A Breakdown of Oral Cancer Screenings
VELscope - mouth cancer early dianosis

As part of your check-up and clean appointment, one of the first responsibilities of the dentist is to perform an oral cancer screening. The purpose of this is to ensure that your oral health is not showing signs of oral cancer. They’re designed to catch any cancer signs early. If caught early enough, oral cancer can successfully be treated.

The signs of oral cancer are as follows:

  • Experiencing difficulty in chewing or swallowing
  • A lump has grown or an area in the mouth is sore, typically within the mouth and throat
  • White or red spots forming on the gums
  • Stiff jaw leading to less movement
  • Sores that develops bleeding

There are different levels to an oral cancer screening procedure. The dentist will perform the procedure and will look within all contours of the mouth, from the lips, gums, tongue, cheeks, the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat. The examination takes no more than 5 minutes at a time.

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Signs Of Poor Oral Health

When at home, it is essential that you look after your oral health at home. When at home, you can perform your own examinations of your oral health and look out for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Experience jaw pain during jaw movement
  • Red or white patches forming on the tongue
  • Difficulty to speak with smooth speech articulation
  • An unknown cause of an earache
  • Difficulty in chewing or swallowing

If you experience either of these oral health concerns, there is a likely chance you’re showing signs of oral cancer. This requires an emergency appointment with the dentist.

Learn some tips to practice and maintain good oral health here

Potential Triggers of Oral Cancer

Whilst it is unknown on what the triggers of oral cancer are, below are some of the background causes which could lead to or heighten the risk of oral cancer:

  • Excessive Alcohol and Smoking – Tobacco substances entering the mouth along with excessive alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer.
  • An Excessive Exposure to Sun – Prolonged exposure to the sun without using any sunscreen can increase the chances of developing lip cancer. Protect your lips with a lip balm when in the sun.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – A virtual infection that can be passed through to another human during skin-to-skin contact. This is likely to occur during sexual activities.

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Oral cancer symptoms can occur out of nowhere and it is important that you look after your oral health along with visiting the dentist regularly through check-ups every six months.

If you feel that you’re experiencing signs of poor oral health and are worried it could be linked to cancer, contact Vineyard Dental now and let our helpful dentists provide the essential service you require.