Oral cancer screening is a preventive dental examination to detect early signs of oral cancer or precancerous conditions in the mouth. The goal is to identify any abnormal changes in the oral tissues that may indicate the presence of oral cancer or lesions that may potentially develop into cancer. At First Smile Family Dental, the dentist will visually and physically inspect your mouth, lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, and other oral tissues for visible abnormalities. They will look for red or white patches, sores, lumps, or any other suspicious changes that may require further evaluation. Oral cancer screening is typically performed as part of routine dental check-ups, but it can also be requested if you have specific concerns or symptoms. Regular screenings are essential for early detection, increasing the chances of successful treatment and improved outcomes.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the mouth and lips. It can affect any area of the oral cavity, including the gums, tongue, cheeks, throat, roof of the mouth, sinuses, or check linings. Tobacco use of any kind is the leading cause of the development of oral cancers; however, other factors, including HPV infection and excessive alcohol use, can also contribute to the development of the disease. During your oral exam, we will thoroughly examine the soft tissues of your lips, cheeks, palate, and other intraoral sites to check for signs of oral cancer. Suppose we detect any signs of oral cancer. In that case, we can then discuss your treatment options with you, which may include surgical excision, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments.
The Advantages of Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening helps detect oral cancer and precancerous conditions at an early stage when treatment is most effective. Early detection increases the chances of successful treatment, reduces the need for extensive interventions, and improves overall prognosis.
Improved Treatment Outcomes
Identifying oral cancer early in life allows for less invasive treatment options and higher success rates. Early detection may enable more straightforward and conservative treatment procedures, minimizing the need for extensive surgeries or aggressive therapies.
Regular oral cancer screenings enable prompt intervention if abnormalities or suspicious lesions are found. This can help prevent the progression of precancerous conditions into oral cancer and allow for timely treatment to mitigate the risks.
By scheduling regular exams and cleanings at our office, you can help to ensure early detection of oral health problems, such as oral cancer. These routine appointments can also help us identify other potential health risks before they become serious health concerns. Contact First Smile Family Dental at 32717 1st Ave S., Suite 9, Federal Way, WA 98003, or call (253) 785-7323 to schedule your next appointment!