Oral Cancer Screening in Cheshire, CT
Receiving regular oral cancer screenings can save your life. Being able to identify precancerous signs can help create an intervention plan to help fight off the disease. When caught early enough, treatment with radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery can help eliminate cancer before it spreads and causes more damage to your mouth or the rest of your body.
We recommend that adults over the age of 20 visit the dentist to have a screening every three years, and those over 40 should get screened annually. Oral cancer is dangerous because it isn’t usually detected until it has reached an advanced stage and is causing issues. At this point, only about 6 in 10 people will survive after five years. Therefore, early detection from an oral cancer screening is vital for your dental health and will give you a better chance at successful treatment. If you are in the Cheshire area and need a cancer screening, call our office today at 203-699-9705.
Who Should Schedule Oral Cancer Screenings?
Some people are at a higher risk for oral cancer than others, but it can occur in anyone, like most cancers. Those at the highest risk have a family history of oral cancer, those who have had HPV, and those who use tobacco products. Anyone over the age of 20 should schedule an appointment for routine cancer screenings even if they are not predisposed to cancer because there is a chance that it could still happen.
Causes and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Those who have a family history of oral cancer and those who smoke are at higher risk for oral cancer. Therefore, it is important to note any changes in your oral health and let the dentist know immediately during your visit.
Here are some of the symptoms that Dr. Kurtz will look for when performing your screening appointment:
- Chronic mouth sores
- Pain in your jaw, tongue, and any other areas of the mouth
- Abnormal lumps or bumps in the mouth
- White or red patches in the mouth
- Unexplained bleeding
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Bad breath
These symptoms do not indicate cancer alone; other dental issues or other diseases could cause them. However, it is important to note the symptoms in case they are a sign of oral cancer. Noting any differences, you see within your oral health can save your teeth or smile and your life.
What to Expect During An Oral Cancer Screening
If it is your first appointment with us, there is no need to worry. We will make sure you feel as comfortable as possible, and we promise to provide the highest quality care for you. Being a new patient can make many people nervous, but our team is professional and friendly, and we are here to help you achieve a healthy smile.
Oral cancer screenings do not require a special appointment; they can be done during your routine dental examination. Dr. Kurtz will look over the inside of your mouth and look for any signs or symptoms that may indicate an issue. She will also feel the soft tissue of your cheeks, gums, and throat to check for lumps.
Additional tests can be done using a special dye or light to signal abnormalities.
The oral cancer screening dye is rinsed in the patient’s mouth before the exam. If there are abnormal cells, they will take in the dye and appear blue.
The oral cancer screening light is similar to the dye where abnormal tissue will appear a different color than normal tissue. In this case, the light will make healthy tissue appear dark and abnormal tissue will appear white.
Suppose Dr. Kurtz finds any signs of oral cancer or anything unusual that may be a concern. In that case, she may recommend a follow-up appointment here in Cheshire, or she will recommend a biopsy procedure. If a biopsy is needed, we will need a sample of cells from the site for laboratory testing. A biopsy is the only way to diagnose oral cancer, but the screenings help us find abnormalities.
If you are in the Cheshire area and need a professional dentist, Dr. Kurtz and our team are here for you! We welcome all patients in the Cheshire area to schedule a dental visit. Contact us at 203-699-9705 today!