Oral Cancer Check For Prevention | Purity Dental Mulgrave

ORAL CANCER CHECK

Screen for oral cancer at your regular checkup.

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WHAT IS ORAL CANCER?

Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer can occur in your mouth, affecting areas such as your lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, tonsils and the roof or floor of your mouth.

Early detection is key in the battle against oral cancer or any other form of cancer. However, screening for oral cancer is not something most of our patients think about, although it’s something that should be done routinely.

At Purity Dental, we offer oral cancer checks as part of your regular dental check-up to ensure you don’t miss out on this important step. A careful examination by our dentists will reduce the chances of missing out on the warning signs of cancer, allowing you to seek treatment before the symptoms progress.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ORAL CANCER

Oral cancer can be hard to spot, especially in the early stages, but it can become more noticeable as it progresses. Here are some of the most common signs you’ll be able to notice at home:

  • list icon Sore gums
  • list icon Loose teeth
  • list icon Changes in speech/difficulties speaking
  • list icon Difficulties or pain when swallowing and chewing food
  • list icon Mouth sores that won’t heal
  • list icon Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • list icon Tongue problems
  • list icon Weight loss
  • list iconLoss of sensation in the mouth
  • list iconA visible lump or mass
  • list iconWhite or red patches on the mouth, gums or tongue

It’s important to remember that just because you have some of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have oral cancer. If we take mouth sores or ulcers as an example, they could be a warning sign of another dental problem, such as an infection, irritation from an orthodontic device, or even a reaction to stress.

However, if an ulcer or mouth sore doesn’t heal within two weeks, it’s best to have a dentist take a look. If ignored, it could become a serious health concern. Our dentist may ask you to get a blood test or biopsy to determine the cause.

RISK FACTORS FOR ORAL CANCER

Smoking and alcohol account for over 75% of mouth cancers by exposing your mouth to carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). However, even non-smokers and non-drinkers are at risk of oral cancer due to other factors such as:

  • list iconAge: There’s a higher risk of developing oral cancer if you are over 40 years of age
  • list iconGender: Men are three times as likely to develop oral cancer as women
  • list iconExposure to the sun: UV radiation can cause cancer on the lips
  • list iconHuman Papillomavirus Virus (HPV): Can infect the mouth and throat

Catch the signs of oral cancer early and possibly save a life.

HOW IS MOUTH CANCER DIAGNOSED?

Warning signs of mouth cancer should be looked at by a professional, ideally a doctor and/or dentist who will examine your mouthto diagnose this condition. If you’ve had your 6 monthly dental check-ups, chances are you’ve already been screened for oral cancer.
When you visit us for an oral cancer examination, we will first carry out a physical examination of your mouth for signs such as a mouth sore or ulcer on the lip or tongue or unexplained bleeding. In that case, our dentist may order other tests to confirm oral cancer, such as:

Tests used to confirm oral cancer include:

  • list icon Gum biopsy
  • list iconTongue biopsy
  • list icon X-rays & CT scans to determine if the cancer has spread.
  • list iconMRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans
  • list iconPET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans

DETECT ORAL CANCER EARLY AT PURITY DENTAL

Oral cancer can happen to anyone so we can’t stress enough on the importance of early detection of oral cancer. Regular screening for oral cancer can give you the best chances for survival with prompt diagnosis and treatment.

At Purity Dental, our dentists perform an oral cancer screening at your general check-ups, meaning you won’t have to take out another day for an oral cancer check if you are consistent with your dental check-ups. However, if you notice any signs, such as unusual lumps or ulcers that just won’t heal, we recommend visiting us before your next check-up so we can take a closer look and avoid late detection.

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We perform routine screening for oral cancer at your regular checkup.