Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening is a preventive examination dental professionals conduct to identify early signs of oral cancer or precancerous lesions in the mouth. The screening aims to detect abnormalities or suspicious areas requiring further evaluation or treatment. At Smile Center Silicon Valley, it involves thoroughly examining the oral tissues, including the tongue, lips, cheeks, gums, and throat.
Oral cancer is a severe condition that can be life-threatening if not detected and treated early. Regular oral cancer screenings increase the chances of detecting abnormalities or potential cancerous lesions at an early stage when treatment outcomes are generally more favorable.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is head and neck cancer that can affect the mouth, lips, throat, nasal cavity, and salivary glands. Most cases of oral cancer are related to tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, or exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV). While anyone can develop oral cancer, your risk increases as you age, use tobacco and alcohol, or experience prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays.
The most common signs of oral cancer include red or white patches in the mouth or lips and sores that won’t heal within a week or two. These symptoms are often painless but may bleed easily and become extremely painful when eating or drinking. Other symptoms of oral cancer may include a lump in the neck, ear pain, numbness anywhere in the mouth, unexplained weight loss, pain swallowing or chewing, hoarseness, or a sore throat that doesn’t go away after two weeks.
If you experience any of these symptoms for longer than two weeks, it’s essential to contact us for a screening appointment as soon as possible. The earlier we can detect oral cancer, the more successful treatment will be.
How Is an OralCancer Screening Performed?
Using a special light to spot suspicious areas, our dentist will look for abnormal tissue changes in your mouth and throat. This exam helps the dentist identify any cancerous or precancerous lesions before they have time to spread. Our dentist will examine the interior of your mouth to check for red or white spots or mouth sores during an oral cancer screening exam. Our dentist will also feel the tissues in your mouth with gloved hands to check for lumps or other abnormalities.
Oral cancer screening allows for early detection of oral cancer or precancerous conditions, leading to timely intervention and potentially life-saving treatment. Regular screenings and healthy lifestyle habits contribute to your overall oral health and well-being. For the best dental care, visit Smile Center Silicon Valley at 877 W. FREMONT AVE, SUITE L3, Sunnyvale, CA 94087, or call (408) 245-7500.