Oral cancer is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease affecting millions worldwide. However, when detected early, the chances of successful treatment and improved outcomes significantly increase.
Oral cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that develops in the oral cavity. It affects areas such as the lips, tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth. The early stages of oral cancer often go unnoticed and regular oral cancer screenings are the best way to detect the disease.
During an oral cancer screening at General and Cosmetic Dentistry of Tampa, our Dentist in Tampa, FL will examine your mouth for any abnormalities, such as sores or lumps. A biopsy may also be performed to confirm a diagnosis. The earlier oral cancer is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment. Factors such as tobacco and alcohol use, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, poor oral hygiene, and a family history of oral cancer can increase the risk of developing this disease.
While everyone can benefit from regular oral cancer screenings, certain individuals are at a higher risk and should be particularly vigilant. This includes individuals who:
The dentist visually inspects the oral cavity, including the lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, and the roof and floor of the mouth. They look for any unusual changes in color, texture, or the presence of sores, lumps, or lesions.
The dentist palpates the tissues in the mouth and neck to feel for abnormalities, such as lumps or enlarged lymph nodes.
In some cases, the dentist may employ specialized tools or technologies to aid in the detection of oral cancer. These may include using a blue dye called toluidine blue or a VELscope device, which emits blue light to highlight abnormal tissue changes.
If any suspicious areas or abnormalities are detected during the screening, the dentist may recommend further diagnostic tests, such as a biopsy, to confirm the presence of cancer.
Oral cancer screenings are routine exams that help in the early detection of oral cancer and improve the chances of successful treatment. To learn more about oral cancer screenings, visit General and Cosmetic Dentistry of Tampa at 5010 Gunn Hwy, Tampa, FL 33624, or call (813) 960-5869, or visit General and Cosmetic Dentistry of South Tampa at 3112 West Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609, or call (813) 874-5869.