Regular check-up with your dentist are essential in San Diego to get your mouth and teeth checked for cavities and any gum problems. However, there is more to this that your dentist can help you with. They are the first person to check for something more serious and that is oral cancer.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer appears as a lump or growth in the mouth that does not go away. It includes cancer of the lips, cheek, tongue, palate, the floor of your mouth, and even the throat.
Needless to say, this cancer can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage. This is why dentists urge people to visit them for routine check-ups so that they can check and screen for any signs of oral cancer.
Best dentist in Rancho Bernardo
If you are looking for the best dental care of Rancho Bernardo then your search gets over at Hekmat Dental Care where Dr. Reza Hekmat and his efficient highly skilled professionals are dedicated to providing the best dental care available.
Whether your dental needs include a complete exam and cleaning, a mouth restoration, or anything in between, Hekmat Dental promises to provide you with exceptional care and look for any alarming signs of oral cancer.
Some of their services include:
- Dental cleanings and exams
- Porcelain Veneers
- Dentures and Partials
- Root Canal Treatment
- Teeth Whitening
- Tooth-Colored Fillings
- Porcelain Crowns
- Dental Emergency
- Additional Services
During your bi-annual checkups at Hekmat Dental, the dentist will thoroughly look for any kind of changes and lesions in your mouth. They will also offer a comprehensive oral cancer screening that should be performed at least once a year. You can also avail their in-office insurance plan that includes two dental exams and oral cancer screening along with other plans and benefits.
Hekmat Dental is the best family dentist available near you including in Poway, Carmel Mountain, Rancho Penasquitos, and Escondido areas. Browse their website and contact them if you have any questions or for scheduling an appointment. Alternatively, you may also fill up their online request form for scheduling an appointment.
Look for the symptoms of oral cancer
If you ever notice a growth or soreness in your mouth that is not going away, head straight to a reliable Rancho Bernardo dental clinic for a screening test to rule out any chances of oral cancer. Although not all spots or lumps turn out to be cancer. However, if they are, early detection means you will have more treatment options.
The common oral cancer symptoms are:
- Swelling, thickening, bumps or lumps, rough crusts, spots, or decayed areas on the gums, lips, and anywhere inside the mouth
- Sudden continuous bleeding inside the mouth
- Feeling of soreness, numbness, pain, or tenderness in any part of the mouth, face, or neck
- Inability to chew, swallow, speak or move the jaw or tongue
- Painful sore throat, feeling hoarse, or change in voice
- Pain in the ear
- Lump in the neck
- Sudden weight loss
How does the dentist screen for oral cancer?
Oral cancer screening is one of the most important parts of every dental checkup that typically start before any physical exam begins.
Your dentist will first update your medical history with any changes that might have occurred since your last visit like if you have been diagnosed with new medical conditions or taking any new medications.
People who smoke or drink alcohol are at a higher risk of oral cancer. Hence, your medical history will include –
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Current health conditions
- Any dental concerns.
Oral cancer screening at Rancho Bernardo dentistry includes a thorough look at all the parts of the mouth. The dentist might also put a finger inside your mouth under the tongue and a couple of fingers on the skin under the chin and move them to feel the tissue between them. Your dentist will look for any sores, lumps, or irregular tissue changes with discoloration.
There could also be an in-depth oral cancer screening test where you will have to rinse your mouth with a blue dye before the test. If there is any unusual cell growth, it gets absorbed by the dye and is visible.
If there is any suspicious tissue growth observed, your dentist may recommend a biopsy and refer you to an oral surgeon.
When to see your dentist?
The best advice would be to see a dentist if you have lesions or sores that do not seem to clear up within two weeks. They could be like red or white patches, lumps, ulcers, or other growths that only a dentist can screen and diagnose properly.
Make a prompt visit to the dentist if you feel difficulty in chewing, swallowing, speaking, or feeling any kind of numbness. Don’t wait for a symptom to become chronic as pain cannot be a predictable indication of oral cancer. Therefore, do not assume that if it does not hurt, it isn’t a problem.
While visiting your dentist, it is very important to share any questions or dental problems you have. Do not hesitate to mention anything important or unimportant. Speaking up to your dentist might just save your life.