cancer?

It is a common misconception that only older men get oral cancer. Smoking and drinking alcohol or chewing tobacco are risk factors for oral cancer, and both men and women smoke and drink. Also, recent medical research has found that some strains of the HPV virus can cause oral cancer, and this has changed the way dentists view oral cancer and determine who needs to be screened for it. HPV can be contracted in the teenage years, so oral cancer can happen to teens and anyone else who has HPV. If you smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, drink alcohol, or have HPV, you should be diligent about getting oral cancer screenings every six months.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Preventative Dental Care in Delray Beach, FL

What can I do to prevent oral cancer?

One of the most effective ways you can prevent oral cancer is to stop chewing tobacco. Chewing tobacco can make you 60 times more likely to get oral cancer. You should also stop smoking cigarettes and limit how much alcohol you drink. Additionally, you should limit sun exposure and do your best to prevent sunburn. Getting tested and vaccinated for HPV can also lower your oral cancer risk.

Request an appointment or call Palm Beach Dentistry at 561-225-2057 for an appointment in our Delray Beach office.

Recent Posts

Important Benefits Of Preventative Dental Care

Preventative dental care is essential for a healthy mouth. The health of a person's teeth and gums says a lot about their overall health. Regular dental checkups and a proper oral hygiene routine are two of the best things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.Oral health will also aid in preventing…

Preventative Dental Care: Nutritional Tips

If you are new to preventative dental care, you may not know the importance of taking care of your teeth. It is easy to become overwhelmed with all the advice available for toothpaste and dental floss, but there are a few simple things that will go a long way in helping to prevent problems down…

Preventative Dental Care: Specialized Treatments

Preventative dental care refers to all the ways you can maintain the health of your teeth and gums, which will ultimately help prevent more severe issues down the road. One great way to provide this type of care is through treatments, including scaling and root planing, periodontal therapy, and laser gum surgery. The following are…

Recent Posts

Important Benefits Of Preventative Dental Care

Important Benefits Of Preventative Dental Care

Preventative dental care is essential for a healthy mouth. The health of a person's teeth and gums says a lot about their overall health. Regular dental checkups and a proper oral hygiene routine are two of the best things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy.Oral health will also aid in preventing…

Invisalign For Teens: FAQs About The Procedure

Invisalign For Teens: FAQs About The Procedure

Invisalign® has been around for a little more than two decades and, in that time, has corrected millions of smiles. As a result, dentists feel confident recommending Invisalign® for teens, which is precisely what it sounds like — a clear aligner system designed specifically for teens’ smiles. As a parent, you may have several concerns…