Almost every adult understands the importance of visiting the dentist twice yearly for biannual exams and professional teeth cleanings. But not everyone takes the time to stick to this important oral health routine. By skipping dental health exams, you also miss out on important oral cancer screening. Should you have this disease, screening helps you catch possible oral cancer early enough for the chance of a full recovery.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer screening is important for everyone as part of twice-yearly dental services in Columbus, Ohio. But people at higher risk for the disease need screening on a regular basis. Whether you visit your dentist for routine dental care, special procedures, or oral surgery in Columbus, Ohio, ask your dental care provider about oral cancer and screening for the disease.
Risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Smoking, dipping, or chewing tobacco
- Regular alcohol intake
- History of oral cancer
- Excessive sun exposure
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) strains
- Chewing betel quid
Talk to your dentist about oral cancer screening in Columbus, Ohio to learn more about your risks for the disease. Also, ask how often you need to receive these screenings.
What Happens During Oral Cancer Screening?
Screening for oral cancer includes several levels of examination. Your dentist usually performs a screening that checks your oral tissues. These tissues include your external lips, internal lips, gums, tongue, insides of your cheeks, back of your throat, the roof of your mouth, and beneath dentures.
Using one to two fingers, your dentist sometimes must feel under your tongue, on the skin beneath your chin, or under your jaw. He does this to feel your tissues and to find potential problems. Your oral cancer screening dentist in Columbus, Ohio requires only about five minutes to complete this exam.
Another method used by your oral cancer screening dentist in Columbus, Ohio involves a blue dye rinsed through your mouth. After using this dye, your dentist can see unusual cells which absorb the coloring and become more easily detectable with the naked eye.
When Your Screening Detects Signs of Cancer
If your dentist finds signs in your mouth that possibly point to oral cancer, you need to visit them again in several weeks for a follow-up exam. During the second visit, your dentist conducts an exam to see if the suspicious areas appear different. You possibly also need a biopsy, which takes a tissue sample for lab testing.
Sometimes your dentist finds lumps or suspicious spots that prove benign. But if biopsies or other tests detect cancer, finding your disease early gives you a much higher chance of overcoming it. It also ensures you have more options for treatment.
See your oral cancer screening dentist in Columbus, Ohio twice yearly, as recommended. Besides cancer, these visits prevent other serious oral health problems like advanced gum disease, tooth decay, and impacted teeth. Seeing your dentist every six months also helps you maintain your best oral health and most attractive smile. You also avoid more expensive problems caused by not taking the best care of your teeth and gums.
Oral Cancer Screening and Other Dental Services in Columbus, OH
You need a range of important services from your dentist in Columbus, OH, including screening for oral cancer. Other key services include:
- General dentistry services
- Oral surgery
- Crowns and onlays
- Permanent dentures
- Emergency dental services
- Dental implants
South High Dental in Columbus provides all of these services as part of a high-tech dental practice for children and adults. Schedule your first visit and get the care you need for your whole family, including oral cancer screening, by calling South High Dental at 614.363.2462.