Neo Dental - Ancaster

Oral Cancer Screening in Ancaster

Discovering cancer in the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat at an early stage. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms and assess your susceptibility.
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The Signs And Symptoms Of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is characterized by abnormal cell growth in the mouth, lips, tongue, or throat. Early detection plays a crucial role in the successful treatment of oral cancers. While individuals over the age of 45 are at the highest risk, it is important for everyone, regardless of age, to undergo oral cancer screening if they have experienced any of the following symptoms:

  1. Discoloured patches in the mouth or on the lips, including white or dark red patches.
  2. Presence of unfamiliar lumps or unusual changes in texture.
  3. Canker sores that do not heal, numb patches, or persistent bleeding.
  4. Unusual sensations in the tongue, changes in sense of taste, and difficulty swallowing.

The risk factors for oral cancer

Certain behaviours and conditions are associated with an increased risk of oral cancer. These include:
  1. Smoking or using tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco.
  2. Heavy or moderate alcohol consumption, particularly when combined with tobacco use.
  3. Possibility of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the mouth.
  4. Excessive sun exposure, especially for individuals with a lifestyle that involves prolonged sun exposure.
  5. Poor diet or unhealthy eating habits.
  6. Family history of oral cancer.
  7. Oral cancer is more prevalent in men than in women.
  8. History of leukoplakia, which is characterized by the development of thick, whitish patches inside the mouth.

Prevention, Detection And Treatment Of Oral Cancer

Treatment will be planned on a case by case basis and will heavily depend on the severity, type and location of the suspected cancer.

Spotting early signs of cancer

The objective of an oral cancer screening is to detect cancer or precancerous conditions in the mouth at an early stage. During the examination, your dentist will carefully examine the inside of your mouth and the area beneath your tongue for any red or white patches or concerning sores. Additionally, your dentist will palpate the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or unusual textures. They may also perform an examination of the external areas of your throat and neck to identify any abnormal lumps.

Diagnosis and treatment

In the event that signs of cancer are detected during your oral screening, further tests may be recommended, including a biopsy, where a small sample of the suspicious tissue is extracted for laboratory analysis. Additional imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, or MRI scans may also be conducted. If confirmed tumours are present, treatment options such as surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy may be necessary for their removal.

Prevention of oral cancer

Taking proactive steps now can greatly decrease the risk of developing oral cancer in the future. To minimize this risk, it is important to prioritize regular dental check-ups for routine exams and screenings. Additionally, quitting the use of tobacco products and consuming alcohol responsibly or in moderation can have a significant impact. Being mindful of sun exposure and protecting the lips with UV protective lip balms is crucial. A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables is beneficial for overall health, including oral health. During daily oral hygiene practices of brushing and flossing, it is important to remain vigilant and check for any signs or symptoms in the mouth. Reporting any concerns promptly to your dentist ensures timely evaluation and appropriate care. By adopting these preventive measures, you can greatly reduce the chances of developing oral cancer and promote long-term oral well-being.

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to schedule an initial consultation & exam.

Your consultation will include an examination of everything from your teeth, gums and soft tissues to the shape and condition of your bite. Generally, we want to see how your whole mouth looks and functions. Before we plan your treatment we want to know everything about the health and aesthetic of your smile, and, most importantly, what you want to achieve so we can help you get there.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you possess any risk factors associated with oral cancer, it is advisable to request an oral cancer screening during your routine dental examination. If you notice an abnormally coloured or textured patch in your mouth, a lump, or a concerning sore, it is strongly recommended to schedule an appointment to have it examined.

During your dental visit, the dentist will thoroughly examine your lips, as well as the interior of your mouth, which includes your cheeks, gums, and all areas of your tongue. Additionally, they will meticulously check for any lumps or abnormal textures. Moreover, the dentist may conduct a gentle examination of your face, jaw, throat, and neck to identify any unusual lumps or signs of tenderness.

Begin by washing your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water. Position yourself in front of your bathroom mirror and proceed to examine various areas inside your mouth, including the roof of your mouth, lips, tongue, and gums. To inspect hard-to-reach areas, gently pull your upper lip upward and lower lip downward. Consider using a piece of gauze or a cotton pad to aid in gripping your tongue, allowing you to check its sides and underside. Make an effort to observe your gums visually and utilize your fingers to feel the inner surfaces of your mouth. During this examination, be on the lookout for any changes in colour, the presence of lumps or bumps, unusual textures, or signs of tenderness. If you notice any sores that have not healed within two weeks, it is important to inform your dentist.

Flat patches that are typically small and painless can manifest in various colours such as red, white, grey, or yellow with red borders. These patches can emerge in any region of the mouth, including the lips, gums, cheeks, tongue, and the roof of the mouth. As a general guideline, it is prudent to have any abnormal appearance or sensation examined by your doctor or dentist.

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