Early Detection of Oral Cancer: Your Path to Wellness
Discover the Vital Role of Dentists and Dental Hygienists
Oral cancer can be a daunting subject, but with early detection, the outcomes can greatly improve. Dentists and dental hygienists are at the forefront of this early detection process during your regular dental check-ups. Through their expertise and specialized tools like the VELscope, they can help catch signs of oral cancer early when treatment is often most effective.
Understanding Oral Cancer Screenings
What are the screening tests for oral cancer?
Screening for oral cancer typically involves a visual and physical exam. Dentists and dental hygienists carefully look for any irregularities in your mouth, including sores or white patches (leukoplakia). They feel the tissues in your mouth for lumps or abnormalities and may also check your throat and neck.
How to Get Checked for Oral Cancer
How can I get checked for oral cancer?
Getting checked for oral cancer is a simple yet potentially life-saving process. You can receive a free screening during your regular dental visit. Your dentist or hygienist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth and may use a special light or dye to highlight abnormal tissue. This is a free service we provide to all of our patients.
The Role of VELscope in Early Detection
What is VELscope?
VELscope is a cutting-edge tool that helps in the early detection of oral cancer. It uses a special type of light to make healthy tissue appear bright green and abnormal tissue appear dark. This contrast helps dentists spot potential problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
Recognizing the Signs of Oral Cancer
What are 5 signs of oral cancer?
- Unusual Sores or Lumps: Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within two weeks.
- Color Changes: The development of red, white, or speckled patches in the mouth.
- Pain, Tenderness, or Numbness: Pain or discomfort in the mouth, lips, or throat that doesn’t go away.
- Difficulty Chewing or Swallowing: Challenges with swallowing or the feeling that something is caught in the throat.
- Change in Bite or Jaw Alignment: A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth or a change in the fit of dentures.
Self-Screening: A First Step to Awareness
Can you screen yourself for oral cancer?
Yes, you can perform a self-screening. Using a mirror and a bright light, look and feel for signs like sores, color changes, or lumps. However, not all changes mean cancer, and not all cancers can be caught early through self-screening. Hence, regular check-ups with a dental professional are crucial.
The Importance of Regular Check-Ups
Regular visits to your dentist are not only key to maintaining good oral hygiene but are also vital for early detection of oral cancer. During these visits, your dentist can use tools like VELscope to catch early signs of oral cancer, often before they can be seen or felt.
Understanding the importance of early detection of oral cancer and knowing how to get checked are critical. Dentists and dental hygienists use their skills and tools like VELscope to keep your mouth healthy. Stay vigilant for signs of oral cancer and remember, regular dental check-ups are your best defense.
Remember to book your dental appointment today for peace of mind and the best chance of detecting any problems early. Your path to wellness begins with staying informed and proactive about your oral health.
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Our Dental Studio
Call or text (508) 366-8808
11 West Main Street, 2nd fl,
Westborough Ma. 01581
Monday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 7 PM
Wednesday - Friday: 8 AM - 5 PM
Saturday: 8 AM - 2 PM
Our dentist office is on the 2nd floor at 11 West Main St in Westborough, MA. There's free street parking right in front of the entrance.