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Oral Cancer Screening

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Oral cancer, being an uncontrollable growth of cells that cause harm to the tissue around it, will appear as a mass or sore in the mouth. The cancer is considered oral when found anywhere on the lips, cheeks, tongue, in your sinuses, your throat, the roof or floor of your mouth, or in the palates. If the dentist has concluded that they feel  that some tests need to be run, then the diagnoses will be revealed from a biopsy of some tissue removed from the area. Per the request of any medical professional, the sooner you bring it to attention and get checked out, the better.

Typically as part of an exam, your Fort Worth dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening. This means that they will begin by feeling around different areas of the mouth, neck and face to see if anything can be identified. If they feel the biopsy is necessary, there are two they may choose from. The first causes no pain; an oral brush is used to remove tissue that is not much different than your own toothbrush at home. The other is a scalpel biopsy, and a local anesthesia will probably be given to remove the sample without any pain.

Symptoms that can indicate Oral Cancer

  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.
  • The consistent feeling of something being stuck in your throat.
  • Difficulty doing normal everyday things like chewing, talking, or swallowing.
  • A change in your voice.
  • Pain in your ears.
  • Sore, swelling, or any abnormal spots that have formed around your lips or inside your mouth.
  • White, red, or blotchy patches of both in your mouth.
  • A change in the way your teeth (or dentures, if you have them) fit together.
  • A dramatic loss of weight.

Risk Factors

  • Smoking; it increases your odds of getting oral cancer six times over.
  • The use of smokeless tobacco (dip, snuff, chew); it is 50 times more probable to develop cancers.
  • Excessive use of alcohol; increases the chance to develop cancer six times as well.
  • Having an excessive amount of exposure to the sun.

The key is to not wait when you feel as if something is off. The faster something can be detected, the more quickly treatment can be given and healing can begin. Your oral health is detrimental to your overall well-being and will always be given the sincere and professional attention you need.