What is an Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer refers to the growth of malignancies in any part of the mouth, including the lips, throat, cheeks, gums, tongue and the floor of the mouth, among many other places. If left untreated, oral cancer can be fatal. For this reason, undergoing mouth cancer screening reduces the possibility of developing severe dental health issues.
If you think you may have oral cancer, request an appointment with a periodontist at Specialized Dentistry of New Jersey as soon as possible. Our specialists can investigate your symptoms and determine whether you need to take further action.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The signs of oral cancer are hard to discern. This is because they're similar to other symptoms of oral diseases. For instance, symptoms such as bleeding gums and swollen tissues are signs of gum disease, but they're also symptoms of gum cancer. The only way to find out if you have any form of oral cancer is via cancer screening, which we can perform here at Specialized Dentistry of New Jersey.
Here are a few signs that indicate it's time to see us for a screening:
- Persistent mouth sores
- Pain or numbness in the mouth
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking
- Lesions in the mouth or lips
- A lump in the cheek
- Persistent bad breath
- Swelling in the jaw
Risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing mouth cancer include:
- Overconsumption of alcohol
- Heavy cigarette smoking or tobacco chewing
- Excess exposure to the sun (leads to lip cancer)
Oral Cancer Screenings at SDNJ
When our periodontists perform oral cancer screenings, the process involves a series of tests and comprehensive examinations to establish the presence of cancerous cells in the mouth. Our primary objective is to identify oral cancer during the early stages of the disease, so you have a better chance of survival.
The possibility of curing this disease during the initial stages of development is much greater than when it has already taken root. Most people don't know they have mouth cancer until it's too late to do something about it. Fortunately, this doesn't have to be you. You can avoid developing malignancies in your mouth by undergoing oral cancer screening at SDNJ.
What Does an Oral Cancer Screening Entail?
Oral cancer screening entails examining 11 areas around the head anatomy. The areas our periodontist will inspect include your:
- Ears and Nose
- Buccal Mucosa
- Floor of the Mouth
- Hard and Soft Palate
During the screening, we'll check for oral cancer symptoms such as lesions, swelling, lumps and oral abnormalities. Our periodontist will then work with you to recommend the next course of action based on their findings.
What to Expect Before, During and After Oral Cancer Screening
Our periodontists will prepare you for the test by educating you on the importance of the procedure and what you should expect afterward. Screening isn't painful and doesn't involve invasive procedures. At SDNJ, it should take less than an hour to complete the examination, and you can resume your normal schedule immediately after the test.
Why You Need a Periodontist from SDNJ
Any professional dentist can perform an oral screening. However, a periodontist is the most qualified for this activity. This is because they're more familiar with the anatomy of the gums and areas such as the Buccal mucosa, which are more likely to develop cancerous cells.
According to Dr. Samantha Aaron, a periodontist at Specialized Dentistry of New Jersey, detecting mouth cancer early creates a greater chance of finding a cure.
Contact SDNJ for Oral Cancer Screening Now
If you're looking for a professional periodontist in Manalapan or Englishtown with vast experience in carrying out oral cancer screenings, then consider contacting SDNJ today.