Oral cancer is the abnormal mutation and growth of cells in the mouth. Oral cancer, also mouth cancer, may affect the lips, tongue, throat, sinuses, the floor of the mouth, and the soft and hard palate. When detected early, oral cancer is treatable through radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. Oral cancer screening, is an effective safeguard against oral cancer.
Here at Pearly Whites of Pearland, we encourage our patients to prioritize oral cancer screenings. We offer gentle, thorough, and non-invasive screenings and utilize advanced dental technology to identify cancerous conditions.
Oral cancer can affect anyone, and as such, screenings should be a priority for everyone. However, individuals with an elevated risk for oral cancer must be particularly vigilant.
Risk factors for oral cancer include:
If you identify with some of these risk factors, it’s crucial that you schedule an oral cancer screening in Pearland at least once every year.
Oral cancer screening is a gentle and non-invasive process that involves checking for the common symptoms of cancer. These include white or red patches or sores in the mouth, lumps inside the mouth, and bad breath. Our dentist in Pearland, TX, will ask if you’ve been experiencing any difficulty or pain when swallowing, as this is yet another warning sign associated with oral cancer.
After a visual inspection, the dentist may utilize a special light or dye to highlight cancerous cells, if any.
The entire screening process lasts approximately five minutes, after which our dentist will advise you on the next steps.
An oral cancer screening appointment can go two ways. In the first instance, the dentist might rule out the existence of any problem, after which you’ll be free to go home with the assurance of good health.
In another scenario, the dentist may detect worrisome signs. In this case, the next steps involve ordering or performing a biopsy test to conclusively determine if you have oral cancer. Remember, oral cancer screenings aren’t diagnostic, and only a biopsy can provide an absolute answer.
If the biopsy comes back positive, our dentist will liaise with other specialists to customize a treatment plan for you.