Oral cancer is a common dental ailment caused by the abnormal growth, multiplication, and spread of cells in the body that damage nearby cells and tissue. These cancerous cells could spread to any part of the body and are characterized by sore white or red patches inside the mouth. As usual, treatment for cancer works best when detected early; therefore, regular dental checkups are necessary to inspect the teeth, gums, and entire oral cavity.
How dentists prevent oral cancer
Oral cancer is characterized by red or white patches and bleeding sores in the mouth, especially at the roof of the mouth. These sores and patches are persistent and do not seem to heal quickly. Also, hard and thick lumps and spots inside the mouth should be assessed for cancer. You might also have some crusty spots inside the mouth.
To help prevent oral cancer, dentists examine all parts of the mouth, lips, cheeks, tongue, and gums. Any growth found could be tested through a biopsy to determine if it is cancerous or not. The dentist also checks visually the condition of the throat and floor of the mouth. Digital imaging, including X-rays, MRI, and CT scans, is useful in evaluating the presence of precancerous tissue in the mouth and locating swollen lymph nodes. These digital techniques are used in oral cancer screening to examine the presence of abnormal tissue or cells in the body. Biopsies may also be used to determine whether tissue is cancerous. A biopsy is done by extracting tissue from a region in the mouth and observing it properly to ensure there are no cancerous growths or abnormal cells. Once the dentist notices signs of cancerous growth, they might schedule a few more dental follow-ups to check for disease progression and might recommend you to a specialist for better treatment and care.
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