Will My Family Dentist Look for Oral Cancer?

family dentist Fresno, CA

Regular visits with a family dentist are crucial for patients of all ages. They allow family dentists to monitor the oral cavity for tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems. However, many may not know that a family dentist will also check for signs of oral cancer. Early detection of this condition can help prevent it from becoming life-threatening.

Checking for oral cancer

Oral cancer usually develops as a growth or persistent sore, and may affect the lips, tongue, cheek, throat, hard and soft palate or the floor of the mouth. Having a regular oral cancer screening is a crucial aspect of every dental checkup from a family dentist.

Before the exam, the family dentist will examine the patient’s medical history to determine if there is a new disease diagnosis or new medications since the last dental appointment. The medical history may also show risk factors of oral cancer such as smoking and alcohol intake. Men are more at risk of developing oral cancer than women and according to statistics, it is the sixth most common cancer affecting men.

The family dentist will examine the patient’s current wellbeing. Patients should be ready to share any concerns or questions they have. During the screening, the dentist will check both inside and outside the mouth. The examination includes the head and neck, lips, palate, cheeks, tongue, gum tissues and floor for the mouth. Additionally, patients should expect the family dentist to check for lumps, abnormal tissue changes like discoloration, and sores. If they discover anything out of the ordinary, such as a lesion, they may recommend a biopsy.

Signs of oral cancer

Some of the common signs and symptoms include:

  • Abnormal bleeding in the mouth
  • Lumps, rough patches or eroded areas on the gums, lips or other parts of the mouth
  • Red, velvety white or spotted white-and-red patches in the mouth
  • Recurrent sores on the neck, face or mouth that tend to bleed and do not disappear within a week or two
  • Abnormal numbness or pain around the face, mouth or neck
  • Soreness or lumpy feeling at the back of the throat
  • Chronic sore throat and voice changes
  • Problem chewing or swallowing, speaking or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Bite changes
  • Radical weight loss
  • Ear pain

Points to note

It is advisable to visit a family dentist if lesions do not heal within two weeks. They may appear as red or white patches, lumps, ulcers or other growths around the oral cavity. Any changes or pain with bite or chewing, difficulty with speaking or swallowing should prompt an immediate appointment with a family dentist. There is no need to wait until the symptoms start to cause significant pain.

Patients need to understand that pain is not a reliable indicator. Therefore, one should not assume that it is not serious until it hurts. Sometimes, the pain only starts when the problem has worsened significantly.

In conclusion

Going for regular checkups with a family dentist is important for preventing many oral conditions. The dentist is trained and well-equipped to detect signs of oral cancer so they can provide early treatment.

Request an appointment here: https://www.professionaldentalcare.net or call Professional Dental Care at (559) 467-1234 for an appointment in our Fresno office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

Treat Teeth Grinding Now To Prevent Worn Teeth Later

Many people clench or grind teeth occasionally, but when teeth grinding becomes excessive, it can damage teeth and lead to other oral health problems. Promptly treating teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can prevent future problems, such as the premature wearing of the teeth.Bruxism is a medical or dental condition that involves excessive clenching or grinding…

Dental Inlay: What It Is And What It Can Do For You

A dental inlay is typically recommended for a decayed tooth if its biting surface has been affected. These are indirect restorations that are made from an impression of the patient’s teeth and cemented into place. The procedure usually takes two dental visits to complete over the course of two weeks, which is the amount of…

Implant Supported Dentures For Bottom Teeth

Getting implant supported dentures is a good choice if you are transitioning to dentures. Dentists use these dentures for the upper and lower jaws. The lower jaw’s needs for overdentures are different from the needs of the upper jaw. If you are thinking about getting implant supported dentures for your bottom teeth, here are the…

Questions To Ask At Your Next Dental Exam

A dental exam should be interactive. This may be hard to imagine since little conversation happens as the dentist examines and cleans the teeth. Still, a routine dental check should go further than prolonged silence and “See you in six months!”Regular dental checks are a good opportunity to have your questions and concerns addressed. Who…

Recent Posts

Treat Teeth Grinding Now To Prevent Worn Teeth Later

Treat Teeth Grinding Now To Prevent Worn Teeth Later

Many people clench or grind teeth occasionally, but when teeth grinding becomes excessive, it can damage teeth and lead to other oral health problems. Promptly treating teeth grinding, also called bruxism, can prevent future problems, such as the premature wearing of the teeth.Bruxism is a medical or dental condition that involves excessive clenching or grinding…

Dental Inlay: What It Is And What It Can Do For You

Dental Inlay: What It Is And What It Can Do For You

A dental inlay is typically recommended for a decayed tooth if its biting surface has been affected. These are indirect restorations that are made from an impression of the patient’s teeth and cemented into place. The procedure usually takes two dental visits to complete over the course of two weeks, which is the amount of…