Protect Your Future: Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is a serious threat to your health and an average of nearly 40,000 patients are diagnosed with the condition each year. As such, it is essential that you undergo regular oral cancer screenings, especially if you are at high risk of the condition due to the use of tobacco products or heavy alcohol consumption. At Ridgewood Dental Associates, we are dedicated to providing leading oral health care. By providing advanced oral cancer screenings using the latest technology at our Ridgewood, NJ, practice, we can help you protect your future.
Why Are Screenings Important?
Oral cancer screenings are essential to identifying oral cancer as early as possible and ensuring you receive swift treatment. Left untreated, oral cancer can cause:
- Emotional turmoil
According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 13,000 patients die of oral cancer each year.
What Does an Oral Cancer Screening Entail?
An oral cancer screening can be performed during your routine dental exam. During the screening, your doctor will perform a visual and tactile exam, followed by a quick evaluation using the ViziLite® Plus light-based detection system. This entire process typically takes only a few minutes and no notable discomfort.
First, the doctor will carefully look over your face, neck, and mouth for any signs of abnormalities or discoloration. They will then proceed to feel for abnormal masses on the head, cheeks, jawline, and under your chin. Your doctor will then use the ViziLite tool to examine the inside of your mouth. This technology is non-invasive, relying on a special blue-white light to identify any inconsistencies. Abnormal tissue is indicated by spots that do not become fluorescent under the light.
When Abnormalities Are Detected
If the doctor finds tissue that appears to be abnormal, they will either recommend you to a specialist or remove the tissue themselves. The sample will then be reviewed under a microscope for further testing. If the tissue is determined to be cancerous, you will need to see a specialist to begin treatment as soon as possible.
Oral cancer screenings are essential to identifying oral cancer as early as possible and ensuring you receive swift treatment.
Monitor at Home
While your doctor offers the most through screening available, patients can also keep an eye on their oral health at home. It is recommended that you check inside your mouth about once a month for any abnormalities. When examining your mouth, you should look in a mirror with a bright light and carefully check your tongue and cheeks for any unusual patches or bumps.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Typically, oral cancer is not painful, so it is possible to be unaware that you have the condition. While it can be difficult for the untrained eye to identify oral cancer, there are a number of common signs, including:
- A small red or white patch
- About 3 to 4 mm in diameter
- Raised in appearance and to the touch
Oral cancer can be found anywhere in the mouth including lips, tongue, palate, as well as any mucous membrane.
Your Health is Our Priority
If you are a high-risk patient and want an evaluation of your oral health, please contact us online or call us at (201) 654-2474 to schedule your consultation. Our doctors are dedicated to your overall well-being and are proud to provide this potentially life-saving service.