Oral cancer, or mouth cancer, affects the lips, gums, tongue, floor of the mouth, or inner cheek lining. Oral cancer develops when oral cavity cells mutate abnormally. Risk factors for oral cancer include genetics, excessive smoking, high alcohol intake, being diagnosed with the human papillomavirus (HPV), and excessive sun exposure.
You can considerably reduce your risk of oral cancer by scheduling regular oral cancer screenings in Sumter, SC. To learn more, please call Restorative Arts Dental today.
Symptoms of oral cancer include:
These symptoms may develop over an extended period. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular dental exams with our dentists in Sumter, SC. This way, we can catch symptoms early before the dental problem gets out of hand.
Oral cancer screenings near you entail checking for the oral cancer symptoms mentioned in the previous section. For this process, our dentists near you rely on visual inspection. The dentist also uses a gloved hand to check for lumps in the neck, chin, and facial areas.
Depending on the dentist’s determination, additional tests may be required. In particular, the dentist may use an oral cancer screening light or dye to highlight abnormal tissue.
If the dentist identifies enough cause for concern, the next step involves ordering or performing a biopsy. A biopsy is a test whereby body tissue or cells are examined under a microscope to check for the existence of cancerous cells.
It’s worth keeping in mind that oral cancer screenings are preventive and not diagnostic. As such, only a biopsy can conclusively tell if you have precancerous or cancerous conditions in your mouth.
If cancer is detected, the next steps involve getting the patient started on appropriate treatment. Oral cancer treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, and surgery.
Are you ready to take charge of your oral well-being? Then, get in touch with Restorative Arts Dental to schedule your oral cancer screening session with our dentists in Sumter, SC.